Have you Googled anything lately? SEO or search engine optimization can make blogging easier but it’s hard to get good search engine ranking and, like blogging, SEO is a longterm project.
But if you’re patient and ready to learn about SEO for blogging the rewards are great. The advantage of search engine traffic is that it’s targeted traffic: people who are actively looking for what you have to offer.
In the last month 35.81% of traffic to Successful Blogging came from Google.
You can see the growth in search engine traffic from February 2011 when the blog was launched and over the first five months in this chart from Google Analytics:
I’ve been improving my SEO skills to help more people find my blog via the search engines and these tips make it simple.
SEO for Blogging in 7 Simple Steps
1. Research your key words and phrases
Use the Google Adwords keywords tool to help you learn what people are actually searching for before choosing your blog topics. If you use those key words as topics, or sections, on your blog it should also help you rank better with the search engines in the long term.
For example, I wanted to write about blogging tips for SEO here and discovered “SEO blogging” is a reasonably popular topic with around 4,000 people each month searching for it on Google.
2. Give blog posts a short permalink
Make sure the website address (permalink) for your blog post contains the key phrase. I’ve been focusing on making my permalinks shorter over the last few months.
Here’s an example of an older post with a long permalink:
This could be improved as: https://www.successfulblogging.com/blog-writing-series
But the long version does contain the keywords and at the beginning which is good.
Here’s an example of a shorter more powerful permalink:
Of course this blog post has the permalink:
Remember to: choose the blog post permalink before the post goes live.
If you change the permalink after a post has been published other blogs may have linked to it and you’ll need to put a redirect on your page so visitors don’t get a “Page not found” message.
3. Link to your own posts
Link to your blog posts from other related blog posts using the key words, for example blog post length. Internal links do influence the search engines.
4. Get incoming links
If your blog posts are good hopefully other bloggers will link to them from their blogs.
If you have more than one blog you can link from them too, even from abandoned blogs you don’t use any more like old blogspot or wordpress.com blogs. You can see how I’ve done this here.
You could add articles to article marketing directories including the key words. Include a link from your author biography and from within the article. Try to include one link that is your key phrase and ties in with your permalink. Here are some article directories I’ve tried:
- Ezine Articles
- Articles Factory
- Go Articles
5. Create well named blog topic categories
Well named categories with keyword rich permalinks will help improve your search engine ranking for those terms, especially if you fill them with related blog posts.
For example, I have a topic called Blog Writing with the permalink https://www.successfulblogging.com/blog-writing/ listing all blog posts about writing.
6. Tick all the SEO boxes
- Use the SEO description as a teaser for readers to make them want to click on your search engine listing and read more.
- Add a maximum of 10 SEO key words or phrases.
- Name your images to include the key words (eg blog-writing.jpg) and add ALT text to images with the key words or phrase.
7. Improve blog posts that already rank well
Google Analytics lists the keywords and phrases people used to find my blog and ranks them in order:
- how to write a pitch
- successful blogging
- blogging tips
I concentrate on optimizing blog posts that naturally perform well and recommend you:
- Make sure the key words appear near the beginning of your blog post and reuse them as often as you can without being repetitive.
- Include your key words in the blog post title, headers and sub-headers.
SEO for Blogging Reminder
Finally, never try to game the search engines.
The most important thing is to write useful information real people will be able to easily read and understand.
For example, I’ve been studying SEO for a while and am used to writing content to improve a site’s search engine ranking but I usually get told what the key words are.
But for personal blogging I’ve spent time researching SEO, learning more and practising it. Now I’ve reached a point where I can confidently share those SEO tips in a blog post.
After writing the post I researched what the best key words or phrase would be to pick the best permalink for this post – in this case SEO blogging as opposed to Search engine optimization bloggers.
I’ve taken the seven steps listed here and if this post ranks well with the search engines I can go back and optimize it more later.
But for blogging providing the people you’re writing for with useful information comes first.
Just remember, blogging for people first and SEO or search engines second.
Where does your blog traffic come from? Do you think about SEO when blogging?
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