Search engine optimization (SEO) can be confusing and even overwhelming for so many bloggers and especially for those who are just starting out.
Yet most of the concepts in regards to SEO are fairly straightforward and by implementing the right tactics over time, you can radically grow your audience/readership.
In this article, we will uncover 3 critical SEO strategies to get the absolute most out of your blog. These can be replicated month-in and month-out to increase your overall presence within the major search engines and used to explode your organic traffic.
Let’s dive right in!
Implementing Proper On-Site SEO
When we say “on-site” SEO, we are essentially referring to (as the name states) anything on your website that has the potential to be optimized. This includes things like your meta tags, website copy/content, internal links, crawl errors etc.
This is really the foundation of any successful SEO campaign and should be the first area of focus. This gives Google a better idea of what your website is about and the types of terms you’re trying to rank for. You’ll want to make sure you identify certain keyword phrases to target for this step as well.
Below are a few on-site SEO areas you should focus on (if you’re using WordPress, the plugin Yoast is highly recommended to make this process easier):
- Title Tags: Your title tags hold the most weight in the eyes of Google and should be optimized with your most important keyword phrases in place. These are seen in the search results as the blue clickable text when you type in a given search query. Try to make these as close to 70 characters as possible without going over.
- Meta Descriptions: These are generally the short description underneath the Title Tag in the search results that briefly explains what a page is about. These don’t actually hold much SEO value but are important from a click-through perspective. Each page/post on your website should have a unique and compelling meta description written around 150-160 characters long.
- Header Tags: Like your title tags, your header tags pack a lot of punch in regards to SEO value. These are the only front end facing tags on the website so they should be written with the human visitor in mind. Try to incorporate your most important keyword phrases into your header tags while making sure they read naturally as well. The header tags can also be used in a hierarchy – i.e h1, h2, h3, h4 etc.
- Image ALT Tags: Every image on your website can be optimized with a keyword rich image ALT tag. Do not skip this step, it offers an additional optimization point to drive more targeted visitors to your website.
- Copy/Content: You should always be weaving in target terms within your content (without keyword stuffing) to give your pages/posts more keyword relevancy. You will also want to add a handful of internal links per page to help spread some link equity/juice throughout your website. This also helps reduce bounce rates as it encourages users to navigate to other areas of your website.
Any successful blogger will tell you that they publish quality content on a consistent basis. Content generation is like adding fuel to an already burning fire.
Why is this important from an SEO standpoint?
Well, Google loves websites that publish fresh content and will favor your blog over others that are not up to date. Also, with each blog post you write, you have an additional opportunity to target a new set of keyword phrases.
Adopting a strategic content generation strategy for your blog really helps diversify your overall SEO efforts and can generate floods of targeted organic traffic.
Try to publish at the very least 1 blog post per week to start. Ensure that these are high-quality and valuable articles, 500+ words per post. Google really likes long-form style content and is favoring in-depth articles more than ever now, so keep that in mind when crafting your content.
As stated a bit earlier, also ensure you’re weaving in target terms and adding internal links to other relevant pages on your website within your content.
Building Quality Backlinks
Now that most of your on-site SEO is taken care of and you’re cruising on your content generation work, you are ready for some link building.
There are many different link building strategies, but one we will talk about today that is both simple and powerful is guest posting.
Google looks to see how authoritative your website is by analyzing how many quality backlinks you have pointing to it (from external sources).
Generally, the websites that have a strong backlink portfolio are the ones that rank the highest in the search results and receive the most organic traffic.
Through guest posting, we can acquire quality links for our own blog/website and do this on a monthly basis.
Essentially guest posting, in a nutshell, is getting an article published on an external website that’s relevant to your niche. Within this article, you would simply place your website URL within the content or in an author bio section.
Once the article is published to the external website, you’ve built yourself a high-quality and natural backlink!
It’s really that simple.
A good strategy for this is to research a bunch of websites in one sitting that are accepting guest posts in your general niche. Put these URLs and their contact information in an excel spreadsheet or Google doc.
Check into the domain authority of these websites and try to go after sites that are already pretty well established for the best results. Reach out and pitch them a few quality blog topic ideas. Field the responses and start producing content for the sites that give you the green light.
If you focus on link building consistently and over the long-term, this can dramatically increase your search engine rankings and overtime your organic traffic.
It’s important to close in saying that SEO is not an overnight process and will take time for the search engines to recognize the changes on your website. It’s more of a marathon and not a sprint.
However, if you implement the strategies laid out above on a consistent basis, over the long haul, you may just be surprised how much your blog can grow organically.
There is nothing like free traffic rolling in from work that you implemented months or even years ago. Stick to a plan, optimize your pages, continue producing quality content and build quality backlinks to your website for the best results.