Do you hear the words Search Engine Optimization and immediately conjure up a bunch of scraped content stuffed with artificial-sounding keywords? Or maybe you know you need to up your blog SEO in order to appear in the search engines, but you just don’t know where to get started. Well in this article, we are going to teach you SEO for bloggers. In fact, we’re going to go through the most important points that will make your blog rank better in search engines and show up for your top keywords. Here goes!
7 simple steps for blog SEO
1. Choose one keyword theme per page or post
As bloggers and website owners, we often think we need to rank for a really competitive “magic phrase” and that our main home page should be what shows up in search results. But search engines actually index separate pages and blog posts, so you can have a ton of different keyword-optimized posts that act as doors for people to enter your website through. Focus on a specific keyword theme (i.e. SEO for blogs, SEO for bloggers, SEO friendly blog).
2. Research the keyword
Check out how much competition your keyword has—and whether anyone is even searching for it. You might think that people are searching for “Brooklyn restaurants,” but what they’re really searching for is “Brooklyn TexMex restaurants”… and if you own a TexMex restaurant, then you know you’ll want to pick the most specific keyword. Google Trends is an easy tool for keyword research.
3. Work that keyword!
Make sure that you use the keyword on the page or in the blog post in question. Since we’re talking about blog SEO, it’s a good idea to include the keyword in the title of the post, and also in any sub-headings that you have in your post. This is to tell the search engines what the page is about!
Read all about how to improve your Google keyword ranking.
4. Fill out your meta tags
Depending on your blogging platform, you might have built-in fields to specify a page’s meta description, title, and keyword tags, or you might need to install a plugin. If you’re on WordPress, I recommend WordPress SEO by Yoast. Once it’s installed, you’ll see three new fields to fill out each time you publish a blog post.
Learn more about meta tags and the head section of a website.
5. Include your keyword in Image Alt text
To increase your chances of ranking high for your keyword, you need to provide lots of hints about your topic. If you add an image to your post, make sure that the “alt text” (alternate text) on the image has your keyword in it, too! Everything in your post is a signal to the search engines.
6. Get some inbound links
Now that you have your posts geared toward specific keywords, it’s time to get some links to your content. There are many different ways to get the search engines to recognize your new post … some of the easiest ones are to share your post on social media.
The more social signals and shares that you get, the more incoming links you have, and it tells the search engines that your post is good content.
Now social media links don’t necessarily help your rank, but they can get your content to show up by being indexed faster. What that means is that each time you post a new blog post, the search engines will come around and add it to their site directory.
You’ll also want to build other more permanent links to your blog posts to boost SEO. Think about (1) having your friends who run relevant blogs link to you, (2) writing on other websites as a featured expert, or (3) linking from one post to another on your own site.
7. Publish great content
This may be the last step, but it’s an important one: make everything you publish on your blog something that’s worth reading and sharing. When you publish great content, the search engines won’t be able to stay away, and more people will find you, too!
Editor’s note: Eager to craft a blog of your own? Check out GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress to get started.