SEO in blogging is a practice all bloggers should understand if they really want their blogs to be readable. SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. As a very basic definition, it is the practice of making your content friendly to the search engine. Thus, search engines rank your blog in the first search results for users to read it.
Now, one might ask why we should care about search engines if we can bring website visitors from anywhere else. Well, this might be true in some cases as web visitors are not necessarily using search engines. However, the highest percentage of the traffic visiting your website is most probably coming from search engines.
Take yourself as an example. When you find a difficult term that you don’t understand or a topic that you need to know more about. What is the first thing you do? 99% of the time, you will google it. So, SEO in blogging is important to increase your blog opportunities in appearing on the first results page.
Now, let’s move on with some of the best practices and how to optimize your blog.
SEO in blogging best practices
Perhaps, this is the most common practice among SEO practitioners. Using keywords is the first thing you should do to make sure that search engines know what your blog is about. However, keyword stuffing as some people used to do is now a very useless technique. Search engines became more intelligent than before and they actually read your content!
So, to do this step in a proper way, pick a highly searched keyword. Then, use some of the free keyword analysis tools like keyword planner to get relevant keywords. Focus your content on the main keyword and use some of the other relevant keywords throughout your content. Also, use synonyms of the keywords to make sure you covered all the alternatives.
Next, use long-tail keywords. These are the key phrases that include the main keyword within. For example, if you are writing about web hosting, your main keyword may be web hosting. Long-tail keywords can include Bandwidth in web hosting or web hosting vs WordPress hosting.
Keywords should be distributed along with your article. Proper places for the main keyword are the title, URL, Meta description, introduction, conclusion, and headings. Other than those places, you can distribute your keyword among the whole content. Also, it is better to have a domain name that includes one of your keywords. Go for easy-to-remember domain names that represent your business.
SEO in blogging is not only for search engines. We are not creating content for the search engines to read. Instead, we are creating content for real readers who ought to get some value from this content. So, always make sure your content is readable and easily understandable by users.
Readability also includes dividing your content into sections with sub-headings for each section. This makes the content more attractive for the reader. So, it increases its readability.
Also, using transition words and active voice is part of increasing the readability. In general, try to write for a normal person and avoid very complicated terms.
Internal and external links
Links are very important elements for SEO in blogging. Generally, there are two types of links; internal and external links. Internal links are those linked to internal pages from your website. Whereas external links direct to other websites.
The aim of adding internal links is to attract your visitors and keep them on your website as much as possible. So, whenever you write any content on your blog, try to add internal links to other useful and related pages.
On the other side, external links direct users outside your website. However, they can be useful if they are linking to trustworthy websites. Also, if you are using affiliate marketing techniques, external links are a must.
One tip here for external links is to adjust their settings to open in a new tab instead of loading in the same tab. This way, your visitors won’t leave your website when they click on an external link.
Creating a site map is an important step for SEO in blogging. A site map is a map that describes what your site includes. It has all the pages organized in a hierarchal form to guide search engines on your website. Thus, they can easily crawl all your pages and find relevant content when a user searches for a certain term.
Sitemaps are also useful for you as help you organize your blog. When you create your sitemap, you can discover if there is any redundant content or some pages you need to add or delete. Sitemaps should be created in XML format. If you don’t know how to create it, you can simply draft a map for the website on an application or even a paper. Then, you can opt for a search engine optimization plan from experts to help you in creating your XML sitemap.
Page responsiveness and speed
Page responsiveness is how the page responds to user interaction. Whereas page speed is the time taken by each page to load. These two elements are essential for better SEO practices as they can attract users to your website or cause them to close it immediately.
The internet is full of varieties. So, if users cannot find what they are looking for in your website quickly, they will simply turn to another website. Similarly, if they keep clicking on a tab or link on your website and it doesn’t direct them where it should do, they will get bored easily.
Responsiveness is also related to being mobile-friendly. Now, most online website visitors use mobiles to access everything. Thus, you need to make sure that your blog looks good on a mobile screen. This means pages should adapt to smaller screens and have all of the tabs and buttons available on these small screens.
Page responsiveness and speed are technical steps your web developer should do. However, if you are just starting your website on a WordPress template and don’t have huge resources, you can use a website builder package. It offers all of the necessary features for building from basic to very professional websites.
SEO in blogging includes technical practices as well as aesthetical ones. The design of your website also has a role in how your website appears in search results. Websites with poor designs or static templates won’t rank high in search engine results.
Alternatively, very complicated designs aren’t good either as users get confused. The perfect website design is the one that is visually attractive with no many details on the front pages. At the same time, it is easy to navigate and move across pages. Furthermore, it shouldn’t have many buttons or tabs directing to the same pages.
Broken links are actually a practice you should avoid this time. These are links in your website or blog that used to work before but now they are broken. They might have stopped working for different reasons. Regardless of the reason, you should always check your website for broken links and either repair or remove them.
One of the things that can downgrade your blog in the search engine ranking is broken links. If the crawler discovered that one of the results it shows on the search results page is a broken link, it may discard other pages from the website.
Last but not least, the security of your website. Users should always guarantee they are visiting a safe website. Thus, most search engines will check whether your website has an SSL certificate or not. SSL certificates mean your blog is encrypted. Therefore, data transfers in an encrypted form between senders and receivers reducing the chances of hacking over this data.
Currently, web browsers show a warning message for users before accessing any website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate. So, you need to consider buying an SSL certificate whatever your blog is about.
Now, it might be confusing but SEO is important for blogging and blogging improves SEO. In fact, it is a cycle where both affect each other. SEO in blogging is essential for blogs to rank high and appear in search engine results. On the other side, blogging in SEO is important as blogs add new content to the websites and increase their chances of appearing in the search engine results.
SEO in blogging is a wide sphere with many practices that keep updating every day. Therefore, you should always read and discover new tricks to regularly update your blog. Search for SEO blogging tips and try them yourself to become an SEO expert.
So, start your blog right now to try some of these practices. They can be so much fun if you really understand how to do the steps in the right form. More importantly, you will feel great when you see some of your blog pages appearing in the search engine results.