Whether you’re just getting started in in the blog game or have been writing entries for a while, you know how challenging it is to get your site near the top of Google’s search rankings.
With some good SEO tactics and a bit of persistence, though, you can remedy that problem with our guide and get a head start on your competitors.
And while the exact algorithm for search rankings isn’t fully known, we do know that there are a lot of SEO-related techniques you can use, all of which can add up to a higher rank and more visitors.
Here are 10 techniques that you can start using right away.
1. Content is king
Compelling, well-written, and grammatically correct blog posts that are useful and relevant for your audience is what is going to keep your visitors coming back for more. If you become the go-to resource in your niche, links and ranks will come naturally.
Keep content fresh, keep it updated, keep it relevant and keep it coming regularly! There’s a reason why “content” is the first word in “content marketing.”
2. Make keywords count
Find hot, shareable topics from your niche using tools like Buzzsumo and see if you can create better, more in-depth content about these topics.
Of course, you need to use relevant keywords in your content. You can use keyword research tools to see what people search for in your niche:
- Longtail Pro – one of the popular keyword research tools in the industry. Clean and easy to use, this is the go-to tool if you want a simple solution without the need to over-analyse it too much.
- Wordtracker – with great power comes a greater price tag. For a monthly fee you can generate relevant keywords for your niche in a matter of minutes.
- Semrush – The all-in-one solutions lets you find, new keywords, track your rankings, keep an eye on competition and much more.
These tools will help you find the “low hanging fruit” to go after.
3. Put keywords in your post’s url
When writing new posts, set the URL to contain your main keywords for the article, and keep the whole URL string as short as possible — it suggests high relevance.
4. Add images to your content
Having high quality images in your content not only makes it easier to read and understand the content and encourages sharing, but it has SEO benefits too!
Rather than using filenames like photo1.jpg, use a filename with your keywords in it. The same goes for image alt tags.
People that look for a relevant image on Google Search will have a chance to find your original image and:
- Check out your website as well
- Use your branded image on their blog (with your permission of course)
5. Write effective title tags
Web users may not look at a page’s browser title as much as they look at what’s actually on the page, but for SEO purposes, keywords in the title tags are important.
Putting the keyword at the beginning of the title makes it appear more relevant for the search spiders.
6. Add unique content on category pages
Again, content is king. Custom content on your blog’s specific category pages can help to boost your ranking. Especially if you put a blog post in more than one category, having unique copy on each category page will help the category page to not come across as spammy.
7. Link to high quality sites
While websites used to be about stickiness and not letting the visitor leave, we now know that linking to reputable and relevant sites can actually help your blog show up higher in the rankings. Some writers have likened it to paying your dues.
8. Make it easy to share your content
If other sites and social media accounts link to your blog, not only will it lure more visitors to your site, it will boost your rankings. Make it easy for others to link by including buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, and Google+ users.
9. Use Webmaster tools
Both Google and Bing offer an incredibly helpful package of tools to help you learn your blog’s keyword rank, see who’s linking to you, and much more. Based on the data you receive, you can re-evaluate and adjust your blog as necessary.
For example, you can see the CTR (Click-Through Rate) for a particular keyword and compare the content of the more successful pages with the ones that have a lower CTR. Check out Google’s own resource pages to get started.
10. Write a good meta description
OK, this may or may not be directly related to SEO. However if your page comes up high enough in the rankings because you used the other nine techniques mentioned here, a good meta description (the text snippet of your content) can mean the difference between a user deciding to click or pass.
The free WordPress plugin SEO by Yoast offers an easy way to edit the meta description of your post.
Good SEO practises are absolutely essential to getting your blog ranked higher. It’s important to remember, however, that your rank won’t shoot up overnight.
You’ll need to give it a bit of time, and soon enough you should start to see results.