SEO isn't about basic link building and purchasing anymore, and that's one of the reasons your site isn't getting the traffic it deserves.
Google is fund of always updating it's algorithm regularly (about every 1.75 hours) and making it even more difficult for you to play by the rules without leaving loopholes behind for straight penalties.
These 22 basic SEO tips will set you on the right path.
From getting organic traffic to moderately optimizing your website - I've got them covered:
Don't go for the obvious
If you have a pretty new blog about weight loss, your first post shouldn't be titled "weight loss tips".
And don't expect to get any traffic from it.
Are people asking questions that aren't being answered, is there something so natural that people ignore to write about, then it's your call to write about them, using the long-tail tactics I talked about.
Just fill the gap with something better, not joining the crowd in the hall.
Go for long-tail keywords
These keywords will not drive as much traffic as super-competitive head terms like "photography" or "web design", but targeting a lower phrases like "photography tips for beginners" and "web design tutorial for starters" will give you a better chance at showing up in top positions on the search results pages for these lower competitive search terms.
And do you know what happens when you target super competitive hard terms like "photography" and "web design"? you get stuck in the thirty-fifth page of the search results.
It's almost impossible to rank for terms like these because thousands of more qualified, authoritative and trusted pages are already on the line for them.
Drop your target keywords in title
So, it's advisable to find early spots in title to put those golden keywords of yours.
And make sure you don't put keywords close to the end part of the title, else it will get cutoff in the results pages.
Which means you won't get to rank for those keywords as well as you should.
Keyword synonyms in description
It's what people will read first before they either click to your site or scroll downwards to your competitor's site.
Use your keywords in the meta description and try using two or more synonyms too, if you can. It's not a must.
From a UX (user experience) standpoint, it's best to use a compelling paragraph found within the main content, as the description.
Users will click because you grabbed their attention with a few lines.
And if they aren't able to find that same compelling paragraph or text in the content, they might click out and never return.
Keywords in meta description
The meta description is still really important. And using using keywords in the meta description will help emphasize more on what the page actually talks about.
Don't go "keyword-crazy" with your descriptions, else it'll be seen as an attempt to game the search engines.
Don't overdo it. Use your target keywords at least twice (or once), then try using synonyms of your target keywords too.
This way, you get to rank for related user search queries.
Add white spaces
Wait to see if you've used a very long sentence and another without breaking them up with white spaces.
A good post with poor formating or arrangement is a poor post. And nobody wants to read a poor post.
So, add white spaces to breakup huge text blocks. I add white spaces to my post after one or two full stops, it works well for me.
You might want to do the same.
Use an easy layout
Make it easy for visitors to scan and read your content without having to resize their browser view.
You should take a look at other bigger blogs like Moz and Search Engine Watch, copy what they do, copy their layouts and how they tend to structure content.
Avoid placing too much Ads in between the main content as this will annoy some readers.
And will make your blog vulnerable to the Page Layout Algorithm.
It's best to place Ads, product reviews, Facebook fans or Like button, Your Bio, on the right sidebar, designs Heading or H tags usage you need to get social limit social shares buttons
Attach a related post section
When your readers finish reading a post on your blog, other related and eye-catching posts should be made available to funnel users deep into your site.
Without this, users will get the info they need, and off they go.
Just by adding a related post section at the end if each post, you'll be able to increase the time a reader spends on your site, thereby increasing your chances to rank higher.
A threaded comment system below each post
A threaded comment system increase the word count of each page in your blog, by increasing the odds for more users to leave a comment.
The more threaded comments (or word-count from user generated content) you have on a page, the higher the advantage you'll have to rank better.
And the more long-tail keywords you'll rank for.
Apart from getting higher rankings and more traffic, users love to communicate and talk about things through commenting.
And also by replying their comments, you create an atmosphere of familiarity and closeness between you and your readers.
Internal linking counts
Internal links are very important to hype the ranking ability of every post on your blog.
Internal links also helps to keep users on your site for a really time.
Avoid link churn
What I do here is: I compose a post, edit it and publish it.
Then I add all my links a day or two after.
Avoid switching links in between your post, else you'll get blacklisted by the search engines for engaging in link schemes.
Which is a very bad Omen.
Build links but don't be a "link building freak"
Don't allow it overcome you because your posts will go nowhere on the results pages without a handful of links.
Those links are either gonna be built by you or earned. I recommend you start building links before waiting to earn them, but don't be a link building freak.
