SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is how you can make your website visible to search engines. Sounds scary, right? Well, with our help, you’ll realise it’s not as techy and difficult as you think!
Most modern website-hosts already come with inbuilt SEO tools, which are a great starting place to get your blog SEO-ready. We’ve also got the low-down on how to increase your reach via search, and get your blog in front of new audiences…all in a few simple steps.
Conduct Keyword Research
Basically, Google matches the ‘key’ words or phrases people search for online, with the text on websites, which show up on the result pages. First, you need to find out what type of searches people are performing.
Luckily, there are a bunch of tools you can use to help you. Great free tools like Google Keyword Planner will give you not only keywords related to your blog topic, but the number of searches people are performing!
Use this to understand what type of keywords are in demand that are related to your blog topic and compile a list, which you can use to decide which keywords you’ll be targeting. There is no point optimising your article for keywords no one is searching for!
Include relevant keywords in your post
Now that you know what keywords you’ll be using; you need to tailor your blog post. When you’re writing a blog post, keep those keyword or keyword phrases in mind that people are searching, and incorporate them in the text. For instance, if you own a fashion blog and you’re writing an article about Paris Fashion Week 2016, you can write your article for the search term: ‘Outfits from Paris Fashion Week 2016’.
As you’re writing the article, make sure you’re focused on this theme.
WARNING: Don’t jam in keywords
DON’T try and repeat the keyword as much as possible in your posts, Google will pick up on what you’re doing and penalise you! Instead, include your keyword or phrase a natural amount of times, mixed with a good number of synonyms.
Remember, it’s not just about the keyword. Google’s very smart, and if the overall content itself is relevant to your keyword, it’ll pick up on what you’re trying to say!
If you need more ideas on what keywords to target, use Google’s own Keyword Tool. It’ll give you ideas about which keywords to target.
Internal linking is important!
In SEO, links from one website to another are everything. Each link to a website acts like a ‘vote’ to it. So, the more links a website has, the higher it’ll rank on search engines.
However, if you’re just starting out as a blogger, getting websites to link to you is a big task. But have no fear, you can focus on developing the links between your pages on your blog, which by itself will make it more SEO-friendly.
One thing Google LOVES is a website that has a clear hierarchy, i.e. having a central home page that links to its side pages. Just by including a couple of links in each blog post to your previous blog posts, you ‘strengthen’ your website structure, helping it rank better.
Pay attention to the hyperlink Anchor Text
The anchor text refers to the actual words in the text you’ll be linking to. When you hyperlink, make sure the anchor text is relevant to what the link is about.
For instance, don’t do this: ‘Read more about LFW 2016 here’.
Do this: ‘Read more about LFW 2016’.
This helps Google understand the theme of the page you are linking to.
However, Google is supremely clever: so only include the links if it naturally comes up in your blog post, otherwise you may be penalized. For instance, if a previous post naturally comes up, then you can hyperlink to it. Two or three links per post will do!
Optimise your titles for SEO
Remember how much we were talking about the importance of keywords? Well, make sure your titles are relevant to the article, so that Google can easily pick up on what your blog posts.
For instance, if you’re writing about London Fashion Week 2016, make sure that phrase is in the title.
Yes, it’s important to write titles that are dynamic and interesting, but also make sure to optimise them properly by including the key search terms so that your blog will show up on Google search results. If you want to become a master of writing engaging, SEO-friendly titles that will make a difference to your online reach, read more about How you can optimise your blog title for SEO here.
By making these simple changes, you have a better chance of reaching and entirely new audiences that you’ll otherwise be missing out on!
Remember, SEO is an integral skill that you’ll need as a blogger, so get practicing!