The fundamental SEO guide for blogs
Quite a number of people misunderstand that SEO is something that can be set up or fixed in a very short-term by simply hiring an SEO agency. What many people don’t see is that it is rather a long-term investment – you plant the seeds and nurture it.
It is, by no means easy work. In fact, it is an endless battle with Google’s algorithm that constantly keep changing. Yet, we still see a number of unchanging factors that have been used to determine every web page’s search result ranking. As for any bloggers, higher visibility and exposure is crucial to retain repeating as well as new readers.
First thing first: laying the groundwork
Whether you are using WordPress or other platforms, you are probably already familiar with some on-site search engine optimisation like page titles, h tags, permalinks, keyword targeting, keyword density, meta tags and so on. But it is also equally important to revisit the fundamental questions and review your blog objective, target market, and the KPIs. What niche are you in? How specific can your blog content get? And more importantly, what unique values can you readers gain from visiting your blog site instead of others?
Keyword and competitive research
While there is an ongoing debate over whether SEO is science, art or both, we think there is no such thing as a universal procedure that every blogger has to follow. But before we go about to produce contents, we always do some brainstorming and research on the topic we are going to cover.
Online tools such as Google Keyword Planner and MOZ’s Keyword Explorer offer a good starting point to get competitive keyword ideas. As MOZ says: ‘by researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.’
Needless to say, it’s important to always choose those with low-competition, high-volume and high potential click-through rate. With these keyword search tools, you can also get a glimpse of the key search trends, similar phrases and related words. When it comes to competition insight, SEMrush is one of the most favoured analytical tools by many SEO experts as it helps analyse key competitors’ online marketing strategies. You will need to ask yourself questions such as: who am I competing against with over this particular keyword? How are they ranked? How will my post add value that no others can?
Using images and infographics
If your highly-ranked competitors’ posts are mostly based on images, graphs, infographics or even videos, then you might also want to consider including relevant and useful images or infographics that would strengthen your blog post. And once you have your imagery ready, it’s always a good idea to spend some time optimising them. The use of alt attributes – i.e., alt tags and title tags – for images will help Google search engine bots interpret and understand non-text content and therefore rank your post accordingly.
Speaking of infographics, as far as SEO is concerned, they have been one of the top choices for retaining links to enhance ranking results (via MOZ). Again, do consider adding a descriptive text in an alt attribute.
Be experimental and creative
As we’ve mentioned earlier, there is no written rules or universal procedure to which every blogger has to abide. Apart from the technical and scientific approach to SEO, a successful blogger experiments with a variety of ways of promoting his or her artwork – whether through social media or PR campaigns. It is also about engaging with viewers to amplify the presence and the possibility of returning readers.
What do you think?
Cover image via http://thestocks.im/)