A blog is an invaluable digital marketing tool that can help you reach a larger audience and establish your brand as an authority in its field of expertise. Assuming you publish high-quality content, visitors will begin to follow your blog, some of whom will return whenever you make a new post.
If you want to attract organic traffic from search engines, though, you need to know how to optimize blog for SEO. Just make sure to get hold of a good SEO Analysis Tool, and you should be on your way to achieve the #1 spot on search engines.
Tips to Optimize your Blog for SEO
Launch a Self-Hosted Blog
First, it’s important that you launch a self-hosted blog and not a hosted blog. Basically, this means you are responsible for hosting your blog’s files and data. WordPress offers both a self-hosted and hosted version of its platform. While the latter is easier to set up, the former offers improved SEO performance. With self-hosted WordPress, you’ll have full control over your site’s design and content, which you can modify to encourage higher search rankings.
Set Up SEO-Friendly Links
You should also set up an SEO-friendly link structure for your blog. When you publish a new post, the URL should describe its content. The default WordPress settings use a non-descriptive link structure that consists of generic numbers and letters. Changing this structure, however, can improve SEO for blog posts. After logging in to your blog, access Settings > Permalinks and choose “Post name.” All new posts and pages will now have SEO-friendly URLs reflecting their title.
Install an SEO Plugin
Don’t forget to install an SEO plugin when setting up your blog. While cleanly coded and loaded with features, WordPress lacks many features needed for SEO. To perform SEO optimization on your blog, you need to install a plugin like Yoast SEO. With more than 5 million downloads, it’s become synonymous with WordPress SEO. Once installed, you can use Yoast SEO to set focus keywords, create a sitemap, handle duplicate content, set canonical URLs, create breadcrumb navigation and more.
Change Your Theme
Installing an SEO-friendly theme on your blog can help increase its search rankings. Not all themes are SEO friendly, and using one of these themes will restrict your ability to climb the search results. When searching for a theme, check to see whether it’s responsive. As explained by Small Business Trends, responsive websites use fluid, proportion-based layouts to create a positive viewing experience for all devices. Whether someone is visiting your website on a desktop computer, laptop or smartphone, they can easily navigate your site without encountering viewing problems. Search engines generally rank responsive websites higher than non-responsive sites, making this a few feature to look for in a theme.
Create Keyword-Rich Titles
Keyword-rich title tags can improve SEO for blog posts. According to Moz, Google only displays about 60 characters of a webpage’s title tag. Therefore, you should keep your titles under this limit for maximum visibility in the search results. If your titles are longer than 60 characters, Google may only display part of it in the search results. Most importantly, though, you should include keywords in your title tags. If you want a blog post to rank for a specific keyword, include that keyword in the post’s title tag. Search engines will scan this information, using it to determine your post’s search ranking.
Some bloggers disable the commenting feature on their posts, believing it will attract spam and other nefarious comments. While true, the SEO optimization benefits of commenting shouldn’t be ignored. Each time a visitor leaves a comment, it creates fresh, unique content that search engines love. So, with this feature enabled, you must moderate visitor comments by deleting spam, but your blog will probably rank higher because of the unique content it creates.
Include Internal Links
According to HubSpot, internal links show search engines how your blog’s content is related, so using them can help you achieve higher rankings. Before publishing a new post, scroll through the content to see if any words or phrases are associated with other posts on your blog. You can then link these words or phrases to the related post. Alternatively, you can use the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) to automatically display links to relevant posts. Either way, you should include internal links in your blog’s content.
After reading this, you should have a better idea on how to optimize blog for SEO. so why not conduct an SEO audit? Keep in mind, however, that search rankings don’t come overnight just by using SEO tools. It often takes months of optimization to achieve a first-place ranking for your target keywords.
About the Author
This is a Guest Post by Sanjeev Pandey from CyberChimps, a popular WordPress Themes, Plugins & Deals store.