If you’ve been blogging for at least 5 minutes you’ve probably heard that SEO is important. Maybe you’ve even downloaded Yoast and feel like you are doing it right. Sadly it’s a lot more complicated than that.
What is this crazy SEO thing?
Let’s start at the basics SEO means Search Engine Optimization. This basically means creating online content that is more likely to discovered in search through systematic symptoms. Still sound like gibberish? Stay with me.
Let’s say you are getting married and you want to get your bridesmaids gifts but you’re not sure what to give them. You hop on Google (or your preferred search engine but let’s be real…it’s probably still Google) and search “Gifts Ideas for my bridesmaids.”
Google then delivers a list of several suggests, some ads, some organic suggestions.
Organic search results are the whole reason we worry about SEO. Pages online are ranked based on many features including site and url structure, keywords, site speed, average time on site, and follow links associated with the site and a long list of other things.
Let’s take a look:
The first links that don’t say “ad” next to them are ranked first for the search “Gifts Ideas for my bridesmaids.”
That’s what good SEO does, it tells the Google bots, “This page is a good resource for what you’re looking for based on the webpage’s title, the page’s description meta tag, the alternate tags on images and other forms of media, the url structure, navigate and more.”
Based on all these factors Google then presents them to you in order of calculated relevance.
9 Tips to Improve Your SEO
- Go ahead and download Yoast for your blog. This isn’t the be all end all for SEO formatting but it is a HUGE help in finding out if you’re on the right path.
- Make sure you are using keywords in every aspect of your blog post. That means in your title, in your meta description, in your photographs and social media.
- Don’t over do it. Yes you want to use keywords in your blog but don’t be spammy. The Google bots don’t like that.
Good example: Welcome to Ida Eats, the food blog all about enjoying life and all the yummy foods it has to offer. You can expect easy recipes with natural ingredients based on culinary dishes I’ve tried from all over the world.
Bad example: Welcome to the food blog Ida Eats. This food blog is the food blog all about yummy foods. On this food blog you can expect easy recipes with natural ingredients on culinary dishes I’ve tried from all over the world that inspired me to create this food blog.
We get it Ida, you have a food blog.
The trick to using keywords successfully is to naturally include them in your post in relevant places. Also using the same phrase over and over might not be as helpful as using variations of the phrase. Using other words that users may be searching for will not only help you cover more group but it won’t raise any red flags to the search engines.
4.Tread carefully with links.
Links are great! If you are a lifestyle blogger getting a link from Popsugar won’t only help you reach their large audience but it will help Google recognize you as
- Not all links are your friend. Just like you can get street cred from getting you blog links on sites with a high domain authority, you can give credit to other people’s blogs and sites by putting their links on your blog. Putting someone else’s link on your blog is similar to giving a job referral, you don’t want to associate with just anyone or give credit to just anyone. Luckily WordPress automatically has rel=nofollow links in WordPress comment sections.
Rel=nofollow links tells Google not to follow certain links on your site or let them pass your page’s reputation to the pages linked to. Read more about that here.
So if WordPress automatically does this, why are you even saying anything about it Dia?
Because it doesn’t do that in your posts.
If you want to reference something you don’t want to boost, linking to it in your post is potentially giving it Google street cred. In links you don’t want associated with your index on Google, you need to create a nofollow link.
Also did you know that Google wants you to use these in paid links, like sponsored posts! Whaaaa?!? Yep, too many paid follow links could possibly get you penalized by google.
- Your site navigation is important and make sure Google has your sitemap.
A sitemap is a list of pages of a website used by to crawlers and sometimes users.It provides a list of the pages of a website usually organized in hierarchical order.
There are several ways to create a sitemap and depending on your type of site you should choose the method that is best for you and then log into your webmaster tools and submit the sitemap to Google (Assuming the method you choose doesn’t submit it for you).
- Make the most of 404 errors.
404 errors are bound to happen no matter how hard you monitor your site. Did you know instead of just getting the plain “Page not found” notice you can create a custom 404 landing page and encourage people who land on that page to check out other things on your site?
(I currently don’t have a custom 404 page because my site still provides people who land on my 404 page with access to my full menu bar and side widgets.)
- Meta tags aren’t just important for getting the attention of readers and making then click on your page above other, they are important for good SEO. Meta tag are that little description your see when you’re searching the web.
Here is how and where I edit mine using Yoast on my WordPress blog. If you scroll below the post and click the “Edit snippet” button not only can you change the description meta tag for pages or posts but you can preview how it will look on Google.
Check your website theme or SEO plug-in to see where you can change yours.
- Check for broken links often.
This is something I have recently added into my weekly checklist. It simple and easy. I use Free Broken Link Checker to check for broken links on my site. Some nofollow links may come up but it is still valuable to check from time to time. I know how frustrating it is when a blog post links to something and you click on the link only to discover it doesn’t work.
So those are 9 things you can do to help you SEO! It is a current work in process for us all, the internet doesn’t ever go to sleep, so things are always changing, it’s important to make SEO a regular part of your blogging process.
I created a free checklist to save you time and help you rock your blog. I am all about doing things efficiently and creating systems to get those things done easily. This SEO Checklist will take some of the headache out of publishing blog post optimized for SEO. Make sure you can check all these boxes before you hit “Send” and make the Google bots smile!
Get your SEO Checklist Here! If you found this information useful, let me know if you’d like to see more about SEO or tutorials on how to set certain things up.
What are your thought on SEO? Have you been making any mistakes you want to fix? How often do you check for broken links? Let me know all about your SEO habits.