Successful Blogging: SEO Quick Tips
I ran through SEO (search engine optimization), previously to cover SEO for titles and then SEO for description and content. I went really in-depth to explain the workings of things in those articles. Today though, I figured I’d break it down into more something more digestible, SEO quick tips.
SEO Keywords in General
Search engines find you based on keywords. When you write articles you need to ask yourself what keywords will someone use to find your article? If I’m writing an article about SEO, as I am here, then I’m going to make sure my content contains the keyword SEO. If I’m writing about something Warhammer 40K then my article will contain the term Warhammer 40K.
There is also what is called long tail keywords. Using this article as an example, I’m not aiming to rank this article for the term SEO. That term is hard to rank for because it’s highly used and there’s a lot of competition for it. Instead I’m aiming to rank for SEO quick tips, a long tail keyword. Long tail keywords are specific. I might write an article to rank for Khorne Daemonkin Strategy, a long tail keyword because just Khorne Daemonkin is going to have more competition and I’m after something specific.
Titles for SEO
Titles should contain your keywords and ideally be at the beginning of the article title. Since most blogging platforms use your article title for the URL to the article as well, this is doubly important.
Many blogging platforms will create your title tag for you. The title tag is what search engines read when they show you in the results for the link to your article. This title should ideally be around 55 characters so the entire title appears without being cut off, IE: My Title is too… (obviously not 55 characters but you get the idea). Since most blogging platforms will create this tag based on your article title that means keep your article title to around 55 characters.
Description & Content for SEO
If your blogging platform lets you create a meta description then it should be no more than 160 characters and it should contain your keywords. The meta description is what search engines show to describe your article so keeping the length to 160 characters means it won’t get cut off. You only need your keywords in here once.
If you can’t create a meta description manually then some platforms will create it for you. This is usually done by taking the first 160 characters of your article. That makes it important to have your keywords in the first paragraph, first 160 characters ideally, of your article. Not only is this important to search engines, it’s important to readers so they know exactly what you’re writing about at the start. If you can’t entice a reader in the first paragraph they will often leave.
As you’d guess, your article should have your keywords used throughout. The goal is for about 1% keyword density. So, I’m writing about SEO quick tips here and that means my article should contain those keywords in 1% of the text. Knowing you’re at 1% isn’t easy unless you have a tool to help so just realize you need to use your keywords multiple times in the context of your article. Don’t overdo it though. Less is more here as too much can get you penalized and hurt you for ranking on those keywords as it looks spammy.
Lastly, content is king. Having well written content will always trump everything I’ve mentioned or will mention. Google places the most value on the content of the article. Everything else is a factor and help shift you in rankings but great content will truly move you through rankings.
Images for SEO
When you use images in your article you should name the images something relevant using your keywords. Uploading an image named sexy-woman.jpg doesn’t do anything for me when trying to rank for SEO quick tips. Instead, I would rename the image to seo-quick-tips.jpg and then upload it. You don’t have to do this for all your images but aim for at least one image.
Most platforms let you give your image a title, text to describe the image. Keywords should be used in the image title if possible. Again, you don’t have to do this for every image, especially if you have a lot of them, but at least a few.
Linking & Link Juice
I haven’t’ covered this in the previous articles. When you link to your own content or to another website, the text you make a link is important. The text that becomes a link is called anchor text. Anchor text tells search engines what the content you’re linking to is about. Notice at the start of this article I linked to my previous articles using relevent text, text containing valuable keywords. When Google sees that it knows it’s following a link to pages about SEO titles and SEO descriptions. That in turn helps those articles rank higher for those things.
Linking to your own content in this way is extremely valuable. Since I’m aiming to keep these as SEO quick tips I won’t drag it out beyond that. I will also say that every article you write should have links to your own content and/or another site. It’s another SEO ranking factor.
Now, the same is true when linking to other sites in that the anchor text has value. Links to other sites should contain relevant keywords. Making the word click here your anchor text is useless, internally or externally. Linking to a blog with the text amazing Space Marine painting means more than click here.
See, when you link to another site, and even your own content, you are passing what they call link juice. Think of it like momentum. If this article is found by Google for SEO quick tips and I then provide a link to another website I am passing on link juice; I’m giving them value for the search term SEO quick tips because that’s what I was found for and the momentum keeps going. Same thing with my links to my own articles at the top.
SEO Quick Tips Wrap-up
It’s hard to accomplish everything mentioned in every single article but if you pay attention to these things then you will see a difference in traffic from search engines. When you put all these factors together it will really boost your traffic.
Doing proper SEO isn’t easy. There’s way more than I’ve touched on involved in it. There are people who get paid to just do SEO and make damn good money at it. With what we do here though you don’t need a professional. Most of us are wargamers and hobbyists which is very much a niche to search engines. Because it’s a niche and gets little traffic that means any SEO work you do has that much more value. With less competition it’s easier to do well with just a little effort.
This will conclude the SEO portion of successful blogging. Hopefully this one summarized the previous articles in an easier to read manner.
I’m open to questions about SEO if you have something specific you’d like to know.