A Beginner’s Guide to SEO for Bloggers
SEO, oh SEO. It’s a topic that has the mystical power to both scare many a seasoned blogger and simultaneously cause us to slowly die of boredom. Ok, that was dramatic. But seriously, SEO is frustratingly mysterious, yet also completely necessary, which is why we gotta talk about it here on Bloggers Gonna Blog.
What is SEO?
For those new to the game, we figured we’d start with the all-important definition. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. That means your job as a blogger is to make it as easy as possible for Google (and those other search engines that two people use) to find your blog. Ranking high in Google searches can be hugely beneficial to your blog’s traffic. Think about the last time you went on to the second page of Google results (probably like 500 years ago).
*Busts out grandpa voice and bifocals* back in the early days of the interwebs, SEO was pretty much stuffing a bunch of relevant key words in your blog post and writing a decent meta description. But since then, Google has gone to great lengths to make their search engines behave with actual human behavior in mind.
Don’t worry, this is a good thing.
Instead of stressing 24/7 over all the minutia of perfect SEO, remember to always put the readers’ needs first and you’ll probably be good. These days, Google values the experience of it’s users over everything. They want searchers to find the best content, not just a bunch of spammy articles written by hacks trying to game the system. So if you’re looking for tricks and hacks, you’re reading the wrong blog.
SEO for Bloggers: 6 Ways to Make Your Content SEO-Friendly
1.) Create Valuable, Searchable Content
Google likes the good stuff. That’s right. This one seems almost too easy, but alas, it’s the most important aspect. If you want your content to rank on Google, you’ve got to make it valuable, informational and in-depth. That means you can’t just write a 200 word post and expect it to gain the traction and authority it will need to rank for whatever you’re writing about.
Again, think backwards – Google wants people to find the answers to their searches. If your post is valuable, in-depth and rich with relevant information, there’s a lot better chance that people will find what they’re looking for.
Instead of worrying too much about stuffing your post with keywords, write informative and descriptive explanations of what you’re trying to share. Again, humans come first. Write for people, not search engines.
2.) Create Compelling, Click-Worthy Titles
The title of your post is hugely important because it’s often the deciding factor of that click-through to your site. As we mentioned before, it can be helpful to think backwards about the user who’s potentially searching for your content.
3.) Build Authority Through Shares and Link-Backs
One of the biggest markers to search engines that a post is valuable to the search term is how many times other sites have linked to it based on similar searches. That means if you have a post about avocado toast that major websites have linked to because of avocado toast, Google will see that and say “hey, these guys know their avocado toast” which will push it up in the rankings. The best way to go about getting authority through link backs is to go back up to tried and true #1 – create great content. If it truly has valuable information on that topic people will feel compelled to share it, which will hopefully gather traction, attention and lead to larger sites linking back to that post.
4.) Break Up Your Content With Subheadings
It’s important to break up your content with subheadings for two reasons. First of all, it makes it easier for readers to skim, consume and digest. It also allows search engines to see if you are highlighting important aspects of the keyword being searched for. Use the heading tags <h2> to break up the different sections of your post.
5.) Your Images Matter, Too
When you are optimizing your posts for certain keywords, it’s important not to forget about your images, too. Google pays attention to what the title of your images are as well as the “alt” tags. You can edit these in WordPress by going to the “add media” button at the top of the page and using a phrase containing your key word in the “alt” section as well as saving your images with titles that match your keyword.
6.) Use tools that make post optimization easier
We’re both huge fans of the WordPress plugin Yoast SEO. This tool helps you set keywords as well as prompts you to make SEO friendly changes throughout your post. Since implementing this plugin last year we’ve both seen major increases in our traffic from Google. Again, implementing search engine optimization strategies won’t give you crazy growth overnight. Instead it’s building a strong base and foundation so that overtime people gravitate towards your site to find the answers they need.
More Great SEO Resources for Bloggers:
What Do You Think:
- Do you have any tips we left off?
- Do you use the Yoast Plugin?