I’m one of the lucky bloggers because I have a degree in a subject that meant I had to study modules on SEO, which then lead to me working in SEO and link building once I graduated from university in 2014, so I have a good understanding of this essential area of blogging. I am, however, under no illusions about the fact that if I did not have this background understanding of SEO, as a blogger I would most probably struggle to understand how to use this tool effectively.
Bearing that in mind, I wanted to put together this simple guide to how blogging and SEO link to each other and why this partnership is so important for bloggers.
What is SEO?
SEO, also known as ‘search engine optimisation’ is a tool used to enhance a website or blog to make it more noticeable to search engines in an organic way. When a blog becomes more visible in search engines, which in turn means that your site’s search engine ranking will increase. This then means that the amount of traffic your blog is getting will increase, which means that so will your stats in tools like Google Analytics.
What should all bloggers know about SEO?
I believe that it’s crucial that bloggers know that when it comes to SEO, there is plenty of support and advice available. SEO is a highly complex field, which means that often specialists like Click Consult have the most useful understanding and knowledge of the topic. However, by working with these kinds of companies and constantly learning, you can give yourself the best chance of success when it comes to your blog’s SEO success.
How does SEO work?
Search engines like Google has developed algorithms that rank websites. They send “spiders” to “crawl” websites to check it for a range of indicators that determine how valuable your website is – these include factors such as domain age, website traffic, the amount of fresh content posted, and backlinks, among other things.
SEO is the art form of ensuring that the “spiders” are happy with what they come across on your website or blog. SEO is very complex area and one that is always changing, but it’s still an extremely relevant area for bloggers to learn more about.
What do you need to be doing as a blogger when it comes to SEO?
Your own domain and hosting is a must
First things first, it’s essential that you purchase your own domain and hosting. Free blogs do not do your blog’s SEO any favours, because they are unable to rank properly.
Why is this? Because Google only wants to point out blogs that are trustworthy and worth visiting, and there’s a belief that bloggers who are serious about their content and sites choose to purchase them and create a more professional blog. Google knows this and so only chooses to rank blogs with purchased domains and hosting.
You need original content
When it comes to SEO original content is a crucial factor. All content must be interesting, informative and useful – Google actively looks for content that solves problems for readers – as well as original. Today, original content doesn’t just refer to words, but also photos, videos, and other forms of content, so make sure that what you’re sharing is highly original.
A great piece of original content is creating a plugin tool – if you can create your own unique tool, Google will rank your site much higher than it normally would.
Relevant but natural backlinks are important
Backlinks are essential for boosting your blog’s search engine ranking and improving SEO, but it is essential that when it comes to backlinks you know what you’re doing. As otherwise, you could end up getting your site blacklisted by Google. (Yes, it’s true, a website can be blacklisted.)
When it comes to backlinks, the source of the link matters as much as the link itself, because the older and more authoritative the blog is, the more valuable the backlink will be. It’s also important to note that the anchor text (also known as ‘link phrase’) needs to be as relevant to the blog post as possible, as otherwise it will look out of place and Google will pick up on that.
Opt for an SEO optimised theme
It’s essential that when it comes to opting for a theme for your blog and you go down the route of choosing an SEO optimised theme. SEO has two areas, these are the off-site stuff such as social media and backlinking and the on-site stuff like choosing an SEO optimised theme. By choosing an optimised theme, you show Google that your blog is a trusted site. This also makes it easier for Google to find your site, which in turn, means that your site is likely to rank higher in search engines such as Google.
It’s also essential that your site is mobile responsive, as Google prioritises these sites in terms of search engine ranking when users are using smart devices, and with 85% of internet users using smartphones to search the internet, this is more crucial than ever.
A secure SSL domain is also vital, as Google has recently announced that secure domains will be ranked above unsecured domains in cases where two sites are seen as being of similar value.
There you have it, everything that you need to know about blogging and SEO.