— November 26, 2017
As a blogger, search engine optimization (SEO) should be your primary concern in your promotion strategy. Considering search is the most important traffic source for your blog (see above graph), optimizing your posts should be a top priority for both beginning and advanced bloggers. Unfortunately, not all bloggers take advantage of the benefits of SEO. If your analytics tell you that organic traffic is low, try these five quick SEO fixes:
1. Use the Right Keywords
One of the most important parts of optimizing your blog posts is making sure to include the right keywords. They may not necessarily be the most popular terms out there (in fact, you might want to stray away from those), but you should have a set of keywords that you are always striving to use. To help you determine which keywords to use, try the Google Keyword Tool.
Once you’ve decided on your keywords, make sure to litter them throughout the post strategically. SEOmoz has an awesome visual layout that you should try to follow in every post. Try to find a balance between stuffing too many keywords and completely forgetting about SEO—there is a happy medium between the two. Beyond the body of your post, try including these keywords in the URL, Alt Attirbute tag and headline (all of which I will go into later).
2. Have a Catchy Headline
Also known as your H1 text, your headline should be catchy, filled with keywords and concise. Which headline would you be more likely to search: “My Favorite WordPress Plugins to Increase Your Blog Pageviews” or “Top WordPress Plugins to Increase Pageviews”? The second headline actually sounds like a search query and has the keywords “WordPress Plugins” and “Increase Pageviews.” Beyond the technical SEO fix, it also contains some of the criteria for a great headline: It’s exclusive and specific. Remember, after you get a good search engine ranking, you still need to pull readers in with good content.
3. Link to Internal Content
Beyond keeping people engaged on your site longer, links to your own content within a blog post helps improve your SEO. Internal links allow search engine spiders to more easily crawl your page because they can better understand the page structure, thus giving you an advantage in search engine rankings. Rack in the SEO gold and increase pageviews just by linking to your old content.
4. Include Alt Attribute Tags
While I am a huge advocate for using photos and videos in your blog posts to become more shareable, they aren’t inherently SEO-friendly. To have engaging content and still dominate the search engines, you need to fill out the Alt Attribute tag. This tag gives the image or video a text description, allowing it to be crawled by search engine spiders. Make sure that your keywords are included in this as well. If you make the effort to find images you can use, make sure you take the time to add an Alt Attribute tag.
5. Choose Your URL Wisely
While humans love catchy or punny headlines, search engines don’t care—they only concern themselves with relevant search terms. Make sure that you customize every URL to be short with the right keywords to maximize your searchability. For example, we had a post called “5 Free Chrome Plugins for the Startup Marketing Wizard” and the URL read http://blog.shareaholic.com/2012/07/free-chrome-plugins. While the URL isn’t particularly catchy, it has a commonly searched phrase in it. Always take the time to customize your URLs—it will increase your odds of being ranked well on search engines.
Have any other SEO tips or tricks? Comment below with your ideas.