What Is SEO in Blogging? The Search Engines Demystified
What Does SEO Mean In Blogging?
Here is a basic search engine optimization (SEO) tutorial for ranking higher in Google and other search engines. This post teaches you (beginner bloggers) how to SEO optimize your blog posts.
You will learn a lot of SEO stuff here and hopefully make blog posts that get thousands of comments, thousands of social media shares, and first-page search engine rankings.
What Is SEO in Blogging?
SEO or search engine optimization is a collection of strategies that bloggers and web businesses use to land their pages on top of the search results pages and increase traffic to their online sites.
People use different search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google when searching for information or products on the web. Google, however, is the search engine most people use, capturing 90% of searches that people do.
Thus, with your SEO strategies, make sure that you can capture searchers that use Google, and you can do that by following its algorithm. Such algorithm changes from time to time, so always get updates about the changes they implement.
The latest change in this algorithm is about Google’s preference for helpful content. Following this, your content should not only be informative. It should also be beneficial, which means that when people come to your website, they leave it afterward with newfound knowledge useful in their lives.
Over the past few years, Google has also released updates to their algorithm, about which Hummingbird, Penguin, and Panda are the biggest. These updates set the rules on how web businesses and developers should structure sites for link building. Specifically, these rules cover both inbound links and using anchor text for outbound links.
Make sure that you keep yourself informed of algorithmic changes implemented in Google.
Check out this blog post by searchengineland on Google Penalites
How do bloggers do SEO? Top SEO Strategies for New Bloggers
Following are checklists of SEO strategies to incorporate along with helpful
On-page SEO checklist
Research about the ff:
Keyword Research and Search Results Page Analysis –
A crucial aspect of SEO (because you need to get information about what your target audience is searching for, the relevance of your topic, and what your competitors are doing).
Meta-tags, content structure, headlines
Infographics, videos, multimedia – for increasing user engagement
Internal links – links to other website sections and your other articles
Outbound links – to gauge the relevance of your topic
Share buttons – to prompt visitors to share your content
Technical SEO Checklist
Concerning this checklist, study about the ff:
Website speed (HTML size, JS minification, CSS styles, optimized images, server response time)
IP and URL canonicalization
Google Search Console (where you can add your website and check it for possible errors)
First, focus on content which should always be ff:
Use the ff. types of content:
Then let your target audience link to your site via:
Pay by share plug-ins
Social media share buttons
Basic Marketing Activities that can also affect SEO include:
How do bloggers rank on Google?
The SEO Basics for Bloggers
The strategies you can use are many for you to implement all at once, but you can tackle one at a time and start with three basic techniques: on-page SEO, outbound links, and right word count.
Once you have learned the basic strategies, you can use more SEO strategies you can find in the latter part of this post.
Despite the updates that happened in recent years in the Google algorithm, rules on on-page SEO did not change that much. Visitor engagement is still Google’s gauge for measuring ranking factors. Thus, when it comes to on-page SEO, the question you need to answer is: How long do your visitors read your content?
There is another thing that matters much for on-page SEO, and that is page loading speed. Page speed is one of the leading ranking factors of SEO.
Google wants to ensure a satisfactory user experience when people use the web, and fast-loading web pages achieve that. The algorithm update focused on page speed began to affect website rankings from July 2018.
Here is now the definition.
On-page optimization is the aspect of SEO that refers to strategies businesses employ to rank higher in search engines. You can use on-page optimization to increase the quality of your blogs and earn more traffic to your pages as a result.
Benefits of on-page SEO include:
Higher ranking for blogs and websites
Improved CTR (click-through-rate)
Increased organic searches
Fast website speed
Some strategies to use for this aspect:
Keyword research – Use keywords that search within your niche commonly use.
Competitor analysis – to know what strategy works for your competitors, which you can also apply to your blog
Meta description – Users look at the meta-description to get a summary of the content overall.
Heading tags – Google checks keywords on headlines and assumes that the post is about a particular topic.
Image alt tags – Alt tags act as keywords for images.
Internal linking and outbound linking – Use these strategies to link relevant pages within your website and link to relevant websites where additional information on the same topic exists.
Anchor text – Use this strategy to link your post to another page or post.
Content – Use easy-to-understand content that also provides information on your chosen keyword.
Paragraph – Paragraph formatting is also crucial to SEO. Use BOLD or ITALIC in definitions.
Broken links – Remove broken links in your site.
Readability improvement – Use content that is easy to read and understand.
Page speed – If the page loading speed, it is difficult to rank that page.
