10 Essential SEO Tips For Bloggers

SEO, it seems to be a dreaded acronym in the blogger world even though we know how helpful it is and that we need it. Without it, your blog most likely won’t get anywhere near the amount of traffic you’d like it to have.

The issue is that SEO can be difficult to understand if not explained simply. To help you out in this blog post I’ll be listing 10 SEO tips that you can easily apply to your blog.

Confession time. I used to not understand SEO myself. I work in the marketing and advertising industry and I found SEO a hard topic to grasp. This drove me to do a lot of research during which I found other bloggers who were able to break down the basics so they were easy to digest.

Once I had a better understanding of SEO I started to put some of the best practices into place which translated to a greater amount of organic traffic. In fact, my blog went from having over 50% of my traffic coming from social platforms like Pinterest to being over 70% from organic search engines. And when I saw my social traffic decrease last year I didn’t panic because I knew my SEO game was strong.

blogger on computer working on seo surrounded by flowers and pretty office supplies.
(This post includes affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

What is SEO?

SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization which is the unpaid or organic rankings of websites and blogs in search engine results.

The most popular and most used search engine is Google which can be a good and a bad thing.

On the positive side, you can focus the majority of your SEO efforts on ranking within Google search results. On the negative side, Google constantly makes updates to their algorithm which means we bloggers may need to make constant adjustments to not see huge traffic declines.

While some adjustments are needed when Google updates its algorithm there are still some constants when it comes to SEO that we bloggers should always employ.

Keep reading to see the 10 tips you can use to help improve your blog SEO and organic traffic.


1. Have a mobile responsive site

If you don’t have a mobile responsive site yet then you need to stop everything you’re doing right now and make it mobile responsive.

This is very important for Google as most people now use their phones as their primary device for going online. Blogs and sites that aren’t mobile responsive will look distorted when viewed on a mobile screen.


When this happens visitors may have to scroll constantly, zoom in and out a lot and even do a lot of scrolling to the right or left to view a whole page. If you haven’t had to experience this when visiting a site, consider yourself lucky, because it’s really annoying.

You can easily make your blog mobile responsive by changing your blog theme to one that is built for mobile. There are multiple resources out there for mobile-friendly blog themes such as


2. Create a good user experience

If people don’t like the way your blog looks or acts when they are there, or it’s hard for them to navigate and find the information they want they can be turned off and never come back. That’s not what we want. We want to make a good first and lasting impression.

Some of the things that can create a positive user experience on your blog are

It loads quickly

There is nothing worse than a slow-loading website. Your readers won’t like it and may navigate away quicker than your site loads. Google also won’t like it and will penalize you. You can increase your page load time by
  • Removing unnecessary code
  • Reducing image sizes and number of images used in your posts
  • Using fewer plug-ins
  • Having fewer ads on a page

Clear and easy-to-use navigation

You want your blog readers to be able to find what they are interested in. Plus, this can help with people staying on your blog longer.

Search bar

Just like good navigation, this helps visitors find other content on your blog they are interested in and stay longer.

Font sizes

You want your content to be easy to read on mobile so play around with the size of your font and the spacing between sentences and paragraphs.

Short paragraphs

This makes your blog content easier to read and digest.

Minimal pop-ups

Personally, I find these annoying especially when I’m in the middle of reading or waiting for the content to load. I will sometimes navigate away from the site if there are too many pop-ups.

Beautiful and clear images

This makes your blog look attractive and inviting.

Good use of headings and subheadings

This helps to break up the content on the page making it less overwhelming and easier to scan.


3. Write strong content

This is key as it’s helpful for the search engines and also for your readers. There are a few different things you can do to strengthen your blog post content:

Write longer form content

Shoot to have your posts between 1000 - 2000 words. Search engines tend to like longer blog posts as it seems them as more informative and helpful for readers.

Keep your content on topic

Align your blog post content with the main topic(s) of your blog by creating topic clusters. These are a group of blog posts that cover sub-topics of your blog’s main topic(s). These cluster blog posts are then all interlinked with each other. This is helpful when it comes to internal or inbound linking. Hubspot has a great video that dives deeper into what topic clusters are all about.

Proofread

Yes, it’s also important to catch any potential misspellings or grammatical errors before your post goes live. You want to give a good impression when people read your blog post and errors aren’t exactly helpful in that area. I use the browser extension Grammarly to help me with this. Since I started using it I’ve seen a drastic decrease in spelling and grammar errors.



4. Use internal links

A great way to improve your SEO is to use internal links. This makes visitors and the search engines aware of other content that is related to the content on that page. You can easily do this by
  • Manually adding links within your blog posts to other related posts on your site
  • Using a related post plugin at the end of your posts
When adding links to your blog posts you’ll want to use what is called anchor text. Anchor text provides a basic idea of what the page linked to is about.


