SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is key to increasing traffic to your website from Search Engine Results.
It can be quite a daunting and nuanced area – there are thousands of individuals and companies who specialise in SEO on a corporate level. They may also charge a lot of money for their advice, pushing it out of reach for bloggers and small business owners (including this one!)
For those of us doing a little DIY, here are some simple things to keep in mind each time you write a blog post or copy for a page on your website to give it an “SEO Juice” boost:
SEO for Bloggers – 17 Simple Tips
- Relevant Keyword or Key Phrase – First, identify a focus keyword or focus key phrase that is relevant to your blog post. E.g. if your post is about productivity apps, this could be “productivity” or “productivity apps”. Keep this word or phrase in mind as you go through the remaining SEO tips.
- Keyword Position – Use your focus keyword or key phrase as close to the start of your Post Title as possible. Search Engines attach greater importance to earlier words. People looking at search results are also more likely to spot early words first.
- Post Title Length – The optimum post title length is guided by what will be displayed in search results. The cut off point is roughly 60 characters – if your title is longer than that, it is likely to be truncated. Ideally stick to 55 characters for some leeway.
- Keyword – Make sure your URL contains your focus keyword or key phrase.
- Remove Stop Words – Don’t use words like “a”, “and”, “the” etc in your URLs as these make them unnecessarily long without adding SEO value.
- Keyword Position – Use your focus keyword or phrase in the first paragraph of your content. Keep it as close to the start as possible for instant relevance.
- Keyword Density – Ignore Keyword Density! I feel so strongly about this, I’m not even going to define it. Use your focus keyword within your copy as often as feels natural, 2-3 times at a minimum without overdoing it.
Ignore Keyword Density! … Use your focus keyword or key phrase within your copy as often as feels natural. via @diywptips
- Word Count – Generally, if your word count is 200 words or less, your blog post or article is at risk of being considered “thin content“. This is content written specifically for SEO purposes and will rank lower in search results. To reduce the risk of this, the recommended minimum word count for your blog posts and website pages is 300 words.
- Meta Description Length – As with Post Titles, this is guided by what is visible in search engine results. A Mets Description is the block of text under the Post Title and URL. The recommended length to avoid your Meta Description being truncated is 155 Characters.
- Include the Focus Keyword or Key Phrase – the meta description should include the focus keyword or key phrase at least once. It should also give an overview of your subject matter that’s interesting enough to entice the reader to click through.
- Include A Featured Image – this is the image that will be picked up automatically but most social networks. It’s important to make it as relevant to your subject matter, and eye-catching as possible. It’s also the image picked up by many WordPress themes to use on multi-post pages, including the front page of DIY WordPress Tips!
- Image File Names and URLS – include the focus keyword or key phrase in the file name (and therefore URL) of your image file. This will help it appear in image search engine results and general search results – which potentially means more traffic for you!
- “Alt” Tags – Image “Alt” tags are what is shown to your website visitors if your images cannot be loaded for any reason. Include your focus keyword or phrase in your “alt” tags as well as your Image Titles and File Names.
- Include Relevant External Links – a key component of SEO is getting links from popular external websites that are viewed as “trustworthy”. When you include links to relevant content from around the web in your own posts, you may also notify savvy website managers and marketers using web analytics that you’re linking to their content. This may in turn lead them to your website, which means:
- More traffic for you
- Potential for sharing your content – you did mention them after all!
- Potential for links back to your content
- all of which contribute to your site’s SEO Juice!
To help you work through these tips I’ve put together a quick worksheet you can keep handy when you’re writing blog posts and pages.
DIY SEO Worksheet & Checklist