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Optimizing your blog means having a searchable website that Google can refer to when inquiries are typed into the search bar. An optimized blog will rank higher on search results. It makes your website more visible. Optimizing a blog is something anyone can do, and this article will show you how.
Have you heard of search engine optimization (SEO)?
If you are a blog owner in 2021, chances are you have. For new bloggers, this can sound rather technical and complicated. Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. The best case is when Google refers to your website to answer questions. This establishes your blog as an authority and goes a long way to boost traffic to your page views.
It is critical to have search engine optimization (SEO) knowledge and skills from day one. Without SEO, there is a chance your website does not rank highly in relevant searches. Plus, if your website has been running for a long time and has a ton of content, investing money and time to update it can be costly, so start optimizing it now.
Even with the absolute best content, SEO is still a necessity. Great content cannot rank if it is not optimized. Of course, there are strategies you can use to update your website and SEO. Some of these are covered in this article.
- How can I optimize my blog for SEO?
- Images and Videos
- Remove Duplicate Content
- Improve Site Load Speed
- Mobile optimization
- Translate Your Website
- Improve your Site’s User Experience
- How do I get my blog noticed by Google?
- Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
Table of contents
- How can I optimize my blog for SEO?
- Images and Videos
- Remove Duplicate Content
- Improve Site Load Speed
- Mobile optimization
- Translate Your Website
- Improve your Site’s User Experience
- How do I get my blog noticed by Google?
- Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
How can I optimize my blog for SEO?
Optimizing your blog for SEO is the process of making changes to your website to rank higher on the search pages.
Images and Videos
Images and videos are often used on websites as complimentary content. They help to show skills and concepts in visual ways. Pictures are great but need to be used with care. When not used correctly, images and videos slow down your website. Then, your website’s SEO score will be negatively affected! To avoid that, here are some tips to keep in mind as you add images to your blog posts.
Alt-text is the use of HTML code to describe an image’s appearance and function on a page. Alt-text came from a movement to make websites more accessible. Because visually impaired people can struggle to see pictures on websites, alt-text was developed to ensure that everyone can access websites. While alt-text is an excellent function to implement for accessibility, it also provides benefits to SEO.
For example, if your website cannot load, alt-text will appear in the place of the picture allowing your audience to have a similar experience without the image.
When a website is crawled, Google attempts to gather information about your website to later use to make suggestions. Your pictures are part of your website, and having alt-text can help with ranking higher on search engines.
A website needs to load quickly. Not only do people have short attention spans, but a fast loading site can also improve your rankings. Keep this in mind as you add pictures to your blog posts. The size of your photographs can dramatically affect your page speed. To improve your SEO score, compress your images before uploading them to your website. If you are looking for options for image compression, check out these free online tools. To compress a picture, open the site, drag and drop the image onto the page and enter your desired dimensions. Sizing the image down will help your page load much faster.
Use image description on your pictures is a way to use keywords to boost your website’s ranking. Plus, it makes for a better article as descriptions help your reader to better understand an image. Next time you take a picture, add a short description to it.
If you show a picture of food, you might want to give it a title like “Broccoli Pasta Casserole” or “Three Cheese Pizza with Pineapple.” If you are showing a picture of a dog, you may want to provide the following information about the dog: name, breed and age.
When writing your descriptions, make sure that they are thorough and specific. You don’t want them to be too short. Using too many keywords can clutter your description and make it look spammy. When doing SEO for your site through an image description, keep in mind that search engines may recognize words in images as well as text.
Use closed captioning to improve the accessibility of your videos. It can act as a backup if audio fails and can be translated into other languages. Having captions also improves your SEO. Google will pick up the captions and display it on the search engine results page.
Optimize images and videos
In summary, optimizing images and videos for SEO is an important process. However, this is not an overwhelming process to get started with. Try experimenting with keywords. Stay aware of your site’s flow and make sure to write content that answers all the questions a customer might have before they make a purchase. And most importantly, focus on what you really want people to know about your business!
Remove Duplicate Content
Cannibalization is when Google ranks different pages on your website for the exact search. Having duplicate content on your website will prompt cannibalization. As the word suggests, you are literally eating yourself out of the search. Duplicate content confuses Google and will prevent you from ranking your content.
Retargeting your strategy to help Google better rank your website is essential to rank your most valuable content. Some pages on your website will perform better than others. These are the pages that you want Google to promote and direct traffic to.
