Best Search Engine Optimization Guide For Bloggers & Businesses
I have read several posts on how to go about optimizing your blog or business website for effective visibility on search engines.
While most of these articles are of high quality to some extent, I have discovered that they don’t offer advice or tips in full package.
Most of the articles share half-baked information, leaving the reader in a “mid success, mid-failure” level.
For this reason, I am writing this post. I intend to compile all the search engine optimization ideas in a single post, and hopefully, you would find it resourceful.
When do you classify search engine optimization effort as effective?
You call something effective when you begin to see the result of your effort, and when this happens, you rinse and repeat your method to achieve a better result.
When things are not effective, you change strategies and try other ideas.
For you to know if your search engine optimization strategy is effective, your major metrics is the amount of organic traffic coming to your blog. Most especially, the traffic coming from popular search engines (Google, Bing, etc.).
When your method works, then you would notify a surge in your organic traffic and a decrease in the bounce rate. The reason for this is because your visitors are getting what they want when they visit your blog.
Before I dive into the complete guide for effective search engine optimization, let’s look at the summary of what search engine optimization is.
Search Engine Optimization Summary
This is a summary of what you should do to achieve an active search engine optimization effort for your blog.
Great Content: There is no shortcut to getting to the first page of Google other than creating top-notch content.
Once you create contents you’re proud to share across the social platform; then Google would be more than happy to send visitors to your website.
Keyword Research: It would be almost impossible to create top-notch content if you don’t know what people want to read. For this reason, it is very much important to understand the basics of keyword research when planning a blog post.
Optimizing Content: Most bloggers tend to write in a conversational tone. While this is an excellent way to engage readers and keep the article interesting, it’s also necessary to optimize your contents for search engine bot when they crawl your website.
Site Speed: Poor website navigation and poor site speed would eventually result in a high bounce rate. While many people believe that Google does not take into account the time user spend on a post to determine the post position on the search engine result page. I don’t tend to agree with this because, it’s been proven that the longer the post, the higher the position on the result page.
Backlinks: Most bloggers think SEO is all about massive creative backlinks back to your blog or business page. This assumption is wrong! Not all links are healthy, and SEO goes way beyond the backlink.
Mobile: Creating a responsive blog or business website is another important factor when it comes to setting up effective search engine optimization for your blog or business website.
It’s common to discuss search engine optimization under two major categories; Off-page SEO and OnPage SEO.
On-Page SEO is mainly focused on effectively optimizing your website or blog to be in top working condition, linking each blog post to one another, increasing site speed and making the navigation easy for visitors.
Off-Page SEO, on the other hand, is focused on getting authority blogs to link back to your website. It can be achieved using various means, most of which will be discussed in the latter part of this blog post.
Now, let’s gets started.
Best SEO Guide For Bloggers
1. Great Content
Just like I have said in the early part of this post, there is no shortcut to making it to the first page of Google for your desired keyword. The only secret is actually to write something worth reading and sharing across social platforms.
For bloggers, you may think you must write and publish a post every day; at least that’s what most “experts” tell you to do. They tell you to write a lot of posts in other to get traffic to your blog.
On the contrary, you don’t have to publish every day in other to get to the top page of Google for your desired keyword.
All you have to do is write “epic” content or guide on your desired keyword, and you would get traction; not only from search engines but from fellow bloggers and authorities online.
What makes a great Blog Post?
The answer to this question is direct. A great blog post is a blog post that answers a question, provides a solution or add value to the reader.
Often when your blog post solves a particular problem, then the tendency of readers sharing it across social media becomes very high, because they would want others to benefit from the post as well.
In compiling a great blog post, you are expected to make an extensive research on your topic of discussion. Read as much as you can, ask for other people’s opinions on the topic, and make a comprehensive summary of all that you know about the topic.
This might sound like a pretty difficult task of you’re just starting out, but it isn’t difficult in any manner, as a matter of fact, the more you write, the better you get at writing.
A typical quality blog post will contain facts with adequate references (link to where it was sourced), graph (if it has to do with data comparison), a picture or more (provided you’re explaining a certain procedure and there is need for pictorial guide), you may also want to create a video is you think it is necessary.
Lately, I have discovered that another effective way to make your blog post go viral is to create epic content and then visualize it by creating infographics that summarize the post.
These infographics have great potential of going viral because people tend to read colorful things compared to the traditional black and white in which text is written.
