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If you are one of the 31.7 million bloggers, then you are probably wondering what the best ways are to can improve your Search Engine Optimization. With so many blogs out there, it can seem hard to get ranked in the search engine results pages. This article will give you 7 tips that will help your blog to get ranked in search engines like Google and get more traffic. Keep in mind that the process of search engine optimization is tedious and laborious so understand that it can take 6 to 12 months for your blog to start ranking. Follow these 7 tips to improve your blog’s SEO results.
Tip #1: Choose keywords carefully.
Everything in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) world revolves around keywords. Keywords are the search teams people use to find stuff in search engines like Google. Keywords can be a word or a phrase of words. For example, a keyword could be “Can my chicken tolerate snowy weather” which I have used recently. Keywords that are more than a few words are called long-tailed keywords and should be the bread and butter of your blogging strategy. Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for. As an example, it is easier to rank for “chickens and cold weather” than it would be for “chickens”.
Before you write an article for your blog you need to identify what keywords the article will be centered around. This will help your article get discovered organically through search. How can you find out what keywords are best for your article? To start, try to come up with a list of 6 to 10 keywords from brainstorming. Once you have your list you can vet through keyword research tools. There are a few free tools that you can use to find keywords. The first I will talk about is Google’s own Keyword Planner. I am not going to go into detail on how to use it because that could be an article into and of itself. This tool will show you estimated monthly traffic and how much competition there is to rank an ad for this keyword. Ideally, you want to find a long-tail keyword that has decent traffic and has low or medium difficulty.
Google's Keyword Planner
Another free tool is Ahref’s Keyword Generator. This tool will give you other keywords and show you how difficult it is to rank for the keywords and an average estimated monthly search volume amount. This can be helpful to find keywords that have a high volume and are not very difficult to rank for.
Hopefully by now, you should have a great keyword that you can use to write your article around. The next section will walk you through writing great content for your article. Be sure to sprinkle you keyword throughout the content including in a heading. Use variants of the keyword where possible.
Ahref's Keyword Generator
Tip #2: Write great content.
There is a phrase in SEO vernacular that is almost a buzzword that says, “content is king”. This is true with search engines like Google. Google wants its results pages to be highly relevant to the keywords used in the search. One factor that Google uses in determining how relevant a piece of content is is the quality of the content. How does Google judge quality? There are several things that Google looks at including: length of the content, mix of content, and links to the content from other related and relevant web sites.
First, let us talk about the length of your content. A good article that is well researched and authoritative should be around 2,000 to 3,000 words. The longer the better. Articles that are only about 500 words cannot possibly cover the subject matter effectively. In addition, Google can find short articles spammy if they have a ton of links in them to a single domain. It can be tough to write 2,000 to 3,000 words about a single subject. Start by using a blog outline to develop what the general structure of the article will be. Start by dividing the main ideas for your article into sections. From here you should be able to add 3 or 4 main points for each section. Now when you write your article you should be able to follow your outline which will give your article great flow as the reader reads it. Use your sections as heading separators to divide the text into smaller digestible chunks.
The next thing to ensure your content is great is to include a mix of content. This means that you include relevant photos, videos, and/or infographics in your content. Not many people want to read through thousands of words of text and stay interested. Find photos that are relevant to your article or help to visualize the subject matter for the reader. Videos are a great way to add content to an article as well. Infographics can help to further visualize the content and increase your readers understanding. Using these visuals will improve how engaged your readers are and might entice them to share your content on social media. This greatly improves your odds of getting a backlink from other sites because they will come across your content in social media and possibly link to it from their own content. I know I have done this many times.
The last thing is where you try to gain links from other related and relevant web sites that are in your niche. This is called backlinking and is very important to your search engine optimization strategy. This part can take months to do successfully. Backlinks to your site must be organic. This means that they cannot be paid for in any way. Sites that get hundreds or thousands of backlinks in a short amount of time will appear as paid for by Google and it will get your site demoted in rank and possibly delisted.
Use WordPress SEO plugins
Approximately 40% of all internet sites are based on WordPress. WordPress is arguably the best Content Management System (CMS) available today. WordPress functionality can be extended though plugins. In this section, I will talk about a couple of SEO extensions that will help you to improve the SEO of your articles for your blog.
