Some time ago I got some not so cool critique on my SEO skills, that, at that point of my life wasn’t my main focus nor my biggest strength. I can honestly say, that I didn’t even tried for the SEO of that website, and the critique was not very detailed also – “You understand nothing about SEO”. I was mad for a while, as any human being would be, and admitted, that it was on point few hours later. Even though I never positioned myself as a SEO expert, as stubborn as I am, I decided to learn (obviously not from a person who critiqued me).
I actually wish I could say that it took me an impressive amount of time, that you would think you don’t have – but it didn’t. Also, I wish I could say there is some very legit way of writing splendid SEO, and there isn’t one. There is no formula or code that would help trough these jungles. As I like to say – it is all relative.
But I learned something out of all this – and repeating what I already knew was a good thing too, just made things a bit clearer. And I wanted to share that with you. So here it is.
But first, what is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.
So basically, Google want you to tell it what your post is about, and it let’s you control how your blog post would appear in Google results. You can use keyword to tell Google what you article is about, and meta description to control how your article would be described in Google results.
Where I should write blog SEO?
If you are using WordPress, there is a must-have plugin, called Yoast SEO and it allows you to write SEO keywords and meta description into every single post, page and other places. It also gives you suggestions of how you could improve SEO, but you should always take them as suggestions and not rules.
How to write good blog SEO?
Focus on the content first, SEO later
Writing good content is your most important task. It can actually go longer way than any good SEO would. Do not pressure yourself to write content for SEO – write SEO for content.
Pick a good keyword (or key phrase)
Keyword must be relevant to the topic you are writing about, short and on point. Pick a keyword you actually have a chance scoring high in (f.e. Beyonce is not a good keyword, since there are many high scoring sites that has that particular keyword). You can even do a keyword research to find some phrases that are googled with your keyword. For the matter of experiment, I typed SEO into keyword search, and this is what came up :
And for example, I can make “how to do SEO” my keyword and make a title around it, so it creates a higher chance for my post to score higher in this particular search.
Write an engaging meta description
It should tempt people to click on the link without spoiling the element of surprise (or the content). You don’t want to spill all the beans in the meta description. For me this is a tricky part since there are no straight forward instructions on how to write a good meta description, but there are of course some rules for it. First, and most important one – keep in mind that you are writing for humans, so every meta description should be as a little ad of your posts.
BAD META DESCRIPTION:
“Blog SEO – focus on the content, pick a keyword, write a meta description”. That is a) straight up bring, b)spoils the whole post.
GOOD META DESCRIPTION:
“Want to increase your page rankings? Start with SEO! 7 easy tips for better blog SEO”. It has keywords, a question, doesn’t spoil the post, has number in it (numbers make people engage), plus adding a word, such as “easy” is a plus too.
Fit your meta description into 165 characters.
Write a good title
It should correspond with your meta description and chosen keyword. There are a lot of research on writing good titles, and it includes starting it with “How to”, a number, adding big words such as “dramatically increase”. But after all, stay true to yourself and don’t sacrifice your intention over some SEO. It should not be too short for a good SEO though.
Use keywords in your URL
Instead of using your-url/category=blogging/17/04/23 you should change it to your-url/7-easy-blog-seo-steps. If you are using a platform such as WordPress it is relatively easy to do – just click on your permalink and edit it in a post editor mode. If you are still getting some nonsenses, check out your permalink settings in settings section on your dashboard.
Use links in your posts
Add links to your previous posts on the same or very similar topic in an organic way – meaning instead or writing a link, you add some text and make that text a link (officially called an Anchor text). Also, you can link pages that covers the same topic or are related to your topic, and are high Google ranking pages. This is arguably not that relevant anymore, but who would mind a good link in the post, right?
Get links from other websites
Add links to your posts on social media and other related websites that you have control of (such as Bloglovin). If your content is good enough – other people link to your page organically. Don’t do anything fishy with it.
Some extra tips :
- Longer posts has a better chance of scoring higher – more than 300 words. Most articles that score higher contains around 1500 words, but do not go over the top.
- Adding call-to-action in your meta description is a good way to create engagement if you are actually suggesting something. A free downloadable? Add it to your meta description.
- Using subheadings are highly rewarded by Google, so vary your formatting from plain text to using subheadings.
- Use big words, such as “huge”, “premium”, “discover, “instant”, “powerful” and so on in your meta description and title.
- Use SEO in pictures too – it can be used in image search. It adds some benefits according to Google too. And make your pictures appear in image search too.
- Update your posts with links – you wrote something new, but it’s related to the old post? Not only add the link to you new article, but update your old article with a link to a new article.
- Try using your keyword early in the text, the closer to the start the better. Or at least in the first 100 words.
- There might not be an instant change to the engagement, but wait for it and be patient. And continue doing a good job.
That is pretty much it, all you need to know to make a good start. And yes, there are way more information about it around the internet, and there is so much more to learn if you are interested in it, but for a blogger I would say focus on what is important – creating a great content. Because after all, that is what makes you great and not some blog SEO.