Want to Grow Your Organic Traffic? 10 Basic SEO Tips For Bloggers!
When it comes to SEO, many bloggers feel frightened, as if it’s a scary or extremely difficult concept. In fact, when you start getting the logic of search engines, it becomes almost natural!
Like it or not, SEO matters a lot these days: If you want to drive more traffic to your blog, you should be ready to play the SEO game, because you would want your content to be easily reachable when someone asks a question that you’ve already answered.
Use these 10 basic SEO tips for bloggers and you’ll do great all by yourself, free of charge!
1) Write quality content regularly
This may seem a little controversial, because you may ask the following question: “How can Google understand the quality of my blog post?”
Search engines do understand that by looking at your readers’ behavior; how much time they spent on the page, how they liked, shared or commented on that particular blog post etc.
In fact, the logic is simple: You write quality content, people engage with it, Google knows you rock and makes your post more visible on the results page!
Quality may be a little relative, but you should always focus on creating “original” content, because search engines value them most and they are indeed hard to find on the web these days…
Your post frequency is another important factor for the SEO. When you write regularly, Google will know that it should come back to check your website, because there is constantly something going on here!
2) Work on your headlines
As a matter of fact, attractive blog post headlines have this amazing effect on the reader, because that’s where you catch them first.
Fortunately, they work great for SEO, too. The key to success is to combine those two; attracting the reader and increasing the SEO performance at the same time.
If you’re writing about the best restaurants in Berlin, you must mention these keywords in your headline.
On the other hand, providing a list post with a straightforward title may not get the best results from social media and you wouldn’t want to lose those people!
That’s when you should insert the power of numbers and strong adjectives. In the end, you would have something like that: “10 Awesome Restaurants in Berlin You Cannot Miss”
Here’s a simple trick: Ask yourself the question “How would I use Google Search if I wanted to find such an article?” and you’ll have the foundation of your headline.
3) Use the power of keywords
A successful blog post should have one focus keyword, around which you’re building the writing. By a keyword -or keywords- we simply mean the topic you are covering, that’s why you’ll have no hard time finding it!
Before or after writing the blog post, try to narrow down the topic in order to get the best results out of your keyword. For example, your focus should not be on “restaurants” or “Berlin”; it should better be “restaurants in Berlin”, because in the end that’s exactly what you are writing about and that’s what your potential readers would search on Google.
After finding it, try to use your keyword both in your headline and in the content a few times. Search engines would try to locate your keyword through the blog post, and it’s always better to mention it in the first paragraphs of the text.
Another section you should be using your keywords is the URL of that post; if you want to get ranked better by Google, build your URL as something like the following: yourblog.com/10-best-restaurants-in-berlin
Not too long, not too short; but includes your keyword and explains what this post is all about.
If you need to find the right keywords around your topic, try Google’s Keyword Planner.
4) Format your text accordingly
Google cares about the format of your blog post and checks whether it has headings in different sizes or you’ve utilized bold, italic and underlined words.
Adding sub-headings into the text would both make it easier to read for the visitors and improve your SEO performance.
When you try making your keywords bold or italic in a natural way through the post, Google would notice them faster and since search engines want to make the readers’ life easier your blog will be better ranked on the results page!
5) Get social and viral
Apart from its marketing value, social media has a great impact on websites’ SEO performances.
Since Google evaluates your content according to the readers’ behavior, getting reaction and reshares on social media would strengthen your position as an authority and make your content more valuable in terms of SEO.
As you know, the more space you occupy on the Internet, the more recognizable you become by Google. Of course, no tolerance for spam!
Sharing your blog posts on social media, bookmarking sites and forums will expand your reach, thus, your potential to get more readers. Remember, more readers will bring even more readers, thanks to the search engines!
Social media platforms would also create external links directed to your blog automatically, because search engines would think that your blog post link is shared somewhere after all!
In short, getting liked or shared on social media does not only work great for your online marketing activities, but also help your content to stand out on search engines.
6) Use link building techniques
A minute ago, we’ve talked about how social media creates natural external links and why they matter in positioning you as an authority.
In general, links are great ways for search engines to know that people out there are talking about you. On the other hand, giving links is as important as receiving them.
Providing outbound links to well-ranked websites will make you a more trustable source from the perspective of Google. You would also be helping the reader to clarify a point via anchor text —just like we did right now by providing the link for anchor text!
Receiving links from other websites or blogs -especially from the greater ones- will prove your authority in your area. Sometimes writing high-quality content may not be enough to get mentioned by an influencer; you may want to be more active and try writing an e-mail in order to ask for a favor!
One of the biggest advantages of guest blogging is the ability to create backlinks; when you write a guest post for a blog, most of the times you’ll be able to provide a link back to your personal blog and Google loves that!
To a lesser extent, search engines also value internal linking. It’s always a good idea to refer to one of your old blog posts, because Google will read it and your visitors will read it!
7) Stay away from broken links
Here’s something search engines hate!
Keep in mind that Google and the others want the best for their customers —who are your readers, from a different perspective!
Obviously, search engines do not want to display blogs or websites containing broken / removed links to your potential visitors. That’s why you should always keep an eye on your links; even a slightest change on your blog can hurt your SEO performance deeply.
Many argue that one or two broken links would not hurt so much; however, the indirect costs can get really critical.
Simple logic comes in once more: When a visitor encounters a broken link, the odds are that they will leave your blog without moving into other pages. In total, spending less time on the blog will result in lesser rankings on Google, thus lower traffic!
The good news is that fixing this problem is a no-brainer; you may find several services on the Internet to locate your broken links, however, we would recommend you to try Google’s very own Webmaster Tools.
8) Design matters for SEO
Generating an SEO-friendly web design is a whole other thing that we cannot cover here, but if you are using one of the themes offered by blogging services such as WordPress or Blogger, don’t forget to check some basics!
First of all, a well-designed blog will always be appreciated more by your visitors and help the reader to spend more time wandering around your content. More time spent will create higher traffic, remember?
It is critical to display the most important or popular content on the top shelf; the reader should not scroll in order to find them; otherwise, you have the chance to lose them immediately.
Since social media is an important part of the SEO strategy, your blog design should let your visitors share your content easily; that’s why you need to place your social sharing buttons visibly.
Placement of ads in a well-organized way is another topic to cover; you wouldn’t want to disturb the reader or slow down the opening time of your website. Sorry, but little mistakes can really hurt you!
As a relatively recent issue, Google values mobile-friendly websites more; that’s why your blog design or the theme you are using should be responsive to improve your search engine ranking and user experience.
9) Always edit your images
Adding visually compelling images to your blog posts would both increase your readability and help the visitor to spend more time on your website.
As an often ignored fact, appearing in the search results for Image Search has major benefits on your overall SEO performance.
When you edit your images in such a way to describe and promote them, you’ll definitely get some clicks without even knowing about it.
That’s why you should name your blog post images in relation to your topic; for example, heising-best-restaurants-in-berlin so that when someone makes an image search about this venue, they may end up in your blog post!
Another little trick is to include your keyword(s) in the alt text and description of your images. Google and other search engines will appreciate them!
10) Use an SEO plug-in
Even if you get lost after reading these tips, an SEO plug-in installed in your blog would be a great help.
Many of us use these easy plug-ins in order to guide our blog posts, without the need to overthink. If you are a WordPress user, there are always great options for you to choose, free or paid.
Our favorite so far is Yoast, but we are more than willing to hear your choices!
An SEO plug-in will make your life much easier, because it will constantly notify you about the possible problems and offer suggestions in order to improve your overall SEO performance.