SEO, or search engine optimisation, sounds like a bit of a complicated task of making your website more attractive in the search engine rankings. But actually there are some really simple ways you can use SEO on your blog. Yes, there are plenty of techniques that SEO professionals use to enhance their websites and I could list about 50 different things you can do. But with the changes to Google algorithms and how it wants to rank websites, the key tip is to produce good quality content. This is something Bloggers already do rather well, so hoorah! But if you want to give your blog a little extra visibility so the search engines can find you, start off with these five simple tips. Start here and you never know, you might be an SEO-whizz in no time!
1. Make use of keywords
Keywords (sometimes key terms or phrases) are the words used to describe and sum up the content in your post. These could be thought of as the terms a search user might type into Google or Bing to find your site. When writing or editing your blog post think about what the keywords for the post would be. What is the post really about? Then make sure you are using the keywords/term/phrase in a few key places to help search engines correctly index your post.
For example, if I blog about a new dress the keywords might be ‘blue and white floral dress’. I would then make sure that term appears in the post title, the first paragraph and maybe the last paragraph.
Be careful not to get overzealous with the keywords. Overstuffing keywords on your blog post looks unnatural, will make your readers think you’re nuts and the search engines might suspect you are playing dirty SEO.
2. Name your images and use alt text
Such an easy tip for SEO – make sure you name your images with a descriptive label. Using the example above, if the photo is of a blue and white floral dress then name the image that instead of leaving it as the straight out the SD card name IMG0001. You should be resizing your image before your upload them to your site anyway so just rename them then.
Also, make use of the alt text when you add them to the post. The alt text shows when an image doesn’t load on a reader’s browser and it also further helps search engines index your site.
3. Use meta tags and meta description
This is pretty easy to do if you are a wordpress user. My theme comes with a dedicated space for meta tags and description but you can try the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin which is a really powerful and useful tool for SEO. You can pick your keyword for the post and it will analyse how effective your SEO on that particular post is as well as offer advice on how to improve it.
4. Link via Google+
You should be sharing your blog posts via you various social media streams. Of course, Twitter and Facebook are the most popular. But sharing a link via Google+ is an extra step in helping Google recognise your blog. It almost goes without saying that Google has a preference for its own products. So get yourself on Google+ and link back to your blog posts. (you can add me on Google+ here)
5. Link to other websites
Within your blog post you should try to add at least 2 links. One should be internal (or on-site) so try to mention and link to one of your previous blog posts or a page on your site. And the other link should be an external site, preferably something useful and relevant to the post. This helps the search engines recognise you as an authority on a subject and follow the relevance of your post and links. Plus, it’s worth remembering the web is a network – links help the web world go round.
So there are five simple tips for easy SEO. Give those a go and you’ll realise just how quickly SEO becomes a part of your everyday blogging routine.