We all want our blog to be visible, to increase organic traffic so that more people can read your blog, SEO for bloggers is the best way to help get you ranking on search engines.
Figuring out all there is to know about SEO can take some time, I’m writing this post to benefit all of us who are trying to navigate this treacherous path of SEO essentials.
We all want to get to 100k+ monthly traffic, don’t we? With Search Engines evolving, just writing quality content is no longer good enough, you have to use SEO tactics to have a chance of ranking. Ensuring that your post satisfies user intent, the post needs to be long enough and properly structured for SEO, and you need to have enough high authority sites linking to your page.
Is this difficult?
It doesn’t have to be difficult, I’ll help you with these tasks to ensure your blog ticks the boxes. Having said that you don’t really need to have tons of traffic to make money from blogging, there are other ways to make money with a low-traffic blog.
There are many parts to SEO, technical SEO is almost the easiest, it basically ensures that your blog is ticking all the technical boxes, such as your web page loads quickly,
What are the SEO Essentials?
SEO essentially boils down to having your site or even just pages on your site, ready for search engines to index. But more than that the goal is to have your page listed higher than other sites when someone searches something on a search engine.
I think you can agree with me that most people don’t actually scroll past the first page of search results, which emphasizes the importance of getting your website ranked higher by search engines.
SEO in marketing has been a thing ever since the launch of the first search engines, people were trying to figure out ways to get their content to the front page, and today it is no different, but the search engines are getting more and more complex.
Which can actually be a good thing if you are creating quality content, since I’ve noticed that Google primarily tries to penalize websites that either participate in spammy content or who take some “Black hat” approaches to get in front of the line.
The black hat approach to SEO is when you take shady practices to increase your ranking, such as buying links, especially on spammy sites.
Top tips to SEO for bloggers
- Get the SEO basics sorted out
- Focus on 1-2 Long-Tailed keywords
- Write Quality Content
- Focus on your niche
- Link Building Strategies for bloggers
1.Get the SEO basics sorted out
SEO for new bloggers would be to first ensure the basics are being handled correctly.
Let’s start by looking at the most important components of technical Search Engine Optimization, in order of Importance:
- Crawl Accessibility
- Compelling Content
- Key Word Optimised
At the core of search engine optimization, is ensuring that our websites can be assessed by search engines. This is essentially ensuring that your robot.txt file is set up correctly and that there are no rogue “no index” tags in your page’s HTML code.
On WordPress make sure that the Search Engine Visibility setting is turned off:
You can check that your site’s robot.txt file is set up correctly by going to Robot Tester and testing it with your website’s URL.
To make it easier for search engines to know where everything is on your website, you can create a sitemap. Don’t worry, most of the SEO plugins will do this for you, but be sure to double-check that the file actually has information in.
In my situation, some of the plugins didn’t generate anything. But if you want to manually create your sitemap then check out google’s information on it.
Another way to check if your site is on a search engine is to do a “site:” search on a search engine. For example, search for “site:wikipedia.org”
Finally, you can have a look at the webmasters to make sure that they are finding your website and that there are no issues they are picking up.
Quality content should be your first priority for search engine optimization, you want to ensure that your content answers the searcher’s query. Otherwise, they won’t spend time on your website, which can count negatively towards your page’s rank in search engines.
Some tips I’ve found:
- Create Unique Compelling Page Titles
- Have Descriptive meta tages that summarize your page accurartely as this can be shown in search results
- Make use of structured data where you can, which enables you to use Rich results
- Ensure that your URL’s are informative and does not go to deep.
Structured data is code that you can add to your sites’ pages to describe your content to search engines, so they can better understand what’s on your pages.
There are a bunch of plugins on WordPress that will help you with this.
Furthermore, Google’s breakdown of the characteristics of high-quality content include:
- Informational content should be accurate, comprehensive, original and professionally presented.
- Artistic content should be original, unique and convey a high degree of skill.
- News content should be in-depth, well cited, accurate, and contain original reporting.
The speed at which your website loads also plays quite a significant role in WordPress Search Engine Optimization, if your website is slow then you risk not being ranked highly.
You can check your website’s performance on these sites:
The good thing is there are a couple of things you can do to improve performance if you’re running WordPress.
- Try a performance optimised theme
- Compress images
- Enable caching and minifying (many plugins available)
- Upgrade your hosting plan
- Use a CDN such as cloudflare
- Switch web hosting providers
In my case, I had to switch hosts, since my first web host ended up being really slow.
Key Word Optimised
Keywords while not as important as having quality content are very important for ranking high on search engines.
Keywords can be a single word or a phrase (known as a long-tailed keyword), that is relevant to your content. I would recommend using long-tailed keywords. The best keywords have a high number of searches and low competition.
The benefits of long-tailed keywords:
- More relevant
- Less competition
- Higher conversion rates
But how do I find these Key Words? Yes, this is a great question, and I’ve found a couple of methods of obtaining them.
- Google’s Keyword Planner – Gives you quite a lot of information on how competitive a key word is and how many times it is searched.
- Wordtracker – Similar to the above, but it has some additional features that google’s free planner doesn’t cater for.
- SERanking – Paid tool with a free trial which offers some great insights on your Keywords
- Check out Google’s “Searches Related to…”
- Try googling somthing and scroll to the bottom of the page, and it will give you related searches.
