A lot of bloggers don’t like to think about optimizing their blogs for Google. With good reason, I might add as SEO has had a pretty bad wrap over the years. Fortunately, that’s now changing. The number of underhanded tactics that work has dropped steadily and instead, it’s about high-quality content.
image credit: www.arttia.co.uk
And as a blogger, that’s what you’re out to provide, right? High-quality content is the name of the blogging game!
For that reason, if you’re interested in getting high-quality readers to take a look at your content, it’s time to consider SEO, for this will bring people to your website that are actually interested in what you have to say. Otherwise, why would they have clicked on your link, right?
Target the right keywords
The first thing that you’ve got to do before you decide to write a story is what keywords you’ll use. What you’re looking for is keywords where there are quite a few people searching around, but not that many people providing the content that they need, rather than the other way around.
There are plenty of tools out there that can help you with this, but you might as well get it straight from the horse’s mouth and go for Google’s keyword planner. Here you can type in different variations of the keywords that you’re thinking about using for the title of your article and see which have the best ratio. Another tool that I find quite useful is Moz’skeywordexplorer.
Now, be aware that you don’t have to put in your entire title. Just the words that form the gist of what you’re writing about.
Optimize your article
The next step that you’ve got to focus on is bringing out this keyword in your article. Now I’m going to assume that you’re using WordPress. In that case, you’re going to find it quite easy to optimize your content for SEO. All that you need to install is Yoast. This great little plugin will tell you a whole lot about how you can make your posts more SEO friendly.
Some things it will suggest are:
- Include your keyword in the title. This is because Google quite rightly assumes that your title is going to give away what your article is about. Apparently, the closer to the front your keywords is the better. Do note that you shouldn’t therefore always put them at the front. Readability is incredibly important and goes before SEO.
- Include them in in your URL. Another place that Google will look for your keywords is in your URL. Here readability is less of a concern so you might be better off focusing on your keywords. In fact, you might just want to put in your keywords.
- Make sure your image titles and alt text include the keywords. This is another good place to put your keywords, as some people search for things through Google directly and others search through images.
- Sprinkle the keywords throughout your text. You don’t want to go overboard. You’ll actually get punished for that, but if you can make sure that it’s in there half a dozen times then you’ll be doing well and Google will assume you’re actually writing about what you say you’re writing about.
There are more tips, but I’ll leave you to figure these out yourself. Yoast is free, after all.
Make sure your content is fantastic
Google doesn’t just care about if your articles are optimized. They also care about how many people actually stick around on your blog to read your content. For that reason, make sure your content is as good as possible. The better they keywords you’ve found, the better the quality of your articles should be, so as to decrease the bounce rate (or how many people click away without clicking deeper into your site) and increase the dwell rate (or how long people are on your site before the click away).
For that reason, make sure your website is high quality. Some tools I’ve found useful:
- Hemingway App. We rarely realize how hard our content is to read. For that reason, we sometimes need others to point it out to us. One great place to get that pointed out is the hemingway app, which will tell you all about sentences that are too difficult if you’re using too many adjectives and tons of other things.
- Grammarly. If you make mistakes that are going to make people think less of you (yes, they’re very judgmental). Fortunately, it is not that hard to avoid mistakes anymore nowadays. There are plenty of apps that can help you in that regard. The best is probably Grammarly, though, as that will point out mistakes that few others will.
- WritingDaddy. Sometimes you need some human eyes to look at what you wrote. In that case, consider a writing service like WritingDaddy. They don’t just write texts, but also offer you the opportunity to get editing done. And that will sometimes be enough to take your article from good to great.
Build up your website’s links
Start exchanging links with people who are in the same market. There are countless strategies to do this.
- You can contact people who’ve written lists about people in your market.
- You can build profiles on other platforms so that you can create your links.
- You can write guest articles.
- You can simply link to other people’s blogs and websites. They’ll hopefully notice and return the favor.
What’s important here is that it’s not just about building up thousands of links. Sure, that will help, but there is a definite law of diminishing returns here. Instead, what you really want is to find people that are in a similar industry and writing about similar things. You see, Google cares about relevancy and will consider your content being mentioned in these sites as signifying that you’ve got high relevancy.
The most important thing is not to give up. It will take time for what you’re doing to carry through. For example, Google does not index all pages every day. That means that it might take weeks or even months for your linkbacks to be registered and for your posts to climb in their rankings.
For that reason, keep working at it. You might very well find that just as you thought that everything was falling apart, that’s just when you start registering on the search engines. That can bring you a much-needed stream of traffic that are highly motivated and interested in what you’re doing.
And you would have missed out on them if you would have quit. So don’t. Keep going. Keep slaving away and sooner or later you will be rewarded. Good luck and good blogging.
About the Author:
Janet Anthony is a blogger from Kansas City who has been writing professionally for five years now. She mostly writes about blogging, writing, and social media. Her motto is “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”. Find Janet here: twitter, facebook