Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the lifeblood of any website. If it’s ignored or not done properly your blog will never get found on Google because it won’t rank high enough. Google has developed a secret algorithm for ranking sites using a set of indicators to determine if the site is “valuable” or not.
There are many indicators it uses to determine value but some of the most common ones are backlinks (how many other sites link to your site), domain age, traffic, content quality, etc. Google sends out spiders to crawl websites and analyze them to determine their value which then determines their rank in search results.
SEO is an entire industry unto itself and entire books are regularly written on the subject. Therefore, I’m not going to pretend that these 6 SEO tips for bloggers alone will create perfect optimization for your blog and solve all your SEO problems. What they will do is give you a good foundation to work from and at least get you going on the right path.
1. Get Your Own Domain
Free blogs hosted on Google or Tumblr or wherever are fine if you’re just having fun with it. But if you’re serious and are trying to make a respected blog that you can potentially earn money from and become an influencer then you need your own domain. As I have said many times on this site I recommend you register a domain and then setup a self-hosted WordPress site.
2. Original Content
It’s become somewhat cliche in the blogging world, but I’m gonna say it anyway because it’s true — Content is king. The best thing you can ever do for your blog generally and for SEO is keep putting out great content. The more the merrier. That doesn’t mean just posting a bunch of fluff or copying other people’s work. Quality content is king.
Content doesn’t have to just be words. Try mixing it up with some of these:
Videos – Create how-to videos and tutorials. Do video interviews with experts in your niche, or “man on the street” segments. The possibilities with videos are endless.
Podcasts – Creating original podcasts is now easier than ever. All you need is an iPhone or Android phone and an app called “Anchor” and you can start recording your first show in minutes.
Photography – Never be afraid to add lots of visual imagery to your posts. Take pictures and post photo galleries related to your niche.
3. Build Backlinks
A backlink is when another site links to your site. As I mentioned in the opening that is one of the ways Google decides how valuable a site is. The caveat to that is the sites linking to your site need to be relevant. When other sites in your niche are linking to your site that means you have relevant content that people will want to see and that provides value.
If you pay some person on Fiverr to give you 60,000 backlinks for $5 that have nothing to do with your site or niche you’ll be hurting your site not helping it.
The best way to get natural relevant backlinks is to write great content, guest post on other relevant blogs, comment on other blogs in your niche, and ask your peers for a backlink. Develop relationships with other bloggers in your niche and when you ask for a backlink they’ll probably help you out. But if you just write great content they’ll probably link to you anyway because your posts will provide value to their readers and vice versa.
4. Use SEO Plugins
If you want your site to be as optimized as possible you definitely want to use an SEO plugin. I’m going to assume your blog is built on WordPress, because as I keep saying it’s the best! Since I know you have a WordPress site I can’t encourage you strongly enough to immediately install the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s super easy to use and will help you make sure all your posts and pages are properly optimized.
5. Use An SEO Optimized Theme
Make sure whatever theme you are using for your blog is optimized. You want an equally good user experience no matter what device is being used. Your blog should look just as good on a tablet or a phone as it does on a desktop. Google takes that into consideration when ranking your site as valuable or not. I recommend buying a premium theme from ThemeForest.
Things to look for when picking a theme:
Mobile Responsive – This goes back to making sure it looks good on any device as I mentioned above. The functionality and user experience should be seamless.
Fast Loading – Make sure it’s cleanly coded and fast loading. Google looks at load times as part of good SEO. It also makes for the best user experience.
Upgrades– You want to make sure the author of the theme you choose regularly updates it so it won’t break when you update to the latest version of WordPress. Keeping WordPress up to date is very important for the security of your website.
6. Build Your Social Profiles
It’s still a debatable issue whether or not social media activity or “social signals” have a direct impact on search rankings. However, it doesn’t really matter. It’s hard to imagine that if thousands of people are buzzing about your article on Facebook or Twitter that it’s not going to have an impact long term on your SEO. It’s a signal of authority which is something Google looks at.
Even putting aside SEO considerations it’s just plain common sense that you need to be going big on social media. Create a Facebook page and Twitter profile for your blog. Engage with the top people in your niche on Twitter and develop relationships. It will help you when they start to retweet your blog posts and share them on Facebook. Those relationships can also be leveraged to get those aforementioned backlinks.
Experiment with all the big social platforms and see what works best for you. For sure start with Facebook and Twitter. Then branch out and try Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. There are always opportunities to reach new people through social media. Take advantage of that.
As I said at the outset these 6 SEO tips for bloggers is hardly the end of the story, but it’s a great starting point. Once you get going on these then explore some of the more advanced areas of SEO.
**Feel free to leave questions or comments below.**