So you have great content on your site, and you share it on social media. That’s great, but what if you’re looking to expand your reach beyond your social media followers?
This is where SEO comes in. If you don’t know what SEO is, it’s the art of optimizing your blog and content for search engines. I have successfully used SEO and content marketing to rank and increase the following on my own projects. I understand the idea of it is foreign or scary to some people, but I actually really enjoy it. I love that I can use SEO to put my content out there and help people find what they’re looking for, all while increasing my following.
Needless to say, SEO is VERY complex and there is way more to it than what I’ve mentioned below, but these are really good habits to make that will help you in the long run.
Use a plugin
For WordPress users, there are some very powerful SEO plugins out there that can help you optimize your site! I currently use WordPress SEO by Yoast. It’s packed with features that you can customize to fit your needs, but it’s also ready to go right out of the box for beginners. If you’re looking for another solution, another good one is All In One SEO Pack.
Use keywords and keyphrases
I’ve seen so many bloggers try to rank with keywords that they never use on their site. How are you going to rank with a keyword if you never use it? Try to find natural ways to incorporate your keywords into your site. I emphasize “natural” here because if you overuse keywords, also known as keyword stuffing, you could be penalized for it. If you don’t have any keywords or keyphrases, I suggest putting together a list. A great place to start is with Google. Search for a generic keyword to start and then scroll to the bottom to the “Searches related to” section. For example, if I search “photography,” one of the keywords is “photography tips.” If I click on that, one of the new keywords is “photography lighting tips.” Make sure you choose keywords that are related to your niche.
Tag and label your posts appropriately
Use categories as general buckets for your posts (example: design, life, blogging, etc.) but use tags to describe what is in your individual posts (or, if you use blogger, categories and tags are combined together as labels). Try to think in terms of what your readers and people in your niche may be searching for. Google seems to really like tag and category archive pages — they always rank really well for me. I recommend that you use keywords and keyphrases for tags, but like I said above, don’t go overboard with it. You should be using these naturally. Also, if you’re going to use tags and you want them to rank, you may want to include them in your post footer or somewhere on your site (don’t hide them!). This can be considered deep linking (more on that below).
Optimize your images
A lot of people forget about images! When you save your images, name them descriptively. For example, my image above is titled “seo-tips-for-bloggers.jpg” — this makes it easy for Google to “read” what my image is about. After you upload an image, make sure you give it ALT and Title tag descriptions.
Deep link your content
Deep linking is the technique of linking to your own internal content. If you’ve already got a lot of great content, you should be linking to it! So, for example, if I’m writing a new post about a project I just launched, and I have a previous post where I shared part of my process on this project, I can link to that in my new post. I can also maybe link to my tag archive for “process,” so that people can click through and see more process posts. Again, this should be linked naturally so that it’s helpful, and not annoying, to your readers. Deep linking also has other benefits. It can help lower your bounce rate and increase your pageviews.
Get quality backlinks
Google will start to recognize your blog as an “authority” if you have good, quality backlinks. Backlinks are links to your site from other sites. Some examples of how to get backlinks: create really good content, guest post on other blogs, and increase community/readership on your blog. Remember that people tend to link to blogs and posts they love. But, you should know that not all links are created equal. If you ever notice a really spammy site with a permanent link to your blog, you may want to ask them to remove it, as this can hurt your rank.
Do you use any of these SEO techniques on your blog? If you have any questions or if you’d like to work with me to optimize your blog, get in touch!