Have you noticed how difficult it is for new blogs to rank well on search engines like Google these days? It was not difficult few years ago. It all started being difficult after Google introduced Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird algorithms and their updates. These days, it is not only quality contents that can make your blog articles rank high when people search the topic. There are other search engine optimization tips you need to know and implement if you want to get noticed as a blogger. If you are a WordPress blogger, you find these tips I will reveal in this article more useful.
You don’t need to waste thousands of dollars in order to rank high on search engines. There are some basic tips you will implement that will make you get noticed on search engines faster without spending much. The differences between successful bloggers and others are the tips they knew and implemented on their websites.
Gone are the days when bloggers rank well on search engines just with keyword stuffing on articles and meta tags. These days, if you do it, search engines, especially Google will mark your domain name down or even ban your site forever. This means that no matter what effort you put, you will never get noticed. That is how frustration starts! Follow these tips and watch your site grow, with organic traffic from search engines.
Note that ranking number 1 on search engines, especially Google does not happen overnight. It requires hard work and time, sometimes up to a year or even more. So be ready to put in the required effort and allow time tell the rest. You need these tips to drive free legit traffic to your blog posts and also increase their engagements.
How to Optimize your Blog and Posts for Search Engines
Choose the Right Blogging Platform
There are many blogging platforms to choose from. But some have advanced features that can help blogs perform well within a short period of time. Some of the popular platforms are Google Blogger, WordPress, Medium and Tumblr. Each of these blogging platforms has its pros and cons.
For Google Blogger, it is free. This means you don’t need to pay for hosting plan. But it is meant for beginners, those who have not decided to take blogging as a full time work.
Tumblr is a popular micro-blogging platform where you can post anything and share it with your friends. You can also follow other blogs while other bloggers find your blog and also follow you.
Medium is an advanced blogging platform to Google Blogger and Tumblr. Your post can rank faster, but you still have limited blog optimization resources, unlike someone who self-hosted on platform like WordPress.
The issue with these free blogging platform is that you don’t have the opportunity to self-host. Therefore you have limited resources at your disposal.
With WordPress, you have access to tons of plugins for optimizing your blog and article. Most of these plugins are are free, although some of them have premium versions. You also have full control of your site. Once you renew your domain name and hosting plan annually, and also secure your site, your site will always be available.
So, I recommend WordPress platform. Here are some cheap and reliable blog hosting companies I recommended. Medium is also a good blogging platform and a community of writers, much more like a social networking site. If you are confused on whether to choose WordPress or Medium, then check out this article.
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Choose the Right Blogging Niche
Blog niches are different categories of information bloggers specialize on. For example, health, business, SEO, fashion, lifestyle, etc. are some of the niches you can choose from.
You can build a multi-niche site by combining 2 or more niches. There are also micro-niche blogs that specialize on an aspect of the niche. For instance, Beauty can be seen as an aspect of Fashion niche. The best idea is to concentrate on a niche. But if you want to combine more than one niche on a blog, make sure that they are related.
There are some blog niches that are almost saturated, this means that new blogs in such niche will find it extremely difficult to rank high in that niche. While there are some other niches your blog can rank easily. Your blog niche will determine the category of articles you will write. I have revealed some categories of blog articles that have heavy search density, where new blog can rank faster.
Choose SEO-Friendly Themes
Your blog theme has a big role to play in the entire performance of your blog. Search engine optimized WordPress themes are light in weight, easy to customize, very responsive and mobile friendly. A good blog theme can help increase your site post engagement because your audience will only spend more time on your blog if they can easily navigate between articles and your site does not load slowly.
There are tons of sites where you can buy WordPress themes, but these are the few trusted theme sites that where you can get an SEO-friendly theme at an affordable rate. Always use quality premium themes. Avoid the free versions of any theme.
Target Long Tail Keywords
When you target long tail keywords, you will rank for many other keywords you may not have known. Targeting long tail keywords means you have to explain every bit of the topic you are writing on. In order to achieve this, you need to carry proper keyword research using Google keyword planner and Keyword.io.
