It’s been a while since I’ve written about SEO, but as things change so quickly I thought it was about time I wrote something up to date. Some things stay the same and some things change – it can be difficult and confusing to know if what you are doing is right or wrong!
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. What it means for your blog is when you write a blog post – you should have the search engine in mind and implement a few techniques which make the search engine aware of what your blog post is about so it can bring your blog up in relevant searches – hopefully onto the first page of Google.
If your post shows up on the second page or below, the chances of someone clicking on it to find your blog are low. The top 5 search results are the best places to rank as these 5 pages get almost 70% of all traffic!
SEO is a complicated business and it can get technical. In the following post, I’m going to outline a few things that you can implement quickly – these are not the only things you can do but the things I think are easiest to understand and implement.
The title if your blog post is not only something Google uses to rank your article, but it’s also what a searcher sees before they click your link. Although it can be tempting to put something witty and smart in the title that doesn’t actually talk about the contents of the blog post – it’s much better to use the title to give an accurate picture of the topic of the post.
For example, if you are reviewing a mascara – you might want to title it something like ‘I can’t live without this product!’ but that doesn’t tell Google what the post is about. Get the brand name and product name in the title and make it crystal clear what you review is about.
In the image below, you can see it has the title then my blog name as the title tag. You might want to change this and take the blog name out to enable you to make the title tag longer and more relevant.
As above, the meta description is both something Google uses to rank your post and dictates what the user sees in search. It needs to be descriptive of what the post is about and how it answers the user’s search query. For example:
Use keywords in your URL
As above – you can change the URL of your blog post. This usually takes on the first few words of the title by default but again, you can change this to make it reflect the content better.
Longtail keywords over short
Longtail keywords are still better than short – that means instead of having short keywords such as:
- SEO tips
Make it longer and more specific such as
- Beginner’s SEO tips for bloggers in 2020
Also, have in mind what people may actually be searching for to get to your page, lots of people use voice search – even without search people type in questions! ‘How do you…’ or ‘What is the best way to…’ etc. All things to consider when writing a blog post and picking your titles, descriptions and tags.
Small file sizes for images
Ensure your images are the right size and file type. Most camera and phones take huge images, if you upload them to your blog it will display at the size of your blog post but the file will be massive! Ensure to resize it to the width of your blog page to save on load time. Also, use JPEG over PNG if absolutely necessary.
You can install plugins to reduce the size of images automatically, but that’s a whole different post!
Alt Text for images
Traditionally, we would have just cut and pasted the keywords into all the images for SEO, but in 2020 that is not the way to do it.
Think accessibility as well as keywords. Describe the picture – what is it of? what brands are featured? What’s in the background? Do not keyword stuff!
A long-standing good tradition is to link internally. Have previous posts about SEO blog tips? Then link to them? See what I did there?
Structure your blog posts
Structuring your blog posts headings, bullet points and pictures are great for two reasons:
- It makes your blog post more user friendly so people will stay on your page for longer improving your bounce.
- It’s easier for people to read and find the information they need.
The longer, the better
The top 10 searches on a search enquiry have an average of 2,000 words! Long articles generally rank better than short ones but that doesn’t mean you need to babble on about anything to get to your word count higher. It might be tempting to keep blog posts short in an effort to satisfy the reader quickly, but this will not satisfy Google nearly as much.