5 Steps to Deoptimize a Blog Post
1. Open the page in a new browser window
2. Right-click on the article
3. Select “view page source” from the drop-down menu and then click “view”
4. Search for any text that looks like a meta description (it will look something like “<meta name=”description” content=””) and delete it, or just remove all metas altogether
5. Compress images you use on your blog by choosing “save for web” when exporting to GIF or PNG formats
Improve Site Load Speed
Improving your site speed is one of the main areas you want to look at. Most people do not look past the first page of search engine results. So, for your website to gain organic traffic from search engine results, you need to rank amongst the top 10 pages in your topic. Focusing on your page speed can bring you a ton of organic traffic and improve your website ranking.
A good page speed loads within the first three seconds on desktop, tablet, and mobile. About 50% of people wait for 4 seconds, and about 90% click out past 5 seconds of waiting.
Want to know how fast your website is currently loading? You can run a speed test on Google for free for desktop and mobile speed.
Time needed: 10 minutes.
Steps to conduct a site speed test on Google
- Go to Google
Go to https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=www.yourdomainnamehere.com&analytics=true&all=true
- Request to analyze
Enter the URL of your website in the text field and click “Analyze”
The results will show in the table below
- Full report view
Click “View full report” to see more detailed information about your site including opportunities for additional optimization
Review the information shown and look at ways to improve the performance of your website
Use the test results as a guide on how to increase the performance of your website
Check out Google’s PageSpeed Insights frequently to see how you are doing and to look for new opportunities for optimization
Use SEO plugins to help you rank on Google and identify areas of improvement on your site. A popular SEO plugin is Yoast. Yoast can be used for free and will give your site feedback by providing warning and attention signals to note and fix.
There are two types of links – internal linking and external linking. Knowing the difference will boost your SEO score as both types are necessary.
Internal links is when you link from one page to another page with in website. Your anchor text or pillar post is the main post for a specific topic. The other posts that are on your website all refer back to the pillar post. Picking one pillar or anchor text is essential for your audience and Google to rank your page.
External Links to Authoritative Sites
External linking is linking from one website to another. In your blog posts, add links to other websites. It shows a well-researched article and can help your readers learn more about the topic as you improve your own SEO ranking.
Linking to outside sources may prompt them to return the favor.
When other websites link to your website, you start to establish yourself as an authoritative source. Linking promotes new audiences to read your content. This gives it more credibility and boosts your website ranking.
The blog posts are the heart and soul of a blog. Images, links, and plugins are all critical, but perhaps the blog most important factor is the blog post. So, when optimizing your website, focus on making your blog posts SEO-friendly.
Research keywords and topics
Optimization starts to happen before you start writing a blog post. That’s right, the research you do before you create content is just as crucial. Researching topics and keywords are essential to boosting your SEO score.
Keyword research is looking for the best keywords to suit your topic. Look for words or phrases that are highly searched and are most likely to help your post rank. Finding high-ranking keywords and issues can be done in several ways, such as using the Google Search bar or browsing Quora for frequently asked questions.
The most effective way to find keywords and topics is by using Frase.io. Frase will search top results, give a topic score, offer questions, related information, most used headers, links, and stats based on the topic you add to their search engine. It is by far the easiest way to build your outlines and search content. If you are curious to try it out, Frase offers a free trial.
As a genuine way to boost your SEO score, use keywords throughout your writing, use keywords in your headers and in the body of your work (copy matters). Be sure to have a flow to your writing with an appropriate voice and tone as you embed keywords.
The title of your blog posts must include keywords. Search engines such as Google provide ways to tag your content, and your title is one of the main items to tag on your post. Ensure that the keywords are at the beginning of the title.
When publishing a blog post, you can change the URL. Change the URL to something short and searchable. For example, if your title is “How to use blog posts for social media marketing,” you may consider a URL such as http://blogname.com/marketing.
Repurpose or update your content
Repurposing or updating your content is going back and updating outdated content with new links, content, and relevancy. Since the page has tons of data already and is being repurposed, it is excellent for SEO.
Updated content ranks on the search engine results page (SERP) and gains authority faster than writing new content on a new page. It also extends the lifespan of a blog post, so you can achieve the best results over a long time.
A snippet is how a single search result appears on a page of search results. There are different kinds of snippets. A regular static snippet consists of the page title, URL, and a short description below.
Featured snippets are sections of your page that are on Google as a response to a question. They appear at the very top of the search results page and can entice Google users to click through if your content looks useful.
