If you are reading this, chances are you are looking for an SEO for Bloggers guide that will help your blog posts start ranking on search engines.
SEO is the dominant source of trackable website traffic. That means search engine optimization is growing in importance.
All the information on the internet about SEO can be very overwhelming if you are a beginner.
How do you find a focus keyword for each blog post that you publish on your website?
Do you just put in a bunch of keywords in every piece of content (keyword stuffing)?
How do you optimize your blog posts so that they show up on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)?
Can blog SEO really bring in targeted traffic to your blog?
What SEO tools can you use to improve your search engine rankings and skyrocket your organic traffic?
In this article, I will talk about SEO tips for bloggers, SEO tools you can use to get your blog content ranking on search engines, on-page and off-page SEO, and everything else you need to know about search engine optimization.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
Disclaimer: If you buy something using the links in this article, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Know that I only promote stuff that I use and trust for the sake of my readers and the reputation of this site.
How Do Search Engines Work?
Before you learn about the ways you can make your web pages appear on search rankings, you must first understand the basics of how search engines work.
A search engine like Google “crawls” through your web pages using “spiders” or “Google bots,” as they are called. Once this is done, Google then decides the search rankings for your pages based on their algorithms.
Google bots consider hundreds of factors that help decide which pages are relevant to show on the search engine results pages.
The bots crawl through each relevant page, searching for the search term keywords, latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords, internal and external links, and other factors before they display the final result as the search rankings – all in a matter of seconds!
Here is a video that explains how Google works:
If you have optimized your web pages and blog posts correctly for SEO, you will be ranking well, and visitors will land on your pages through organic search!
SEO For Bloggers: How To Do On-page SEO Optimization For Your Blog Posts
If you’re wondering how you can write SEO-friendly blog posts, then I’ve got you covered.
As bloggers, there are many things you can do to optimize your blog posts for search engines. The higher your search rankings, the easier it is for you to make money from your blog, especially if you are doing affiliate marketing.
In this section, I’ve put together a checklist for you to tick off when writing your blog posts.
Make sure you take care of the following points when you write and optimize your blog posts:
1. Do Focus Keyword Research
One of the very first things you need to do before you start writing your blog posts is keyword research. Figure out what keywords you want to rank for with your blog posts.
Keyword research, although not to be taken lightly, is pretty straightforward.
Once you’ve decided what blog topics you want to write about, you need to narrow down the focus keyword/ keywords you want to target for that post.
The very basic foundation of SEO for bloggers is that you must not just write your blog content to rank on the search engine results pages but mainly to help some people searching for that specific keyword.
It is only when you do proper keyword research that you will be able to figure out what people are looking for when they search on Google, and you can craft your blog post accordingly.
The more relevant your blog topics are, the higher your chances of ranking on the search engine results page.
You can use tools like Surfer SEO and ahrefs to do your focus keyword research. These tools will show you how many people are typing in a specific keyword or keyphrase in Google.
You can also use Google to get a clear idea of what people are looking for. Here are some ways you can do that:
Tip 1: Look at the suggestions in the search box
When you start typing in a search term in Google, you will see suggestions appear below. Try to incorporate these suggestions ad subheadings in your blog post.
Tip 2: Take ideas from the “People Also Ask” section
If you scroll through the results on the search results pages, you will see a People Also Ask section that looks like this:
You can incorporate these questions as subheadings in your blog post or add a “Frequently Asked Questions” section in your post and answer them there briefly.
Tip 3: Related Searches
At the very bottom of the results page of Google, you will also see a “Related Searches” section. This shows you what other keywords people are typing in the search box related to the keyword you have entered.
Incorporating all these key phrases and questions in your article will make it more helpful for your readers, and eventually, your post will rank higher on the search engine results pages.
2. Incorporate Your Keywords in Specific Places in Your Blog Posts
To optimize your blog posts for SEO, you need to include your keywords in certain important places.
Make sure you do not go overboard with your keywords, as you may be penalized for keyword stuffing by Google.
The main places your keywords should appear are:
a. The Title Tag of Your Post
b. The Subheadings
c. The Body of Your Post
d. Alt Text of Your Images
e. The Meta Description of Your Post
f. The URL
If you use WordPress as your CMS (Content Management System), you can use plugins like Yoast SEO to ensure your content is optimized for the keywords you want to rank for.
Go to your WordPress dashboard > Plugins > Add New
Enter “Yoast SEO” in the search bar, and you will see the plugin that looks like below:
Click “Install” and then “Activate”. Yoast SEO is now ready to use and will appear automatically when you create a new post.
You can enter the focus keyword or keyphrase you want to rank for in the section as shown below, and Yoast SEO will tell you how well your content is optimized for it:
Optimizing your title and subheadings will greatly improve your click-through rate (CTR), as searchers will easily understand what your post is about.
