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blogging 101 Series
SEO Tips for Beginners
I could write a book on SEO tips. It's one of those topics that is kind of never ending and always evolving. If you haven't started implementing SEO on your blog you need to get onto it, like right now.
You have most likely started your blog and you probably thought setting it up was the hard part. Guess what? Blogging is a whole lot more complicated than just picking a pretty template and writing some posts. No matter how fabulous your posts are (and I know they are). Unless you want to be the only one reading them, you are going to have to start implementing some super ninja SEO tips to start driving traffic to your site.No matter how fabulous your posts are unless you want to be the only one reading them, you are going to have to start implementing some super ninja SEO tricks to start driving traffic to your site. Click To Tweet
What is SEO?
Let's start with the basics. SEO is short for search engine optimisation and it is the key to getting your blog posts seen out there on the world wide web. At the most basic level SEO is how Google (and other search engines) recognise your website as a CURRENT source of information. We could get all technical but I'm trying to avoid that, so think of it this way – there's a reason they call it the world wide web. The internet is a giant web of information. A search engine's job is to send out little spider ‘bots' to ‘crawl' for information and make sense of it.
Those little critters crawl through sites and organise the information by what is current, useful and getting action (shares, visits, comments and that sort of thing – over 100 different factors actually). Your site needs to be like a fly caught in a web – shaking things up a bit so those little spider bots take notice and come and find you. Your goal should be to provide the answers for the questions people are asking in the search bar. When someone goes to Google to search for the topics you write about, you need to have made enough ‘noise' to be featured in the search results as a good source of information.
How to Make the Right Kind of Noise
You need your own domain and hosting. Google just doesn't take the free hosting sites seriously, so they don't do any favours for your SEO.
There are a tonne of different hosts you can use for private domains and website hosting. My advice no matter which provider you choose, is to get the highest level of hosting that you can afford. Most hosting companies have tiers. The more you pay, the better services you will get and it does make a difference to the performance of your site. Start where you feel comfortable and you can always upgrade later. I personally use Host Papa and have been really happy with their support and customer service.
Use an SEO optimised Theme
You need to use a well-designed, SEO optimised theme for your blog. Google takes this into account when it decides if you are a trustworthy site. It also helps you stand out from the crowd if your site is pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate.
Install an SEO Plugin
If you want to make your life a whole heck of a lot easier, get yourself the Yoast SEO Plugin.
There are several other SEO plugins available. I've found Yoast to be the most user-friendly, especially for the new blogger. Yoast has a simple traffic light system that helps walk you through the steps to get your posts and pages optimised. Yoast also has a fantastic support system and best of all it's free! You can upgrade, but it's not necessary when you are just starting out.
Solve Readers Problems with Your Own Original Content
Google has built its entire platform around providing its users with useful and relevant search results.
Pretty much the most important thing you can do to improve your SEO is to create seriously useful content that solves problems for users. If you solve problems that people are searching for answers for, then half the battle is won. Remember too, that these days “original content” can be so much more than just writing. Photography, podcasts, apps, tools and most importantly VIDEO are huge factors in increasing your reach.
Video and images help you build relationships with your readers because they quickly and easily help them out. If you content helps them out then they will share it on social media. The more that things get shared the better results you are going to get in your search engine ranking (we are all after the Google page one position!).
Build Natural Relevant Backlinks
If you are just getting started with this SEO business you are probably wondering what backlinks are. Basically, it's when another website links back to your site from their site. Here is my best advice on backlinks:
Don't ever buy them – you will find plenty of services that offer to create backlinks for you for $5. Don't do it – it's as bad as buying fake followers on social media. It's gonna hurt you in the long run. Google is onto these types of services and if you get caught out you can find your site banned by Google. You really don't want that.
The Source of the Links Matters – the site that creates a backlink for you matters! If it's a highly regarded source with authority (for example like a .gov or .edu) it will give you more credibility than hundreds of backlinks from small sites.
Anchor Text is your Friend –
The anchor text is the words that are used as the link in the text. For example: Get Your Brainstorm Your Ideal Client Workbook here.
The highlighted text is the ‘anchor text.' You want the words you use here to be related to the keywords you are using in your SEO. Also, remember to include backlinks to your own content. It is really, really important. Create links to other relevant articles on your blog or to your social media. Every single one of them counts as a backlink!
These are just 5 simple but powerful SEO tips to get you started on rocking your site. I'll be sharing some more SEO tips soon so keep your eyes out for those!
Here's to you success,