Blogging is undoubtedly a great method for getting your message out to your followers along with building a social media presence.
But what good is a blog or come to mention it a site if it is never seen by your proposed audience or niche?
Well, it’s a bit like talking to an empty room. Not many if any will hear your message or in blogging terms read your call to action or gain anything from your blog if no one is in your the room or on your page.
So how do we fix this and get seen?
Well, we need to get in Googles good books and be giving our readers the best user experience. You see that is what Google Search is all about, giving the best user experience. Google wants to give the user the most relevant information to specific search terms. And to do this we must optimize our blogs and articles accordingly. As soon as Google starts to like what we do we start to rise up the SERPS and the free organic traffic starts to flow to our pages.
SEO plays a big part but it only takes you so far SEO
Search Engine Optimization plays a big part when it comes to being found on Google. For some though, SEO is quite daunting but it really doesn’t have to be. And it is often argued that writing for SEO is not the best practice for writing great blogs and that we should just write for your audience. The question is can you do both and be publishing SEO friendly blog posts that read well for the visitor and are optimized for SEO? Well, the answer is yes.
The problem with SEO when writing SEO friendly blog posts
The problem when writing for SEO comes about when our content is shallow and there is just not enough of it. SEO requires that you optimize your page or post to a keyword phrase. This gets really tricky when we have short articles because we have very limited opportunity to use the keywords and keep the article natural for the reader. So what you don’t do is just stuff your articles with your phrases just to be optimized.
There are some very good SEO plugins out there at the moment that help make sure this doesn’t happen. If you are using WordPress then we recommend Yoast SEO because it is relatively simple to use and it is just really, really good. All you have to do is turn the red lights green and you are optimized it is really that simple. You are given optimization tips as you work through the process. Any element you don’t understand you can quickly Google and you have your answer and know what to do.
Basic On-Page SEO
There are two types of SEO. There is on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO is everything that we can do on our site to optimize. So working with a SEO plugin etc. Off-page SEO refers more to building quality backlinks to your site. This is much harder to do.
Think of your page as the lover of a newspaper. How is the feature story laid out? You have headlines and images, captions, quotes, bold text and maybe some italics. On-page SEO is not really any different. Your article needs a headline. The title by default should be an H1 tag and then your subheading are normally H2 and H3 and so will look like this
H1 TITLE – H2 TITLE – H3 TITLE
Important words should be bold and so look like this BOLD, you can then also implement some italics if needed like this ITALICS.
Images are very important when blogging to help grab the attention of the visitor. When adding images to your page you must optimize them. Upload your images with a good keyword related name so that Google has something to crawl and subsequently rank in Google Images. You also need to add an image description and alt image attribute. Yoast SEO will prompt you do do this. It is also a very good idea to add some hashtags to your alt image attribute especially now that Pinterest has implemented hashtags onto their platform. While we are talking Pinterest make sure that you have set up for Rich Pins. This can also be done with Yoast SEO.
Yoast will also prompt you to set up an internal and external linking strategy. More on the external side in a bit but to cover the internal linking, well this is just linking related articles together within your text to offer more value to the reader.
You will also need to set up a Google Webmaster Tools account and add and verify your site. Again this is covered by Yoast SEO. You will also need to add a sitemap to webmaster tools and guess what Yoast SEO has us covered here as well.
Don’t neglect Bing. You would be surprised at the number of Webmasters who never set up their site for Bing. Bing is the second biggest search engine and so you need to have a Bing Webmaster Tools account. If you don’t submit your site and add a sitemap then you are giving away a lot of additional traffic. Yes, it’s all about Google. It’s Google we want to impress but Bing has a lot of free traffic to give us for very little effort.
Basic Off-Page SEO
We are limited to what we can do with Off-Page SEO. We can’t just get authority backlinks without Google finding us and ranking us accordingly. Big sites work hard to get to where they are and they don’t link to sites who are not trusted (more on that in a bit) or sites without a track recorded so its a bit of a catch 22 situation going on in that you cant get quality backlinks cause you need quality backlinks to help you get them.
What we can do though is to build up our social profiles on the big social sites and build our influence, grow our followers and then to leverage them to like comment and share for us. Social signals from social media are a strong indicator that a site is doing things right. Google takes notice of this.
Your social profiles should be branded to your site, and there should be a common theme running through each social channel so that there is no doubt who owns each page. We all have our favorite channels so put your work into your main ones, learn how to use them, follow the best practices. Use other social platforms just as share sites.
Set up some IFTTT recipes to help you syndicate your content on autopilot. So if Twitter is your thing why not set up so that when you Tweet your blog the image from your site is then also syndicated to Instagram and Pinterest or where ever you want it sent. Make your shares count.
Build your following
Don’t get caught up chasing followers, or playing following games. Never buy followers. Don’t just randomly add people especially not on Facebook because as we know the bigger our friends list the less our real audience sees of us because the Facebook algorithm can only show a certain percentage of the content we produce, Keep your Facebook following small.
SEO only gets you so far
You will get to the point where you pretty much master your on-page SEO and yet you won’t be getting the results that you believe that you deserve. The question why? We touched on it earlier, and it is all to do with trust.
Have you ever looked at your competition and thought well, they are not very well optimized, yet they rank way above me and then scratched your head wondering why? It’s to do with something called Trustrank.
It’s where Google looks at your site and says yeah this is a good site, their name is on the list they can come in. And when your in is when the traffic rolls. When Google trusts you SEO is not so important.
The big question is how do you get Google to trust you? Well, there are no shortcuts for this. It just takes time and consistency it what you do. There are a few that you can optimize though that will help
Here is a short checklist of to do’s: (in no particular order)
1/ How long is your domain registered for? Google likes domains to be registered for 2 plus years so that they know your site is sticking around.
3/ Is your Whois public? It needs to be. Google wants everything to be transparent and they don’t want you hiding.
Avoid the big mistake when creating SEO friendly blog posts
The Big Mistake is to do with linking out (external linking to other domains). But the mistake is not that you are linking out and giving away juice to competitors. The mistake is that you are NOT linking out and giving juice away. As mentioned Google is all about the user experience, about providing the most relevant information.
So linking your articles to related authority sites makes perfect sense. Some Webmasters believe that linking out is bad, that it in some way weakens their SEO but it is the complete opposite. Think about it. Google wants the user to find the information they are looking for. When you link out to quality, authority sites you continue the flow of information.
You help Google do its job. And Google likes that you are linking to sites that Google itself links and trusts. If you want to build trust you need to move in the same trust circles. Linking to authority sites also qualifies what you are saying This, in turn, helps you to become an authority if what you are saying is then qualified.
Linking out can then also help you build relationships and in turn strengthen your chances of building authority backlinks.
I really can’t stress enough so I’m going to tell you again and bold the text for you…
if you want to write SEO friendly blog posts that readers will love then help them understand your article, link to high-quality articles that add to or qualify what you say.
So as you see there are no real shortcuts to being found in Google Search. It takes time and it takes a lot of consistency. And that is where a lot fail. They just don’t see results quick enough. They then either quit or try to find a shortcut and just end up failing. It is not easy to get to where you want to, but as soon as you do get some results as soon as you get some momentum running it all starts to get a bit easier.
Hope you have received some value from this post, if so then we love Pinterest Pins and Stumbles 😉
Do you ultimately write just for your readers or do you also aim to please Google and write SEO friendly blog posts?
If you have any questions or ideas of your own then please leave them in the comments section below.