Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a vital piece of your business and plays a big role in the success of your blog. What use is curating content if it’s not being read? That’s where the following SEO tips comes into play. A good SEO strategy should go hand in hand with each and every blog published on your website.
This article will focus on Google as a search engine seeing as it is the most-used search engine and handles more than three billion searches each day. According to statista.com, as of July 2016 Google owned 89.38% of the worldwide desktop market share.
The below pie chart illustrates the percentage in which the top 5 search engines are used worldwide.
Easy SEO Tips to Drive More Traffic to your Blog
‘Quality’ Content is King
You’ve probably heard it before and there’s a reason for that – content is king. When you look at a successful company or influencer, more often then not they started with quality content and loads of it.
- Leo founder of Buffer wrote 150 guest articles in 9 months growing his following from 0 to 100,000.
- Gary Vaynerchuk releases a video a day of inspiring content to his now 1 million followers.
- Dollar Shave Club released one high-quality, audience-related video that earned 12,000 followers in 2 days.
Needless to say, your SEO strategy starts and ends with content and it’ll play a key role in the success of your blog and in turn increase your ranking on Google.
Update Your Content!
You’ve started publishing all this content – now what? Don’t stop updating it. Google likes fresh updated content, content that isn’t forgotten about.
There is no right number for how long your article should be but one thing that’s for sure is “less is more” doesn’t apply to SEO. It’s proven that an article with 2,000 words will rank higher when compared to a similar article with 500 words. Social Media Today tested this theory and squashed the myth that shorter content is better for blogging.
— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) February 8, 2014
A keyword gives Google an idea of what your article is about so be specific when selecting one. There are many online tools available to assist you in this process, we recommend using Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner. To access the Keyword Planner, you have to have an AdWords account (don’t worry, it’s free)!
Search for Google AdWords Keyword Planner and type in a couple keywords that relate to your article. Select keywords to use based off average monthly searches and competition. You’ll want your keyword to be self-explanatory and relevant to your article.
Tip: Try to be as specific as possible with your keyword while ensuring your competition and average monthly search is still high.
Once you’ve decided on a keyword ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this keyword relevant to my article?
- When someone searches that keyword will it make sense with the topic of your blog?
Now try searching your keyword in Google. What is the competition like? What titles are being listed on Page 1? Compare the results with yours.
Use Different Forms of your Keyword (Stemming)
Don’t feel the need to always use your keyword in the exact way Google AdWords tells you to. Changing the tense and using it differently is less forced and more natural.
Testing your Keyword with your Content
We recommend using a free WordPress plugin called SEO by Yoast. Simply, add in your keyword and Yoast will grade your article based off their SEO criteria. The plugin also allows you to add a Title and Meta Description to be displayed on Google for search results. Yoast will provide you with suggestions using a ‘traffic light’ system dependent on your keyword and content (green = ready to go, orange = fix a couple things, red = take another look).
Moz goes into great detail about keywords in their Beginner Guide to SEO – Keyword Research.
Titles, URL and Descriptions, Oh my!
Front-Load Your Titles
If your title is long, make sure to front load your keywords at the beginning of it. Google prioritises the beginning of a sentence so be descriptive and focus on a couple keywords that best describe your article.
Avoid Stop Words
Stop words (a, the, of, for) are filtered out when a search query takes place in Google. It’s recommended that you remove or limit the use of stop words in your keywords and URL’s.
Using your keyword in your headings such as your <h1> or <h2> will help Google rank your keywords with higher importance.
Google has the need for speed!
Nobody likes waiting on a page to load, Google definitely doesn’t either. First, let’s find out how fast your website is – you can check your site speed on Google using Page Speed. Using the same traffic-light system as Yoast, you’ll want to make the necessary changes depending on your Page Speed results to optimise the areas that are slowing down your website.
Reduce/Remove Big Images
Normally, image size is one of the more common reasons for a slow website. A general rule of thumb is to reduce the size of large high-quality images from between 60K to 100K and for smaller images to be smaller than 30K.
Move to a Faster Hosting Provider
Yes, your hosting provider does play a role in the speed of your website. Now, we aren’t suggesting you switch to the most expensive hosting provider because it won’t get you on the first page of Google. However we do suggest that you don’t select your hosting provider based solely off of the price. Do your research and work with a reputable hosting provider with credible and proven uptime and speed.
— In-Tuition Networks (@intuitionnet) September 14, 2016
Title Your Images
Have you ever come across an image on someone else’s website titled “Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 3.34.49 PM”? We have and it is neither helpful or SEO friendly. Take the extra second and title your images appropriately keeping in mind your specific keyword for the article. If it makes sense, add your keyword into your image title – if you can’t, don’t worry, just use a descriptive title for the image.
Alternate (‘Alt’) Text
This is a big one and a lot of people choose to ignore it. When you upload your image in WordPress, add alternate text to the image. The purpose of ‘Alt Text’ is if [for some reason] your image path is incorrect or broken and your file isn’t shown, the alt text will be displayed in its place. This is not only good practice but also very helpful for ranking.
It can get tedious to provide a description for every image but the more relevant areas on your website using your specific keyword, the better your chance at higher ranking on Google.
Linking is a big factor in your search ranking and can also help internally refer your traffic to older posts.
Tip: Use the defining words as a link as opposed to “Click here” or “Read more”.
There are two types of linking that’ll help your Google rank:
- Internal: Linking from an article on the same domain to a different page on the same domain will help your readers navigate your website and spread link juice (ranking power).
- Outbound: If you’re using information you’ve found from another website, make sure you acknowledge that company and link to their article. Outbound linking provides search engines with extra evidence on the topic and credibility of your blog. As you’ve seen throughout this article, don’t be afraid to give credit where credit is due.
Submit a XML Sitemap to Google
If you’ve downloaded SEO by Yoast, your XML sitemap will be created for you which you can find under SEO > XML Sitemaps.
How to Submit a XML Sitemap from Google:
- Sign in to Google Search Console.
- If you have already added your website, select it. If not, follow the instructions to add your website.
- In the left sidebar, click Crawl and then Sitemaps.
- Click the Add/Test Sitemap button in the top right.
- Enter the Yoast Sitemap URL found in the step above into the text box that appears.
- Click Submit.
Submitting a sitemap to Google takes away all the guesswork Google has to do to discover your website pages. Remember, Google ranks all web pages not just a website as a whole.
Now, you know the saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’? Well, unfortunately the same goes for SEO; your website won’t just jump from page 30 to page 1 overnight. SEO takes time and patience but it will pay off. Stick to these 7 SEO tips and you’ll notice an increase in traffic to your website.
Thanks for reading! Tweet us @intuitionnet and let us know your easy SEO tips.
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