Whether you’re starting a personal blog on the side for fun or launching a blog that needs to generate income, understanding the importance of SEO (search engine optimization) and how to incorporate it into your content matters. This understanding can make the difference between creating a successful blog that people care about and creating a flop that does nothing but take up space online.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and it refers to the process through which you make your text easy for search engines (like Google or Yahoo) to understand. There are a variety of practices that fall into the broad category of SEO. For example, researching which blog titles are going to work best and draw the most traffic is a form of search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization has gotten a bad reputation in the blogging community because many bloggers want to focus on creating stellar content, not on selecting which keywords will help Google rank their blog higher. Additionally, old SEO practices like keyword stuffing made blog content almost unreadable.
However, when you do it correctly, SEO will enhance your content, not detract from it. Doing SEO research can help you pick a topic that your readers will care about and focus on that specific topic. If you choose the right topic, using your keywords will be an organic process, and they’ll flow seamlessly into your text.
Your readers should never notice that you’ve used SEO best practices. Ultimately, search engines value good content above anything else. So, if your focus is on creating high-quality content, you’re already off to a good start!
Now that you understand what SEO is and how it can be used in conjunction with creating high-quality content, lets go over some quick and easy SEO tips that you can start putting into practice today. We’ll talk about creating SEO-Friendly Titles and descriptions, optimizing your text, and other SEO best practices to create a blog that not only tells a story, but knows who it’s telling that story to.
Optimizing Titles & Descriptions
The first step to creating a more optimized website is to improve the quality of your titles and your blog descriptions. Do some research into keywords that your viewers will care about. Your best bet, when you’re starting out, is to use long-form keywords that don’t have a lot of competition but do have a lot of traffic. As your blog becomes more and more well known, you can slowly start incorporating more short-term keywords into your blog.
Once you’ve chosen a list of keywords, you should make sure that your keywords are in both your title and your description. Skip the cutesy titles like “What we did this weekend,” because no one is searching for that. Instead, create a specific, searchable title, such as “How to make the most out of a weekend in Bar Harbor, Maine.”
Then, in your description, you would again write something like, “We spent a weekend in Bar Harbor, Maine. Here are our top 5 takeaways.” This tells search engines–and your readers–exactly what they’re getting with the content you’re posting.
Framing your titles and descriptions with search engines in mind also tends to put the focus on the reader rather than on you. This makes your content more exciting and engaging, and ultimately improves your content.
Optimizing Your Text
Once you have a killer title and a description that draws in organic traffic, your next step is to optimize your text. It’s important to remember that only one page can make it to the top of a Google search. If multiple blog posts are trying to rank for the same keywords, you end up competing with yourself.
Consider combining similar topics into one piece of long-form pillar content rather than writing multiple short pieces about the same thing. When writing new content, consider new keywords that you can try to rank for.
You don’t want to stuff your text with the keywords you’re trying to rank for. Instead, try to use them naturally 3-4 times throughout the whole blog post (or 2-3 times if it’s a shorter blog post). By choosing your keywords before choosing your topic, you can make this a lot easier on yourself.
Other Best Practices
There are other ways to make your blog show up higher in google. Spamzilla is a great resource for finding expired domains that you can use to generate more backlinks to your website. You should also keep in mind that the search engines now give preference to websites that are mobile-friendly. For this reason, you should reduce image sizes and limit flashy texts or gifs that might not show up as well on phones.
SEO doesn’t have to be a negative term. As a blogger, you should care about optimizing your blog so that the right readers can locate the amazing content you have to offer. As your SEO knowledge grows, your readership will grow as well!