Today, I’m sharing ten easy SEO tips that will help you actually start implementing it–no matter what stage of blogging you’re in. If you missed our first post in this series, “What is SEO and Why Is It Important” you can read it here.
1. Post Quality Content
When it comes to blogging, quality content that keeps your readers coming back for more is always going to be key. Honestly, you can implement every SEO strategy in the world, and if your content isn’t exceptional, none of them will help much. SEO is only meant to optimize what you already have, not to do the hard work for you.
2. Utilize Longtail Keywords
While keywords aren’t as vital as they once were, they are still a very important ranking factor, so you will want to make sure you include the right ones. To find your keywords: simplyfigure out what words and phrases people who would be interested in reading your post would be searching for and be sure to include them.
For example, “chocolate chip cookie recipe,” “easy SEO tips” or “spring cleaning hacks” could all be great keywords depending on your article’s topic. Phrases like “Amanda’s thoughts” or “about my day” would not be good keywords, because no one would be searching for them.
“Longtail” keywords are just keywords that are longer and more specific. For example, if you choose the keyword “dog,” not only will you face a lot of competition, which means you are far less likely to rank in the search results, but you will attract people who aren’t necessarily interested in the exact topic you’re writing about. Better choices would include longtail keywords such as “how to train a dog,” “how often should dogs eat,” or “what to do if my dog swallows a marble.”
3. Place Your Longtail Keywords Purposefully
Once you choose your keywords, you’ll want to place them purposefully. Don’t stuff them into your post every chance you get. Google will see this as spam and you may get penalized. Instead, focus on including them a few times in the places that matter most, such as your post title, URL, first sentence, the alt tag of your image, your subheadings, and/or a couple of times throughout the body of your text.
4. Obtain Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are simply links that other bloggers create back to your site. The more backlinks your blog has, the more reputable your site appears to Google and the higher you will rank. Not all links are created equal, however. While a link from a smaller site is never a bad thing, you will also want to purposely seek out links from well-established and authoritative blogs in your same niche for the most impact. (You can do this by guest posting or by being featured on link-ups.)
5. Implement Internal Linking
In addition to obtaining links from other sites, you will also want to do a lot of internal linking throughout your own site as well. Not only does internal linking help keep your visitors on your page longer, but it helps search engine bots navigate your site. Bots can’t use search boxes to see what all your site has to offer. Instead, they usually discover your content by following link after link throughout your posts. If the links don’t exist, the bots won’t know about your pages and your pages can’t rank. Make sure the bots have plenty of links to follow.
6. Update Your Content Regularly
Google places a higher priority on sites that are updated regularly so that users always get up-to-date, accurate information (if it is available). This doesn’t mean you have to post round the clock, but you should do your best to maintain a consistent posting schedule, even if you can only manage once a week. It’s better to post 1-2 times a week and stick with it than to try to post 4-5 times a week, burn out, and stop posting altogether.
7. Pay Attention to Your Content Length
According to QuickSprout, the average post that ranks number one on Google contains over 2,000 words. That’s a long post! That doesn’t mean that your content has to be that long, however. Instead, you should focus on writing however many words it takes to provide a quality, valuable resource for your audience. Go too short, and you won’t provide value. Ramble too long and you’ll bore your reader.
The recommendations I’ve seen are all over the board, but typically somewhere between 500 and 1,500 words, depending on your niche. Personally, most of my posts are between 400 and 1,000 words (depending on the topic I’m covering), but don’t aim for a specific number. As long as you have over 300-350 and have thoroughly answered the question without any unnecessary rambling, you’re good. Posting one or two sentences isn’t going to cut it.
SEO Step-by-Step – The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Getting Traffic from GoogleSEO – The Sassy Way of Ranking #1 in Google – when you have NO CLUE!:
8. Use Rich Anchor Text
Your anchor text is the text you use to create a link ( <–example). While it is often very quick and easy to create links using words like “here” or “click here,” you want to choose anchor text that is far more descriptive. This is another way you let Google (and your reader) know what the linked page will be about, and it provides SEO benefits for both your site and the site you are linking to.
9. Make Sure the the Search Engine Bots Can Read Your Site
Search engine bots aren’t people; they don’t see your website the same way you do. Therefore, you need to make sure that your site is readable not only for any visitors, but also for bots. To do this:
- Don’t hide content behind password protected sites
- Do plenty of internal linking so bots can find your content
- If your site contains lots of images, video or audio, make sure you add the text in as well.
- Fill in image descriptions for your pictures
- Avoid Flash, which bots can’t read.
10. Follow the Rules
It should go without saying, but if you want to rank in Google (or with any other search engine), you need to follow the rules. Don’t steal others’ content or images, don’t violate copyright rules, don’t spam other people, mark all of your paid links with the no-follow tag, etc etc. Otherwise–if Google finds out about it–they can penalize your site or even de-index you altogether.
BONUS: Switch to WordPress
Google gives a higher priority to sites that are self-hosted. If you are still on Blogger or WordPress.com, it’s time to switch. Here are a few posts that will help you through the process.
Have you tried any of these strategies already? Do you have any questions about any of them? What other strategies have you tried?