SEO Basics for Newbie Bloggers
Blogging can be an enriching experience for you and your readers for different reasons. For example, sharing your knowledge about a particular niche can give you the opportunity to start a business using your blog, though that is just the beginning.
Still, one of the key aspects of a successful blog is having readers. It is at this point when knowing a few SEO basics becomes crucial; thankfully, the following are 10 simple fundamentals about search engine optimization (SEO) that will help your drive more traffic to your blog.
For a more in-depth look at SEO, you want to check out this article from Moz, The Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
1. Understand the Importance of Original Content
You probably heard about making relevant content, which usually refers to quality blog posts. Yes, Google does judge the quality of your site based on your blog posts, but there is much more to consider.
For one, it is important to use original photographs for your blog posts instead of looking elsewhere. Google looks favorably on sites that are using more original photographs or photos you can purchase online.
There are also a lot of free stock photo sites out there that you can use to create highly engaging images if you don’t have a camera or the money to spend on photos. Be sure to re-title your images once they are uploaded on your page as something related to title of your post. Did you know that you can optimize your images for SEO too? This post from Skillcrush shares how you can do just that!
It would be wise to upload other types of media as well, like original podcasts and videos.
2. Make Sure Your Theme is Clean
This aspect of your blog is about keeping your website up-to-date. Make sure that your theme is fresh to ensure that it is functioning as it should and loading quickly. Don’t forget to use good cache plug-ins like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache that help pages load faster.
Google loves a site that is friendly to different kinds of devices, so make sure that the theme is updated frequently. It would be a good idea to adopt newly developed themes instead of themes that are widely popular to show your uniqueness to Google.
It is important to go through your pages to ensure that your links are not broken or guiding readers to sites that are not being tended to.
3. Make Indexing Easier for Search Engines
A simple thing to do is to install a sitemap, which helps readers go through your old posts easier. The great thing about installing a sitemap is that it helps archive your posts, which gives search engines more access to your site.
4. Hook Up With Other Bloggers
This tip may be considered one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes SEO and blogging, but it continues to be one of the most effective ways to improve your site.
What you want to do is look for other bloggers in your niche and begin to comment on their posts. This might prompt them to return the favor. The same goes with using popular blog posts as a reference, which could get your site mentioned on the blogger’s site as well.
5. Give Your Posts a Good Title
There are a few aspects of the title that need to be considered like the likelihood of someone writing it on a search engine. You don’t want to use a title that contains too many words that are not used in everyday speech.
It would be wise to use your keyword in the title, preferably in the beginning unless it doesn’t make sense. It is also important to stay away from titles that don’t clearly state what your article is about. You can be a little more artistic with your sentences throughout your piece, but your title should get right to the point.
6. Use the Right Coding for Your Text
It is important to use the right coding for the text in your blog post so that search engines like Google can categorize it correctly. For example, using H1 tags might make it easier for search engines to read your blog titles.
This is one reason why you should keep your titles as text rather than using an image creator to title your posts. Search engines will not read text within an image the same way, which is the reason that many seo experts don’t recommend it.
7. Use Old Posts to Your Advantage
Placing links on your site is a good idea, especially if you use your own posts on a related subject. This immediately makes a search engine take another look at your site, which is something that you want happening as often as possible. There is a higher chance of your page ranking better if search engines are constantly taking a closer look at your site.
Using your old posts helps those new posts rank a little higher too. This is a simple and clean trick, just as long as you do not add too many links to your page.
8. Re-Think the Way You Write Posts
It might not seem like a big deal, but blog readers and search engines do not like seeing big blocks of texts. These blocks are hard to read because they are simply too dense for now-a-days readers.
What you want to do is add more spaces between your texts. Consider small paragraphs about about three sentences before moving on to the next paragraph.
Updating all your posts might make a search engine believe that you are producing high quality posts, which is a good thing. It will be a matter of time before you are rewarded with a better ranking.
9. Permalinks Should be Simple
Permalinks, or your URLs, should be simple and contain no more than four words, including your main keyword. Sure, the URL can be a little longer, but do your best to keep the word count low as this makes it easier to share on social media.
A good and short URL is also easy to search for, which is something that search engines are also looking for. To change your permalinks, just go to your settings and look for permalink settings. One of the options should be Post Name, so choose that one.
Remember to install a Redirection plug-in if you are going to change old permalinks, or your pages might suffer the 404 error.
10. Keyword Stuffing is a Bad Thing
Search engines use tags or labels to categorize your post, and they can recognize if you are stuffing keywords. Tags and labels are there to make it easier for your readers to search for a post, so use these two as such.
Using keywords in your post is encouraged, but don’t do it too often. Make sure that you spread out the keyword. Search engines do not like seeing words repeated too often; in fact, it may be a good idea to run your posts through a word density calculator to make sure that you are not using the same words too often.
One plugin every new blogger should install on their site is Yoast SEO. This SEO plugin does a whole lot of things to help with search like creating a sitemap, prevention of keyword stuffing, permalink clean up and more. Did I also mention that it’s FREE? Simply follow this tutorial from WP Beginner to help you get it running on your blog.
Hopefully, these SEO basics help improve your blogging efforts seamlessly while you gain more readers.