First put in your main keyword on Google keyword planner and select the relevant suggested keywords. Then copy these selected keywords to keyword.io for further analysis. It will suggest more keyword. Check the long keywords. Many bloggers usually avoid them. Concentrate on them and Google will easily notice your content if it contains rich information.
Write Quality Content
Content has always been the king when it comes to blogging. Carry out extensive keyword research when writing articles for your blog. Make sure users find almost all answers that they need about the topic in your article. An easy way to achieve this is to provide links to articles that covered other things that are beyond the scope of your article.
There are some some keyword research sites and tools that can help simplify the article keyword research process. Know the main keywords and the auxiliary keywords. SemRush is one of the best keyword research tools that can also help you analyze your site and its contents and also improve your blog SEO.
Another way to produce a unique quality content is to first search the topic on search engines. Read what the first 3 sites wrote. Take note of the tools they used in solving the problem. Then create your content and solve the same problem with another tool. For example, if you want to write on How to optimize YouTube videos, and you noticed that they provided the solution using TubeBuddy, write on how to solve the same problem with another YouTube tool or may be two tools, TubeBuddy and another. Search engines will discover your article, crawl it and index it faster.
Always write short sentences that are easy to understand. Lengthy sentences are more difficult to understand. Also write short paragraphs that will not scare your audience. Make your blog articles detailed, at least from 1000 words and above. Also allow your ideas to flow and let it be well organized. These are some of the tips that will help you create powerful contents that search engines and your audience love.
I usually spend hours whenever I visit sites like Neil Patel, Quick Sprout, etc. without feeling that I have stayed too long. It is because their articles are very informative and engaging.
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Use Heading Tags Properly
Your post title is usually the heading 1. So always start your next subtitle with heading 2. Use these tags according to the information that will come under that heading. A subtitle under the first subtitle should be given heading 3, and so on. When you arrange your content this way, search engines will understand every bit of your content, then properly crawl and index them.
Utilize Inbound Linking
Google loves engaging article. Likewise other search engine. Inbound links help to reduce your site’s bounce rate, making sure that your audience don’t feel bored while reading your articles. But it must be properly done, else it will affect your blog negatively.
Add most of your links within sentences, but make sure it sounds natural and not like a spam. Make sure the anchor text of all your links properly describes the links content. This is because search engines compare the contents of the link with what the anchor text said about the link to confirm if they are correctly related.
Also add the URL of your new posts in some of your older posts that have been crawled and indexed by search engines. This will make search engines crawl and index the new post when updating changes made to the older post.
Add Meaningful Keywords to your Post URL
Post URL or permalink also plays important role in SEO. Search index your site URL and also use it to know the type of content the page will carry. Add few of your post keywords in its URL. You can edit any of your post’s URL. Make sure the URL phrase sounds meaningful. Like I said earlier, if you stuff too much keywords in your URL, search engines will know.
Never edit URLs of posts you have published previously. It might permanently affect your site’s ranking on search engines. If you must do it, make sure you use URL redirection plugins to tell search engines that you changed it.
Use SEO Plugins to Optimize your Posts
One of the benefits of using WordPress platform is the availability of free plugins that simplify any task. There are many plugins you can use when writing article. These plugins will tell you which part of your article should be restructured and how you can go about it. I revealed these powerful free WordPress plugins for SEO and security.
Proper Use of Meta tags
When people search your blog on search engines, there is a way your search results should be arranged, instead of just listing everything in a single pattern. A site with well organized meta tags will have its search results summarized, with links to some important articles and categories of article. You can configure your site’s meta tags with the help of Yoast SEO plugin.
Also optimize the alt tags and description of your article images. Alt tags summarize to search engines what your site images are all about. Description is where you explain the content of the image in full. Both play important roles on your blog’s SEO ranking. This is because search engines can only crawl and index your blog pages properly if they understand all the aspects of the pages.
Update your Old Articles
Search engines, especially Google always make sure they provide latest information to online readers. If you notice a recent change in a topic you have covered previously on your blog, edit that article and update it. That is one of the ways to make search engines trust information from your blog articles.
Also check out for broken links on your site posts. There are some sites you used as reference when writing some of your post. Some of these sites and resources may no longer be available. You need to update them. If you blog on WordPress platform, you can use the Broken Link Checker plugin to discover and easily update those broken links on your site.