Robots.txt – Creating this file allows you to avoid overloading your site with too many requests from search engine crawlers. Also, create a sitemap.
Outbound Links or Backlinks
Understanding the outbound link is taking a step forward for your on-site SEO, and outbound links are tools that direct you to another webpage or a website altogether.
The aim of using these tools is to urge Google to recognize you as the center of the websites you use these tools to link to. Being recognized as a hub of those other websites will make you rank higher after a while. If the target webpage links back to you, that is another opportunity for ranking higher.
You can create outbound links in WordPress:
Edit an existing post or create a new one where you intend to add the link.
Highlight the text where you want to insert the hyperlink. The text highlighted is called anchor text.
Click the Link button. A new box will appear where you can paste the URL of your target webpage and click Enter.
Linking to high-authority sites can raise your ranking. If their content is related to your content and they are sites with high authority, it is to your advantage that you link your page to them to rank your site higher.
Backlinks are the tools for linking back to you, which, as already mentioned, the target webpage you have linked may do in return. If they do not link back to you, you can always use the inbound link strategy, which is a strategy that relates to creating great content.
Inbound link strategy:
First, create great, valuable content. Share your content on other sites, preferably forums and social networking sites.
Give comments and share information. In the end, post your link there.
Your goal here is to let other operators think that you have valuable content so that they will quickly link to you. A single Quora or Reddit post that will mention you and provide your link can drive traffic to your site.
The rule is to provide great content, and that applies to both inbound and outbound link marketing. Word Count – How Many Words a Blog Post Should Be to Help It Rank?
With the Panda update Google undertook a few years back, high-quality, long-form content became king. Panda punishes low-quality content, duplicate content, content farms, and thin, scraped content.
As a blogger, you need to be aware of your blog’s length. Your articles must be at least 300 words if that is enough to get your message across. For many businesses, writing anything less than 600 words is a no-no, and 1500 words or more is far better.
However, that does not mean you babble about rubbish. It just needs to be high quality and informative relative to your website.
Nonetheless, the longer your blog post is, the better ranking it will get, according to the SEO company SEMRush. CoSchedule, on the other hand, found in their study that articles with 2500 words rank the best.
White Hat and Black Hat SEO Tactics
In the world of SEO, there exist white hat and black hat SEO tactics. In contrast to the shady practice of using black hat strategies, white hat tactics use techniques that adhere to the guidelines set by Google. Google considers black hat tactics a form of cheating, and it disciplines or castigates the sites that use them by ranking them low.
Black hat strategies include:
Using link farms
Spamming blog comments
White Hat SEO
The best you can do to protect your blog and ensure continuous engagement with followers and customers is to keep those harmful tactics at bay and always follow white hat techniques.
At any rate, you have other options under the white hat category for SEO ranking, like the following:
Guest blogging allows targeting of high-quality websites and improving the odds of securing backlinks. It is about building authority and trust in the eyes of both people and search engines.
Write a few round-up posts.
Build relationships, preferably with experts belonging to your niche, and study the blogs that they publish.
Deliver your guest blog post, and be a pleasure to work with.
Press releases boost SEO, and if you do it effectively, a single press release can produce great results. Press releases are some of the best ways to generate interest.
Tips for press release SEO:
Use the best keywords and use them not more than five times within a press release article.
Use a scannable format. Search engines prefer scannable content, which means you need to break up your content into subheads, numbered lists, and bullet points.
Put links in your press release. Ideally, you put links that lead readers to your landing pages.
Make your Infographics clickable. As you will see, Infographics are an intersection of both traditional marketing and manual link building.
Create an account on Thinglink, and upload the image that you want
to tag. Add a hyperlink.
Share your clickable Infographics on social media and guest blogs.
Read blogs within your niche. If you find some blogs valuable and shareable, write your comments about the topic at hand. It is a strategy for building links back to your site and an opportunity to build relationships with people and experts in your industry.
When writing comments on blogs, always put your complete name and avoid over-optimizing with your keywords in the name section.
A private blog network (PBN) is a network of websites businesses use to build links to a single or central website. It is another black hat scheme, which works like link pyramids and link wheels. They use several websites that link to one another or a single, central website.
Avoid using a PBN network at all costs because if you get caught by Google using it, your ranking will suffer and cause a manual penalty.
There are two categories of penalties for black hat SEO – manual penalty and algorithmic penalty.
There is also the concept called the grey hat, defined by experts as the use of both white hat and black hat tactics. With that combination of tactics, grey hat SEO is neither white hat nor black hat, but something in the middle. Nonetheless, the practice is riskier than the white hat, but may not result in the offending site getting banned from search engines.