Ignoring SEO on Your Blog is a Waste – 7 Tactics You Can Do Yourself
Are you writing articles but ignoring SEO on your blog?
Do you just slap 600 words into WordPress and pray? Do you think you have to spend thousands a month for an SEO team to get the SEO value? Actually, you don’t.
Who we are addressing here are authors who write articles but don’t do the basic SEO work that makes them searchable. If you are ignoring SEO on your blog, you are wasting a valuable business asset, and you won’t see the results of your hard work.
Here are 7 essential techniques anyone can master. They will make a difference in getting your articles indexed and therefore more visible.
And, you can do all of it in WordPress yourself.
Be strategic about the content of your blog.
SEO is a big piece of it and we’ll get to that part. But first, write great content for your audience, not for Google. Then do the SEO work.
- Define your audience and understand them well enough to know what they are interested in reading. You are not writing to please yourself, this is about your audience. Nobody has a nanosecond to waste these days, so your content has to be good. Write content they want to read, offer news or learning. Read more about content writing tips for your target market
- Do research to back up your idea. See what others have written on the same subject, so you can add to the conversation or offer a new point of view. Google your headline. Write it in a different way and Google that.
- Look at the other suggested results at the bottom of the Google results page. These are keywords and phrases that people are actually searching. It will give you new ideas.
- Learn how to tell a story. Don’t be boring. If you don’t know how to do that, hire a darn writer!
- Study headlines that grab attention. There’s a trick to it. Experiment with different ideas. Be bold!
- Learn how to optimize your posts and use SEO: You have to be able to use the WordPress dashboard and tools.
To do the next steps, install an SEO tool:
In your WP dashboard, install Yoast, an SEO plugin that enables you to optimize your content. There are other tools, but we like and use Yoast. It rewards you with a satisfying green light when you get it right!
Here’s 7 things you can do yourself to up the SEO value of your content:
1. Headings within your post:
Headings matter! Just like a book, you have a title, table of contents, chapters and sub chapters. There is a hierarchy for content in web content too.
There can be only one Heading1 tag…and that should be your article’s headline. It’s like the title your book.
Most likely if your site was set up properly, that will be automatic. If not, talk to your developer.
Make your sub headlines for content sections Heading 2’s. Select your sub headline(s) and in the toolbar, select Heading 2 from the dropdown menu.
Make your sub-sub headlines Heading 3’s, 4’s. And so on. Read more about textbook perfect Htag structure
2. Write a snappy, strategic meta description:
Once your post is finished, you will add your meta description. Make it fun and a short synopsis of the article. This is to grab readers attention, BUT make sure it contains you main keyword or phrase. Be creative here!
3. Add Alternate Text (Or Alt Attributes)
This is a BIG one. I am amazed at how may bloggers omit this extremely important SEO factor.
Alt text goes on every image you use in your article. When you upload it, enter a short phrase that describes the image AND has your keyword in it. This practice started so that blind people can “see” your image through a text description. It also allows Google to see it too. Don’t waste this asset.
Each image should have different alt text. For instance, if your article title is “How to Write SEO Content”, then one image can say “Person Studying How to Write SEO Content”, and another could say “Tools for How to Write SEO Content”. Don’t label them “image-1-lg”.
4. Sprinkle your keyword or phrase throughout the article, but don’t overdo it.
Yoast will guide you. The phrases don’t even have to be exact. Google’s latest changes now accommodate context.
5. Link to your other articles or external references
To promote your other content, another asset, drop in the article title and create a link to it within the body of the text. Like this: Read more about SEO 101. If you refer to research or a news article for example, link to that. It adds authority.
6. Check and adjust your SEO work
Follow what Yoast suggests. If the readability light is not green, break up your sentences to be shorter. Tweak your text to adjust. See what turns red or green on the tool dashboard. It will tell you exactly what to do to maximize SEO value. Just do it.
Now you’ve done all you can in your dashboard. The rest is engagement, which adds another marble in your SEO jar.
Likes, comments and shares in particular, tell the search engines this is good content. Big SEO bonus: this creates inbound links to your article. Post it on LinkedIn, FB, tweet about it or any other medium you use in your business. Don’t keep it a secret!
In case you’ve been on Mars for the last decade or so, know that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a way of saying that you’ve written your content in such a way that search engines can index it and people get the most relevant result when they search. Sounds simple, right? It sort of is, but there is a lot more to it.
Why is SEO important to your business?
In theory, you can affect your company’s placement in search engine results by following SEO best practices. The challenge comes in what Google considers “relevant.” Many pieces of content can be relevant to the same topic.
So how does Google decide which comes first? This is where it gets interesting.
There are tons of articles on how to do SEO, but it takes time and talent to master this. If you want to move your content up in rank fast, hire an SEO expert who has the knowledge and the tools to handle the analytics. There are many ways to work the technical part of your website to include SEO strategies.
Really want dig deep into learning SEO? Read articles by Neil Patel, my personal favorite SEO Guru.
These techniques are part of any SEO team’s toolkit, but simple enough to do for those who don’t have that advantage.
Make the most of every blog post with SEO
If the purpose of a blog is to keep your business relevant, but the search engines can’t find your content, what good is it doing? None. Stop wasting your time by ignoring SEO.
Does this sound a bit overwhelming? It certainly can be, which is why businesses like yours so often hire teams like ours. You can leverage our SEO expertise and make your content work as hard as you do. If you want to have a conversation, contact a member of the Network 9 team today at 1.212.979.8055.