How to Implement SEO Strategies: A 9-Step Newbie Guide to Optimizing Blog Posts

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How to Implement SEO Strategies: A 9-Step Newbie Guide to Optimizing Blog Posts
The easiest way to think of SEO is this: SEO is the directions to your website.  When people do a Google search – they asking Google to find something for them.  The results Google returns are the “directions” to whatever they were looking for.  If your website doesn’t have really good directions, Google can’t point people to it.

Search engines and social media platforms are in a constant state of change when it comes to SEO.  Both are constantly changing how search algorithms (the programming behind search engines) work and how they affect bloggers!  The trick that works today – is not a trick that will work tomorrow.  What a PITA!  (pain in the @ss!)

Even with these ever-changing SEO policies – there are 9 SEO Strategies that stay the same – no matter how a search engine or social media platform changes their search algorithms.

How to Implement SEO Strategies: A 9-Step Newbie Guide to Optimizing Blog Posts

9 SEO Strategies that never change:

How to Implement SEO Strategies: A 9-Step Newbie Guide to Optimizing Blog Posts

1. Use Headings and Alt tags

Using heading tags in your blogs is crucial to SEO strategies. Search engines look for these tags when ranking pages and posts.

It is also important to make use of the <alt> tags in your images. I recommend saving your images with long keyword phrases.  For example, the image above was saved as the post title.  I also implemented an ALT tag and a TITLE tag.  That allows search engines to rank the image as well.

For an added benefit – make sure you are including a description of each image.  WordPress allows you to do that in the Image Library.  Pinterest will pick that up and display it with your pinned image.

Example code: <img title="How to Use SEO for Newbies" src="How-to-Use-SEO-for-Newbies.png" alt="How to Use SEO for Newbies" width="640" height="960" />

2. Install Analytics on Your Blog

Before you write your first post – you should have Google Analytics installed on your blog.  No matter what type of website you have – WordPress blog, Blogger, or a normal run-of-the-mill website – you should be utilizing an analytics tool.  Both WordPress and Blogger make it super easy to implement Google Analytics. For WordPress blogs – I totally recommend Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP).

3. Include a Sitemap

Probably the most important SEO strategy is a sitemap page. What is a sitemap, you ask?  According to Techopedia, “A sitemap is a model of a website’s content designed to help both users and search engines navigate the site.”  Um, what?

Sitemaps make it easier for search engines to scan and index your content.

In much simpler terms, a sitemap page is a listing of every page and post of your blog.  If your blog has more than 75 items, it is best to break that out into additional sitemap pages. In WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin will do this for you.  Then, make a link to that sitemap in your menu — make it easy for search engines to “crawl” it!

4. Use Keywords in Anchor Text for Hyperlinks

In order for your links to be optimized for search engines – don’t use text like “click here”.  Make the link part of your text.  See the links in the above sections of this post.  Do this for ANY link on your blog.  (outgoing links are a good thing to have, btw.) When you are adding a link to your blog, you aren’t just redirecting someone to another post or an outside resource.  You are telling a search engine where you are sending traffic.

So, instead of writing “For more information, click here.”, instead, type “Get the Guide to Blogging today!“.  The entire sentence is the link.

5. Obtain Beneficial Backlinks from Trusted Sites

Webopedia defines backlinks as “A backlink is a hyperlink that links from a web page, back to your own web page or website.These links are important in determining the popularity (or importance) of your Web site.”  These links have also been called “inbound” links.

So, you want other websites linking to yours.  But, you don’t want just any site linking to you.  Those sites should be similar to your blog topic.  For example, this blog is on the technical side of blogging.  I wouldn’t want a craft site linking to this site.  What do crafts have to do with technical support?  On the other hand, if that craft site wrote a blog about how to start a blog, the link to this site would be relevant.

You shouldn’t be paying for links nor should you be participating in a link farm.  If you do, you are killing any chances of your site getting quality traffic.

6. Increase Page Loading Speed

This is important on several fronts. If your pages take too long to load, users will abandon your site. This is bad for business and could lead to issues with Google.

One way to deal with page loading problems is to make use of Google’s PageSpeed Insights that will analyze your web pages and give you valuable data on how your pages load and what, if anything, you need to do to optimize them. To learn more about what you can do, visit PageSpeed Tools.
Another option is to make use of the Google Webmaster tools. These tools allow you to look at all your pages and see if there are any problems. If there are, you can fix them.

7. Being Mobile Friendly

Is Your Blog Mobile-Friendly-NewbieZine - If your blog isn't mobile-friendly - you're missing out on millions of potential readers!Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.  Pinterest is the most mobile social network and 64% of its referred traffic comes from either smartphones or tablet devices.

Mobile-Friendly Test Use this tool to find out what, if any, changes you need to make to your blog.

No matter what kind of blog you have or what your intentions with your blog are — it MUST be mobile-friendly.  Period.

If you are totally cool with getting just 36% of the total potential traffic – keep your blog just the way it is.  If you want to tap into that traffic, make sure your site is mobile-friendly.  (Me? I opted for the 64% 🙂 )

 

8. Create Many Traffic Sources

Don’t limit your blog exposure to just a search engine!  You should be sharing your blog address on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, StumbleUpon, etc.

Diversify your linking strategy! You can try to develop relationships with other bloggers to create joint ventures and/or guest blogging.

Get an opt-in form on your blog, offer a freebie, and start collecting emails! If you have a solid reader/customer list and are making the most of your sales opportunities that way, any changes Google makes to the search algorithm won’t affect you as much.

9. Managing Errors in SEO Strategies

Websites come and go every single day.  A link you included may be just fine for a few months — but then, BAM!, that website has been canceled, and you have a broken link on your blog.  These broken links lead to ‘404’ errors showing up on your blog.  Bad news man!  You should review your content every few months for link errors.  Also, customize the 404 Error page in your Yoast plugin. You should entice your reader to stick around!

Ultimately, we are at the mercy of search engines and social media platforms when it comes to exposure for our blogs.  We will never beat those algorithms — they change far too often. If you implement these SEO strategies, you are less likely to be dropped off the search engine planet than those websites that live and die by the algorithms.

Bonus SEO Strategies!

Keywords are the most important thing for SEO strategies.
Your keyword should be in meta descriptions, post URL, post title, headlines (H1, H2), and in 1-2% of a post’s content. Do the math. If your post is 500 words, the keywords should be within the content at least 5 times, but no more than 7.

Text Images — If you use images in place of navigation items, categories, or for an “about me” block, use correct “alt” and “title” tags in the image code – you should be all good!  If you don’t – good luck getting a search engine to read your site!

Use an SEO Plugin –  Yoast SEO plugin will help you optimize your posts for SEO!  It gives you little hints at the bottom of every post you write.

Write.  Write your heart out!  The longer your posts – the more keywords you can implement!  A good number to reach for is at least 1000 words.  The cool thing is WordPress tells you exactly how many words you have typed!

Do you have questions regarding SEO strategies?  What specific item are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments below!
How to Implement SEO Strategies: A 9-Step Newbie Guide to Optimizing Blog Posts


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