Many bloggers fail to take advantage of search engines. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, these SEO tips for bloggers will come in handy and help your posts rank and boost your traffic.
SEO is like every blogger’s nightmare. We know we need it but we dread the execution for every post we write. It’s time intensive but it helps us to grow our blogs.
If you’re new to this blogging thing and still trying to get the hang of SEO, let me give you a bit of a rundown.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. In other words, it’s how people search for topics on Google and find posts from your blog that are ranking. For example, say you write a killer post about the new Sprouts Grocery Store in your area and use the keyword ‘Sprouts Winter Park‘. Your post will rank on page one of Google’s search engine if it has relevant terms and words within the post.
The blogging industry is super saturated and ranking on Google can set you apart from others in your niche. It can allow new readers and brands to discover your blog.
My Top SEO Tips for Bloggers
1. Have a self hosted blog
A self hosted will give you more control over your blog and how it’s setup for SEO. If you’re wanting to start a blog or transition your blog to a self hosted platform, WordPress.org is the best place to start.
2. Make sure your site is secured
Recently Google announced that sites/blogs who had secure URLs would rank higher in their search engine. Consider transitioning your URL from http to https with your site host in order to rank.
3. Create a good site structure
One of the things that I noticed helps my posts rank very well is to link to other posts within a post. Internal linking helps readers click through to similar posts and helps Google to understand the structure of your blog. It also helps readers stay on your site longer. The right internal linking strategy can boost your SEO.
4. Get backlinks from trusted sites
Backlinks can help boost your SEO tremendously. They reassure Google that your blog is a trusted site and one worth ranking in the search results. A good way to secure backlinks from other sites is to simply reach out. Consider doing guest posts on other blogs, writing freelance articles for major sites, or even doing interviews for major publications.
5. Educate yourself
Tackling SEO without actually knowing what you’re doing is a really bad idea. Before you dive in to the beast of optimizing your site, do your research. Take a few courses or read a few books on SEO to try and understand what you’re actually doing. This will help you out in the long run. In the beginning, I simply just started “winging it” with SEO and it’s something I regret now. Once I learned the “right way” of doing SEO, I had to go back and fix all of my old posts. It was time intensive and it’s something I’m still working on making better.
Take the time to research keywords for each post before you begin writing. The right keywords will help you to rank.
6. Place keywords throughout your post
Once you’ve found the right keyword for your post, place it strategically in the body. Also use supporting words that will help Google understand what your post is about. For example, if you’re writing a post about how to have “good hair days” you’ll want to include supporting words like shampoo, conditioner, brush in your post.
7. Choose an SEO friendly blog theme
When choosing your blog theme or layout, you’ll want to make sure that the them is SEO friendly. You will want your theme to be professional and responsive. Keep the theme minimalistic with coding so that your site speed is fast. Having a slow site speed will impact your ranking.
8. Permalink structure is important
Some of you probably don’t even know what a permalink structure is but that’s ok. It took me a while to figure it out too because I never realized how important it was. A permalink is the full URL people see when they go to a blog post. They are permanent no matter how many times you change or update the post.
Some things to remember when creating your permalink for each post is to include your keyword or keyphrase. Using the keyword in your URL can improve your site’s visibility but typically don’t have a huge impact on the ranking.
If at some point you decide to change your permalink, it will affect your SEO.
9. Use catchy headlines
How many times have you scrolled right past a post because the title sounded not interesting at all? You want your title to be something that will attract people to your blog and entice them to click on the post. Think of something that’ll make you stand out but still aligns with your brand.
When writing a headline, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it solving a problem?
- Is it teaching something?
- Will this post entertain my readers?
- What message am I trying to get across?
Adding these things to your headlines will help draw attention:
- Numbers for lists
- Comparisons (I.E: Splurge vs. steal posts)
- How to…
- Tips for…
10. Utilize heading tags
Heading tags are how Google scans your post to learn the order of importance between the topics in your post. The H1 of your posts is the title. Every single one of your blog posts should have an H2 heading that has your SEO keyword in it. Headings go up to H6 and it’s important to learn how to use them properly if you want your posts to rank and drive traffic to your blog. This is a great post that describes how to use heading tags.
11. Create a good internal and external link structure
Both internal and external links are essential keys to good SEO.
Internal linking is when you link to older posts that you’ve written within a blog post. Yoast Internal Linking can help you to create an internal linking structure to help your ranking. It will show you posts that are relevant that you should link to. Internal links are the best way to keep readers on your blog. By linking to other posts it allows readers to stay on your blog longer because they’re clicking around to read other posts that you’ve suggested to them. Internal linking also helps to reduce the bounce rate of your blog and increase the session time.
External links are when you link to a site other than yours. Having sites with a high domain authority (search engine ranking score) can help your blog rank better as well.
12. Write longer posts
Gone are the days that we could write 300 word posts and rank on the first few pages of Google. Now Google wants to know that you really are an authority on what you’re writing about. Writing longer posts that are 1,000+ words are what Google really loves. I try to aim for about 1,800 words per posts. I make sure to divide it into sections using heading tags so that it’s easier for my readers to navigate.
13. Speed up your blog
There’s nothing more annoying than clicking on a good blog post and it takes forever for the page to load. Large photos, excessive code, and extra plugins are just a few of the things that can slow down your blog. Check the speed of your blog using GooglePage Speed Insights to see how fast your blog is loading on desktop and mobile. Once your blog is analyzed you can team up with a developer to help you make the changes you’ll need to speed up your site.
Why do we as bloggers care about SEO?
SEO is so important for bloggers for many reasons. Mainly it’s because ranking on Google can help bring traffic to your blog. Having organic traffic on your blog is major. Your goal should be to have at least 60% of organic traffic from search engines as a rule of thumb.
Most of the brands that I’ve worked with have found me through a quick Google search.
Great SEO Leads to Better Collaborations
If you’re a blogger who’s wanting to work with brands, SEO is something you need to invest your time in. A blog with high ranking posts is something that will attract the brands you want to work with. High ranking posts will give you something to leverage when brands reach out. You can use those posts to provide the brands your value.
5 Favorite Resources for SEO
- SEMRush – a paid service to help find keywords, create a site structure, and SEO writing templates for blog posts. Costs $99/month
- Yoast SEO – WordPress plugin
- Google Trends – a free service provided by Google
- Google Keywords – a free service provided by Google
- Keysearch – a paid service for keyword research
Do you have any go-to SEO tips for bloggers? I hope this helps you in your journey to creating a better site structure and SEO friendly posts. Good luck!