6 Search Engine Optimization Rules for Bloggers
No matter if you are a business blog or an informative blog looking to spread you knowledge, search engine optimization is a key factor in establishing your growth and find-ability on the internet. Being able to be found in the search results is clearly important to both long term and short term growth strategies.
Approaching SEO as a mindset rather than an added task can be significantly less time consuming and ultimately more beneficial. It does not have to be an overly complex process. A few simple pointers and rules of thumb will help both your results and approach.
1. Effective Title Usage
Put yourself in the shoes of the searchers. What would you be searching for to find an article or blog post similar to yours? Sometimes when researching what keywords to include in the title of a post, bloggers get hung up on broad key phrases rather than more natural terms.
If you can effectively match your title to long-tail key phrases that searchers are using you will have a better chance for getting ranked for those phrases. Try to test and fine tune your titles until your find a great 5-6 word combination that is bringing in consistent search traffic. Most likely you will have a better chance to rank high if you choose “Uses and recipes for leftover Lasagna” rather than “Lasagna Recipe”
2. Be Thorough
100-200 word posts are just not cutting it anymore. Posts in the 600-700 word range, tend to do better for organic search traffic. Google has even mentioned that you will have a better chance of being ranked higher if your posted have a greater amount of content. If you look at the data below you can clearly see the correlation.
Longer posts are also more keyword laden and will help the search engines in associating you with different search results. Putting in a little extra time for longer posts will give you a +1 in the eyes of the all powerful search engines.
3. Write and Write Often
Another consistant correlation is that blogs with more traffic tend to have more pages indexed and update their content on a regular basis. Meaning that, the more content you have on your website or blog the better chance you have to be found.
This point may seem pretty obvious but it is certainly worth sharing. Search engines, just as most other business ventures, are simply a numbers game. Increasing your chances to gain more readers can be done by simply increasing your opportunities.
4. Include Image Titles and Alt Image Tags
This is something that is more important to some niches than others. If you are in a highly visual niche such as food blogging or design blogging you’re certainly going to want to increase your chances to be found by optimizing for Google Image search.
The same approach applies hear as in step one. Put yourself in the shoes of the searcher. Using “Homemade Grilled Prime Rib with Mashed Potatoes” as an image attributes rather than not including anything or having something more widely used and broad will be more beneficial and will be visible in your analytics reports.
5. Facilitate Sharing
have social sharing options available but not so over the top that it is annoying to readers fine line that you must judge. If your readers feel inclined to share one of your posts, make sure that there is ample opportunity to do so. Usually, a reader is not going to spend time searching for a Facebook button, but if there is one in his or her line of vision the chances that they will do so will increase.
Sharing on social sites not only helps traffic because of the link shared across ones network but also can help in search results. Having a post shared multiple times will drastically increase the indexation speed of the post by the search engines and also been seen as an increasingly important ranking signal.
6. Wide Range of Topics
While staying in your niche, try to cover as wide of an area inside of it as possible. This is a great way to test initially and see what topics are bringing in the most traffic and views. If the broad strategy is working well stick with it or adjust accordingly if one is working better than the rest.
SEO for blogs is not an exact science and can be vastly different from industry to industry and niche to niche. Monitor your analytics closely and see which pages are performing the best and decide why that might be. These cues will provide you with the information that you need to adjust your strategy moving forward.