Blogging and SEO go hand in hand if you want to make something of your blog. I’ve written lots of posts about blogging and SEO in the past. My very first SEO blog tips post was in January 2014! But I must declare as I do in all of my SEO/marketing posts, that I am not an expert or trained in SEO. I’m just a blogger that has read things on the Internet and gathered them together for you to read. My old SEO plan for my blog was pretty much the type of things I talk about in a typical SEO tips blog post.
I mostly focused on SEO within my content. I use the Yoast plugin and wait for the little light to go green. Though if I’m perfectly honest, I didn’t do that ALL the time. Especially when I was blogging daily! Even though I knew better, I just didn’t do better.
Recently I’ve been working really hard on my traffic and I’ve been taking things seriously. I’ve managed to go from 4000 monthly pageviews to 13000 monthly pageviews in a couple of months by putting some real effort into my blog and I wanted to share some of the things I’ve been working on lately!
Blogging and SEO: my current SEO plan!
Fix Broken Links.
As my blog is 9 years old, I have a lot of broken links in my comments section. These are from when bloggers have left their link when commenting and then deleted their blog. I easily had over 2000! That’s embarrassing. I always knew I had a problem with broken links but it was too overwhelming to think about.
In March I just started to deal with it.
My broken link checker plugin wasn’t capturing all my broken links. I managed to start it scanning my links again from scratch (I recommend doing this!) and it picked up about 700 that I was able to delete INSTANTLY! It was a huge relief, but there were still links that showed up when ran a scan.
I use Broken Link Checker to scan my site for free. When I first scanned, I got about 700 broken links. It was stressful but I just set myself the target of doing 50 a day. When you get into the swing of it and use the ‘find’ tool to find the anchor text, it’s pretty easy to get through 50!
Sometimes I would do more than 50 a day while sitting watching TV in the evening. Eventually, my broken links got less and less each time I scanned it.
I still scan my site every day and it finds between 5-20 links that I just deal with instantly. The tool isn’t perfect and doesn’t capture all broken links. I look forward to the day I search and get NONE.
It’s taken time but has been worth it!
Why should you fix broken links?
If you have broken links within your content, it can be a huge turn off to your readers and drive them away from your blog. I’m not so worried about that as in my case, I’m sure people aren’t checking the links in my blog comments from 2014. But this can signal to Google that your website is low quality and you may not rank as well as you could.
Optimise my images.
This is something I’ve spoken about before in previous posts. I am guilty of being lazy and just uploading any image straight from my phone or camera.
Now I use Pixlr (it’s just a free website to edit photos – nothing special!) and I use this to reduce the size of my images, I reduce the quality (as long as it doesn’t ruin the photo if the photos are really important in that post!) and I change any PNG files to JPG. JPGs are smaller.
When I download the image back to my computer, save it as a keyword.
I’ve also been inserting alt text into my images properly. Rather than just putting the keyword, I’ve been taking time to describe the image and only put the keyword or keyphrase in the alt text if it’s relevant.
Prepare for the next Google Update.
I’ve written a whole post about getting ready for the page experience update, so I’m not going to go into huge detail here.
But the main things I’ve been doing are ensuring my images aren’t too big, trying to get rid of anything that’s slowing down my website and using some plugins to help speed up my load time.
There is a lot more I COULD do but I simply don’t have the skills and knowledge at the moment!
This is something else I have been putting off. There are a few spammy links that point to my website. I believe it’s from when I got hacked. They point to pages on my blog that don’t exist, so I can only assume when I got hacked and my content was all replaced, these pages DID once exist on my domain.
I’ve been using a tool called Monitor Backlinks and I’m currently using their free trial. What I love about this tool is that you can see the site stats of the websites linking to you, such as their Trust Flow and Spam Score. This makes it really easy to see which links are ‘spammy’ and need disavowing.
It was quite easy for me to spot as they were pharmacy style links that had anchor texts set to drug and medicine names. You can select each link, click ‘disavow’ and it builds the text file that you can download and upload into Google Search Console (the tool which tells Google to IGNORE these links).
Disavowing isn’t as important as it once was, as Google’s algorithm is good at ignoring spammy links already. I just wanted to get these links disavowed as it was really bothered me.
How to get traffic to my blog is something I’ve struggled with over the past few years. Keyword research is something new that I’ve been doing lately. I’ve tried to do this in the past with Google Keyword Planner but just didn’t really get it. So I decided to take the plunge and subscribe to Keysearch.
It makes keyword research so easy! You simply put your keyword or key phrase into the keyword research tool and it gives you lots of information!
You can see how many searches it has a month, similar keywords, check how competitive it is and see the sites that currently rank for it. I also love the content tool which gives you some related words that you should put in your post to get your page to rank well, as well as ideal word length.
You can also track your keywords. This lets you see where you are ranking for your keywords and any changes. It’s quite interesting to see your rankings! I’m still working this tool out, but it’s basically stopped me using Yoast to just chase any keyword that I don’t know anything about or that my website will never rank for!
I’m able to now write posts that use keywords and key phrases that I am able to rank for. It’s better to rank high for a keyword that gets 100 searches a month than go for a keyword that gets 10k searches but you’re not in the top 100!
You can sign up to Keysearch here and use the discount code KSDISC to get a 20% discount.
I’d really recommend just signing up for a month and see how you find it. It’s changed the way I write my blog posts now and my posts usually stop ranking within a few days of my post being published! For example, my Little Fawn Box review that I published on Saturday ranked 7th in Google search after just three days! It really has changed my whole SEO strategy. I was using keywords blindly before now I’m able to optimise posts accurately so they will rank!
I’ve been actively working on building links to my blog. Something I’ve never really bothered with! I’ve been replying to tweets and posts in blogging Facebook groups about contributing quotes to a post. This is a quick way to get links and get my name out there a bit.
I’ve also been advertising on other peoples blog. I’m just trying to advertise on 3 blogs a month at the moment to keep things consistent. These usually include a dedicated post directing their readers to your blog, a sidebar ad, social shoutouts and more.
Things I was already doing.
Just a quick section on SEO things I was already doing and continue to do so:
- Internal linking
- Update meta description
- Enter Alt text in images
- Submit my blog post to social media (Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook)
How I’m measuring my success.
So they are the things I’m currently working on with my SEO plan! The metrics I’m using to measure the success are:
Traffic: Obviously, an increase in organic traffic is the best to measure how well my SEO plan is working for me is by measuring my traffic! If I’m seeing more traffic, then I’m doing the right things!
DA: I know there’s a lot of talk in the SEO twitter community about DA and how it’s not important. I’m aware that DA is a third party metric and can be manipulated. But I believe that it’s a good indication of if my plan is going well. DA is important for bloggers as it’s what brands often look at when approaching a blogger to work work with. In an ideal world, they would look at other metrics such as traffic. But I guess DA is something they can check before approaching you.
Trust Flow: This is another third party metric, but another one often required by brands. My current Trust Flow isn’t good. I’m hoping how I’ve disavowed those spammy links and am working on building some new links it will get better.
Implementing these things does mean that every new blog post takes more time. I spend more time working on the SEO than actually writing the post it seems! But to see my posts show up in search engine results is worth it!
Do you have an SEO plan for your plan? Let me know what it is and good luck with both your blogging and SEO journey!