SEO. You hear tons of bloggers talk about it but you may not even have the slightest clue as to what it is. That’s okay though. Take a deep breath and try to calm down your anxiety a bit – this is going to be quick and painless.
What SEO does is help make sure that your posts have the highest chance possible of being seen by the most people possible and basically make sure that your posts rank as high as they can in search engines.
So you can see why this is such an important topic to cover as a blogger.
SEO can be complicated, and it can definitely be overwhelming. It may even be a topic you’ve tried to completely avoid at all costs because you don’t even know where to begin with it.
This post though is going to walk you through everything you need to know about SEO in a way that actually makes sense and that you can understand…YAY!
Like I’ve said before, I am here for you and I’d like to make your life as a blogger as easy as possible.
P.S. if you haven’t started your blog yet, check out my easy step-by-step guide on how to easily set up a money making blog in just a few minutes!
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So, let’s dive in!
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What Does SEO Stand For?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. The higher the SEO of your post, the better off your post will be.
Like I mentioned earlier, posts with a good SEO score will rank higher on search engines, which means more traffic to your blog. And, if you’re hoping to monetize your blog, more traffic means more money.
- Install an SEO plugin
First things first, the absolute easiest way to optimize your posts is to let a plugin do all the work for you. SEO plugins will show you exactly what you have to do to optimize not only your posts but your entire website.
The plugin that I use and recommend is Yoast SEO. Simply install Yoast SEO (if you don’t know how to install a WordPress plugin I take you through the process step-by-step in THIS POST) and let the plugin tell you exactly what you have to do to optimize your posts and your site.
Yoast SEO is the only SEO plugin I’ve ever heard other bloggers recommend and it’s so obvious as to why. Once you install the plugin you’ll constantly see at the bottom of each post you write whether or not your post is properly optimized and what you have to fix if it isn’t.
This plugin literally spells out for you what exactly you have to do to make sure each post is optimized – it’s really as easy as that.
- Focus on meta titles and descriptions
A great thing about the Yoast SEO plugin is that it gives you the ability to change your meta title and descriptions. These two things are what show up in a search engine result, and by default search engines will use your blog post title as your meta title and the first few words of the body of your post as the description.
With Yoast SEO you can edit these things yourself which means you can optimize them as best as possible and add in keywords to make your posts more searchable (more on those in tip 4).
- Write long posts
I brush upon this topic in my post I wrote about how to write quality content. The meatier and longer your post, the better optimized that post will be. It’s best to aim for making each post at least 1,000 words (trust me, you’ll find this is much easier than it sounds!)
Think about yourself as a reader rather than a writer for a second. When you read someone’s post would you rather it be in-depth and detailed, or just a general overview of the topic that’s being written about that leaves you feeling like you didn’t even learn much? Obviously, we all want choice number one.
Most of time we read people’s posts to learn something, and we want to learn as much as we can about each topic.
Writing meatier and longer posts isn’t only beneficial to your readers, but it’s beneficial to your SEO as well. Longer posts will rank higher than shorter ones when it comes to search engine optimization.
- Optimize any images used
You should be using images within your posts as often as possible (this is another topic I brush upon in my post about how to write quality content). However you can’t just throw images into your post and call it a day – you must make sure those pictures are optimized.
When it comes to incorporating images in your post, you should focus on the title of the image itself when it’s saved on your computer, the title of the image within your post on WordPress, and the alt text.
When you first have the image on your computer, you should name it something that describes it. For example, if you’re using a picture of a dog wearing a hat, name it on your computer “Dog-Wearing-Hat.”
Once that image is uploaded to WordPress and incorporated into your post, edit it and add a title and alt text (and don’t forget those keywords!)
For the title of the image it’s smart to basically reuse the title of your blog post. For the alt text of the image you want to describe what is going on in the image.
By making sure all your images are optimized you’re just increasing the overall optimization of your blog even more, and that will lead to increased pageviews.
Keywords are probably one of the most important things to focus on when it comes to optimizing your posts. When you use high-ranking keywords in your posts, your post itself will then rank high, and that means more traffic coming to your blog.
As bloggers however we often struggle with what keywords we should be using. A site I love for this is Jaaxy. The great thing about Jaaxy is that you get 30 free keyword searches, so you can give it a test run and decide whether or not you like it before you commit to upgrading.
It’s important to incorporate keywords in as many of your posts as possible. When people search for something, the specific words that they type in to find what they’re looking for are keywords. So it’s understandable why it’s super important to make sure you’re using keywords in your posts that you know plenty of people are searching.
Some places you may want to include keywords include:
- Post titles
- Post content
- Post pictures
Interlinking is when you link your posts into each other – I’ve already done it a few times in this post itself. If you’re writing a post and realize that you’ve written something else that can relate to that topic you should always link to said post.
By interlinking you’re able to drive traffic to all of your posts, even your old ones, and this can make those posts rank higher.
I did extensive research before starting my own blog, literally 3 months worth. At certain points I would have at least 15 different tabs opened up on my browser because I would read a post and within that post the blogger would link to several of their other posts. I’d see the titles of those posts and realize that it was also something I wanted to learn about so I’d click the link, visit that page, and wind up reading yet another post of theirs. This probably wouldn’t have happened as often if those bloggers didn’t interlink.
Most people like when things are easy for them, and what’s easier than linking to basically all of the posts you’ve ever written all on the same page? It takes little to no work for your readers to navigate from one of your posts to another one when they’re all laid out and linked to in front of them, and that’s why it’s super important to interlink as often as possible.
- Customize your URL
The URL of your post is what pops up in the search bar when people navigate to that certain post, and making sure all your post URL’s are optimized as best as possible is a surefire way to increase that post’s pageviews. Your URL should be short, sweet, and to the point while still being filled with keywords.
Put These Tips to the Test
SEO can be super confusing, I know. It can often seem like a foreign language and that can make us want to block it out of our minds and pretend it doesn’t exist.
If you want to have a successful blog, however, it’s important that you pay attention to SEO as often as possible! A highly optimized blog and highly optimized blog posts will make your life as a blogger much more rewarding. You’ll experience more pageviews, a larger audience, and more opportunity to monetize your site.
If there’s anything specific regarding SEO that you’re struggling with, please let me know in the comments below – or even send me an email! SEO can be scary, I know, but I want to make it as easy as possible for you so that your blog is as successful as it can be.As a blogger it's super important to pay attention to your search engine optimization. Find out everything there is to know about SEO and watch your pageviews skyrocket! Click To Tweet