SEO is a word (is it a word?) that’s always thrown about when people talk about the best ways to promote your blog. Search engines account for the majority of traffic to my blog, and that’s mainly thanks to using these quick and easy blog SEO tips in order to make my posts are SEO friendly.
I’m sure we all know that SEO stands for search engine optimisation, but actually understanding how it works and putting it into practice can seem pretty confusing. But, never fear, it’s actually quite easy. These 10 simple blog SEO tips will help you optimise your blog posts and it’ll soon become second nature!
1. Use SEO keywords
One of the most straightforward, simple blog SEO tips is to use keywords in your posts. It might seem obvious, but it’s a step that bloggers often forget. Before writing your post, think about what your message is, who the target audience is and what they will search to find your post. Try to use long-tail keywords (three words or more, such as “red midi skirt” rather than just “skirt”) as they’re more specific – this means there’s less competition in Google, and a better chance that you’ll rank highly for this keyword. Don’t overdo it and stuff in as many keywords as possible, though. Stick to one or two long-tail keyword phrases per post, which should make up around 1-2% of your total word count e.g. in a 500 word blog post, use your keywords 5-10 times.
2. Optimise titles and header tags
If you want to improve your blog SEO ranking, don’t go for whimsical, quirky titles. Instead, use your keywords to create a descriptive title that will catch the attention of Google as well as human readers. Try to put your keywords at the beginning of the post title (especially for long titles) so it doesn’t get cut off in Google searches. You should also make use of header tags to create subtitles. These are great for structuring your post at the same time as alerting Google about the important parts of your article (don’t forget to include keywords in these!). Use the dropdown menu in your text editor to choose Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3 etc or switch to HTML and wrap the <h2></h2>, <h3></h3> etc tag around your subtitle.
3. Name your images with SEO keywords
Images are often forgotten about when it comes to optimising your blog SEO, but they’re a key feature that you should utilise when putting these blog SEO tips into practice. Make sure to name your images with meaningful descriptions (e.g. red-midi-skirt.jpg instead of DSC346.jpg) as Google will search these as well as the main text of your post. Be sure to add in an alt tags and title tags for all images too (e.g. women’s outfit with red midi skirt and black heels) – if you use WordPress you can do this when uploading images to your media library, or use HTML to add: <img src=”http://image.com” alt=”description” title=”description”>
4. Optimise the length of your blog post
In order for Google to pay attention to your blog post, you need to make sure it’s long enough that they will stop to crawl the page. At least 300 words is the recommended length, although Google favours longform articles so aim for around 700-800 if you can. This makes sure it’s long enough for Google, but short enough that your actual readers won’t get bored half way through. Keep in mind the keyword density from before – the longer your post, the more times you should use your keywords, but stick to around 1-2% overall.
5. Add blog content regularly
Another of my simple blog SEO tips is one you’re probably doing already – adding content regularly. Google likes to see that a website is active and continuing to produce useful content, so making sure you upload new blog posts regularly works in your favour when it comes to SEO. This doesn’t mean you have to blog every day, but try not to leave weeks or months between posts. It’s a good idea to write evergreen content (aka things that people will search for long after you’ve written the post) as well as things that have a shorter lifespan.
6. Link back to old posts
Adding a link back to old posts (which are relevant to what you’re currently writing about) is a good way to show Google you’re a trusted website and an authority on your subject, so they’ll be more likely to rank you highly. It’s also useful for your readers, including new people who arrive on your blog through a Google search – they might click through to your old posts, improving your bounce rate at the same time as gaining you a new reader.
7. Add a meta description
Of all these blog SEO tips, this is probably the one that’s most often forgotten about by the majority of bloggers. The meta description is the short sentence or two of text that appears underneath your blog post’s title in Google. Usually Google just pulls through the first couple of sentences of your blog post, but you can edit this to write a proper SEO-friendly description. Make the most of this and add a helpful description of what your post is about, making sure to include your keywords. If you’re not sure how to do this, see the next tip…
8. Install the Yoast SEO plugin
The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress is amazing. Essentially, it acts as a checklist to make sure you’ve gone through each and every one of these blog SEO tips – and it’ll give you a nice green badge if your post is successfully SEO optimised. You can check focus keywords, post length and keyword density, images and alt tags, links, titles and more. You can even add in the custom meta description and title mentioned above. Perfect!
9. Get your own domain
Whilst free platforms like Blogger or WordPress.com are great for getting started, if you’re serious about blogging you really need to have your own domain so Google views your blog as an individual website – not a subdomain of a bigger host. Whilst you’re at it, I’d recommend moving over to a self-hosted WordPress site to give you more control over your SEO and access to plugins like Yoast (and many more – check out my list of essential WordPress plugins for bloggers). Companies like Bluehost offer great hosting and domain packages which are very affordable and definitely worth investing in to make sure you can make the most of these blog SEO tips.
10. Use Google Analytics
And finally, to make sure all your hard work is paying off, make sure to keep an eye on your stats with Google Analytics. As well as seeing how much traffic you get, you can also see where it comes from, what keywords people have used, and what your most popular content it. This can be really helpful when it comes to planning new posts or deciding which keywords to use.
Do you have any simple blog SEO tips that have worked well for you?