There are thousands of blogs on the internet and trying to get yours to stand out can be really difficult. While your blog should be inviting and interesting to start with, that is not enough to survive today.
What you really need is a strong foundation in SEO or search engine optimization. If you aren’t familiar with SEO, it is essentially what websites use to guarantee that their pages will show up higher in a search engine results page. If you follow these 7 simple SEO tips by Stacey Wonder from Essaytigers, your pages will show up higher and will garner more traffic as a result:
1. Do Keyword Research:
One of the most valuable parts of SEO is to use keywords effectively. Think about what you do when you use a search engine. You type in a couple of words that you are interested in, and you get different pages with the keywords that you were interested in. Choosing the right keywords is the first step in getting more traffic to your page. But what keywords should you pick? Often times a good strategy is to enter your topic in google trends to see exactly what keywords people search for. Once you find some suitable keywords, make sure to use them in the title, headers, URL, at least once in the first few sentences, and sporadically throughout the blog post. Just make sure the keyword use makes sense, search engines will penalize your post if you overuse keywords enough that the post becomes meaningless.
2. Write Good Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are another important tool that you must use in order to drive traffic towards your page. A meta description is an HTML tag (usually one or two sentences) describing what the post is about. As an example, meta description in HTML code would look like this:
Writing the right meta description is key to getting people to click on your blog. When determining if your meta description is a qualitative one, think about the following questions:
- Does the reader know what my post is about?
- Is it written in an active voice?
- Can I include a call of action (encouraging the person to do something, likely to read your post)?
- Is my description unique compared to other posts?
If you’re still confused about what makes a good meta description, be sure to read some good ones to find inspiration.
3. Make Your Blog Mobile-Friendly
It is no secret that Google prioritizes mobile-friendly pages in search engine results. It has been like this since 2015, so if you still have not made your blog and website mobile-friendly you need to get up to speed quickly. You may be asking how exactly do you make a blog mobile-friendly? One way of becoming mobile-friendly is by using responsive design, or in other words designing your website to be able to adapt to whatever screen a reader is using. The core tenets of responsive design are flexible grids and resolutions based on screen size. You also want to make sure to not use flash player as that slows down the page, especially on mobile devices. You also want to make sure your website is easy to use, so make sure buttons and page links are sufficiently large.
4. Use Images With Alt Text
Text is not the only thing search engines look at when deciding what to put at the top of search results. They also look at images to determine how to rank web pages. The key is not to just include images, but to include them with alt text. For those unfamiliar with alt text, it is a description added to the HTML image tag in order to tell search engines what the image is about. The alt text is also what will display if the picture does not load or if the user moves their cursor over the image. If you were paying attention to the first tip, you probably already realized that alt text is the perfect place to include any appropriate keywords!
5. Use Unique Topic Tags
Topic Tags are what you use to filter different posts around a specific topic. Topic tags can be a great thing, as they inspire readers to check out your other posts on a similar topic. You have to be careful, however, because using the same topic tag too many times can get your website flagged for duplicate content. One idea is to use categories as a way to broadly classify your posts and reserve topic tags for describing specifically what the post is about. An example would be a blog on 401ks having a category of retirement and a topic tag of 401ks.
6. Use Intuitive URL Structures
While you want to use your keywords in your URLs, the website’s overall URL structure should be easy to understand. The URL structure is how the URLs of all of your posts are related. For example, let’s say an animal shelter is designing their own website. The URL for their dogs could be “www.pawrescue.com/find-a-dog”. Now let’s say the reader wants to instead look for a cat, it would be a huge missed opportunity to structure the cat rescue URL as “www.pawrescue.com/cats”. This is not intuitive and would prevent most readers from finding the cat pages easily. You want to be consistent in your URL structure to allow your users to navigate your posts more easily, so the better URL for the cat pages would be “www.pawrescue.com/find-a-cat”. You can apply the same thinking to your blog posts to allow readers to more easily navigate through your blog.
7. Update Your Blog Posts Regularly
One of the factors that search engines take into account is how “fresh” your blog post is. In most cases, search engines will prioritize posts that were recently posted or updated. Most bloggers take this to mean that they need to constantly churn out new posts in order to keep traffic up. While new posts are important, don’t forget your previous posts. One of the fastest and easiest ways to boost your traffic is to revise and update older blog posts. This will make them more “fresh” according to the search engine. Don’t just add in a word or two and try and pass it off as new, take the time to actually improve the post. Revisiting posts is a great way to find grammatical mistakes, replace older sources with newer ones, remove broken links, and make the post more relevant to the present day. Doing this for old posts will not only drive more users to your site, but it will also improve the content and boost a chance of users coming back to read more.
If you adhere to these simple tips, you’ll improve the user experience of your blog and boost more traffic to your site in no time.