What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how readers find your blog posts in a Google search. The more you work on your SEO, the higher your blog posts can rank! It's great because once you've accomplished the basic steps of SEO, people can find your posts on their own, without your promotion on social media or elsewhere.
Of course, it's still a great idea to promote on social media anyway, but isn't it best to get readers from as many sources as possible?
Easy SEO for Bloggers
Step 1: Choose Your Keyword Phrase
Let's take for example my post on the List of Best Twitter Chats for Bloggers in 2014. I wanted to make sure any reader who does a Google search on that topic would find my post fairly easily. SEO helps your post rank higher in Google so it shows up right away.
First, think of what you want your post to be searched as. What will readers be typing into Google to find your topic? Possible examples for my Twitter chat post included "best twitter chats for bloggers in 2014," or "list of best twitter chats for bloggers."
Whatever phrase you go with, this will be the building block of most other SEO steps.
Step 2: Post Title
Make sure your keyword phrase is in the title of your post. This helps Google know what your post is all about.
Note: Arrangement of the words does matter. "best twitter chats for bloggers" is not the same as "twitter chats for bloggers best." Choose the order you think the most readers will search for, and make sure to use the same exact phrase throughout your post.
Step 3: Post Headers
Google also looks at headers in your post, so make sure to have at least one header, and put your keyword in there.
In blogger, this can be easily done without HTML by highlighting text and choosing "heading" shown below:
If you prefer to use HTML:
Headers have a specific HTML code, so this means more than making the text larger and in bold. Here is a basic code for a header:
<h2 style="text-align: center;">Easy SEO for Bloggers</h2>
Step 4: URL
Be sure to put your keyword in your URL as well. Most blogging platforms create each URL from the post title, so as long as your title has your keyword phrase in it, you should be good here.
Step 5: Content of Post
To tell Google what your post is about, it's also important to have your keyword phrase in the body of your post itself. Don't include it too many times, or else it starts to look spammy. General rule of thumb is to include the keyword 3-5 times.
Step 6: Image Name
Save your images with the keyword phrase as their names. For example, instead of "IMG_001," I could have used "list of best twitter chats for bloggers." Google actually looks at this! If you're uploading pictures from your camera or phone that's fine, you can just rename them before uploading onto your blog.
Step 7: Image Alt Text
Similarly, put your keyword in the image alt text. In blogger you can do this by simply clicking on an image > properties > alt text, as shown below:
Step 8: Search Description
Putting your keyword phrase in your post description helps your SEO as well. In blogger, this can be found on the right sidebar when editing a post:
Step 9: Internal Links
Internal links are simply links to other pages on your own blog. It helps to link back to your other posts or pages, because Google follows those links to see what your blog is about as a whole.
For instance, if you're writing a post about a new coat or lipstick, you can include a quick sentence saying something like "see my previous coat/lipstick post here," with a link to another post you did on a similar topic.
Step 10: Referring Links
It really helps your page rank to have other sites linking to you. But you don't want just any site to link to you, you want reputable sites. Best case scenario, the New York Times or CNN somehow discovers your blog, falls in love with it, and links to you. These are highly reputable sources and if they link to you, it tells Google that you are worth ranking higher in search results.
Of course, you probably won't get linked to by CNN or the New York Times too often. The takeaway here is to shoot for people to link back to you, but keep in mind that the more reputable the site is, the better.
This step is easier said than done. A great place to start is by guest posting on blogs, especially ones with a large following, as they will most likely be seen as more reputable by Google. Also, posting on social media helps because it is seen as being linked by Twitter, Facebook, etc., who are very reputable sites!
These 10 steps are a great starting point to get easy SEO for bloggers. The main things to remember are to keep your keyword phrase consistent and put it throughout your post: in the title, headers, URL, content - even image names count!
Comment Challenge: Have you utilized SEO in your blog? Why or why not?
For more tips and tricks for bloggers, or to ask a specific question, follow along on Twitter!