Here is the catch – you do not choose which parts of your content are a snippet. Google determines for you.
However, you can help Google choose by writing a meta description for your blog post. These are a few short sentences describing your blog post accurately and enticingly.
Tips to create a good meta description
- Include keywords in your meta description. This shows Google that your meta description is relevant to your blog post and the user search query, making Google more likely to use your meta description in the snippet.
- Keep the tone friendly and straightforward. Users are just scrolling through search results when they see your meta description. Simple and frequently used words can catch their attention more quickly than jargon.
- Limit the length. Yoast recommends keeping meta descriptions to less than 155 characters. If it is too long, you will lose the user’s attention, and the explanation might get cut halfway.
Having a great title and copy are essential! When your title ranks on Google, there is a good chance that what is at the top of your post will also show on the results as a snippet. Ensure that the beginning of your blog post summarizes your content. You want your reader to get a good sense of your page to be compelled to click through to your website and read more.
Recent studies indicate that over 60% of Google searches come from mobile devices(semrush.com)
It is essential to optimizing your website to automatically load correctly on mobile devices! Statistics show that half of all users tend to access websites from mobile devices instead of desktop. Mobile device usage has increased over the past years, and if the trend continues, more of your audience will be visiting your blog from a mobile device.
One of the easiest ways to optimize for mobile is by selecting a responsive theme. Responsive themes adapt to mobile, tablet, and desktop based on the device the website is accessed through.
Once you have a responsive theme, be sure to work within your theme so that your site is not distorted when accessed through different devices. For example, if your theme has the featured blog post image at the top and your device wants to wrap text around it, it may distort the text on mobile but not on desktop.
Another thing to note is the impact of plug-ins on mobile. For example, share buttons that float at the top or side of your website on desktop may hover on the text on mobile. Be sure to limit disruptions to the user experience.
Translate Your Website
Translating your website is one of the best ways to rank on searches outside of your country and in different languages. Easier to connect with audiences with a foreign primary language than that of your blog. To translate your blog, update your website with Google, pay a translation auditor, and/or purchase the software.
Improve your Site’s User Experience
User experience (UX) is based on your audience. Starting with UX in mind helps in the long run with updates and modifications. Think about the trajectory of your user on your website. Remember that people don’t just use a website. They also share websites with others. By understanding your users, you’ll be able to generate more traffic and be more successful in your SEO efforts.
For the best user experience, consider simplifying your interface. This helps to limit decision fatigue and lowers bounce rates. Then, optimize your site structure so that more audience members are guided to your core and pillar content. Improve your load speed and strategically place ads so that a reader can focus on the content.
Improve your load speed and strategically place ads so that a reader can focus on the content. One of the most important elements for success in the digital world is speed. Webpages need to load quickly so that users can have a good experience and use your site as intended. As such, you should concentrate on optimizing your code and make sure that you optimize images. This will help you keep loading times low so that visitors are not waiting too long for their desired content.
You will also want to consider placing ads strategically on your website. Consider the layout of your site and how you will place ads. Try to arrange them at the most optimal place on your page, so that your ads are close to the content they are meant to support. Also, pay attention what kind of ads you need to place: text or image? If you choose the latter option, consider sending a preview of the ad so that readers can see what they will receive when it is actually loaded on their browser. As with loading times, search engines are looking for optimal placement of text advertisements as well, so consider using keywords in an ad group with keywords that relate to your pages and that add value for the user. In terms of adding value, think about how and where your webpage links to other websites.
There are particular main metrics to think about when considering user experience, including:
- Bounce rate: The percentage of users who click out of your site
- Click-Through-Rate: The trajectory a user will go through to navigate your site without funnels.
- Pages per session: The exploration of your site
- Time-on-site: How long a user stays on your site
To improve these metrics, optimize your site on mobile, desktop, and tablet. Each device provides a different perspective, and all should be taken into account to create a positive user experience.
Here are a few general tips to be mindful of when adding content to your website
- Font. Be sure your font is legible. Choose a font that is big enough to see, and that is legible.
- Limit Pop-ups. There are benefits to pop-ups. However, they are a big distraction. I opt to have none on my website, but that may change depending on my strategy.
- Limit fields on forms. While creating landing pages and opt-in forms, be selective with the information you ask for. Choose only information that will be helpful for your business. Adding too many fields can be a deterrent to potential subscribers.
- Use buttons. It is more aesthetically pleasing to use buttons instead of “click here” links. It encourages behavior in a visual way of supporting engagement. Be sure that buttons are easy to access on all devices, especially mobile.
