Search engine optimization is one of the most important aspects of running a successful blog. Put as simply as possible, it is the process of ensuring that your website ranks as high as possible on search engine results. In other words, the higher your SEO is, the more likely it is that people will click on your page when it shows up on Google or Bing, and this can often mean the difference between a highly successful blog and a total flop.
There are quite a few strategies for increasing your SEO out there, and this can get really confusing really fast. In order to help you through the whole process, we’ve put together a brilliant guide on essential SEO steps to help you through it, so you can start optimizing your posts and getting viewers ASAP.
1. On-Site SEO
This refers to everything that you can do on your own website in order to improve your search engine optimization, and it concerns a few different points. First of all, it’s very important that you don’t overdo it with keywords. Thanks to the many tools out there that can help you figure out relevant keywords, people have started going overboard and adding as many keywords as possible, just so their page ranks can jump higher.
In response to this, Google has recently started issuing penalties for „over-optimization“, and that means that anyone who is found guilty of overstuffing a post with keywords is penalized and actually loses page rank. You want to keep it as simple as possible with no more than five different keywords, at least until Google’s policy on this changes in the future. In order to find relevant keywords that actually do the job, you might want to check out the Adword Keyword Tool by Google – it’s an amazing tool that can save you a lot of the guesswork in this particular area.
The next step is your title and meta description. The title is pretty self-explanatory, and ideally it should be under 70 characters so it’s easily seen and interpreted by all your potential readers. The meta description is a sentence or two that gives the reader a bit more info about what your page is actually about, and it should be also kept short, concise and to the point.
The single most important aspect of building up your web page is the content that you can provide to the reader. No matter how effective your SEO strategies are, if the actual post comes up short there won’t be anything to get people interested and keep them on your page. Whether it’s simple blog posts, tutorials, videos, podcasts or anything else, you need to regularly dish out quality content or you’ll simply fall behind the millions of blogs that do. Additionally, the more content you release, the more search engines will index your website in results, because your website will be deemed as up-to-date and trustworthy.
That being said, it’s worth mentioning that creating quality content and doing it frequently is far from easy, but it will definitely pay off in the long run. Not to mention that the more readers like your content, the more likely they’re going to share it on social media and get you even more views.
3. Link Building
Link building is the practice of getting other websites and blogs to link back to your own in some of their posts, or perhaps even your posts on their websites (this is known as „guest-posting“), and it’s essential for getting a good page rank. Most websites simply can’t make do with organic links alone, which is why link-building is an extremely popular practice nowadays. There are a couple of ways in which you can get links from other websites, and it’s extremely important that you research all of them and be ready to use all of them in order to get as many external links as possible.
4. Tracking Your Progress
Once you’ve done all you can to increase your SEO, it’s important to monitor exactly how successful your methods have been so far. You can do this rather easily with the help of a few useful tools such as Google Analytics or Authority Labs.
These tools can give you information about your organic search traffic, such as which keywords your visitors used the most in their search results, how much time they spend on your website and what they did on your website.
Another thing you’re going to want to do from time to time is to evaluate your search engine results from IP addresses all around the world, paying mind especially to the areas where your target audience is located. The easiest way to do this is to use a VPN to mask your IP address and temporarily „change“ it, fooling Google that you’re browsing from somewhere else. Once you do all this, you’ll have a lot more information about how effective your SEO is, and will therefore be able to judge what you need to change from there on.
Hopefully these few tricks have made SEO less of a mystery for some of you, and inspired you to start optimizing your website for search engines. If you have any other cool SEO tricks not mentioned in this article that you’d like to share, feel free to leave a comment below. Good luck!