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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

6 Simple Blog SEO Tips to Rank Higher on Google

Blog SEO Tips for Bloggers and Writers

Search Engine Optimization or SEO as we all know it is akin to Greek and Latin for most of us bloggers. Understanding its various facets can leave you scratching your head or might even give you nightmares. But, all of us bloggers know that SEO is a necessary evil if we wish that our articles get Google’s blessings and reach a wider audience. I know there are tons of technical guides out on the web that will give you a lot of dope on this subject, but this article of mine is not from a technical standpoint, but it is SEO purely from a writer’s standpoint. These 6 simple techniques if ingrained into our daily writing and blogging habits can help us gradually improve the SEO of our blog. And it has nothing to do with meta tags, plug-ins, webmaster guidelines and all the other complex stuff, which is best left to those who are interested in the technical details (either yourself if you have the aptitude for it or a person/organization you hire explicitly for it). And you do what comes best to you, which is write stories, articles and experiences that connect with your audience.

1) Write as you would search

How to rank high on Google search

How do we typically search on the web?

Some examples could be: ’Iran Visa for Indians’; ‘Top things to do in Singapore’; ‘Best Indian restaurants in Dubai’; ‘How to improve SEO of my blog’; ‘Top Food Walks in Paris’; ‘Cheap Flights from Bangalore to Singapore’ and so on and more. Basically, we already have a need or a question in mind and that’s what we end up searching with these keywords and phrases on the web.

When I write my articles, I write for two kinds of people – one for my audience who love interesting content and the other for Google and other search engines who love content that helps people and with unique keywords in it. So sometimes when I write an article and these days it happens most of the times, I think about how this can rank higher on Google and other search engines. The answer is to think like the person to whom your content might be useful and make sure you plant those keywords either verbatim or in a nice combination in your blog post title, in paragraph headers and in 2 or 3 places in your content. Do keep in mind that you not should go over board with this as Google does not take too kindly to it.

Ideally, I would think about putting these keywords in the blog title, first paragraph of the article, any similar labels or categories that I have on my blog and in the blog’s description on the blogging tool that I use.

2) Always name your images

Name all your images for much better SEO

As a blogger and more so as a travel blogger, we click tons of pictures and in all probability use them in our blog articles. Personally, I use countless number of photographs from my travels and have countless more. Google images loves these photographs and with Google’s latest product Google Lens, it is a no brainer that images and videos are going to rule the roost in the future. But, for some weird reason, I often see that bloggers don’t name their images at all. This is a really bad practice as the title of the image and the description (alt text) that you see when you hover on it are actually indexed by all search engines and this would help a great deal in SEO. Think of this, 10 images in an article with proper titles and descriptions means close to 300 extra words for search engines to index. You can do the math on how this can hep you with your blog SEO. And with so many pictures that we click these days, this shouldn’t be difficult at all.

3) Back links from websites with high DA

As bloggers, we understand the importance of backlinks. If our article is featured on a popular website or brand, it augurs well for our brand and thus provides positive reinforcement about our capabilities. Also, if that website or brand seems to have a solid Domain and Page Authority and we end up getting a link back to our blog, that will really help in improving the SEO ranking of our blog.

A lot of us write articles for others to eke out a living and that surely pays our bills, but if you write articles for websites with high domain authority and don’t get paid for it, you will still end up gaining a lot in the long run. That is how important solid backlinks are when it comes to SEO. To check a website’s DA and PA, you can use tools such as SEO Moz. And remember that high ranking websites will not accept articles from anyone. So, be prepared to blow them away with your long, unique and awesome content. Think of this as a long term investment and there is no hurry here. You can do it as and when the opportunity presents itself.

4) Write long, unique articles

Even though attention spans are dropping by the day and readers preferring shot crisp articles, Google and the other search engines still seem to prefer long articles with original and unique content. Stay away from copying and plagiarism as they will take you swiftly to the dumps. Instead, write original content that is somewhere in the range of 1500 to 2500 words. I know that it takes a lot of effort to create such articles and not all readers would read the entire content, but this really yields great results when it comes to improving your blog’s SEO. As a thumb rule, you can write 4 or 5 such articles every month for Google and the remaining short articles for your audience. And when you write such long articles, make sure you link to a lot of your existing contextual blog posts and other contextual high authority external sites (like National Geographic, wikipedia, etc.). This shows search engines that your articles are well connected in that subject both internally and externally.

5) Make sure your blog is mobile friendly

With more and more people consuming content on mobile devices, it was only a matter of time that Google and other search engines started giving importance to how your website looks and behaves on mobile devices. Do ensure that your mobile template is lightweight and that it is responsive. Ideally, opt for a good responsive template design and try and keep all your media lightweight.

6) Do ensure your blog loads quickly

No user in their right mind would be interested in a website that takes ages to load. Neither does Google. There are a lot of free tools out on the web to see how your blog loads (I use Pingdom) across different form factors (laptops, tablet, mobiles, etc.). A high res image always looks good, but too many such images will make your site sluggish. Hence, optimize all your images for fast web and mobile web browsing. Similarly, ensure that your template is lightweight, leverages browser caching and does not have too many redirects to external sites (I am talking about all those Javascripts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. that we all have on our sites). If you badly need these javascripts, tell your website designer to compress it in the template.

I hope you use these simple techniques in your future day-to-day blogging efforts and reap the benefits of an improving SEO. And following this healthy blogging practice might help you rank higher on Google sooner than later.



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