How do I get my blog noticed by Google?
This section is for ranking on Google. Most people use the Google search engine. However, these tips may rank in other search engines too.
Add Schema Markup
Use Schema.org to add schema markup. This is a collaborative effort between Google and other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing. The idea is to have one structured schema for all major search engines to follow. Using Schema to mark up your site means that your site will be easily searchable by different search engines, not just Google. This is especially important if your target audience tends to use various search engines.
Adding schema markup to your content can improve your SEO ranking as schema markup tells search engines what your page is all about. Your website benefits from adding schema markups to your HTML because then the search engine doesn’t have to guess. As a result, your website can be crawled and indexed much more quickly and effectively.
Use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to start marking your website. The more content you mark up, the better it is for your chances to rank amongst the top 10 and on the first page of Google.
Optimize for Voice Search
More and more people use their home devices, Google Home and Alexa, to verbally complete online searches.
3 Tips to Rank on Voice Search
- Using headers that are phrased like questions works great with ranking with voice because most people will ask who, what, when, where, why, and how questions when using voice search.
- Include frequently asked questions on your website for better ranking. This makes it easier for Google to use your content when answering questions.
- Use natural language when writing. Think about how someone may inquire about a subject and write headers that reflect that.
When Google responds, it relies on snippets to answer voice queries.
The response text length that is the most common is about 41 words on average. When explaining a concept, try to answer concretely and in the best way for your audience to understand.
Submit a Sitemap to Google
Sitemaps are a way to tell Google how your website is structured and interlinked. You’ll have categories on your website. This is helpful for Google to find answers quickly and produce results for queries on its Google search bar.
Once your site map is done, it helps to link to it on your website so that visitors can get a better understanding of your website and the information that can be found on it.
Do note that the size of your website matters.
For sites larger than 100 pages, you will have to submit a sitemap to Google.
If your website has less than 100 pages, you do not need to submit a site map. Instead, you can request Google to crawl your website.
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Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
The following are tips and frequently asked questions.
Getting 1000 visitors or page views is usually a way to get better ads on your site, bringing in more money.
Social media is a great way to increase awareness of your brand and show people who you are. Depending on your social media strategy, this may mean focusing on one platform or several.
Tip: Prioritize platforms that will drive traffic to your website, such as Pinterest.
Guest posting on other people’s blogs helps you connect with an audience that likes to hear from bloggers and may benefit from your content.
Ranking on Google
The top 10 spots are the best place to be on Google. This means that your website is deemed authoritative in your topic and can boost its links and referrals.
Campaigning can be done in several ways, but the main objective is to raise awareness. Collaborating with brands and embedding passion projects to your work is a way to reach new audiences.
Getting more visitors is a significant first step! Next is to keep your visitors on your site by providing excellent content and a stellar user experience. At this point, consider using ads to monetize your blog. To further build on your income streams, you may want to focus on converting visitors to customers.
This depends on your monetization strategy. Here are a couple of ways you can make money while you grow your blogging business.
Affiliate marketing is promoting other’s products and services through a unique link. You will receive a commission for purchases while the customer’s experience remains the same. Using affiliate marketing is an excellent source of income and can be implemented on day one without having page views.
Google Ads is a great starting point for embedding ads into your website. Embedding advertising (or ads) is passive income for promotion on your website. With higher page view volumes, you can apply to higher-paying advertisers or companies that can potentially pay more for the same space.
Accepting donations is a strategy that is often used with videos and live content. Creators are paid to produce content that is requested by paying customers. You can also do this on your blogging business and give more voice to members who submit money.
Create Premium Content
Creating content that ranks on the search engine will drive traffic to your blog, giving you more credibility and expanding your reach with monetization.
Sell Services and Products
This is one to try while working on getting higher traffic on your website. Selling services and products on your site is a possible source of income. Plus, if your products or services are high-quality, you can satisfy your current customers as well.
When it comes to blogging, marketing does not have to be expensive. In fact, promoting your blog can be done for free.
Guest posting can be done for free! You can offer to guest post on a blog or reach an agreement to guest post on each other’s website.
Tip: Keep your audience your top priority. Ensure that there is consistency on your blog and that readers are receiving high-quality content on schedule.
Promoting your content on social media can be done by:
Taking snippets of your work and posting them on the caption with a blog photo.
Adding videos to social media explaining the how-to of your post.
