SEO or Seach Engine Optimisation can be a complex topic. It can take months of work to get your website ranking on the first page of Google. Search engines like Google are private companies, they can choose how they want to rank websites and change their ranking requirements at any time. There are many things Google likes to see on your website that will give it a better chance at appearing first. So here are the top 5 SEO tips for new bloggers. The basics of SEO to get you going with your new blog
Research Useful & Relevant Keywords
Keywords are words or phrases that users search for. The terms you would put into the search bar on Google to find what you are looking for. You should be including keywords in your blog and considering them when choosing your blog topic. Using the keywords (which can be phrases) that people are searching for to create your blog topic means you are literally creating the content that people want to find.
You can research useful, relevant keyword ideas using free tools such as Ubersuggest. It will show you how many people are searching for the keywords per month and how difficult it would be to rank for those keywords. Once you have a focus keyword for your next blog post make sure to include it in the following places:
- The URL
- The main title of the page
- The first paragraph
- In the subheadings
- Use naturally throughout the text
- In the alternative text on images
- In the metadata
You don’t have to stick to rigidly to this keyword placement. The most important thing for your blog posts is that the content is useful for your audience.
Deliver Great Value
User experience is the most important part of SEO. If you are not creating a good experience for your users once they get on the site then it is pointless having a site. Whether you are using your blog to provide information, entertainment or inspiration you want your audience to have a good experience. To feel like they have gained a lot of value from spending their time on your site.
If users are not gaining value from your content they won’t hang around. If they leave too soon it can have an impact on something called bounce rate. This is the percentage of people who click onto your site and then leave straight away. It can be an indication that the Title and Description you used to draw them in was not representative of what they found on the site.
The more time users spend on your site the more Google will think your content is worth sharing with others. So Google is more likely to promote your site higher in search results. So if you deliver value and keep the people happy you keep Googles bots happy too.
Ensure Your Design is Responsive
As mentioned in the previous point user experience is very important for SEO. As most of us do a huge percentage of our web browsing on our smartphones or tablets it is very important to ensure your website provides a good experience on all devices. It is also something that Google considers very important. So a poor design on a mobile device will have a negative impact on your websites ability to rank in search results.
Most WordPress themes are now automatically responsive, but make sure to test out how your web looks on mobile.
Optimise Your Images
Page load speed is an important factor for creating a good user experience. If your website takes too long to load people will leave before they even get to see the content. This will have an impact on the previously mentioned bounce rate. Mobile load times can often be slower than on a desktop. I don’t know about you but I have more patience when waiting for a desktop website to load than I do a website on my phone.
One easy way to make your web page load speed quicker is to optimise your images. Don’t use images that are far bigger than the space they will take up. I never make images more than 1920 px wide or tall as no device (other than a tv) requires bigger images than this. You can also compress the images, you may lose a bit of the quality, but with a blog post, it is the content that is important not the quality of the images. Most people won’t notice if you drop the quality of your images down a little.
When designing in Canva select the option for .jpg file as it will be smaller. I use photoshop to edit some of my images and I make sure to use the save for web option. This allows you to scale the image down to a more appropriate size and adjust the quality. Try to keep images under 100KB for faster load times.
BONUS TIP: when naming your image files keep it simple. Lowercase, no crazy characters hyphens only – (no underscores) and include your keywords. seo-tips-for-bloggers.jpg is a much better keyword than IMG_1227.jpg or Big_24232%sdjGnI*dfgkj.jpg
Build Links to Your Website
Link building is the key off-page strategy to improve your website’s authority and so its chances of ranking in Google. It involves getting links from other relevant, reputable websites back to your own. When listing your website in search results, Google takes into account the quality and quantity of your backlinks.
This SEO technique has gained a bad reputation as some companies will use black hat methods to get links to their site. Paying for links and spammy links from unrelated websites are some of the black hat methods. But Google is cleaver is it knows when this is going on and can penalise your website for using such techniques.
White hat methods of link building are harder to do. They involve networking and making connections. Find ways to offer value in return for backlinks, without paying. This can be much easier for the business owner to do than a 3rd party agency. Here are some ideas for finding good quality relevant links:
Guest posting on other reputable blogging sites in your niche. When I was pursuing travel blogging I looked into writing posts for travel sites. Some were offering 2 quality links in return for a good article.
Asking clients or suppliers. If you are a coach who has hosted a recent event. You could ask your attendees to drop a link into any blog posts they might write on their experience at the event.
Register with credible directory sites if it is relevant to your business.
These are just a few ideas to get you going. But once you start networking and building your brand, new backlink opportunities will present themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask for a link if someone mentions you on their website or blog.
To Sum Up
So these are my 5 SEO tips for new bloggers, the basics of SEO to make sure your new posts have the foundations in place to rank organically on Google. Value alone will not bring people to your website. These SEO tips for bloggers will improve your rankings and start bringing in traffic to your blog. Make sure to keep promoting your posts on your various social media profiles to drive more traffic to your website too.