The blogging world is full of tech terms and most are simple enough to understand, but the term bloggers need to know above all else is SEO. What is SEO exactly? SEO or “search engine optimization” is the curation of site content and data for search engines (think Google) to review and rank among similar results. Professional bloggers always write with SEO in mind by providing relevant keywords, clear content, and plenty of internal and external links in each post.
In order to bring traffic to your website you need to know how to properly select keywords. “Vegan restaurant” has a lot of competition in the search results, but if you turn it into a long tail keyword that includes more niche information such as, “vegan tapas restaurant in San Diego” you’ll have better luck standing out.
The keyword should be found in the title, the first paragraph, and a few more times throughout your post. Avoid, throwing around too many keywords like an overzealous flower girl or adding in irrelevant keywords as this will be seen as spam and will cause a lower SEO ranking.
Good writing is the key to a higher SEO rank. In order to achieve this, structure your posts to have a logical flow from beginning, middle, to end. Include shorter paragraphs and keep your posts around 300 words for our decreasing attention spans (please leave your Ulysses at the door.)
Make sure to find your voice and make each post count by offering readers a takeaway of information, humor, or a solution to a problem. This can be done with text and a healthy mix of content including:
- google hangouts
Remember to proofread your posts before publishing as all your hard work climbing the SEO ladder can be undone with just a few grammar mistakes.
Internal and External Links
Internal and external links work hard to keep search engines crawling around your blog. When you link to relevant past posts you’ll be able to keep your readers on your site longer and decrease your bounce rate. External links from high-ranking websites help as recommendations to the legitimacy of your blog and bring in traffic. Networking with other bloggers or guest posting is a great way to build your external links.
The best SEO checklist around is the magical Wordpress plugin, Yoast SEO. This plugin can be overwhelming at first, but with time you’ll get the hang of it. The Page Analysis section runs through each SEO factor in your post and grades you with a colored dot.
You’ll want to avoid as many red and orange dots as you can and aim for all green dots. In order to do so you’ll want to play around with different keywords or edit your content until the dots turn green. A few ways to earn a green dot are to:
- use the keyword in your title, URL, H2, first paragraph, and a few times in the body
- use the keyword in the meta description
- use the keyword in image alt text and the image name
- write 300+ words
When you write each post with SEO in mind and double check that your keywords, content, links, and other moving parts of your blog work together at peak performance, your SEO ranking will reflect your hard work.
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