Since I began working in digital media, I’ve learnt a lot. And been confused a lot.
SEO was always one of those things that I knew a little bit about but never fully understood. A big ol’ black cloud over my head when I started writing a blog. But I can proudly say, I’ve got a grasp on it and I want to share the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way with you!
So what is SEO? It stand for Search Engine Optimisation and it should be part of every blogger’s arsenal. SEO means optimising your website in order to increase your search engine rankings. Optimised blog = Google will like you! Which means more traffic for your shiny blog! SEO is driven by natural searching and also search engine algorithms, which include social media influence, links and search relevancy, etc.
You still with me? Good! You go Glen Coco!
Here are a few tips to make your blog search engine friendly…
Your post title is very important. When naming your blog post, you want to include keywords that are searched a good amount. For this, Google Keyword Planner is your best friend (and it’s free too!). Type in a couple of words for your post title and you can see how many monthly searches that keyword gets.
Try to avoid vague post titles with no valuable keywords, as this can lead to a bad ranking.
It’s important to name your images so that Google bots can crawl them. Instead of uploading an image that is named “IMG123.jpg”, it should include a keyword related to your blog post topic like “chocolate-banana-muffins.jpg”.
Remember to include Title & ALT Tags in your images too, using keywords that relate to your post. I find it easiest to use my post title and then my domain. On Blogger, you can do this by clicking the image, then properties and change the ALT tag. On wordpress, you can change it upon uploading the image to your post, on the right.
For mobile optimisation and quick page responses, it’s good to optimise your images. Smaller file size = quicker the page loads. Try using Optimizilla – it’s super easy.
It’s no surprise how important content is to a blog. To make it SEO friendly isn’t too difficult either. Remember to produce original content and, like with post titles, try to include keywords/popular search terms throughout for Google to crawl easily and people to skim read for something of interest.
Make sure keywords flow through your content naturally. Don’t be spammy with keywords – Google doesn’t like that and neither does anyone else! Make sure they are there as a subtle topic reminder to the reader.
A great trick is to link back to previous posts on your blog, especially when it has something to do with the same topic. Internal links are great from sharing the link juice from one page and also keeping people on your blog for longer (yay readers!). They also help search engines to crawl your site easier.
Moz has a great article on the importance of internal links
– take a read!
It’s also important to make the anchor text of those links relevant to the post your pointing to. For example, I made these Chocolate Banana Muffins
again the other day, they were delicious! The anchor text in that link is ‘chocolate banana muffins’ not something irrelevant like ‘click here’.
Backlinks help share the juice from one web page with another. Quicksprout have a great guide on how to build backlinks. A lot of what I’ve learnt about SEO has been through them, so take some time out of your day and have a good read! (nudge nudge – that was backlinking)
People say the key to quality backlinks is quality content. Produce original, helpful content that people will want to refer other readers to!
This description is what Google picks up and displays under the title in search results. There are two variations: Meta and Search.
Meta is for WordPress, you’ll see this within the Yoast plugin. Yoast is a great tool which allows for easy peasy automation and integration of SEO techniques, but unfortunately is only available for WordPress. Sad face.
Not great for us Blogger users, instead it’s important for us to fill out the Search description in ‘post settings’ and make sure it is keyword enriched description.
Just like with your blog title, it’s important to include major keywords in the URL of the post in order to help your search rank. Both WordPress and Blogger allow you to change your URL before posting, take advantage of this!
When Google crawls your site, it is looking for header tags too. Header 1’s are your page title – there should only be one of these on each post. Header 2’s are sub-headings within your post (like above). WordPress have these ready to be selected in edit. For Blogger, use their ‘heading’ as a replacement and ‘normal’ for regular text. Switch to html version and make sure your headers are wrapped correctly with the coding.
Yes, social media is also part of SEO. Search engines are constantly monitoring how active your blog is on various social channels with your website. All the likes, comments, shares, retweets, +1s.. it sees them all!
Are you using some of these tips on your blog already? Let me know some of your SEO tips!