No one can ignore the importance of Search Engine Optimization in websites and blogs. We should optimize our site for search engines in order to gain traffic. If not, you won’t get results as expected.
Search engine is not a human and has no brain to understand what kind of post you wrote. It works on complex algorithms, so we have to tell more about the post using basic SEO practises. You may be familar with the term meta description and keywords. They occupies major part of SEO, but we have to do many more things for getting more traffic from the search engines.
Our post covers most important SEO factors for beginners to get more readers and rank higher on Google.
Inform search engines what type of website is yours. It can’t identify the nature of site by domain or articles. You have to insert relevant keywords and description in header files. Thanks to SEO plugins, which made your work easier.
If you are using Yoast SEO, go to Titles & Meta section. Tap Homepage menu from the main window. Here you can add Meta description and Keywords for the site. The description will appear along with your blog name in search results. Insert keywords relating to your posts. If any one searched with that keyword, Google will show your site link in results.
2. Categories and Tags
Customize categories section. While searching certain topics like Blogging or iPhone, you will see related category pages in some site. By going to that page, you can browse various posts relating to searched topic. It is category page in that site.
Add relevant keywords, description to easily identify your category page. Always use your focus keyword in slug. Go to Posts > Categories/Tags to edit.
3. Page Titles
Page title is important for any blog post. It should be simple, unique and contain main keyword of your article. Do not copy paste titles from other sites. It will adversely affect your website SEO.
4. Description and Keywords
Your blog post should contain,
- Meta description with focus keyword.
- Focus keyword to quickly mention the content.
- Meta keywords
What types of keywords can you given ? Before publishing a post, just search in Google with your desired title or focus keyword. Now you can see a number of related searches on search box and at the bottom of the page. Add most related search queries to your Meta keywords box.
5. Image Optimization
High resolution images may slow down your website. In such a situation, users will leave the site suddenly which will be a bad mark for you in search engines. If it repeats again and again, Google will degrade your ranking. It means you will lose the traffic from search results. Optimize, resize images is the only solution to overcome this issue.
Fill image title and Alt text with focus keyword of your post. It is useful to get traffic from image searches. While sharing images on Pinterest like photo sharing sites, it will automatically pull down keyword given. So image keyword will bring traffic from two sources- search engines and photo sharing sites. Amazing. Is it ?
If you are a WordPress user your site’s default permalink will be,
It doesn’t help you in any way as there is no post name or keyword.
Change it to,
Use brief URLs and remove stop words from the slug. Each word should be separated by a hyphen ‘-‘. Otherwise search engines can’t collect keywords from it. If they fail, you will lose the traffic.
7. Page Speed
Page speed is the main factor that affects your ranking. We already found how can we optimize images for speed. But what about other sections ?
There are several things in a website which will increase your page loading time dramatically. If you are WordPress user, use only neccessary plugins in the blog. The speed will decrease according to the number of plugins or themes installed.
Check your page speed using Google PageSpeed Insights and make needed changes, if any. Remove java script and enable Minify in settings.
Use cache plugin to delete unwanted junk and cache files. W3 Total Cache is the best choice in the category. Remove old post revisions to further speed up the blog. Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions plugin is useful to remove pingbacks, trackbacks, spammed items, unused tags, revisions and otimize database.
Animations, graphics, videos are other possible reasons of slow speed.
8. Internal Links
Internal linking is an effective method to reduce your bounce rate and make the readers to spend more time with your blog.
While writing a SEO related post, link it with other similar posts in your site using anchor text or post title. So the readers can quickly go to the said post for more. This process is beneficial for both the parties. You will get more page views and users will get more knowledge.
9. Follow up Posts
If you found any post gets more traffic than others, write a follow up post with latest or additional information. Cross link each other for more traffic.
Recently I wrote a blog post,
and came to know that readers liked it suddenly. So I wrote a follow up post to it. You can read it here,
This strategy worked best for me even before. You can try it in your blog too.
10. Broken Links
Broken link is a link on your web page which no longer works. There are several reasons to become a link dead.
- The destination website is unavailable.
- The connected page has been modified, changed or deleted.
- Error in the entered URL.
- The destination website using firewall to prevent access from certain countries.
Dead links will create negative impact on your website ranking and online reputation. Broken link check is an online tool to quickly find out broken links on your blog. WordPress users can make use of Broken Link Checker plugin to monitor and remove dead links in one click.
11. Search Console
Create a webmaster account for your blog. After publishing, submit your URL to Google, Bing and Yandex search consoles. Don’t forget to update them regularly with your sitemaps.
Find out what type of keywords worked best for you (Google webmaster account > Search Traffic > Search Analytics). Google will alert you with messages, if they found any difficulties in crawling your site. Rectify them as easrly as possible (Google webmaster account > Crawl > Crawl errors).
12. Google Analytics
Set up a Google Analytics account for your blog. It is useful to track visitors, their location, activities and what keywords they used to reach your site. You can plan future posts according to those reports.
Create many backlinks as you can. Google consider such links as votes for your site and will rank higher in search results. But those links should be from high quality or top level sites. If not, you may not get any benefit from the link building strategy.
14. External Links
Give links to external reliable sources. This process is a part of relationship building. Thus you can make a good connection with other bloggers and websites.
But be aware of Google’s policy guidelines for online sources. If connected site is already in the black list of Google or if they violate Google policy, it will affect your blog too.
In short, you should give connection to only these kind of sites –
- High quality sites
- Sites in which you are fully confident.
15. Write in Your Own Style
Don’t imitate the style of other bloggers. While writing, use own style and techniques to convey your message to the readers. Simple words, phrases are ideal to reach the large number of audience. Avoid complex sentences and phrases. Keep in mind that all your readers are not teachers or scholars. Most of the internet users are common men. Write for them, not for the search engines or robots.