What Is SEO In Blogging? – Get Seen In Search Results
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the art of getting the blog article that you have worked on very hard organically ranked by the major search engines on page one of their results when a potential visitor enters the right keyword into the search box. By organically I mean by free natural selection rather than by paying for an expensive sponsored link which is usually seen at the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). By keyword I mean a word or phrase that may be entered into a search box by a potential visitor looking for information or an answer to a problem. For example, the keyword for this article, if you haven’t guessed already, is “what is SEO in blogging”. If you have found this article you probably entered into a search box that very same phrase or something very similar, thus proving the theory.
To have people visit and read the articles in your blog you need to get your individual articles ranked on page one of the SERPs otherwise nobody is going to know of their existence. The average person using a search engine is probably going to find what they are looking for on page one and will not bother clicking through to page two and beyond. The only people likely to look further than page one are us blog writers and keyword researchers.
SEO Starts With The Keyword
Your blog, for SEO purposes, must focus on one particular niche. Blogging about random, unconnected topics will not get your articles ranked at all. All of the topics you cover in your articles must be connected by the same theme. To compete with the big brands and well-established bloggers in the SERP rankings you need to write around 60 to 100 blog articles, each focused on a single and different keyword to establish your authority within your niche.
The choice of keyword is important. All of the obvious single word and short phrase, high competition, keywords are dominated by the big brands who can afford to spend large sums of money promoting their web pages. These keywords are searched for thousands to millions of times per month. The big brands cannot be bothered with keywords that receive less than 1,000 searches per month. This is where we work from home bloggers come in. By focusing on low competition keywords that are searched for 30 to 1,000 times per month we can gradually increase our authority with the search engines and gradually move up the rankings to page one. These low competition keywords are usually quite long phrases of over five words and are often referred to as long tail keywords.
As your page one appearances increase, so will the number of visits to your blog. To give you an idea, say you write 100 articles and the average keyword you have used pulls 50 searches per month. That’s potentially 5,000 visitors per month for your blog, which will give you even more authority with the search engines. When you reach this stage you can start writing articles using higher competition keywords with a good chance of a page one ranking, thus increasing your potential visitor total exponentially.
What To Do With Your Keyword
Rather than just guessing your keywords you find them by using one or a combination of the free and paid for keyword research tools available online. Generally, the paid for tools will give you much more information about the keyword such as the amount of competition and the number of searches per month. Finding keywords is a whole separate topic which I will cover in another post.
For SEO you need to choose a keyword that makes sense and is grammatically correct because when you have picked a suitable keyword it needs to be used in context in the article you are writing. Your blog article needs to be written about the keyword, in the same way that this article is all about the keyword “what is SEO in blogging”. In addition to this, the keyword should be used in the title of the article, at least one sub-heading and in context in the first paragraph or, if this cannot be done in a way to make sense, as near to the first paragraph as possible.
Further SEO is achieved by using the keyword in three more ways. Firstly, in the slug of the URL, that’s the piece of the URL after the domain name and the forward slash, unique to the post you are writing. Secondly, the keyword should be used in the meta tag, again in context. The meta tag is the snippet of information you can see under the URL in the search results. Thirdly, if you are including images in your article, which you need to do to make your blog more reader-friendly and easier on the eye, the keyword should be included in one image “Alt” tag. All of these items can usually be edited within whatever platform you are using for your blog. They can definitely be edited within WordPress, the most popular blogging platform.
Further SEO Not Involving The Keyword
All of the SEO techniques I have described so far are known as “on page SEO’, that is the SEO applies directly to the post you are writing. There are further on page SEO techniques that do not involve the use of the keyword.
The actual content of your article should be engaging for your reader, providing him or her with much valuable, free information. You want your visitors to stay on your page and your website as long as possible as this is factored into your ranking by the major search engines.
Your posts should be around 1,500 words long on average, though it will not matter too much if one or two falls short of this or if you have to write longer posts to get in all of the information. Personally, if I am writing a post and I find it is going to be over 3,000 words or over 5,000 words, I consider splitting that one post up into two or three posts, each extra post focused on a new keyword if I can find one suitable. That way I rank for two or three keywords instead of one, my visitors are more likely to read all of shorter posts and my domain authority increases.
Adding tags relevant to your post will make your article more searchable. To give an example, I have added the tags “blog, blogging, content, keywords, search engine optimization, SEO” to the end of this post which you should be able to see just above the comments box.
The search engines also like to see in your article two or three internal links to other pages or posts on your website and one external link to another authoritative website in the same niche. This does not include affiliate links, the links used to monetize your blog by referring your visitors to a recommended merchant’s site in exchange for a commission if there is a sale. Much more on affiliate links and affiliate marketing to come in another post.
At the end of your posts, always encourage your readers to leave comments and ask questions. Reply to any as soon as possible and, again if it is in context, keep the conversation going. The search engines will love the engagement, it shows them that your website is live and in use. Beware, however, as there is an industry out there that will send comments and backlinks to your blog in exchange for a sum of money. Don’t ever be tempted to use these services as the search engines will detect that the comments are manufactured and not genuine, for which you will be penalized.
Backlinks are links from other authoritative websites to yours. Genuine backlinks are very good for SEO.
Off Page SEO
Your blog’s rankings can further be enhanced by off-page SEO, that is SEO that pertains to your website generally rather than to a particular post. To start with, if you haven’t registered the domain name yet for your blog, choose a brandable name relative to your niche. As with the keywords, the most popular and obvious domain names have been taken already, so you will have to be creative when choosing a name. If you are feeling confident about becoming an authority within your niche, you can even use your own name if it is available to register as a domain. There are free tools that can help you find a domain name of which Namemesh, Panabee and Dot-O-Mator are outstanding examples.
Once you have your website set up with domain name, privacy page and about me page, even though the search engines may find you anyway, it is essential to register your website with the big three search engines, Google, through Google Console, and Bing and Yahoo, through Bing Webmaster Tools. This ensures that all of the search engine “crawlers” will come and find your blog.
The speed that your website loads into a browser is important. In your back office, the admin section of your website platform, make sure all themes and plugins are up to date with their updates and delete any themes and plugins that you are not using. Keep media files down to an optimum size as unnecessarily large files will take time to load.
Big Gains From Small Gains
Free, organic search engine optimization applies the same principles as the Sky Cycling Team. This team has been dominant in the cycling world over the last ten years and they got there by following a simple philosophy. If you examine every aspect of the job to be done and make small gains everywhere you can, it will lead to one big gain and put you in front of your competitors. It is no different with SEO. It is all about making as many small gains as you can and, eventually if you stick with it, you will make the big gain of becoming an authority in your niche. You then have the platform to monetize your site in one or more of several ways. But that’s for another post!
I can personally endorse these SEO techniques. I have used them over the last seven months with my other website and I have several posts on page one of Google, including one in the “Featured Post” spot, just below the sponsored posts. So, stick with it, you may feel at times that nothing is happening, but in time you will see results.
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