For business owners, that cannot dedicate enough time to create quality content for their website; it’s advisable to hire an expert on to handle the writing aspect for you. All you have to do is provide detailed instructions on what you want the freelancer to do for you.
Always remember that not all contents are worth promoting online; and if they’re not worth promoting, then they are as good as nothing.
Gone are the days of 500 words article. Write a lengthy quality, well-researched post, and see your blog or business website get ranked high on various search engines.
2. Keyword Research
When you don’t know what people are searching for online, then it becomes very difficult to actually write what they would read or see on the search engine.
What this means is that, even when your contents are super good, but they don’t contain the right keyword that people type into the Google or Bing search engine when they search online, then your post would not be shown to them. The result of this means zero traffic from search engines.
This is why keyword research is important before you start a blog and also before you publish any post on your blog or website.
Many experts would tell you how good a premium tool is, they would tell you to buy it because they earn a certain commission from it, not necessarily because they think it would be useful to you or increase your search ranking.
For the purpose of Keyword Research, I wouldn’t advise you to “waste” your hard-earned money on getting a premium tool.
I strictly advise that you use the Google Keyword Planner Tool under the Google Ads Platform.
What the keyword planner does mainly is to tell you how frequently users are searching using the keyword and how much competitors are willing to pay for that particular keyword.
Take for instance you intend to write a post about “blogging tips,” all you have to do is input “blogging tips” in the keyword planner box, select your preferred language and country, then the result would be displayed to you within. Often the result range is the average of a year search volume.
You want to specifically look out for keywords with low competition and high search volume. Once you choose your preferred keyword, then you would move on to the next stage, which leads us to optimizing contents.
3. Optimizing Content
When writing your blog post, you should have two major goals in mind; writing to attract human readers, and writing to attract search engine bots.
Now, the truth of the matter is that you can’t do one without the other. Even if you succeeded in getting search engine bot to crawl your website, and the content is not great, be-rest-assured that the visitors would leave the moment they realize that you do not provide real value.
Now let’s examine what it means to write for human readers;
The goal here is simple; you want to write a post title that is catchy, interesting, and at the same time informative. You want to write a post that would naturally get the reader to click on the title because they would like to know more.
Remember that even if your blog post is great, and your blog title is crappy, nobody will read it because we generally tend to judge a book by its cover.
So think of something creative, something that would keep readers on their toes when deciding what your post title will be.
Another factor to consider is the organization of your content. You should always organize content in a way that readers would easily understand the message you’re trying to pass across. Avoid writing everything in block paragraphs and mumbling everything together.
Long, boring text with little white spaces hurts the eyes, and it might send readers away from your blog even when they’re halfway through with the blog post.
So learn to optimize your blog post with enough white space between paragraphs, catchy images, and videos.
Optimizing content for search engine bot, on the other hand, is a little bit complex.
Remember, I told you that it is very important to conduct comprehensive keyword research when planning a blog post? Well, this is where the value of the choosing keyword comes into play.
Use your choosing keyword in the blog post title, subheadings, tags, and labels.
It’s also very important that you include your chosen keyword in the URL of your post; this goes a long way in influencing your position on the search engine result page.
4. Site Speed
Let’s face it! Nobody likes a slow loading webpage.
We both know how frustrating it is to wait for minutes before a website loads its entire content. Poor site speed is harmful to your website or blog search engine optimization effort.
As a matter of fact, when visitors land on your site and they leave within seconds, it shows that you are not offering values to read and may, as a result, be pushed back from the front page of the search result page.
There are various explanation as to why a site might load slowly; some of which includes;
- Poor design
- Outdated softwares
- Excessive plugins and adds on.
- Some of the ways to improve your site load speed include but not limited to; Updating blogging platform software and plugins.
- Hosting large images on another server.
Some of the ways to fix a slow website include:
- Using Blog Content Distribution Network to serve your website to readers from a server closer to them.
- Using a good template and theme.
Over the years, there is a myth that goes around in the blogosphere that the higher your number of backlinks.
I have seen old websites with poor content rank higher on the search engine result page, while new websites with great resourceful content lie on the second or third page.
The major reason for this is the backlink profile of the old website. The longer you stay on the web; the higher your number of backlinks (Provided you know what you’re doing).
So you should conduct a white-hat link outreach on others to improve your backlink profile and outsmart your competitors.