When starting a blog or vlog, everyone faces the same daunting question: how on Earth do I make myself visible, especially among the sea of other blogs?
Well, it’s pretty tricky to know exactly how to come up as a top search result. But the good news is, there’s many easy steps you can take to increase those chances right from the start. We’re here to help you understand a little bit more about SEO!
To start, what is SEO (search engine optimization) in relation to blogging? Basically, it’s optimizing your blog so that search engines see it as relevant and reliable. So for instance, when someone searches the keywords “food blog”, if Google sees your food blog as high ranking, it will come up on the first page of search results.
There are countless indicators that Google uses to determine if your site will rank high in those search results. You can read more in depth about Google’s algorithm here.
But here’s some tried and true techniques you can start using today to boost your SEO!
1. Get your own domain
At some point, you should make the investment to move from a free service to your own website domain and hosting. Why? Because Google finds katscooking.com more serious and trustworthy than katscooking.blogmaker.com. And you can even download WordPress layout on some blogging platforms!
2. Choose your keywords
For a specific blog post, choose the words that you think people will most likely search for. For example, “pumpkin recipes”. There are four main places you want to include these keywords:
1. The title
Include your keyword in the first 65 characters of your headline. Example: Fall’s Here: Our Best Pumpkin Recipes for Autumn Cooking
2. The body
Use your keyword several times throughout your post – but don’t go overboard, or Google will detect that you’re saturating your content with keywords.
3. The URL
4. The meta data
You know that short little description you see under a search result? Thats your meta data and it should contain your keywords. For a more detailed tutorial, check out this great meta description article from Yoast.
For a more comprehensive guide to keywords, this Moz article explains it all.
3. External and internal links
“External” means linking to other sites, or when other sites link to you. Notice we’ve been linking to other sites throughout this post. Google rates these sites as useful and reliable, since a third party is utilizing them.
“Internal” links connect to other pages on your own domain. Internal link-building helps with site navigation and freshness. Example: For more advice on how SEO can lead to a profitable blog, check out our interview with successful blogger Mandy Roberson.
4. Make sure your site is mobile friendly!
…and looks good on a mobile device or tablet. People are increasingly Googling on the go, so the top search results are always mobile friendly. On WordPress, simply preview your site on all platforms before posting!
5. Optimize your theme
You can take these basic steps on your site to increase your chances of ranking higher in a search.
1. No broken links
Make sure every link your viewers click on leads to a functioning page.
2. Clean layout and fast navigation
An easily navigable site with fast loading images and pages indicates a high quality website.
3. Good permalink structures
Permalinks are what you see in the URL box as you navigate a site. Edit the permalinks of your future blog posts to be the title of your post, or a shortened version including the main keywords. This article from WPKUBE explains exactly how to optimize your permalinks in Wordpress.
Search engine optimization won’t happen overnight; it takes time and dedication! Many bloggers choose to invest in SEO services to help them become more visible. You can even install plugins on WordPress that do some of the work for you, such as the popular All in One SEO Pack.
Whatever you do, it’s important to educate yourself about the ever-changing nature of SEO and blogging. See our sources below to read more about this topic, and feel free to comment what you find effective for your own SEO. Happy blogging (and searching!)