Utilize Google Search Console for Webmasters
Google console is the free tool Google designed for bloggers and webmasters to help them optimize their websites. You will see keywords in which your articles rank high and the devices that give you more traffic. This will help you know the type of articles to write and how to do keyword targeting better.
You can manually submit your sitemap to Google search engine through this tool. Go to google.com/webmasters to login or get started.
Check your Blog’s Total SEO Performance
It is very important to check your blog’s total SEO score from time to time and do some adjustments. There are many SEO tools that will help analyze your site and calculate its SEO score. It is mostly rated over hundred. A score from 70% and above means your search engine optimized. They will also suggest how you can improve your site’s SEO score. Here are the free small SEO tools I recommended for every blogger.
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Submit Guest Posts to High Domain Authority Sites
Guest blogging is one of the ways of getting do-follow backlinks. These days, search engines like Google take quality backlinks very serious. They believe that other sites will only reference your articles if it has quality contents. So when you have a backlink with a sites that have high Domain Authority (DA), it gives a good impression on your blog.
Another way to get quality do-follow backlinks is by commenting on high ranking blogs. Be very careful when doing this because if not properly done, you may end up creating a spam impression for your blog. Make sure your comments are meaningful and also comment with your blog author name. You must not include a link to your blog, only include it if it very necessary. You can just mention your blog name there. This is a cool way to increase your blog’s domain authority and page authority.
Write for Popular Online Magazines
Online magazines have more online readers who pay every month to receive new contents. There is no big deal in writing for these magazines. Some of these online magazines even pay creative freelance writers, who can produce unique and engaging articles, from 3000 to 5000 words. If you follow the right steps, your article will be accepted.
Magazines like Forbes, Entrepreneur, etc. have amazing domain authority. So when writing for them, include a link to your site. This a cool way of growing your domain authority and at the same time growing your audience. When their readers find your site informative and engaging, they will subscribe to your site news letters and become your regular site audience.
Submit your Sitemaps to Search Engines
Sitemap contain all the links to your blog pages and posts. They help search engines understand the structure of your blog. Normally, once you properly setup SEO plugins like Yoast, they will automatically submit your sitemaps to search engines. If you use free blogging platforms like Google Blogger, you need to manually submit your sitemaps to search engines.
Create YouTube Videos
If you have great contents on your blog, support them with professional videos on YouTube. These days, people prefer watching video tutorials to reading tutorial articles. When you publish your videos on YouTube, embed them in the related tutorial article. Here is a guide to help you optimize you publish and optimize your YouTube Videos.
To embed a YouTube video on a WordPress article, simply open the article from your admin dashboard and paste the link directly on the editor. The thumbnail will be generated automatically. Then update the article.
Increase your Articles Engagement and Visibility with
People understand your points better and faster when you back it up with illustrative images. That is why illustrative infographics are powerful tools for engaging your readers and making sure they understood your points.
Design quality inforgraphics and add some texts. Don’t just stack up images for your audience. Share your infographics with your blogger colleagues on social media or other platform and encourage them to include the infographics in their blog articles. Make sure you add copyright with the name of your blog when designing the graphics. This way their readers will know the real source of the graphics. Some of these readers will visit your site to know more. That’s one way to increase your blog article’s visibility and conversion.
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You have now known some important tips to help you rank number one in any search engine without spending much money. In summary, carry out extensive keyword research before writing any post on your blog. Also, pay more attention to your blog’s backlinks and domain authority. Also make sure you use quality, descriptive images to illustrate points when writing posts. I have pointed out many SEO tips in this article. But the best way to start is to pick about 2 or 3 points and start with them. Don’t just read, act fast!
Whenever you use copyrighted images, make sure you give the image owner due credit. Here are some sites where you can get quality HD images for free. If you have eCommerce store on your blog, see how to save your business and customers from formjacking. Do you need more blog SEO tips? Hear Neil Patel’s SEO advice.
Do you have any further inquiry or contribution? Drop it in the comment section and I will quickly attend to you. Share this SEO article with your fellow bloggers on social media. Also subscribe to our blog news letter via email for free. Enjoy!