For years, I never worried about SEO, and my sites continued to rank extremely well. It wasn’t until I started focusing on SEO strategies, that I started experiencing challenges. I will cut to the chase and tell you what I have learned:
SEO strategies should be used as a foundation only. Instead, focus on engaging readers. This is what actually results in higher rankings.
That said, here is a foundation strategy you can apply to your own blog.
SEO FOR BLOGS
What is SEO?
S-E-O: Search engine optimization. The process of optimizing content to be discovered through a search engine’s organic search results.
Benefits of SEO:
It’s passive, compared to the effort it takes to drive traffic through social media. It typically results in consistent traffic. It’s free, compared to ads. It also provides the opportunity to reach massive audiences.
How it works?
Search engines are constantly “crawling” and indexing webpages, following links all over the web to discover new content. They use a sophisticated algorithm to catalogue and deliver these pages in SERPS (search engine results pages.) This algorithm is made up of over 200 factors, which are mostly unknown to the public.
The purpose of a search engine is to deliver the most relevant results in search results.
- Use keyword research first. Not for search engines, but to understand what your readers REALLY want. Make it a habit to research keyword phrases on your blog topic. This will make content creation and meeting the needs of your writers, so much easier over time.
- Use Yoast SEO or your preferred SEO plugin. I prefer Yoast personally.
On-Page SEO for Bloggers
- The keyword phrase should be in your title, url (minus stop words), in 1 header, and 1 x in your content itself. This is a general rule of thumb, however, I prefer to write it completely without thinking about keywords- then, go back and make sure they are included. You can take a look at who is ranking #1 for the phrase and view their use of the phrase as a guideline. If you do not rank well over time, you can test with small changes- 1 at a time. You can read my in-depth tutorial on keyword research here, and also how to SEO a blog post here.
- Create Longer posts, with rich content. I have seen a number of SEO experts say “Google likes 1800 words” – it’s actually, PEOPLE that like the longer posts, because of the amount of information provided. Google likes that they are staying on the page, and finding the information they searched for.
- Use Videos. I have also seen SEO guides say “Google loves videos.” Again, it’s PEOPLE that love videos. Google likes that they are staying on the page, engaged and finding the content useful.