If you’re like me, you like staying on top off things and you always strive to make your blog a pretty cool space. You know about keeping it uncluttered, and using lots of paragraphs and at least one image per post.
And that’s all good, but what about optimizing your blog and your posts for search engines (aka Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, etc.)?
See, search engine optimization (or SEO) is VITAL if you want to attract new visitors.
Regardless of your platform, there are three key ingredients to ensuring your post is truly optimized for search engines:
1. Make your post title informative
Yes, I know “Cabo was AH-mazing!!” might make a more fun title, but instead make your it more search-engine friendly and tell the reader, for instance, WHY you thought Cabo was amazing, or what you learned there.
For instance, a better title could be “While in Cabo, make sure you buy XYZ” or “Top 3 things to keep in mind when you’re in Cabo.” Keep it simple.
BONUS: Make your post into a list, too, if possible. Readers LOVE lists!
2. Add in-post links
You guys. Ninety-nine percent of bloggers don’t know how to properly link so don’t worry if you’re unsure about what I mean
(Honestly, I’ve been guilty of not following through on this one all the time.)
Basically, a huge part of SEO is made up of what are called inbound links–these are the links on other sites that take visitors to your site. It gets more complicated than that (and there’s even unlawful ways of doing it–i.e., Google will remove you off search results if you commit them) but that’s basically it.
So if you want to make sure you’re getting the RIGHT kinds of links to both your blog AND giving proper credit to those you talk about on your blog, you need to be very clear! How?
2A. Omit “HERE”
NEVER EVER link to the word” here” as in “read about how I overcame dystonia <here>.” Instead, always, ALWAYS link to the most interesting part of your link or the one you think people will be more likely to look up. (Lookup frequency trumps what YOU think is interesting, however.) So that call-to-action from above would look better as: “read about <how I overcame dystonia here.>” (P.S I truly did!)
2B. Omit “VIA,” too
For the love of all that is holy, stay away from using just the words “via” or “source” ( or any other variation) in a picture’s caption and then linking those monosyllables to the actual source. No!!
Instead, CITE that source! (I’m a researcher, so this one’s a biggie..)
No one expects you to create your own graphics, so be transparent about and proud of the fact that you looked for the PERFECT image to suit that post’s mood–and tell readers where you got it. It’s simply common courtesy. And gets you good karma. Write this: “via <The Economist>” but NOT “via” or “source” b/c that doesn’t say anything to search engines!
Learn more about how to link to stuff the right way.
3. “Describe” your images
Ah, meta data. Pages have them, blog posts have them, even images have them. For your pages and images, you have to mainly make sure that you add a proper title and snippet/description. If you have space for keywords in your meta data, feel free to add some, though Google doesn’t look at those primarily.
But I’d like to focus more on your images. You can’t neglect “describing” your images in the backend. Above all else, your images need to have a proper title and proper Alt text.
A title makes it so that if someone wants to, for instance, Pin your image, there’ll already be a cool, Pinterest- and user-friendly title in that field. Then, both search engines and Pinterestwill be able to pull up that image when searching for that topic.
Alt text is what you see when an image can’t be displayed and there’s a “broken image” icon. The text next to it ≠ the alt text. Sometimes people are great with their alt tags–they write them so they describe what the image is about or what it states. Other times, the alt text says something like, “img-2345-randomletters.jgp.”
If you want both browsers that have been set to not display images and people with accessibility issues to still be able to “see” your images, then just add a proper and descriptive alt tag.
You can make it similar to your title or even longer, if it’s an image quote, or something along those lines.
And that’s it! My easiest SEO tips ever. Hope that was helpful!
Want more awesome tips in general? Check out my Resources! I also work in digital marketing so if you have any questions in the matter, feel free to contact me. And if you’d like to revamp your site, I invite you to hire me (<< 10% off + a special rate for bloggers when you mention this ad).