Blogging has provided an incredible opportunity for average individuals to create and distribute their own content everywhere.
This revolutionary communication platform has enabled publishers to reach out more easily and quickly to a highly targeted audience. It has allowed new thought leaders to come to prominence and win total strangers over to their way of thinking.
For the savvy Internet marketer, blogging has become a method of reaching substantial numbers of potential clients. However, blogging is no more than a communication platform. Online marketers who look to blogging as a way to market their ideas and brands need to incorporate SEO to spread the word about what they have to offer.
Not all bloggers consider SEO as part of their writing strategy, however, because for many of them, blogging is simply about providing excellent content. They use their blogs to express their feelings and share their knowledge with an audience. It’s also a way for them to network with like-minded thought leaders.
If you are newbie blogger, you need to understand that SEO is a very important component of blogging. There’s no point in airing your thoughts and feelings if people can’t find them. You need SEO to attract the right readers to your content.
That being the case, consider the following tips for incorporating SEO into your blogging activities.
1. Help people to find you easily
How can people find your blog among the millions of others on the Web? Essentially, your blog’s main topic should connect directly to what people type into Google when they search for information related to your topic.
Once you’ve got a good idea, do a bit of research with the use of Google’s freekeyword tool. There may be more precise (that is to say, more productive) words and phrases to target than the first ones that come to your mind.
Don’t try to guess which words people might use to find you. You want to employ the precise keywords that people are already using to locate information related to your topic. Use keyword research tools to identify them. One that comes very highly recommended is Google’s AdWords Keywords Tool.
2. Always focus on creating high-quality content
Your content doesn’t have to be impressive. However, it does have to express useful ideas in an intelligent way.
Strive to deliver high-quality content that addresses your audience’s needs. Such content is going to make people more likely to become loyal to you. They are also more likely to share your content with others. The more people share your content because of its value, the more natural backlinks will connect to your blog.
3. Leave meaningful comments on other people’s blogs
I stress the word meaningful here. Don’t just sprinkle remarks everywhere for the sake of dumping links on other people’s online property.
Keep in mind that links on comments offer very little in the way SEO benefits. What they are great for is alerting other people about what you have to say on certain topics. When they like what they read from you, there’s a chance they will click on your link to learn more about you. Be sure that the blog you are commenting on is related to your niche, though.
4. Use extensible blogging platforms
Blogger.com, which is owned by Google, is popular among newbie bloggers. But once you mature as a blogger, you will probably want to switch to WordPress — one of the most versatile and extensible blogging platforms available.
You can arm your WordPress blog with plugins and extensions to make it flexible and semi-automated, which will make it much easier and faster for you to manage layout, internal linking, and comment moderation.
WordPress also has plugins that make SEO a lot easier. For example, plugins can help you create a sitemap that allows search engines to crawl your blog more effectively.
5. Use your own domain
Using your own domain isn’t only beneficial in terms of ranking higher in search. It also makes your site look more credible.
Authority is one of the ranking factors that Google and other search engines use. Also, with a domain name that bears your brand’s name, your audience will admire you more; they’ll tend to assume you are pretty serious about blogging.
6. Make your site load faster
Search engines take load speeds into consideration when they rank sites. Your ranking could suffer a negative impact if your blog load speed is slow.
Also, a fast load speed provides a more positive user experience. Nothing annoys visitors more than a page that loads at a snail’s pace (except maybe pop-ups!).
7. Keep titles short and simple
It’s fine to use a clever title that catches people’s attention, if you can keep it short and simple. Page titles appear in search, but only 64 to 70 characters’ worth. Make sure you use your keywords very early in the title, not toward the end of it. Google places more value on titles and title tags that have keywords near the beginning.
8. Keyword-optimize images
Images attract readership. They make blog posts more engaging. That’s the human part. For the search engines, you need to help them grasp what your images are all about by including alt tags.
Search engine spiders don’t comprehend images (at least at the moment). The only way for them to know what’s in an image is if they’re tied to alt tags that contain keywords.
9. Link internally
It’s highly recommended that you link each of your blog posts to other, related posts on the site. This promotes better bounce rate, and it’s also great for SEO.
There are various ways to do this. You can link within posts, put a “related posts” section on the sidebar, and include a “featured posts” section within the homepage.
10. Link externally
Check out other blogs that relate to your topics. Then link to the best examples. Your users will appreciate it when you provide additional information that’s useful to them. In addition, the bloggers you link to will be pleased and may return the favor by linking back to your blog. All this is good for SEO.
11. Give guest blogging a try
Guest blogging or guest posting is one of today’s top link-building tactics. It gives you the chance to establish yourself as an expert in your field. It’s also a great way to get your blog noticed by other bloggers.
Guest blogging provides your blog with significant link juice, especially if the blog you get to write for as a guest is a highly authoritative blog.
Whatever you do, don’t sweat it. Just try to be natural when blogging. By all means, don’t try to impress other folks. Just express what you have to say while striving to create posts that offer high-value information to your audience.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.