Free lunch! Free lunch!
You probably know that there aren’t any free lunches in this world.
Well, the closest any blogger/ online entrepreneur can ever get to getting FREE stuff is through SEO.
Caveat: You do spend a ton of up front work to get ranked, but after that, it’s a good ride to be on.
Every day, tons of blog owners earn loads and loads of money off free traffic from Google.
Here are some simple SEO blog tips you can implement right now to up-level your search engine game.
My experience with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO started out as something foreign to me. S..E.. what? I soon learned that SEO is basically the art & science of getting your website ranked in Google.
Do you feel like SEO is this overtly technical thing that you have to master? That was how I felt too.
People search for a keyword they are searching for, click on your website, and ta-dah!
You have a new visitor and a potential customer.
Then, I went through this phase of delusion. I thought that it was going to be a piece of cake ranking stuff at #1.
Here’s a piece of cake for you:
Imagine my sore disappointment when I realized that I’d done everything I could but I was still not ranking yet.
You know, those people that promise you #1 rankings in XYZ day? Those aren’t real claims, people!
Fast forward to today. I want you to know that it’s possible to rank, but it takes time and intentional effort.
I’m going to share some of the most fundamental tips right here to get more organic traffic – you’ll love it!
Why you should care about SEO, even as a newbie blogger/ entrepreneur
That picture should actually say “Organic traffic is just like fine wine,” but you get the idea.
It’s one of the largest sources of traffic… that’s free!
Small tweaks to make your website more Google-friendly will give you a huge ROI in the long-run.
One of the greatest perks of blogging is having tons of content for Google to potentially rank.
As your website matures, you start having more authority in Google’s eyes – and you get even more visitors than the month before.. and the cycle goes on and on!
Imagine this.. you wake up to tons of traffic every day from Google, day in and day out for relevant keywords in your industry.
These people engage, subscribe, and some eventually purchase your stuff – daily!
All excited now?
SEO Blog Tips For Newbies:
1. Keywords matter
In the search engine’s eyes, those videos you have, that flash content, that awesome design… its just random code to Google.
Words matter because Google can comprehend words.
Specifically, keywords matter.
Keywords are words that you want to rank for. Use the Google keyword planner to figure out exactly what keywords you want to target!
Each article should have one target keyword.
Whatever you do, make sure your keyword is relevant to your article. Do not try to force feed particular keywords that don’t align with what your article is actually about.
Under “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category,” type in keywords relevant to your post.
Google will crank out suggestions of keywords for you:
Pick a keyword, and optimize your article for that keyword!
2. Update title tags
The title tag is a big factor that Google uses to understand what your blog post is about. If you wanna change just one thing in your post, it would be the title tag.
Ensure that your title tag has your targeted keyword and is under 55 characters.
Google displays only 55 characters in search results, so anything more than that will not be read by search engine users anyway.
Watch your characters, and add in your keyword!
3. Update meta description
Meta descriptions are what you see in the search engines underneath the title. Its primary function is to entice readers to click through to your post.
Keep your meta description within 150 – 160 characters, and have your keyword inside. Google will bold any keywords if it is in your description when someone searches it.
This increases your click through rate.
4. Uplevel your interlink game
One of the best ways to let Google know what your post is about?
Link to your own posts with the relevant keyword.
Here’s a useful analogy:
Imagine Google’s bots as spiders crawling around your website. Links allow for more efficient crawling, and the bots can move from page to page.
Also, using your keywords in your links to your own pages help signal to Google what your article is about.
This also helps to reduce your bounce rate as more people click on your links and visit multiple pages. (see what I did that? I linked to another page using my target keyword)
5. Beef it up
Beef up your content (without sacrificing quality, of course!)
The more words your article has, the better Google can understand what your content is about, and rank your articles for the relevant keywords.
I keep my blog posts to at least 1000 words unless there’s a particular reason why I want to keep the post short, such as in my insane quick tips series.
6. Add alt text for images
All those beautiful images you have, not being read by Google… what a pity! Use relevant keywords in the alt text of your images.
The same applies for the title of your images too.
7. Change your permalink structure
Your permalinks matter.
They should look something like this: http://raelyntan.com/create-lead-magnet,
and not http://raelyntan.com/2016/5/6/create-lead-magnet, or worst, http://raelyntan.com/p=81?.
Use dashes to separate different words.
Use a 301 redirect plugin if you’ve people (or your own posts) linking to your post before changing the permalink!
8. Install the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin
Thankfully, we have an awesome WordPress plugin that will help you do most of the above.
It generates a string of content checks to ensure that your blogpost is nicely optimized.
9. Increase your site speed
Make sure your site is running FAST. Google penalizes slow sites.
Increasing your site speed is a whole other article on its own, but these 2 tips will help you to speed up your site significantly.
- Compress all your images. All images on my site go through 2 rounds of compression. First, I compress my images manually using tinypng.com. I also install a plugin called WP Smush that automatically compresses any images I upload further.
- Run a Pingdom test, and under “File Requests,” sort the requests by load time. You’ll be able to see what files are being opened and how long it is taking. Look at the requests which are taking the longest time to load, and delete them if you can. When I did this, I deleted a bunch of files, and my site sped up significantly.
Optimize your blog posts for Google with the following steps:
- Have every post target a particular keyword
- Optimize title tags
- Write interesting and click-worthy meta descriptions
- Create longer posts
- Alt text for images
- Interlink abundantly
- Optimize permalinks
- Use the Yoast SEO plugin for more assistance
- Increase your site speed
If you complete these steps, you would already have a leg up above 50% of all content creators.