Hey guys! It’s been a while since my last blog post, I know, I know! But well, I’ve been busy, and being busy is always a good sign in this line of work… so, no complaints 🙂 But well, I do love to share with you all that I know, so I promise to get back into a regular blogging schedule. And to jump start, today I am going to share 5 very simple Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips with you that will guarantee increased traffic to your blog, provided you implement them consistently.
First of All, Who is This Post for?
This is for beginner bloggers. Meaning, I will share a mix of things to do that will impact your blog’s SEO in the long run. The key is to practice them diligently and consistently.
What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization refers to methods one can implement on their website that help generate, and subsequently increase, quality organic traffic.
Why should You Care About SEO?
As mentioned above, quality traffic depends on your SEO. You see, Google processes approximately 40,000 search queries in a second. That’s a LOT of search queries! People are always looking for answers. The purpose of SEO is to make sure your content is found and deemed appropriate by Google to show on relevant search query results. The higher your content shows up on Google Search Results, the better chances you have of someone clicking on your link.
Now, let’s get to the SEO practices, shall we?
1. Content is Key to Scoring Big with Google
First and foremost, before you start worrying about SEO tips and tricks, you need to internalize one thing. GREAT CONTENT. Your goal is not only for Google to show your content in the first page and at the very top, but also to get people to keep coming back to your website. You need return customers, is what I am saying. And for that to happen, you need quality content that is helpful to people looking for similar content.
A few Tips for Writing Great Content:
- The topic of your content is always important when it comes to getting increased traffic. If you want people to read what you have to say, you want to write about things that people want to read about. Research your target market and come up with a solid plan regarding your audience’s pain points, then write about those pain points.
- Write short paragraphs and use headers and subheaders to break up sections. A blog post is different from an article or an essay. You want to make your content easy to read, and shorter paragraphs with clear headings do the trick.
- Include relevant images to add visual appeal. Not too many, just one or two images are sufficient, unless the post requires more images.
- Have a clear structure: an introduction outlining the purpose of the post, a body that is clear to understand, and a conclusion that summarizes.
- Add a call to action to your posts. One example is to ask your audience a question that they can answer in the comments. This opens up a dialogue and interactions.
2. Proper Placement of Relevant Keywords
Keywords are how Google find content. If you are writing about the benefits of a vegan diet, make sure you use the term vegan diet a few times on your blog post, where relevant (more on this below). Placement is also key. Here are some strategic placements you should be aware of.
Strategic Fields for Keyword Placement:
- Page or Post Title: Your keyword should be in your page or post title. One of the ways search engines decide the relevance of content to searched items is by looking at content title. Therefore, make sure your title has the main keyword(s).
- URL: The URL of your page or post should also have the keywords. It is another key factor when it comes to how search engines decide how relevant your content is to search terms. Avoid numbers in your post or page url. If you are using WordPress, you can easily change your permalink to have the following structure: mysite.com/post-title
- Headers: It is useful to break up your page or post content into sections preceded by headers and/or subheaders. Typically these are H1 or H2 tags. It is also a good practice to place your keywords in these headers, but only if they are relevant.
- Body: Again, depending on relevancy, your keywords should appear several times inside your page or post content. Do not just add text for the sake of adding keywords; remember, quality content comes before SEO strategy. Use keywords when your content naturally calls for it.
- Image titles and alt description: Search engines also look at image titles and alt descriptions to decide relevancy. Make sure to add your keywords in these fields.
- Meta Description: The meta description is the short description that appears underneath the search items. Keywords in meta descriptions may not directly affect search engine ranking, however, as a user, I always tend to click on links that have the searched terms inside this description. It’s more for the benefit of the end user than search engine algorithms. But it’s a good practice none the less.
The image below show the top two search results for the phrase “vegan diet”. Notice the keyword in the title, URL and meta description in both cases.
3. Using Long Tail Keywords when Relevant
Long tail keywords are keywords that have 2 or more words (often at least 3 words or more). Long tail keywords are especially beneficial since they target a very niche audience. This ensures higher ranking in search queries when the the exact phrase is searched for. You can use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to see which key phrases are searched often.
4. Utilize the Comment Section for Creating a Cmmunity
If you can get people to start a dialogue in the comments, it’s one of the best ways to get repeat visitors. As mentioned above, you should always try to end a blog post with a call to action. One way to do so is to ask a question relevant to the blog post, and prompt your readers to leave their responses in the comments. When people do leave a comment, try to respond to these comments in a meaningful way. Also, a good strategy is to visit the commenters’ websites and may be leave a comment or two in their posts as well. This back and forth interaction does not necessarily directly affect search engine ranking, but can be helpful in generating quality traffic.
5. Internal and External Links
Relevancy is again key to this practice. Do not just add a link for the sake of adding a link. However, whenever the relevancy calls for it, try to add either or both internal and external links to your content. Internal links are those that link to some other content on your website. Perhaps an older blog post that has relevancy to the current post, for example. External links are those that go to a different websites which relate to and aid your content.
Well, these are a few ways to get your content out the door the right way. Keep on repeating these tips, and over time you will see an increase in your traffic. I see “over time” because SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to keep doing the things I mention here over and over, and depending on how well you do them, you will see result. CONSISTENCY IS KEY! There’s more to these of course, but for the sake of brevity I will end this post here. If you have any question regarding any of the points I mentioned, please ask them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.