Whether you’re just getting started in the blog game or have been writing entries for a while, you know how challenging it is to get your site near the top of Google’s search rankings.
However, with some good blog SEO tips and a bit of persistence, you can get a head start on your competitors.
While the exact algorithm for search rankings isn’t fully known, we do know that there are a lot of blog SEO tips you can use, all of which can add up to a higher rank and more visitors.
Here are 10 techniques that you can start using right away.
- Content is King
It sounds obvious, but writing great blog posts is a must these days. It’s only going to get more and more difficult to rank in Google using short (<500 words), me-too articles sourced from ideas already shared by other blogs in your space. Compelling, well-written and well researched blog posts that are useful and relevant for your audience is what is going to keep your visitors coming back for more. Think original, trust-worthy content that genuinely helps your reader. If you become the go-to resource in your niche, links and ranks will come naturally.
- Make Keywords Count
You need to use relevant keywords in your content if you want to rank highly in Google searches.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the single words, terms or phrase that user’s type into search engines. For example, if you wanted to know about what you’re reading right now, you’d probably type into Google: ‘what are keywords? When you start typing, Google starts to give you suggestions based on popular searches.
As a blogger, you want all the keywords on your site to be relevant to what people are searching so that your content is visible. This involves both knowing your audience (what language they use to type in what they are searching for) and what keywords see a particularly high flow of traffic. You can use keyword research tools to see which keywords have a high search number.
- Put Keywords in Your Post’s URL
When writing new posts, set the URL to contain your main keywords for the article. If you have the Yoastplugin installed on your WordPress theme, then this will prompt you anyway. Also, try to keep the whole URL string as short as possible — it suggests high relevance.
- Add Images to Your Content
A post without images is like a pizza with no cheese. You get the picture. It’s pretty vital. Having high quality images in your content has many benefits.
- Include Your Keyword in Title Tags
Web users may not look at a page’s browser title as much as they look at what’s actually on the page, but for SEO purposes, keywords in the title tags are important.
For WordPress users, this will be under ‘SEO Title’. If you can, try and put the keyword at the beginning too. Doing this makes it appear more relevant for the search spiders.
- Add Unique Content on Category Pages
Again, content is king. Custom content on your blog’s specific category pages can help boost your ranking. Especially if you put a blog post in more than one category. Having unique copy on each category page will help the category page to not come across as spammy.
- Link to High Quality Sites
While websites used to be about stickiness and not letting the visitor leave, we now know that linking to reputable and relevant sites can actually help your blog show up higher in the rankings. This means linking to other companies or tools if you’ve mentioned them in the post, or even other blogs that offer useful information on the same topic- just like we’ve done throughout this article.
- Make it Easy to Share Your Content
If other sites and social media accounts link to your blog, not only will it lure more visitors to your site, it will also boost your rankings. Make it easy for others to link by including buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit users.
- Use Webmaster Tools
Both Google and Bing offer an incredibly helpful package of tools to help you learn your blog’s keyword rank, see who’s linking to you, and much more. Based on the data you receive, you can re-evaluate and adjust your blog as necessary.
- Write a Good Meta Description
If your page comes up high enough in the rankings because you used the other nine techniques mentioned here, a good meta description (the text snippet of your content) can mean the difference between a user deciding to click or pass.
Good SEO practices are absolutely essential to getting your blog ranked higher. It will take time for you to gain the knowledge and skills for making a difference in your rankings (a good SEO course can help), but slowly you’ll get there and all additional learning will eventually compound to give you an edge over your competitors. It’s important to remember, however, that your rank won’t shoot up overnight.
You’ll need to give it a bit of time, and soon enough you should start to see results.