There are several ways to improve SEO on your blog and trust me I’ve probably googled them all. For nearly 5 years I’ve been blogging and truly figuring things out as I went along. From the very beginning, I made SEO a top priority. So much, that I’m still reaping the benefits and web traffic of posts I wrote 2-3 years ago.
I’ve grown my blog to tens of thousands of page views a month and over 1.5 million page views since starting through strategic SEO tactics and tips. Here are my top tips on how you can improve SEO on your blog as a newbie or veteran blogger. Trust me it’s never too late!
SEO stands for search engine optimization and it basically helps search engines like Google and Bing to find you when people start to research stuff. There are 10 or so touch points you want to make sure your blog has for great SEO.
Boost SEO On Your Blog – The Ultimate Blogger Checklist
1. Install the YOAST SEO Plugin
As I mentioned above, I became very serious about SEO early on into my blogging life. I’ve been using YOAST to improve SEO on my blog for as long as I can remember and it has not let me down. I’m still on the free version but as I continue to grow in my SEO journey I’m thinking of upgrading to the paid premium plan.
However, I totally recommend the free version for newbie bloggers. There are so many benefits to YOAST, but just having the plug-in is not enough. You gotta make it work for you. Let’s dive into this in more detail.
2. Optimize each post with a focus keyword or key-phrase.
To improve SEO on your blog a great strategy is all about the keywords. A keyword or keyword phrase is what you want your page or blog post to be found for when someone initiates a Google search. Think of it this way: these are the words you put into the Google search bar whenever you want to find something.
The YOAST plugin allows you to optimize each post and identify a focus keyphrase. If you are doing a product review blog post your keyword or phrase should be “Brand Name” or “Brand Name + Review”. If you want to narrow down to a particular niche, which I always recommend, your keyphrase would be “Brand Name” + “Review” + Niche.
Example: “Shea Moisture Review”
“Shea Moisture Review For 4C Natural Hair”
The more you niche down, the better for SEO purposes. This enables search engines to deliver more refined results, which in return for you improves SEO on your blog.
3. Make your blog posts longer!
If you love to write, give people what they want. Blog posts 300 words or more helps your SEO by telling Google this page has a lot of information. Actually, blog posts that are over 1,000 words are said to have a greater impact.
Trust me, 1,000 words is a LOT but if you can swing it great. If not, your goal should always be 300 words or more. In addition, the longer the post the more times you have to re-use your keywords over and over, further telling Google to rank your page for this key content.
4. Name any photos attached to the post or page with the same keyword
Ever wondered how certain images show up in Google search results? That is due to the image name when it is saved and uploaded to the blog post of course! This tip to improve SEO on your blog is a small one but packs big results. Instead of keeping the generic name of images used in your blog post, rename the image with the same keyword used in tip #2. As people search for “keyword”, your image will pop up under IMAGES on the Google search results page.
Also, if you are using WordPress, add a description to your photo under “Image Settings” using those same keywords/key-phrase. This is also called the Alt Text (Alternative Text).
5. Have amazing meta descriptions
What is a meta description? In short, a meta description is the short text that shows up right under each Google search result. Meta descriptions allow the searcher to see additional details on what the specific link is about. A great meta description can make or break if someone clicks on your link.
The headline draws the searcher in, but the meta description can ultimately determine the final click. The meta description should also include your keyword/keyphrase. (Again, we are back to the importance of designating a keyword). Below is an example of one of my best performing blog posts.
My key-phrase was: “Install crochet braids”. As you can see the key-phrase is in the Blog Post title and meta description. Also as you can see my post is on PAGE 2 of 1,760,000 results which is simply amazing!
6. In-bound & Out-bound links
It is important to have great content but to improve SEO on your blog you also need to link to other great content inside and outside of your blog. An in-bound link, links to other content on your website. And outbound links, as the name says, link to websites outside of your blog.
Linking to major, trusted websites lets Google know you are a trusted source as well. This improves your site rankings within Google and ultimately improves your SEO. Inbound links also help to improve page views keeping viewers on your site as long as possible.
What is a trusted site? Think of something like CNN, Walmart, or Capital One. All major websites with information the general internet public trust. But also remember to link to websites relevant to your content!
7. Improve your page speed
Google made page speed a SEO ranking factor for websites a few years ago, but as of July 1, 2018, it also made mobile page speed a ranking factor as well. MAJOR DEAL! More than 50% of the people who view my website are visiting from a mobile device. You guys, this something you can NOT ignore if you seriously want to improve SEO on your blog.
A major thing that slowed my blog down were large images. My favorite plugin to fix this is ShortPixel. It optimizes images automatically while guarding the quality of your images and making your website load faster.
8. Update your blog description/tagline
What does your blog say when someone googles you? Your blog tagline can also help improve SEO on your blog. This small piece of information can let the search engines know how to categorize your blog as people search for content in your niche online.
Head over to the admin panel of your blog. If you use WordPress you will go to Appearance>Customize. Depending on your WordPress theme, the tagline can be changed under “Site Identity”. If you can’t figure this out, ask your WordPress theme creator.
9. Connect Your Blog to Google Analytics
While this doesn’t improve your SEO on your blog, it does help so you can know where your traffic is coming from. You can’t fix what’s broken if you don’t get your hands dirty and look under the “hood”. Digging into your Google Analytics is looking under the hood for your website traffic.
Also, you can take advantage of more advanced SEO tools to help improve site traffic once you connect your blog to Google Analytics.
10. Create a site-map for your blog and submit it to your Google Search Console
This tip is a bit more complicated for newbie bloggers but it isn’t impossible. This is also the reason you need to connect your blog to Google Analytics from tip #9. A sitemap is essentially a roadmap for your blog that allows Google to crawl to it correctly. It also helps Google to quickly find information on your blog.
The YOAST plugin will create a sitemap for your blog automatically or you can use ProSitemaps.com. The most important part is submitting your sitemap to your Google Search Console. As you add new content to your blog, adding your sitemap to the console will help to update Google quicker and help Google find your blog fast. Overall this is a huge advantage to help improve SEO on your blog.
11. Create SEO friendly Permalinks
My favorite tip to improve SEO on your blog is via permalinks. A permalink is an url that is used for your blog post. It includes your blog name then additional words that describe what the post is about. Within WordPress, you can customize how you want your permalink to look. You can also do this with the YOAST plugin, which is the best way to make it SEO friendly.
EXAMPLE: For this blog post my permalink is www.texturedtalk.com/improve-seo-on-your-blog.
This isn’t the full headline name of the blog post, but I customized it within YOAST so it focuses on the key-phrase that I set for this blog post. Not surprisingly, my keyphrase is “Improve SEO On Your Blog”
If you look back through this post you will see I used “Improve SEO On Your Blog” several times. I also made sure to include it in the meta description, save it as my image name before I uploaded to the post, and if you made it this far, clearly you can tell this post is over 1,000 words.
Hopefully, you’ve taken away a few gems that you can start to implement on your blog ASAP. Did you learn something new? Comment and let me know!