5. Strategically use keywords

Keywords are used by web searchers and search engines to determine if your blog content is relevant.

When selecting keywords you’ll want to select the main keyword and 1-2 similar phrases which are called long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords tend to be longer, question-based, and have more impact. All of the keywords you use should be relevant to your blog and the topic of the blog post. Additionally, you’ll want them to be ones your audience uses.

How to find keywords

There are many ways to find keywords and keyword phrases for your blog posts. Here are the resources I like to use
  • The Google search bar: To use the Google search bar type in the topic for the post you’re writing and see what options Google provides. You can also finish the search and look at the related searches list at the bottom of the page.
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Pinterest’s search bar: Here type in your word or phrase and see what words come. You can also see what keywords and phrases were used by the most popular pins for that search.
When it comes to keywords and phrases you want to be strategic about where you use them. The best places for SEO are
  • Your blog post title or title tag
  • Meta Description (we’ll dive deeper into Meta Descriptions a little later)
  • Post URL
  • Image alt text (another thing we’ll talk about later)
  • Throughout your blog post content
Don’t keyword stuff any of the above by using only one keyword multiple times. Google doesn’t like that and will penalize your blog.


6. Optimize your images

When searching Google you’ve probably seen that you can get image search results. This is another great source of getting traffic back to your blog so it makes sense that the images on your blog should also be optimized for SEO. Here’s how you can do that:

Compress your images

Smaller images are better as they help speed up page load. Do be careful that you don’t make them so small that they are fuzzy and look distorted and unattractive. There are several tools you can use online such as tinypng.org, shortpixel.com, or imagecompression.org.

If your blog is on the WordPress platform you can use a plugin like Smush.

Use web format

Some of the Google algorithm updates put a greater emphasis on using modern formats for images such as web format WebP. The reason is these formats provide high-quality images at lower file sizes.

If your blog platform or theme doesn’t support the upload of these image types, you can change them within the HTML code using this simple solution in this tutorial on SEO Neurons.

WordPress users can also leverage the Smush plugin to convert images to the WebP format.

Properly use image alt text

I recently realized that I had been using my image alt text incorrectly. I had been using it as just a place to put a variation of my blog title. After doing some research I learned that the image alt text should describe what the image is about in context to the content. It’s shown if the image in the post doesn’t render or show on the screen.

Some things to keep in mind about writing image alt text is
  • Use keywords as Google will scan it for information about that image and page but don’t keyword stuff
  • Specifically describe the image while avoiding saying “image of”
  • Keep your text 125 characters or less
You can learn more about writing image alt text in Hubspot’s article “Image Alt Text: What It Is, How to Write It, and Why It Matters to SEO.” 


7. Write a strong Meta Description

Meta Descriptions tend to be forgotten about. I know for probably my first year of blogging I didn’t even have a Meta Description for posts. And when I started adding them in I had no idea what to include in them.

Meta Descriptions are basically a description of your blog post and are meant to compel potential readers to click through and read your content. The more people click through to your blog post, the more love Google gives it in search rankings.

A good meta description includes your main keyword, the problem this post helps solve, and a call to action.


8. Share on social

Yes, sharing your blog posts on social media can help to boost your SEO. It can help bring traffic to your blog post sending signals to Google about the popularity of that blog post.

Not only should you be sharing your blog posts, but you should also encourage your readers to share them and make it easy for them to share. When others share your blog posts it also sends a signal to Google that this is content people are interested in.

Many blog themes have some social sharing functionality built-in. If not, there are a couple of plug-ins or add-ons that you can use, such as sumo.me and Social Warfare.


9. Create evergreen blog posts

These are topics that most people in your audience have an interest in or want information on. These topics also don’t have an expiration date and your audience will be interested in them for years to come hence the name evergreen. Typically these are posts that are how-tos like how to start a blog, or how to earn money blogging.

Because of their longevity and high topical interest, they are great for boosting organic traffic.


10. Update older blog posts

If you’ve been blogging for a while you may have found that some of your older blog posts aren’t as good as your more recent ones. My older blog posts were short, didn’t have a lot of helpful information, the images were bad, and I didn’t follow any SEO best practices.

I then spent some time going back and freshening up my older posts that were popular but had started to see a decrease in traffic. After doing that I started to see traffic to those blog posts increase again.


1 Comments

  1. All of these tips are fantastic. I do feel that when you are trying to update older posts, (when blog begins to grow), that is a good practice to go back on a weekly schedule to add some internal links to fresh newer content so that the old content doesn't fade away.

    Not only that but focusing on a focus keyword is crucial.

    Great post!

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