If you’re a blogger, you know that search engine optimization is a must. A good SEO strategy can make new website visitors happen faster, which is awesome for anyone who’s trying to get the word out about their digital business or build an online presence. But do you know how to go about developing an effective SEO strategy?
Here are 12 serious tips that will help your blog rank better in Google search results and please note this list isn’t just for bloggers who want to rank higher for keywords like “organic almond milk” or “broccoli casserole.” These tips will help bloggers of all topics and be able to reach more readers in the long run!
1. Write frequently
The most obvious tip for blogging success: Write often. It’s a simple concept, but one that’s so important and one that so many bloggers ignore. If you’re trying to build up a blog’s organic search traffic, it’s essential to post as constantly as possible.
While no-one is expecting you to churn out a new article every day (hey, even I only publish three times a week ), infrequent posting will lead to slower growth and lower search results for two main reasons:
a.) Search engines like Google want to send readers to sites that are active and have new content on them.
b.) Readers want to visit sites that are updated regularly.
All of this means that if you’re blogging less often, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Also, if you publish frequently, your posts stay fresh on Google’s radar for longer. So keep posting and keep building up those steady organic search results!
2. Write compelling meta titles and descriptions
The meta title and description for your blog posts are super important factors in how well your pages rank in Google, so it’s essential to write great ones. Keep these tips in mind:
a.) Put the most important keywords first (but don’t keyword stuff).
b.) Don’t stuff your meta description with too many keywords. (Google loves well-written, descriptive meta descriptions).
c.) Write a compelling meta title and description: These generate more clicks from search engines, and encourage readers to click on your blog posts!
3. Build relevant backlinks to your blog
This tip is basic, but a lot of bloggers don’t know it’s important — and when blogs do rank well enough for search engines, they neglect to build relevant backlinks to their blogs. If you want the search engines to send readers to your blog posts (and not just page 34), you need to have google friendly backlinks pointing people in the direction of your site.
What do I mean when I say Google friendly?
a.) The backlinks must be coming from sites that are relevant to your blog’s subject.
b.) Links from forum pages, guest posts, page within a directory (especially Facebook pages), and/or news stories are all great examples of “Google-friendly” backlink sources.
c.) Avoid using the exact same links as other bloggers on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Search engines will penalise you for using the same links as others—they want you to be unique! So, make sure your backlinks are unique with different anchor text than those used by others.
4. Create relevant blog categories
One great way to improve your blog’s search rankings is by creating a relevant category. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but it can help readers find your blog quicker in a couple of ways:
a.) Search engines will show Bing and Yahoo users the most popular subcategories when looking at top-level categories (I.E: “cooking”).
b.) Readers will find your important posts more easily because they’re grouped into relevant, popular topics—and that’s what you want everyone to do!
5. Use keywords in your post text
Another useful tactic for ranking well on Google is using keywords within your post text. This is a great way to help readers find your blog posts in their Google search results—and it’s definitely worth doing. First, it can help drive targeted traffic to your blog. Second, it helps readers find your content by searching on the keyword you chose.
Sometimes it can be tricky to contain the keyword in the text—but here are some helpful tips:
a.) Try using more than one keyword within your post text.
b.) Use synonyms (for example, instead of just “organic almond milk” you could use “drinkable almond milk” or “raw almond milk”).
c.) Use keywords at the beginning of each paragraph and then again at the end.
d.) Use keywords in your post title.
6. Create a blogroll
Are you actually using your blogroll? Your readers should be able to click through from this list and find more great writings on your subject, which is a great way to build community around your topic. But it’s also important for another reason: Google uses blogrolls (and other sources like directory links) as another factor in ranking your content. So don’t forget to add important blogs to yours!
7. Set up Google Analytics
This is perhaps the most important factor on this list when it comes to improving your SEO results, and it’s one that a lot of bloggers don’t know is important. Honestly, I know that half the reason bloggers don’t set up their Google Analytics account is because they think “It’s too hard.” But it really isn’t. Setting up your Google Analytics account can give you amazing feedback about how readers find your blog, what they do when they get there, and what kind of posts perform best.
I have found that setting up analytics for even just a few days makes a huge difference in improving my blog’s organic search rankings—and giving readers an amazing experience!
8. Make your titles and tags search engine friendly
These two important factors are super easy to overlook in your efforts to create incredible blog posts. As previously mentioned, however, Google uses title tags and post tags as factors in its ranking algorithm. If you use keywords in these places (which you should), then it will help your blog rank higher in Google and other search engines.
It can be tricky to write blog titles that include keywords but also sound good—but these are a few tips which will help you out:
a.) Use the most important keyword first.
b.) Make sure they’re clear, concise, and appealing enough that readers want to click on them!
9. Optimize your images
I’m not going to bother talking about this one too much, simply because it’s common sense. If you know how to optimize your images for search engines, then you already know about optimizing them. But if you don’t—or you aren’t sure how to do this—then I suggest reading up on this topic before moving forward so that you can avoid the common mistakes:
a.) Ensure that the image has a caption.
b.) Use alt tags within the image description.
10. Monitor your competition
If you want to know what keywords you’re ranking on, grab a toolbar and start searching. There are many tools out there, like this one perfectRank, which will help you monitor the keywords used by your competition.
It’s not 100% accurate, but it can be a great way to see where you stand in the search world especially if you aren’t finding as much traffic as expected.
11. Use Google search
This may seem like a strange one, but it’s actually pretty relevant—not only can you use Google to monitor your keyword rankings, but you can also use it to find long-tail phrases that could be useful for blogging.
Here are some tips for using Google search:
a.) Use the “related search” function at the bottom of your results page (it’s usually under “more”).
b.) Do some keyword research on these long-tail keywords! You might find some great opportunities here.
12. Avoid common mistakes!
Search engines often get irreparably confused by common mistakes. They don’t dislike your content, they just hate your mistakes. If you’ve ever seen a comment with the words “That was well-written,” then you know what I’m talking about!
Here are some common SEO mistakes to avoid so that you can rank higher in the search engines:
a.) Images should not be keyword rich, so make sure they’re not keyword stuffed.
b.) Don’t use bold text or italics for emphasis; use text which is distinct and easy to read like subheaders, bolding, or inserting chapter titles within your post text.
c.) Do not overdo blogrolls (or any other link building tactic)! Try to keep them as relevant as possible.