SEO is a very easy concept to understand, but putting it into practice is the hard part. Once you know the steps, it comes down to trial and error, learning what works where and when. You want to avoid any spam blackhat methods that will give you great results instantly. Sounds good but once Google alters the algorithm or decides to clean out spam sites, your entire website could be wiped of the search results!! An increase in traffic doesn’t and won’t happen overnight, it will take time and effort but utilising good SEO does pay of in the long run. Here are some things you can do right away to help.
What is Search Engine Optimization? How does SEO help with traffic?
Search Engine Optimization is about making your site more attractive to spiders by improving internal and external aspects. This will increase the amount of traffic the site receives. Spiders (aka bots/worms/web crawlers) is a computer program that browses the web storing information such as keywords, terms, links. When the user performs a search, the query is run against the index where this information is stored. You must make your content accessible in order to be listed.
Increase Traffic – Make your Blog SEO Friendly
Document Structure – Does your URL relate to your content? Choose a blog title and description that relates to your blog. Your blog title in blogger is set to read the title you give it in Settings > Basic > Title. Make sure your META tags & blog title have relevant keywords, make them accurate and concise. Google announced in 2009, that META tags & descriptions do not affect google ranking. However, this information is useful for users as it describes what your site is about. Don’t over do the keywords, just use the main ones which relate to your blog. Add the following code
<meta name="description" content="Description of your Blog Content" /> <meta name="keywords" content="keyword 1, keyword 2, keyword 3" />
under the following code which can be found within your
<b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/>
and fill in the description and keywords related to your blog like so
<head> ... <b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/> <meta name="description" content="Design, HTML & SEO Tutorials" /> <meta name="keywords" content="HTML,CSS,SEO,Blogging, Designing" /> ... <title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title> ... </head>
You may see
<meta expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' name='description'/>
head tags. This code is using the description you’ve given your blog in settings for the meta tags. As long as you’ve given your blog a description, you can leave this and just add the meta tag for your keywords.
Navigation – Have a crawlable link structure, name links (the anchor text) appropriately. Focus on simplicity & ease of use, Spiders can crawl text better than images so think about that when linking. Use keywords again and avoid linking every page to every other page. Spiders don’t like being tricked.
Content – Write quality, original content including relevant keywords, terms and useful information. Avoid over-linking or over-stuffing your blog post with keywords. Spiders don’t like content that isn’t original and therefore won’t search it. Sometimes your content will get copied, a lot of the time it will be automated, it’s happened loads of bloggers before. One thing you can do is link back to your own site at least once in the post, they’ll rarely go through the text so at least some of the readers will be linked back to you. (Links to you from other sites is good for SEO so you’ll get the last laugh)
Increase Traffic – Make your Blog Posts SEO Friendly
Appropriate Post Titles – Quirky, random and creative post titles are great, but when it comes to SEO, they aren’t helping your site.Search engines can’t identify with your post title. If I write about a product but name my post title after a song, someone who searches for the product won’t be directed to my post. Use simple titles with keywords, putting the keywords first will help search engines pick up on your post when a user searches for something. Don’t overload on keywords however, search engines don’t like spam & they don’t like being deceived. Keep post titles short, otherwise they will be cut of (…) in search results.
Bad – Wake Me Up When September Ends
Good – 10 Must Have Clothing Items for Autumn
Keywords – I’ve mentioned keywords about a hundred times in this post so by now, you must know that keywords are important. However, it’s more important not to overdo them. Googles free adwords is a great tool for seeing what gets searched. Use this when thinking about what keywords you should use. ONLY use what’s appropriate to your post! Here is where & when you should use them;
- Once in URL if possible.
- Once in META Description tag
- Once in Title or Headings
- Couple of times in the content body/post.
- Image alt tag description & image filename.
Use Headings – Use heading tags (h1, h2, h3) in your blog posts to separate points, use keywords that relate to the content.
Link Back – Link to some related posts that you have previously written. Search Engine Robots reading your content will follow the link, you need to make your site easy to navigate.
Use Text Links Before Image Links – Where possible, try linking using text instead of images. Bots can read text easier than images. If you are using images follow the steps below to ensure that they are optimised correctly.
Increase Traffic – Make your Blog Images SEO Friendly
Images is something that really gets over looked with it comes to improving the SEO of a webpage. They can be a key traffic driver to your site. For example, this image of my bow nails drives so much traffic to misseblog from google, tumblr and weheartit. How often have you looked up something & clicked “images” to find exactly what you are looking for instead of trawling through text links? Probably more often than you think right? Therefore it’s important that your images are set up correctly to be searched. Here’s 3 things you can do.
Correctly name your images – As tempting as it is to name your images 001, 002, 003 or keep the original name IMG1 or DSC001. They give your images no identification, no description of what the image is. Therefore, they are lost of the web. When naming your images, include relevant keywords, relate them to the image & your content. Not only will this help people find your blog, but it will help describe the image to those using a screenreader.
Create a descriptive alt tag – Search engines can’t “read” images like they read text. It is important to describe the image/picture & including keywords so that spiders & web crawlers know what it is. To do so simply add
alt="describe image" to your image code.
<img src="URL of the image" alt="SEO tips for blog images">
If using Bloggers Post Editor in compose mode, you can click the image, click properties and insert the description to the Alt Text box. Here is a post with more information on adding alt tags in Blogger.
Correct anchor text – When creating a link, it is important to give it a suitable name. Again, make it contain keywords or description or even the name of the site. Avoid terms like “click here”, “link here”, “this photo”. Search engines won’t read it, they won’t know what the link is. Also, a screenreader will only read out “link here” and the user won’t know what the link is, therefore probably won’t click it.