- Google’s Autocomplete, start typing your subject and see what autocompletes. SEO with Google searches can really help you identify possible keywords, which you can then use with some other tools like MOZ, AHREFS or Ubersuggest to identify if the keyword is easy enough for you.
- Soovle – free tool that gives you information from a couple different sources.
- Ubersuggest is a seo tool, to help identify keyword targets, SEO Neil Patel created this tool, and is much more affordable than some other options.
It is important to note, that you should never reduce readability by introducing your keywords, trying and keep them as organic as possible, and adding them to your title, and using them naturally in your content.
2. Focus on 1-2 Long-Tail Keywords
You should not be stuffing your content with as many keywords as you can find, Google typically penalizes blogs that do this, always ensuring that your keywords are added in naturally, you’re writing for humans.
Find your keywords on the tools mentioned above, and concentrate on keywords with more than one word, pick two long-tailed ones and add them strategically to your content.
Your main keyword should ideally be present within your URL, Title, Subheading, Meta description, and content, whilst your secondary keyword should be present within a subheading and content.
If your blog is new, concentrate on keywords that have a difficulty score below 0.2 and are in the region of 100-1000 searches per month, to increase your odds of getting it ranked.
3. Write Quality Content
When creating a blog post or updating old ones, always check how long your competitor’s posts are in the same space, and try to at least match their content length.
Your posts should answer the question that your readers have when they initiated the search, as example if a user searched for “SEO for bloggers 2022” they are expecting actionable tips that are relevant to blogs in the year 2022.
So you should give that to your readers and not include outdated tips.
Using bullet points is also a fantastic option to improve readability since most people are going to skim through your posts till they can find what they are looking for, and if they don’t they will bounce right off.
Make it as easy as possible for readers to find the right information, write short paragraphs and highlight important points, you should essentially make your posts skimmable.
4. Write for Your Niche
Writing content for your niche, and sticking to that makes sure that any backlinks that you get should be relevant to all your posts and not just a single post.
When you launch your first website, you don’t really have much of an online presence, so you will be competing against all the other websites out there for a spot in the top 10. Which let’s be honest, is very difficult.
You will need to either find a niche that has some uncompetitive keywords, which will help you with ranking higher. Or you need to somehow build your web presence without search engines, and then consequently start ranking higher.
The other way to build your web presence, is essentially advertising, whether it is on social media or paying search engines for ad space.
5. Link Building Strategies for Blogs
After you have handled all the easy SEO points, comes the hard part, building links.
Think of links as being recommendations from someone else, the better you know someone the more their opinion would mean to you, and search engines are the same.
If a search engine trusts a website and it is linking to your page, the search engines will think that your page is a good candidate to start ranking.
Link Building strategies
1. Internal links
One thing to remember is to link to your own content, your own pages can help search engines with identifying important content on your site.
If one of your pages has many incoming links, you can piggyback on that page by linking to other posts on your blog, thereby increasing their relevance.
2. Write Guest Posts
A tactic that you can use to generate a backlink, is to write a post for someone else’s blog, with the goal of either getting one backlink to your homepage or ideally multiple backlinks to specific posts.
You can ask the bloggers on Facebook, LinkedIn, or via email whether they accept guest posts, then you can send an outline to them and eventually the content.
Do ensure that you don’t try and spam the content full of your links, only do so when it makes sense, some blogs have rather strict requirements for guest posts, so bear their rules in mind.
One way you can find guest posts is to google “topic : “Guest post”” or “topic : “write for us””, such as “SEO : “write for us”” without the first and last quote.
3. Create Shareable Content
Another great way to get backlinks is by getting readers to share your content, which will be shared by their followers or friends in turn, so it’s a great way to get additional exposure and backlinks.
Content types that share well are skyscraper posts, which are very long posts that contains all the information you need, and infographic posts.
Bonus: WordPress SEO Plugins
For those of you using WordPress, there are a bunch of plugging available to help ensure your posts are optimized for search engines, which makes it great for SEO for beginner bloggers.
There are some really great SEO plugins for WordPress search engine optimization, which will make your life so much easier.
They typically create your robot.txt file and your sitemap for you, which is brilliant! They also have an overlay to help with adding meta text and tags, which can normally be quite tricky.
But don’t expect a plugin to do everything for you, as mentioned the most important optimization technique is having good quality content.
Here are some plugins that I have checked out:
Some great features offered by these plugins include keyword research, on page-SEO which helps you build your page as SEO-friendly as possible, Rank tracking, and many more. Check them out and see if they’re for you.
The really amazing features offered by these plugins are unfortunately only on the paid plans, but be sure to check them out regardless, since their free plans do still offer quite a lot of help.
I’m personally using Rank Math at the moment, so far I am happy with them, AIO SEO had issues with generating my sitemap, which might have been only for me, but it triggered me to look for some other plugins.
SEO for bloggers isn’t really a thing to be scared about, if you think of it all a search engine tries to do, is to get the correct information to the correct searcher so that their questions can be answered.
So if you ensure that you’re creating good content, that will answer someone’s questions, and you follow some basic technical SEO approaches, the odds are that your content is going to be found.
I hope this all helps in your journey of WordPress Search Engine Optimization.