3. Use Schema Markup to Optimize Your Blog Posts For Rich Snippets
Some search results have additional features that make them stand out from other results. Here’s one example:
This is called a rich snippet, and you can get one too for your blog through something known as schema markup.
Schema markup is structured data coding that you can add at the backend of your website. This piece of coding helps search bots to crawl, index, and display your content more easily.
You can use a tool like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to create schema markup for any of the pages on your site.
Schema markup is not as complicated as it sounds, and it will help you stand out from other websites in your competition.
Here is a video that explains what schema markup is and how you can use it to improve the search engine optimization of your blog posts:
4. Optimize Your Post URLs
Your post URL is another important factor that helps search engines what your page is about. Here are some SEO tips to help you optimize your URLs for SEO:
Tip 1: Keep your URLs short and descriptive
Tip 2: Use the keyword or keyphrase in your URL
Tip 3: Keep the URL path (the number of times the user has to click through from the main page to get to your blog post) short
If you have installed and activated Yost SEO, you can change your URL in WordPress by scrolling down the editor till you see this:
Enter the keyword or keyphrase with short hyphens as separators between words. For example, the slug for this blog post is “seo-for-bloggers”.
5. Optimize Your Images And Add Alt Text
22.6% of web searches took place on Google Images, according to this study. Google search also incorporates images and multimedia in its web search results pages.
It’s safe to say that images, videos, and other forms of multimedia are a great SEO tactic that helps your blog posts rank higher in the SERPs.
Here are some SEO tips for using images and multimedia in your blog posts:
Tip 1: Compress large images before you upload them on your site. This will avoid your site slowing down.
Tip 2: Use original images whenever you can for a better impact – and a higher click-through rate.
Tip 3: Cite the source of images you have obtained from other websites to avoid copyright issues.
Tip 4: Create SEO-friendly alt text for your images by describing the image and why it is relevant to your post.
6. Create Comprehensive And Useful Content
There are probably hundreds and thousands of blogs in your niche, all competing for the same keywords.
So how do you get to the results page of Google so that people can find your articles when they look for a blog topic?
One way to make sure your content starts ranking on search engines is to create comprehensive content covering all possible questions people have on their minds when they look for a topic.
Remember when we spoke about focus keyword research? Research all related topics and questions that your audience is looking for and create useful content that outshines your competitors’ articles.
When Google starts noticing people spending more time on your site, it will automatically consider your website as a reputable source of information that people find useful. This will help you go up the search rankings.
7. Links, Links, Links!
The internet is called the web for good reason. It is a collection of information that is, in most cases, linked to other sources of information on the internet.
There are three types of links you need to keep in mind when optimizing your blogs:
a. Link Building
Along with other on-page SEO techniques, link building plays a crucial role in your SEO content strategy. Link building, in simple terms, is the process of obtaining links from other websites to your own site.
Building links from bigger sites in your niche tells Google that your site can be considered a reputable source of information.
b. Internal Links
Internal links are links from one page to another within the same site.
It helps you show search engines how the information contained in your website is related to each other.
Whenever you write a blog post, remember to add internal links to other related blog posts or web pages on your website. It helps to use keywords as the anchor text when linking to different blog posts so that Google understands its relevance.
c. External Links
External links are links to other websites from within your blog posts.
You can link out to bigger, more reputable websites to show your audience statistics, images, quotes, and other information present on other sites.
Apart from being useful for your visitors, external links tell search engines what topics you are writing about as they relate to the other pages.
8. Spend Time Writing Headlines For Your Blog Posts
We’ve covered why you need to add keywords and optimize your Title Tags and Headings for search engines.
Did you know that there are other factors related to your title and headings that help Google rank you on the results page?
Some of these factors are the length of your title, its readability, and its relevance to the blog post.
You can use a tool like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to show you how your headings are performing so you can optimize them for search traffic. Here’s an example:
9. Be Wary Of Page Loading Times
Page loading time is the time it takes for your page to completely load on a browser.
Although Google has around 200 factors that it considers while ranking pages, page loading time is one of the most important ones.
The faster your page loading times, the higher the chances of your blog pages ranking in the search engine results pages.
You can read this post to find ways to improve your page loading times and boost your SEO.
10. Make Your Website Responsive
Responsive web design means coding your website so that it appears flawless no matter which device you access it on – mobile, tablet, or desktop.
When your website is responsive, it will adjust to fit any screen size, offering the best user experience no matter where your users are looking at your website.
Are You Doing Enough For Your Blog’s SEO?
So, there you have it.
These are some of the most crucial aspects of your blog’s SEO that you can optimize for search engines.
Remember that you are writing to help people in your niche – not just for the search engines. Find ways to balance writing for people as well as writing for search engines.
When you reach that sweet spot and stay consistent, you will be able to see a boost in your search engine rankings.
Got any more SEO tips for bloggers? Please share them in the comments below and help each other out!