When I first started blogging, I knew nothing about search engine optimization (SEO). I’d heard about it, but dismissed it from my mind as technical jargon that I didn’t need to bother with. After all, I was a writer – not a techie!
However, years of writing what I believed was strong, informative content failed to draw many readers to my blogs.
I remember feeling so demotivated that I considered packing in blogging all together.
But my despondency prompted me to take a look at what SEO actually was, and whether it could help my blogs reach a wider audience.
This was the best decision I made on my blogging journey, as SEO has helped me reassess the content I produce, and has seen my target audience grow many times over since I started implementing some simple SEO techniques.
And it’s these techniques that I want to share with you now…
Simple SEO for Bloggers
When you create a blog, one of the most important things you can do to improve your site’s ranking is to optimize your content for search engines such as Google.
This means making sure your text is well written, easy to read and includes keywords that are relevant to your topic.
For instance, if you were writing about how to repair electric guitars, be sure to include the keywords ‘repair electric guitars’ in your title, introduction, and in around half of your subheadings. You should also naturally drop your keywords into some of your body content.
While this may seem a little unnatural at first, it’s actually the best way to help Google (and other search engines) find your content and share it with relevant searchers.
You can also add tags and include links to related websites in your posts.
Formatting Your Blog for SEO
Formatting your blog for SEO shouldn’t take too much time or energy on your part.
Here are three quick tips for formatting your blog for SEO:
- Find relevant keywords that you have a chance of ranking for. By using free tools such as WordStream or premium services such as KeySearch (get 20% off a subscription with discount code KSDISC), you’ll be able to discover keywords that have a decent amount of volume (number of people per month searching on Google using those words) and not too much competition (giving you a chance to rank on page one of the Google search results for those keywords).
- Write short, punchy sentences. Long paragraphs can be difficult for Google to index and read, which could reduce the ranking of your content. Try to keep each sentence short and concise, so readers will have an easy time understanding what you’re saying.
- Make sure your website is quick to load. This will help your site rank better with Google, and will also mean that visitors to your site are more likely to check out your content and come back at a later date. I recently switched my WordPress hosting to SiteGround, and I’ve been impressed by the boost in speed my sites have experienced.
Simple SEO for Images and Videos
Images and videos are an essential part of any website. Used properly, they can add visual interest and appeal to your posts. However, how do you ensure your images and videos are SEO-friendly?
One easy way to do this is by using alt tags (sometimes referred to as alt text or alt descriptions).
Alt tags are short snippets of text that appear next to images on a web page. When a visitor clicks on an image, they’ll see the alt tag along with the image itself. Alt tags enable search engines to better identify the image and determine what it’s related to. It’s also another opportunity to include your keywords.
For instance, if you’re writing about baking lemon tarts – and your keywords for your article are ‘how to bake the perfect lemon tart’ – make sure you include an image of the tart with your keywords being the alt tag.
Videos also tend to rank well in search engine results pages. However, optimizing them for SEO is not the easiest game in town. But one way you can do this is by adding keywords into the title and description box of your video file. You could also add keywords into the audio track itself, if you have it available.
By following simple SEO image and video guidelines like using alt tags and including relevant keywords, you can ensure that your site looks professional and ranks high in search engines.
Boost Your Blog With Simple SEO
Let me draw this blog to a close by sharing with you the two simple – but essential – methods to achieving higher ranking on search engines:
- Create quality content that is easy to read and understand.
- Ensure your posts and website are SEO-optimised.
Combining these two methods is the simplest and most effective way to improve your blog’s visibility and to grow your audience.
Finally, just remember that SEO is not an instant fix. It’s likely you’ll have to wait weeks or even months to start to see positive results from your efforts. But trust me – it will be worth it.