Since Google started making more and more difficult for any online business or blog to show on its first search results’ page, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has become one of the most important strategies related to digital marketing.
And if you are a blogger, you probably already are aware that you also need to know more about it and apply its principles to your blog – you want that people find your blog and posts online, right?
Still, you might be facing an honest doubt about how much of SEO you really need to know. There are so many details to deal with and some of them look more appropriated to big business that face a much higher traffic than yours.
If this is your case, here are the best pieces of advice that you can find regarding basic SEO for bloggers. Following these five steps, you will be much likely to see your posts on the first page of Google Search and a consequent increase on your daily traffic.
Step # 1 – Choose a domain and hosting service
Google wants to provide the best service to their clients. They want that the links that show up at the top of their results are the worthiest. To ensure it, their algorithm will give higher marks to those websites and blogs created by people that take their business seriously.
I am guessing that you are starting to understand why you need to register a domain and a hosting service to your blog. If you don’t, not only Google, but also your visitors will think that you aren’t taking your business seriously enough, and your chances to attract a loyal audience will fall.
So make sure that you have a domain and a hosting service, just for starters. There are plenty of services out there, including one offered by WordPress itself (if you are using this platform). You can either buy your domain with them, or with any other provider, such as Name Cheap or Go Daddy. But get it done.
Step # 2 – Check the best keywords
Before writing anything, you need to make sure that you find out what are the best keywords for your blog in general, the words and phrases that your target audience type on the search bar when they are looking for the kind of information that you provide.
And there are a few things that you should do to get this answer right:
- Get to know your audience
Get to know your audience very well if you want to figure out which keywords they type. It comes from the basic age group and location, but it is even more important to know which kind of information is relevant to them. You might think that they will do things exactly as you do, but you can’t be sure of it. So try to put yourself in their shoes. Use social media tools. O anything else that can provide you with the insights that you need.
- Make the most of online tools
There are several online tools that you can use so to find out the best keywords for your industry. Among the free services, you will find Ubersuggest, EssayRepublic and KeywordTool.io. Google AdWords has its own tool as well, in case you are registered with them. They will give you valuable suggestions of words and phrases that you should add to your posts.
- Try Google Autosuggest
An overlooked free tool offered by Google is the Autosuggest or Autocomplete. As you type anything on their search box, you might have noticed that the search engine attempts to figure out what you are looking for and gives you a drop-down box with the best suggestions it came up with. These are long tail keywords based on what people are searching for more often about that specific topic – in other words, it will provide you with insights about which are the most popular long tail keywords among your target audience.
Step # 3 – Create a killer headline
If you want that your post shines, you should give special attention to your headline. It will be the first thing that your visitor will see on you blog, so it need to ensure that they will click on it and read your post.
To craft the best headline, you will need to spare some time to do it. You hardly get it right at the first time, so you should be ready to rewrite it over and over until you find something really engaging and attractive. A killer headline also inspires curiosity and the certainty that the post worthies the time to read it.
Step # 4 – Craft a title tag and meta-description
Despite of what some newbies in the area think, it isn’t your headline that show up on Google Search. Yes, it can happen sometimes, but if the headline doesn’t meet the requirements of Google, the search engine will come up with their own title, or worse, cut your headline in a very way that might make it look very strange.
Plus, the text that comes below your title on Google Search, the meta-description, will be just part of your first paragraph if you don’t set it to your need – and it can also make no sense at all.
To prevent it, you should craft your own title tag and meta-description. If you are using WordPress, your template might have the SEO setting already there for you. If it isn’t there, you can try to add a plugin to it, such as Yoast, so you can have the functionality available.
Be aware that there is a limited number of characters to both title tag and meta-description so to ensure that Google will publish them as they are. And make sure that they are still enticing and engaging, so your target audience will click on it.
Step #5 – Add links to your content
Another thing that you need to be aware in terms of SEO is that your links matter. The idea of a highly connected web is one of the premises of Google, so the links that you add to your website are as important as anything else. That is to say, that you should make sure that you interlink your posts accordingly and that you also add valuable links to them. It will also make your visitors more interested in your content and spending more time on your blog.
You should also try to get as many external links as possible, so promote your blog to the best as you can. Go to social media and share your content with other bloggers, for instance. Getting mentioned is a great way to increase your SEO results, and there will be more links pointing to your website, which will make Google consider it as reliable.
As you can see, there is only way to do SEO: the right way. It requires a lot of small tasks, but as soon as you incorporate them to your daily routine, they will feel like your second skin.
And don’t be afraid of making mistakes: just keep one eye on your analytics, so you will know what is working and what you need to adjust. Google Search is constantly changing their algorithm as well, so stay updated.