How to SEO your blog – easy steps for the technically challenged

I promise this isn’t going to be one of those blogs about SEO that are going to numb your brain and make you wish you were at the beach sipping on a cocktail or skiing through powder snow with the wind in your hair.  

This is going to be real information that you, yes you can do to improve your blog SEO.  All you need is a new blog, and a little knowledge of your websites back end for loading your blog.

After all your hard work crafting a beautifully written and interesting article, the next step is the search engine optimisation of your blog.  There is no sense in writing a blog that no one can find on google, that’s why you need to ensure that you have made the most of the SEO for your blog – in fact, you can be doing this for every page on your website.

A few stats to reinforce the importance of good blog SEO, so you don't lose interest -

During the writing of your blog, you need to research the keywords that you should be using around the topic.  

Go to Google Adwords or use a third-party SEO keyword finder and type in the single searcher intent keyword that you have based your blog around.  

Use their suggestions for alternatives to this main keyword or keyword phrase.  This will bring up other keywords that people have searched for and that are associated to your first keyword. It is a helpful tool to find other keywords you may not have thought to use but ones that customers may be using to search.   These variations always surprise me. 

During this process, ensure you stay focused on writing an interesting blog, one that your customers and readers will gain valuable information from.  Don’t let your content be dictated by SEO and keywords. At the end of the day, content rich blogs that are well written, will win every time – your readers will pass it on to their contacts, use it in their social media and reference it in their content, call you to buy or sign up for your newsletter – the reason for your blog, to grow the traffic on your website and draw customers to your business. 

Choose the main keyword for the blog

Find a single searcher intent keyword that best describes what you are writing about, a word or phrase that you think people will search for.  Grab a couple of other associated keywords to use throughout the blog, or maybe use related keywords to the original keyword.  These similar keywords are important as you don’t want to use your original keyword too often and sound like a broken record – even more importantly, be accused by search engines of keyword stuffing.

For example, for my blog about starting an email newsletter, I researched a couple of keywords that I thought people would use to find information on newsletters – the main keyword I selected was email marketing but my subsidiary keywords were; email campaign and email newsletter.  I also made sure I used the main keyword people use to find my service – copywriter.

Once you have honed this list of selected keywords, you are ready to SEO your blog - 

The heading or title

Besides using a catchy headline, the title should include your main keyword. This may take some time because it is hard enough to create a great title that will attract interest but also one that has the keyword in it.  Have patience here as a great heading will come.  Write ten different variations of a heading and ask friends and work colleagues which heading they like the best.  Again, you will be surprised at the ones they like best, I always am.

It’s also important that your title matches the information in your blog post – otherwise it may be seen as clickbait.  Search engines monitor the amount of time that a reader spends reading the page after having clicked on it as to the relevance of the information in relation to the search the reader used to find the blog.  Google and the likes use this time factor to gauge whether a blog is misleading.  If a lot of readers leave the blog quickly, this will affect the blog SEO ranking.  You can see these statistics, known as bounce rate, in the back-end of your website.

Content must be fresh, high quality

Always, always ensure the content is well written, topical and uses the most up to date statistics available.  Go into as much detail as you can without it becoming boring or waffling on.  Proper grammar, correct spelling, formatting, and headings will all help with the SEO of your blog.

Use a meaningful image file name

Before uploading any image into the blog post, ensure the filename is useful and describes what the image is about.  Do not use a filename like IMG0001.jpg, as this means nothing to anyone.  Use something like seo-your-blog-stats.jpg, as this filename gives an indication of what the image is.  

Think of the images search at the top of Google.  This could be a different way to lead readers to your blog. It tells the search engines what the image is about and it can also be used by screen readers, the visually impaired and those with bad internet connections.  

Put a caption on any images in the blog using one of the keywords selected.

Use the caption function on any images, diagrams or infographics – I like to use the keywords that are harder to blend into the blog here.

Always write a meta description

The meta description is often overlooked and is an easy way to draw traffic to your website.

The meta description describes the information that is on the page, it is a snapshot that helps the searcher know if that is what they are looking for.  This is the short paragraph that searchers will see when they do a google search.  See if you can pop two keywords into this description, including your main keyword, less than the 160 character limit.  

 Include your keyword in the meta description

Include your keyword in the meta description

Write an enticing meta description for the reader whilst staying focused on what the blog is about.  Think of it as the trailer to a movie, the blurb on the back of a book, or the catchphrases on a magazine cover.

Don’t make false statements as to what the page is about as the reader will be leave the page quickly and this may affect your bounce rate.  

Use a simple, clean URL for your blog using your main keyword.

The slug url is the url that you see at the top of your blog post that files your blog and is used by the search engines find it.  

For example, my blog post on newsletters url is - 
http://lizhaywood-copywriter.com/copyroom-blog-for-web-copywriting/2016/10/email-marketing-start-your-newsletter-now

Ensure that your main keyword is in the slug url of your blog post. 

Most website software creates one automatically using the words from your heading.  However, it is best to double check that the keyword is in this url and that it makes sense.  Separate each of the words with a dash, as this helps search engines to distinguish the words from a bunch of letters.

You can use the url as an opportunity to put a string of keywords that may sound stupid if you were to use them as the title or within the blog post.  For example; a string of keywords I found for this blog is ‘how to seo optimize your blog’.  This string would be hard to add to my blog, as it uses incorrect grammar and as a writer, I like proper grammar! 

Use the tag and categories function

Categories and tags can be entered with each new blog, near where you publish your blog.

Let's start with categories - choose one that best describes what your blog is about.  For this blog I have put it under the category of 'blog writing' and I have numerous blogs under this category.  

The tag function uses more specific keywords that relate specifically to your blog.  Add between 5-10 relevant keywords to this list, the ones you have used throughout your blog.

Ensure you have your social shares are turned on

Make it easy for readers to share your content, just a press of a button can’t be simpler.  The information has helped them, they want to let their customers and colleagues know about it as well.

The more social shares you have the higher search engines will value the content and improve your ranking.

Check that all back links work

Once you have published your blog to your website, double check your back links are correct. Broken back links will rank unfavourably for your website.

This goes for older blogs as well, go back to previous blogs on a regular basis and double check them as third-party links can change without you knowing. There are add-ons that can highlight broken backlinks, to save you the time.

Tell the world about your new blog!

Don’t forget to tell the world that you have written a new blog – post it on all social media accounts, use it in your newsletter and email it to clients or prospects who may find the information useful.

Grab yourself a well-earned coffee, and leave the rest to your website guru.  There are lots of technical tricks they can do to optimise your blog for SEO.

See how easy it is to SEO your blog – now give them a try and if you get stuck contact me, I can help.

Other blogs that may help - 

5 inspirational ideas for blog writing

The keywords you are missing out on