As a blogger, you have probably heard about SEO. You probably know that it stands for Search Engine Optimization and has to do with adding keywords to your website. But, do you truly understand how to use it in a way to grow sustainable, organic traffic to your blog.
In today’s post, I’m going to break down the basics of SEO for your blog.
What Is SEO?
It has to do with how Google and other search engines decide what pages, posts, and websites they are going to show someone when they search a specific word or phrase. Search engine rank pages, which we’ll also refer to as SERPs, want to show their searchers what they think will be the absolute best sites for specific queries at the top of the search pages.
To do this, they all have an exhaustive algorithm that takes into account countless items when deciding which pages to show. Of course, they look at the content of the page to make sure it has the information that will answer the searcher’s query. They look at:
Content: Obviously, they look for detailed content that relates to the search. They also want it to be well-written, new, and fresh.
Structure: SERPs don’t want to send their searchers to shitty sites. If the site has endless pop-ups, a design that can’t be read on mobile devices, or a slow load time, then they are going to be less likely to display it.
Reputation of the domain: If a SERP has deemed this domain not to be reputable because maybe they’ve found nefarious things like spammy ads, non-kosher keyword stuffing, or cloaking, they are less likely to show this site to their teachers. Likewise, if they see things good for your reputation, like that other reputable sites are sharing links to your site or that your domain has been in good standing for many years, then that means they are more likely to show it.
What makes a Good Keyword?
Use keywords related to your niche.
- If you are a food blogger, you are not going to be writing articles about breastfeeding. (By the way, breastfeeding is an over-saturated keyword over the years.)
- So if you are a food blogger, you will be writing about food including recipes, utensils, and tips and tricks to have delicious meals.
Use keywords you can rank for.
- If you have a domain authority of 20, but others on the first page of Google have a domain authority of 50+, it is likely you will have trouble ranking for that keyword, but you could various others that are similar.
Use keywords people are searching for.
- People often ask google questions, so you want to be the person that provides the answers. You can make each headline a question
Use variations of long-tail keywords.
- People often ask google questions, so you want to be the person that provides the answers to their questions. You can make each headline a question and then answer it beneath.
Where your Long-Tail Keywords Should Be in your Post
- First Paragraph (first sentence)
- Alt tag of images
- Within the post – exactly or varied, multiple times various ways
Do not overstuff! You could be penalized. However, if you have a 2000 word post you can expect to see the keyword 3 times.
Questions to ask yourself regarding content:
- What problem are you solving for the person?
- Do you have experience with this problem?
- Have you done the research?
- What is the unique solution you are providing?
- What keyword phrases are they likely to utilize? (example: long-tail keywords)
SEO Tools You Can Use for Research
Internal, External, and Backlinking:
- Internal Links – Linking to other blog posts within the content of a blog post
- External Links – Linking to products if you are an affiliate or linking to resources that add creditability
- Backlinks – links from one webpage to another. If someone links to your site, you have a backlink from them.
Backlink Do’s & Dont’s
- Pay for them
- Exchange with other sites for a backlink
- Write a well-informed article on another person’s site and ask for a link back to your site.
- Use Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
Tips & Tricks to Rank Higher
- The length of the post should be 2,000 words or more.
- Should include backlinks
- The loading time of the website
- Alt tag completed on images
- Using Long-Tail Keywords