Showing behind the scenes of your blogging business.
Whichever platform you decide to focus on, take the time to learn it well, especially regarding ranking. You can then tailor your promotional posts to be suitable for that specific platform.
Create Premium Content
Great content is ranked highly by search engines. Writing great content that answers questions clearly and is indexed is a free way to rank well and promote your blog.
How can I maintain a healthy website?
Maintaining a healthy website with high SEO is an ongoing process. You will constantly monitor your website and make adjustments to work with the algorithm and new technologies.
Setup Google Analytics
Google Analytics lets you know about your websites, such as bounce rate, pages searched, and much more. If you notice a significant discrepancy, it would be likely that there are changes to your website. Stay updated with Google Analytics.
Audit Your Content
Have fresh content on your website. This means regularly updating terms, images, and topics. Make a habit of going back to past content and updating it frequently. It gives you the benefit of having content stay fresh with more extended longevity. Plus, you can repurpose content for social media and promotion.
Choosing keywords can be tricky. You want something specific enough to give you a chance at ranking high and keywords that are commonly searched by search engine users. If you are stuck, you can use keyword search tools, such as Frase.io.
Related: FRASE.IO FOR BLOGGERS: ADD VALUE TO YOUR CONTENT WITH STATISTICS, SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS, AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
First of all, it’s great that you are thinking of using images. There is no quicker way to add interest to a blog post. Pictures are good for SEO as long as they add value to your content. Use images where they make the most sense and compliment your writing. If you are a food or craft blogger your blog will have more pictures compared to a finance blog.
Know your audience and provide visuals when needed.
Improve the load speed of your site so that readers can focus on the content, as well as strategically place ads. There are a few ways to make your page load faster, but be aware that some tactics might have negative effects, such as slowing down your site or removing functionality. Keep in mind that every website is different, so you have to test out different methods to see what works for your individual site.
1. Check your web hosting plan
If you are using a web hosting plan from a major provider like GoDaddy or HostGator, then the speed of your pages will be dependent on how fast the servers are running at the moment. If your website is having speed issues and it’s not an issue with the code itself, consider switching to a hosting service that doesn’t overload their servers as much as competitors (such as Cloudways Hosting).
2. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN, or “Content Delivery Network,” is a distributed network of caching servers that store frequently accessed web content. A CDN can be used to host static files that appear on your website, such as images or videos. By having these files stored in multiple physical locations all over the world, you are able to decrease the load times for the images and videos on your site because they have to travel less distance from their origin server to where they will appear on your webpage. There are many CDNs available such as Cloudways provided CDN.
3. Make sure your images are optimized
A lot of people don’t realize that images can take up a significant amount of data. If your images are not properly optimized, they can slow down the entire page because they’re being stored on the server for a long period of time. You have to make sure that each image you upload is at least 72dpi and will be placed in the root directory of the site. Smaller files are even better.
In addition, you may want to try and use different file formats for your images such as PNG, GIF, JPG, or WebP. Even though JPG files are typically the best choice for photos, WebP is better for simple graphics and animated images. Keep in mind that WebP requires support from the browser to display images correctly.
4. Check your web pages for unnecessary HTML tags and attributes
Randomly adding HTML tags to web pages can slow download times because it adds an extra layer of code that has to run on the server before displaying in a browser. You should remove any HTML tags you aren’t using or attributes you aren’t using in CSS, as well as remove any CSS you aren’t using since they might be loading into your page even if they don’t appear on the website.
5. Google Analytics
It’s important to know how your visitors are using and navigating through your website. In order to measure the traffic patterns of your site, you can embed Google Analytics on your website which will track the number of hits, average load time, and a lot more. Google Analytics will also give you information related to where visitors are coming from. Google also has a tool called Google Analytics Mobile App available to track mobile viewers through your site. That’s why it’s extremely important to have solid analytics data to ensure your site is working well and keep the best features on.
6. Use HTTPS when possible
HTTPS, or “HTTP Secure,” is the preferred encryption protocol for pages that contain sensitive information like credit cards. It provides additional security by hiding the connection details of the user on the other end, such as IP address and user agent (i.e., browser) so that no one can see what they are doing when they connect to your website from a public network. This is extremely important when using your website as an online store or accepting payments through PayPal, for example.
7. Minimize browser resources
Optimizing your blog content is essential. It will help your website rank more highly, draw in more site visitors and improve the user experience of your current audience. Try out the tips in this article, and let me know if it helps you optimize your blogging website!