While I was writing my blog posts How To Increase Traffic To Your Website For Free and How To Promote Your Website For Free I touched briefly on the subject of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and its importance.
I feel it is important to outline SEO in more detail. My how to SEO guide for beginners lists nine steps you can take to optimize your blog posts for SEO.
Improving your SEO will help you to get higher rankings in the search engines, and that will ultimately attract more visitors to your site.
It is not rocket science at all, and once you get the concept, you just apply it for every blog post. So don’t feel intimidated by the big word.
What Is SEO
SEO is an acronym and stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of creating a post that is optimized for the search engines. As a result, the search engines can find your website easier.
This strategy is aimed at getting higher rankings in the search engines which will lead to more visitors to your site. Visitors who have found your site by searching Google, Bing or Yahoo and click through to your site are called ‘organic traffic.’
Why Is SEO So Important
Getting organic traffic is the biggest goal for everyone who has a website or a blog.
Even though the Search engines have they algorithms how they understand and rank pages and posts, they are still ways how we can help them to understand our site better.
When you optimize your blog posts for SEO, your chances of getting better rankings are higher. That means people have a better chance to find your site in the search engines.
Optimized Pages for SEO ⇒ Better Rankings ⇒ More Visitors ⇒ More Sales ⇒ Happy Life!
My Nine Steps To Improve SEO
Here are my nine recommended steps in a nutshell. I will explain each step individually.
- Research your targeted keyword.
- Write your content with your targeted keyword in mind.
- Optimize the images.
- Customize the Meta title and meta description.
- The use of categories and tags.
- Internal linking.
- Share on social media.
- Fetch as Google.
- Make a video related to your post and place it on Youtube and your site.
1) Research Your Targeted Keyword
I have shown the process of choosing the best keywords in my post What Is Long Tail Keyword Research and outlined to go for the long-tailed and low-hanging fruit keywords.
Check out Jaaxy, my favorite keyword research tool, for the number of monthly searches and the competing websites. Try and find a phrase that has a low number of competing sites.
Once I’ve done that, I am going to do the research for my content and start writing a quick draft.
2) Write Your Content With The Keyword In Mind
What that means is your content should match the keyword you are targeting. Also, the keyword should be in the content itself.
It is best to put in the blog title, the first paragraph of your post and closer to the end of your post. It should feel natural and should make sense to your readers.
Don’t overdo it, though. Too many keywords stuffed in an article can feel spammy and probably your post is not enjoyable to read.
The keyword density is not so necessary anymore. Just stick to the main spots as mentioned in the title, first paragraph and near the end of your post.
3) Customize Meta Title And Meta Description
In my screenshot, I’ve marked the Meta title and the Meta description.
The meta title is basically the title of your post. The meta description is the blurb that shows in the search engines and gives the readers a bit more information about the article.
For my site, I am using the All In One SEO which is one of the most popular SEO plugins. I also use the Yoast SEO for my other websites. (What Are Plugins Used For?) I like them both but find the Yoast SEO plugin more beginner and user-friendly.
Anyway, these plugins give me the option to customize my meta description. I always put my targeted keyword into the meta description. In this example: How To Build A Free Website; it’s the keyword, title and in the description.
Why should you bother to type in the meta description manually?
This snippet of text is what compels search engine users to click on your link. The page or post title is the first thing that will get the attention of the person searching in Google.
I usually look at the snippet (the Meta Description) and decide from there which site I am going to click on.
It is another way to ‘sell your content’ and gets the person to click on your link. This process is called CTR or Click-Through Rate.
4) Optimize Images
For every blog post, it is also essential to use captivating images.
The images can be SEO optimized by adding a title and the alt text. If these spaces are blank, the search engines don’t know what the images are all about.
Try to use the targeted keyword for at least one image and add the keyword phrase as alt text.
5) The Use Of Categories And Tags
Before you publish a new blog post file it under a particular category. By default, the category in WordPress is ‘uncategorized.’ To make it easier for visitors to find your post, choose a category that makes sense for the particular post.
This will help to improve the user experience (UX), and that helps with the SEO.
As for the post tags, you should treat them as keywords. Try to be specific as possible because it can contribute to driving more traffic to your site.
6) Internal Linking
Internal linking means to interlink your posts with each other. So you would refer from one post to an older blog post.
For example, when I mentioned in this post that keyword research is essential, I then link this phrase with one of my posts which is called What Is Long Tail Keyword Research. ⇔ This is my interlink. I try to interlink from one post to at least three older posts.
It signals Google that you have valuable content on your website which Google loves.
It will not only improve the SEO but it will increase the time visitors stay on your site, and it will boost your page views.
Most importantly, interlinking your posts makes for a fantastic user experience. Your readers will find the information they are looking for much easier.
Make interlinking a habit! Go through older posts and see if you can link them to new posts.
Make it a habit of sharing your posts on social media. I wrote in more detail about it here. It will drive visitors to your site and shows Google that your site increases in popularity.
Therefore, your site has a better chance in higher rankings.
The power of social media!
8) Fetch As Google
I don’t wait for Google to index my post. As soon as I hit the publish button, I copy the URL and go over to Google Webmaster Tool.
The whole process with screenshots you will find in this post.
Videos are a great way to improve the SEO. Make a video related to your post and post it on your YouTube Channel and also on your blog post.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and is owned by the largest search engine in the world. That is pretty powerful stuff.
Videos are on my top priority list and I need to tackle this task. I know my websites will benefit from it.
Wrapping It Up
These are my nine easy to follow steps of my how to SEO guide for beginners.
I hope the steps are easy to understand. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment box below.