It may be a trite thing to say, but SEO is equally important for any blogger (at least if you want your blog to be successful). No matter how brilliant you are, if you don’t pay enough attention to Search Engine Optimization, you blog is going to fall deeper and deeper into obscurity. Sad but true – if you decide to attract visitors by means of content writing alone, without resorting to lowly SEO schemes, potential readers will end up not seeing your writing at all – they will simply never hear about it.
That is why an aspiring blogger should follow several simple steps to improve SEO of the posts.
1. Selection of Keywords
SEO begins with keywords, so the first thing you should think about is a good array of them. There are different ways to do it, some more advanced, some less, but none of them are exactly very difficult.
The simplest way is by writing them on your own: just think of the shortest way to express the theme of your blog or things that may interest your potential readers. It is simple, but leaves much to be desired in terms of effectiveness – it is unlikely that you will manage to select good keywords at the first rush, and you won’t be able to estimate their effectiveness for some time after.
A better way is to open Google and start writing your basic keywords. Google will return search suggestions – they are the most popular search queries using your keywords, so be sure to grab them.
A better way still is to use Google AdWords – special function of Google which exists for the sole purpose of making the choice of keywords for your website easier. With its intuitive interface it is possibly the best way to do it if you don’t want to get into too much detail.
Your keywords should appear constantly in your blog and, most importantly, in the titles of your posts. I understand that this makes it much harder to think about creative titles and severely limits your naming possibilities, but that’s life. When analyzing pages, Google pays most attention to headlines and, therefore, to keywords used in them. If you depend on Google for finding out whether your writing has anything to do with search query, be prepared to be disappointed.
2. Interlinking the Posts
Your blog should be a living and developing being. When you are writing a post and happen to remember that you have already written about something you mention now in the past, but more extensively, don’t forget to place to link to that archived post. Try to do it using a keyword or key phrase expressing the contents of that post, at least if you can write it naturally in the new post.
Such an approach doesn’t just improve your overall optimization, but shows that posts in your blog are not isolated from one another and the author remembers what he was writing a year or two ago.
3. Using Images
Images are important part of any blog, and you should use them not only in order to make you post look generally more picturesque and attractive, but to make your blog more optimized.
However, if you want the result to be a positive one, don’t be overzealous – too many or too large pictures make load times longer, which cannot be good for optimization. Unless, of course, your blog is primarily based on pictures and photos and you cannot avoid using them in large quantities. And even in this case it is hardly a good idea to place a bunch of unprocessed photos into a post and expect large audience.
And don’t forget about ALT tag – it describes your photos to search engines, so make sure you always use it and always use your blog’s keywords as descriptions of your pictures.
4. Formatting Your Writing
It is important for both optimization and making your content readable, interesting and easily understandable. To achieve this, keep your sentences short and simple, about 10-20 words long, combine them into rather short paragraphs (1-5 sentences each), spice up your writing with lists, subheaders, italics and bold. It will not only include additional tags that attract the attention of search engines, but make the text easier for comprehension.
However, just like with any other spices, if there is too much of them, they spoil the taste rather than improve it. If every other word is in bold or italics, there are lists every couple of paragraphs – you are overdoing it. Don’t forget about writing your keywords where it is appropriate, but never, never try to force them into the text. Firstly, it looks ridiculous to the reader. Secondly, search engines are getting cleverer every year and find better and better ways of defining whether keywords are used naturally or not.
5. Writing Unique Meta Descriptions
If your blogging service allows this, type in unique meta-descriptions for each blog post rather than using a universal description for the entire blog. It is unlikely that all posts in your blog are dedicated to exactly one topic that can be characterized by a single keyword. Thus, it will be better for you if every single post in your blog is ranked separately, depending on its content. This way it will be more probable for each of them to appear among search results as an answer to some particular query.
And one final advice – don’t hurry. Some bloggers are just too anxious to improve their ranking and forget about the most important thing about a blog – writing fresh, useful and interesting content. Don’t subject your entire blog to the vagaries of SEO – be reasonable. If you’ve made certain changes but there are no results, don’t panic – rankings don’t change overnight. The only thing you can be completely sure of is that if you use some simple SEO tricks and produce high quality writing on regular basis, it will certainly improve your position in the long run.
Are you optimizing your blog posts for search engines appropriately? Please feel free to leave a comment.