Have you ever wondered how you can get your blog to show up on the first page of Google’s search results, or at least gain some new readers? SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a great way to achieve this.
SEO is the process of using the tools available to you on your computer to increase quality traffic to your website … and yes, especially blogs.
Below, I’ve put together 9 simple steps you can follow to grow your blog through SEO, even as a complete beginner!
- Find a Blogging Platform
First thing’s first— you’re going to need a platform for your blog.
There are many platforms available online that you can use, but it is important to choose a platform that is optimal for SEO and is easy to use.
We do a lot of work with our friends at Wix and can’t say enough good things about their platform and how easy it is to use. There are other platforms available, so feel free to take a spin around to check on other options, but our relationship with Wix has turned out to be a good one.
- Create Your Own Domain
Once you’ve decided on a platform, make sure that your website domain is unique to your brand/company and not directly reflective of the platform you’re using.
For example, you want to avoid links like myblog.wordpress.com and instead create a link like myblog.com.
This is because 1) you want to create user confidence in your own brand and 2) you want to create inbound links for your one site (more on this later).
- Focus on Keywords
Using the right keywords in your blog can help search engines detect what your blog is all about and push it higher up in the search results.
For example, if you have a blog about your backpacking travels in Germany, you may consider words such as backpacking in Germany.
However, you should conduct research on potential keywords to make sure they are the best for your site. For this, I suggest using tools such as Google AdWords, that examine keyword data and competition analysis.
Ultimately, you want words that have a high search volume and low competition, among other criteria.
- Create an Effective Title
Page titles are arguably the most important factor when it comes to your search engine results rank. This is where your keyword research will come into play.
It is important to use keywords in your title and subheadings, especially in the beginning, as more weight is placed on the first 3-4 words.
However, do not try to use too many keywords, as this may have a reverse effect and hurt your site.
- Use Keywords in the Body of the Post
You want to make sure that you also use your keywords throughout your post, not just in the title, for optimum results.
Try to use your keywords especially in the first one or two sentences, and then occasionally add them a few more times in your paragraphs.
It is also a good idea to include these words in other not so obvious places, such as in meta-descriptions, meta-tags, post tags, alt-text image tags, and anywhere else that seems fit.
- Add Images and Videos
Not only will adding the right images and videos increase your blog traffic through the use of alt-text, but also through the images and videos themselves.
Most people do not read the entirety of a post they click on, so adding images, graphics, and videos will keep the reader engaged longer on your post which will directly boost your search engine result positions.
Adding relevant and entertaining content also helps increase top-of-mind awareness among readers.
- Link Link Link
Make it a habit to include quality links on your blog whenever possible. These will act as mini confidence boosts for search engines, suggesting that your blog offers quality content also.
You can add links that you think your readers would find useful that are related to that post, or topics you think they would search for after reading.
You can include links to other posts of your own, or to other websites, products, tools, blogs, people, etc. The options are endless!
Just remember not to include too many links, as this can have a negative effect and slow down your site.
- Enhance Load Speed
The speed that your website loads is a major ranking factor, meaning that you should try to be faster than your competitors.
If your site takes too long to load, your potential reader might look elsewhere for content that’s delivered quicker.
To improve your load speed, you can do small things like upload content that does not take up a lot of data. You can also optimize the speed of your site by using tools like Google Pagespeed Insights for the best recommendations.
- Focus on Readability
Your page should be set up in a way that allows your reader to access relevant content in an easy-to-read format. If the reader cannot access the content they are looking for in a digestible way, they may click off your site.
Focus on using shorter sentences, lists, bullets, and spaces between paragraphs to create a seamless read and enjoyable experience.
You can also use plugins, such as Grammarly, to check spelling and improve grammar.
These tips should lay the grounds for your SEO journey. Now it’s time for you to put these tips into action.
Learning how to use SEO and gaining the results that come from it take time and consistency. Start with the basics, and eventually you’ll reach your goal of connecting new people to your blog.
About the Author: Francheska Rossi is an aspiring, young marketing intern who recently graduated from Emory University and is actively looking to land her first job with a marketing department or an ad agency.