The average blogger can easily be confused by the SEO information that’s out there. Check out these SEO traffic hacks and grab my SEO Cheat Sheet!
As Bloggers, we all know or at least have heard that SEO is extremely important to blogging. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is pretty much where you set your blog up to be found ‘organically’ (via google search).
For example, let’s say I want to read posts that address mom bashing. I go into to google, type in “mom bashing” and google shows me my results.
If you were to google this yourself, you’d see that I’m actually the 1st search result on the 2nd page! It’s not perfect but this is HUGE for me since I’m so new to the blogging world.
SEO is an extremely multifaceted digital marketing discipline and at times the average blogger (like myself), can become easily confused and overwhelmed by the information that’s out there.
I have spent many nights trying to crack the code on SEO and while I have found some strategies that work, I know that I have a LOT more to learn.
In the meantime, however, I wanted to share a few SEO hacks that you can apply right now to optimize your site and improve your ranking on Google.
Before we begin, you want to be sure that you have the Yoast SEO Plugin installed.
I LOVE Yoast! The free version is all you need but I’m realllllly leaning towards purchasing the Premium version. I’ll let you know how that goes if I do, but until then, you can read all about my love for Yoast and my other favorite plugins here.
Keywords Are Crucial
I’m sure you’ve heard this before but it’s true. Keyword knowledge and placement are critical to successfully optimizing your site. However, let me preface this by saying, keyword stuffing is a waste of time. Google hates it and it’s annoying to read. Instead, be strategic with your keyword placement and usage.
There are two types of keywords: short-tail and long-tail(typically 3 words or more). Long-tail keywords are awesome because they look like the short phrases we type into Google when we are searching for something.
And do you know what that means for your blog?
Targeted Blog Traffic!
Broad, short tail keywords are awesome in their own right because they have the potential to bring in a ton of general traffic but it may not be ‘targeted’ traffic.
An easier alternative would be to conduct a google search. Type in a keyword and watch Google auto-complete your word with phrases that are usually what’s most commonly searched for with that particular keyword.
This is a great way to see what your audience is searching for and it’s super easy to do!
Make Your Slug Specific
The slug is what comes after your domain name and its ultimate purpose is to describe the content on that specific page of your site.
If you’re blogging about DIY fall decor, you don’t want your slug to be general: www.mywebsite.com/blog/7269
Instead, be specific and strategic with your keyword placement and find a way to incorporate it into your slug:
It’s also better to have a short slug than a long one so be sure to filter out irrelevant words.
Optimize The Meta Description
The meta description is that tiny box under your post title that briefly describes what your post is about. You can only use 160 characters in your meta description so make the most of it and add in those keywords! You also may want to sneak in a good call to action to encourage users to click through to your site.
Write at least 300 words
Although a 300-word post could definitely get you ranked on Google’s front page, studies have shown that posts with pages with at least 1000 words tend to rank better.
While I personally prefer posts longer than 300 words, I definitely think it’s a good rule of thumb to go by.
SEO Your Images
Okay so I had no idea that you could even SEO an image but I have definitely seen an increase in traffic (specifically Pinterest traffic) since I started optimizing my images.
Here’s the gist:
When you upload a photo, you want to do two things:
Save the photo under a file name with the keywords in it (Or something similar to the slug).
Put the keywords in your image alt-tag
An alt-tag is simply the text version of what would be displayed if for some reason your image fails to populate.
To edit your alt-tag’s, simply log into your WordPress Dashboard and click on Media Library.
Then click the photo that you want to edit to enlarge it and enter your alt-tag text.
Refer to Internal Content
An internal link is a link within a post that redirects your reader to another page on the same domain. For example, if you’re reading this and you don’t have a blog yet, head on over to my post about how you can easily set one up here.
By linking an older, relevant post within this blog post, it establishes a type of credibility with my content and is an awesome opportunity to link some of the cornerstone content on my site.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile
According to my Google Analytics, the majority of visitors that come to my site are mobile visitors. Therefore, it’s extremely important that my site is optimized for mobile.
By optimizing my site, I’m ensuring that people who visit my site from their mobile device have a similar experience to those who view it via desktop or tablet.
Luckily, the theme that I purchased through Bluchic was already fully optimized for mobile. Their themes are AMAZING and so user friendly.
Google put together an awesome research guide for those looking to learn more. You can check that out here.
Avoid Using Stop Words
Stop words consist of the most frequently used words in a language and as a result, they are largely ignored by search engines.
Commonly used words such as Above, Before, All, For, and How are considered stop words. It’s important that you avoid using these words in your slug, URL, and focus keyword.
It’s nearly impossible to list ALL of the stop words but Yoast created a handy list on their site that you can reference here.
Sounds like a lot of work huh?
I’ll be the first to admit that optimizing my site has been a huge learning curve but it has definitely gotten easier over time. I can also attest to an increase in organic traffic since I’ve implemented these strategies.
For those of you who are ready to start optimizing, I’ve created an SEO Cheat Sheet that you can refer to while you’re crafting your blog posts.
I want to hear from you!
How do you feel about SEO?
Any tips or tricks that you have that I didn’t list here?
I’d love to learn from you guys!
Now go and optimize those posts!
Until Next Time,