8 SEO Starter Lessons For Budding Bloggers
Every budding blogger eager for success should understand the basics of SEO.
SEO has become a much-talked-about topic in recent years, developing into an essential organ of the internet’s internal system, powering websites and brands to the top of search engine results.
It might seem like a simple trick to help you save on your ad budget, but bad SEO can significantly hamper your blogging efforts. A lack of SEO awareness can see you getting drawn into bad habits and misconceptions such as keyword stuffing.
These eight SEO starter lessons for budding bloggers will look to give you the basics to get started with your blogging enterprise and reach the audience you deserve.
Know your keywords
Keywords are an integral element of SEO, but knowing which keywords to target and how to integrate them into your content requires planning, patience and practice.
Your keyword research should dictate the kind of topics you’re covering in your blog. Once you’ve found a keyword to target, you can start to develop topics and titles around it. Remember, keeping this topic relevant is key to good SEO practice.
It’s important to naturally pepper your primary keyword throughout your content (though with restraint — remember the perils of keyword stuffing). However, the most important places to feature it are:
- The page title and headline
- The URL
- Your intro paragraph
- Your site metadata
Try using your keyword within a question or a statement to give your copy a more natural intro. As you write more blogs with SEO in mind, it’ll become easier to naturally integrate keywords into your copy.
Links are the key to success
The internet is an interconnected system of sites, all competing and working together to provide users with the information they’re looking for. Links are like the ties that bind these websites together, lifting them up and validating their content.
Link building is another concept that has become an integral part of not just running a blog, but improving the reach of any online business.
Rather than spending a ton on paid ads to promote your blog, look to improve your organic rankings by investing time in link building on relevant, high authority websites.
The three main components of link building for a budding blog site are:
- Linking to other helpful and relevant websites
- Getting other relevant websites to link to you
- Adding internal links to your blogs
Winning links from other websites can be a difficult task — especially when you’re dealing with sites that know their worth.There are a few different ways to do this, such as asking them to add your more relevant article to an existing piece or offer to write a piece of content in exchange for a link.
Make sure you’re writing enough
There’s a common trend among low-quality bloggers who never see the front page of Google: none of them ever write enough.
While you should always prioritise quality over quantity, there is an ideal blog length you should be aiming for. Make sure you’re writing at least 300-500 words per blog — and ideally around the 1000 word mark. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what the optimum length is for a blog post, but this is generally a good rule of thumb.
If you’re regularly going over that limit to provide a more informative and entertaining piece that’s fine. In-depth content is what search engines are looking for. Just ensure you aren’t going under the recommended word count.
Don’t forget the metadata
While you’re probably more concerned with what your visitors want to read, you should also be writing content specifically for search engines bots.
That content is better known as metadata. It’s the invisible stuff that search engines use to work out what your content is about and who might want to see it. While it doesn’t impact your ranking as much as the content on your site, it certainly plays a big role.
Find a way to include your keywords into the three main components of metadata:
- Page title
Some blog themes will automatically do this for you or be compatible with a plugin that can streamline the process for SEO beginners.
While metadata doesn’t demand the work on on-site content, it does demand care and precision to get just right.
Use headers and categories
Categories and headers help search engines to determine what your content is about and what the most vital information on the page is.
This makes it easier for you to rank for keywords, terms and questions people commonly search.
All web content should be split up with simple and appropriately-named headings. If your site’s theme doesn’t offer that, download a plugin or add some simple HTML code.
Likewise, categories help to split up your website, provide better UX for visitors, and offer further internal linking opportunities. This is particularly important if you’re a frequent blogger planning on covering a variety of topics and trends.
Master writing for the web principles
We’ve already covered a lot of writing for the web principles in this article, but it’s important to address how important it is not just for good SEO, but keeping readers on your site.
Think about the last great blog post you read. It wasn’t just the content itself that kept you hooked, but the layout and manner in which it was presented.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place in blogging for poetically strung-together sentences and definitely made points. But what’s just as important are clear headings, short paragraphs and plenty of white space.
Proper application of writing for the web principles is what sets apart good content, and creates high-ranking work everyone can enjoy and easily extract information from. If you’re trying to rank for key terms, it’s important to know that not every visitor is going to read every word. They want to skim through an article to find exactly what they were looking for.
Bullet points, bolding and Q&A sections. Not exactly Shakespeare, but it’s how readers extract information.
Excellent application of this can even lead to your blog being used as a featured snippet.
Images give your blog a facelift
If you landed on a webpage that was just a wall of text, would you stick around?
Maybe if it was super relevant and interesting, but these days readers need a little more to keep them engaged.
Images don’t just make your website look nicer — they also help keep the reader’s interest.
In terms of SEO, adding an image and renaming it to include your keyword can help your performance on search engines.
There’s always room for edits
What a lot of people don’t realise about SEO is that it’s a never-ending process.
Optimising your content means going back to it time and again, making little tweaks to improve its ranking. Don’t let all that work you put into getting on page one go to waste. Put in the time for regular check-ups, to make small SEO-friendly edits and keep it ranking high.
You can also keep up to date with SEO news and tips, checking out other blogs for ways you can improve yours and achieve better rankings.
So there we have it. Eight SEO starter lessons to help you kickstart your blogging journey.
SEO is a constantly developing concept. Every day something changes, with new ways to optimise content being experimented with. Stay on top of the latest developments and make sure all of your blogs are hitting these key tips.