The first plugin we will discuss is called Yoast. Yoast is a free plugin but does have a premium version available with added features. For most blogs, the free version is more than sufficient. Yoast can help you to understand your blog article’s on-page SEO. You enter a keyword for your article and Yoast will tell you how your article rates with SEO. It will tell you exactly what you can do to improve your article’s SEO score. It will make sure that article has sufficient length, images that have alt text that use your selected keyword, headings (H1 and H2 HTML tags) that use your keyword or variants, and more. If you are just starting out with SEO and your blog, then you will find this plugin invaluable.
Another option is the All in One SEO Plugin for WordPress. This plugin has a lot of the same features as Yoast but has a few more customizations and a couple of extra features. On interesting extra feature is its ability to autogenerate meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are code from your blog article that tell search engines what text should appear beneath the link. You will want to ensure that your meta description has the proper length and has your keyword(s) in it.
Using one of the plugins mentioned in this section, write your content to be fully search engine optimized. After your article is finished and you are satisfied then you are ready to start spreading the work. The next section will show you an effective way to get this done that will improve your SEO.
Tip #4: Use social media.
This an often underutilized and incorrectly implemented method for disseminating your content to the world. Social media is a great place for bloggers to connect with their community. But it must be used correctly and frequently to show any SEO benefit.
Firstly, make sure that you have accounts on at least the 4 major social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Make sure that your profiles are 100% completed on each one and there is a link to your blog. The account names should all be the same across all four. For example, if your blog is about raising chickens and your website is something like atxchickens.com then you should have your Twitter handle be something similar like @atxchickens as well as Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. This establishes a brand for your blog and will help people find your profiles no matter what social media platform they are on.
Next, make sure that you are engaged on the social media platforms to improve your blog’s SEO. This means that you are not just posting links to your blog’s articles but are involved in conversations. Participate in group conversations and add value to the community. Nobody likes social media creators that just blast out links to their own stuff. Being engaged with the communities will inspire people to like your social content and eventually link to your content if they have a blog or website of their own. Google does not directly link social media presence to search rankings, but it does see that if your audience is large and engaged on social media then you are most likely relevant and use this as a factor when determining authority.
Tip #5: Use internal and external links in your content.
When college students write a paper, they must include citations in their work to back up any statistics or claims. This shows that what they have written is based on facts and is authoritative to their peers. In the world of the internet this is done by using links as citations. Search engines like Google like to see links to other relevant web sites sprinkled throughout your content. So one way to improve your blog’s SEO is to use a few external and internal links in your content. The links should be to different domains. Articles that have a ton of links to a single domain look spammy to Google and will hurt your SEO. In the first paragraph of this article, you will see that I created a link for the phrase 31.7 million bloggers to the website where I got the statistical data from. This shows readers that I did not just make up the number out of thin air and gives this article authority.
While linking in your content you should also have a couple internal links as well. These internal links are links in your content that point to different articles or areas on your blog. This is great to keep visitors engaged on your blog. Including internal links will help keep visitors on your blog and keep them interested. We do not want visitors to come to your blog, stay for a few seconds then leave to another website. This is called a bounce and too high of a bounce rate will show Google that your content is not very engaging and will force Google to move your blog down the search ranks.
Tip #6: Find link directories and add your blog.
Helping people to find your blog should be at the top of your list. One way we can tell people and search engines how to find your site is to use link directories or blog directories. What is a link directory? A link directory is a site that accepts links and organizes them into categories. Anyone can submit a link to these so getting your link accepted may take several days to be reviewed. Caution should be exercised here. We want to make sure we are listed on link directories that are relevant to our niche and not spammy. You should ask yourself if the link directory is reputable. If it has a ton of ads on it then it most likely is not reputable. Also ask if this link directory is something that your blog’s visitors are likely to come across on their own. If it is not, then it probably is not a good fit. Check out this list of 21 link directories from Search Engine Journal for ideas.
Tip #7: Separate posts into categories
The last tip we will discuss is to separate your articles into different categories. Hopefully, if you have an established blog you are already doing this. Putting your articles into categories has a couple benefits. Firstly, it makes it easier for visitors to find content that they are looking for. We do not want to force our visitors to scroll down continuously to view all your articles before finding what they are looking for. If you have everything organized by categories, then it will be much easier for people to find content that interests them.
Another benefit is that it makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your articles. Search engines are basically a huge database and it makes it quicker to search for something that is organized by with an index. We want to make it as easy as possible for search engines to crawl our site and organize the data it gathers efficiently.
I hope that you have found this article helpful. If you did then please comment below and share it on social media. If you want to learn more about Search Engine Optimization checkout some of our other articles. Thank you for reading!