Once you become a blogger, you see this bloody acronym everywhere.
What’s so important about it? Does it matter to me?
That depends. How important is website traffic to you? If you’re looking to gain exposure for your blog posts, having your blog found in search engines is a big plus. People searching for specific terms that relate to your posts will be able to find you.
Blog posts are naturally search engine friendly because
- blogs are frequently updated with new pages
- blog posts are text rich
- blog posts have links to other pages that are related to the blog post
So if you’ve been writing posts consistently, that are of average length and include links to other posts on your site that relate or other blogs that share the same niche, you’re already doing a great job at assisting the search engine spiders.
Spiders? Spiders my friend.
Ok, not real spiders.
It’s actually similar to a web browser. Search engine spiders crawl the www the same way you would surf the internet using safari or firefox.
It can start crawling anywhere and stop anywhere. It follows links to get from one site to another. When it’s done crawling, it takes what’s it learned and drops it into a database – a search engine’s database (Google’s, Yahoo’s, Bing’s, etc) where it’s indexed and saved. When a user enters a specific term into Google’s search box, the results are pulled from that database; ranking is based on relevance to the search term (and several other variables, to be explained in a more advanced post). The higher your post ranks in the search engine, the higher the possibility that your link will be clicked on.
So how do we optimize our blogs for search engines? Let’s start simple.
Basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips For Your Blog Posts
- Match your content to your title. Don’t name the post “thirty ways to barbeque foam cups” and then write about recycling for the environment.
- Use your post topic’s keywords in the post’s title and headings tags. This is how the spider “decides” whether your content body is relevant to the post title. For example, if you want your post to be found by users searching for “after bedtime activities” then your post title and heading should have one or more of these words in them. Such as
- Title/(h1)MainHeading: Bedtime Activities For Toddlers
- (h2)Sub Heading: Toddler Bedtime Stories
- (h2)Sub Heading: Bedtime Games
- (h2)Sub Heading: Bedtime Stories
- (h2)Sub Heading: Tips For Putting Your Toddler Down at Bedtime
- Quick Rule: Only one Main Heading per post
- Use secondary keywords in the body of your post. These are words that relate to the topic. Bold and italicize these words when possible. This also helps your friendly spider. Don’t go crazy, your post will look like crap.
- All images should have Alt Text that applies to your post. Spider can’t see images, but if there’s alternate text there, it counts for something.
- All images need a description – this is great for search engine indexing and as an excerpt when sharing on many social media platforms.
- Include links to other posts on your site and use actual anchor words. If you link to a post about barbeque sauces, be sure that the anchor words that are linked to the post is “barbeque sauces”, not the word “here” as we’ve all done. You want the anchor words to be relevant to the post you’re linking to.
- Choose Categories and Tags that relate to your post.
Install an SEO Plugin
Search Engine Optimization plugins help you to plug a meta title, meta description and meta keywords into your post page’s coding. This info is shown in the search engine results page (SERP) when your post is listed as the answer to a searcher’s query. The plugin offers you the ability to write an eye catching, alluring description of the post to be shown in the SERP, assiting in helping searchers choose a link to click.
Install sharing plugins on your post.
Get active on social media platforms.
Build your network. You need a network of peers to help you spread your post across the WWW.
The most important tip to SEO?
Write unique, meaty posts. Show Google and readers alike that you’re an authority on the subject.