Link out to authority sites
It's the rate or level at which Google trusts your site.
And a free way to get your site listed in Google's book of life is to link out to authority sites.
Also, you encourage other (active) big-time bloggers to also link to you when they see that you've linked out to them on their radar.
Some of them won't.
Doherty at Moz found that the number of inbound links each post got correlated slightly with the amount of external links on each post from his analysis of 500 random posts on Moz.
Mind your external link anchors
You're as well giving your competitors a free ride to their destination by doing so.
Make your headlines compelling and natural as possible
But, that's only a big mistake.
From an SEO perspective, a great post with a poor and unoptimized title will floop.
Make your titles as natural and compelling as possible because 8 of 10 people will read your headline, a surprising number of 2 will click through to read your content.
So, the better and more compelling your headline is, the more click it will get from the search engine results pages.
Use these 3 simple tactics to map out a great headline for each of your posts:
- Use numbers. Example: Top 10 ways to become a better writer. And don't just use numbers, use odd numbers.
- Use emotional terms like "best", "secret", "free", "guaranteed", people are lazy, so you can also attach the word "easy" to ease their pain. Example: 10 secrets to being insanely successful, 100 free blog tips and blog help every blogger should read.
- Add a timespan to your headlines. Example: 12 things that'll kill your blog posts every time. You should spend more time on researching and drafting your headlines than the post body itself.
Moderate keyword usage
Ensure appropriate usage of your target keywords by being natural. And also by having your readers in mind when writing.
The worst thing to think about when composing a post is paradoxically the search engines because you'll always want to write for those crawlers, and forget your human readers in the process.
Optimize your URLs strictly
It's really important that you optimize your URLs well.
Normally, an average post on either WordPress and Blogspot blog would have the exact same URL slug as the title.
But that's not cool.
If you want to rank for "baking recipes in California" and your title is "11 free baking recipes in California", your URL slug should be "ex.com/free-baking-recipes-california.
And not ex.com/11-baking-recipes-in-carlifornia.
Doing it this way will enable the search engines highlight the important words and rank you for those words.
Use your target keywords early
At least they still bold the keywords on the start of an article when the meta description isn't available.
This doesn't mean you have to desperately use keywords there at the top because, the search engines will fish you out as a spammer when it's overdone.
Use at least a visual aid
From a User Experience (UX) standpoint, visuals are better data frameworks than plain texts.
And the human mind tend to process visuals 60,000 times more fast than just texts. 60,000 times is faster than both Clark Kent, and Flash.
And again, posts with images in particular also tend to get the most inlinks or backlinks from other websites.
In general, people love images. And you know it.
Video content sells too
What does this tells you?? Video marketing is the best way to make your blog become successful, popular and search-engine-friendly if you hate writing.
A few marketers have started leveraging video marketing to gain more organic traffic. And so should you.
You'd probably agree with me that a video is an alternative to long-form, 2000-word content like this one.
And if you don't, maybe the short videos + 100-word post at Upworthy will cajole you.
Forget about SEO when you write
Just focus on providing enough details to help your target readers.
Focus on nothing, but try everything
And what I find is, none of them recommends a single goldmine strategy.
If you know a little about blogging, SEO and link-building, you're better of composing a post without following those little rules.
Try every strategy (not including black hat tips) and focus your efforts on nothing. By doing this, you'll know what works and what doesn't.
You'll know when to implement a strategy and when not to.
You can't be perfect enough to figure out an SEO master plan. Just work with the few set of guidelines made available by Google to rank well.
And you'll thrive real fast.
- You'll double the time users spend on your site by putting action pointers like related articles, comment section and also by including internal links with compelling anchor text within your content.
- Search engine optimization shouldn't be your main focus when composing an article. Focus to help answer a question completely and solve the problems your readers face. This will payoff later and in the long-run.
- Link out to authority sites, but mind the anchor texts you use when doing so to avoid pushing your competitors forward in the search engine results pages for your target keywords.
- Internal links are just as vital as inbound links, but less powerful.
The best way to grow your blog isn't by sitting in front of your PC with Mavis Bacon.
The best way to grow your blog is by testing every SEO strategy you know and by reading to (though it wasn't mentioned in the list).
If an SEO strategy isn't working, it shouldn't take you all day to figure out the next best strategy at that moment.
There are over 200 Google ranking factors
And if I were you, I'll stop looking forward to making sure I optimize for all of them and just focus on giving the best content that I can.
So, what other tip did i forget to add?