One way that bloggers get traffic to their blog is through SEO.
SEO is short for search engine optimization. In terms we can all actually understand, this means making search engines (like Google) think your blog is an authority on a particular subject so your site is pushed to the top of search results.
Question, does the word SEO (search engine optimization) send you into a nervous sweaty tailspin?
It used to have that effect on me. SEO seemed beyond my limited technological knowledge.
But, I have learned that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
I like to think of SEO as a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle, a bit complex but super fun and the satisfaction you get from it is immense.
On Site SEO
On-site SEO refers to how search engines view your actual website. Some factors that go into this are search terms, age of your site, the structure of your site, quality of content, and page speed.
To do this, your blog needs to have a few things:
– Keyword laden articles and pages
– An SEO friendly layout
– Technical aspects such as fast site speed
When you write any blog posts it is best to come up with the keywords you will try to rank for. See, Google judges your blog based on how much value and authority you give.
To give Google the impression that you are an authority on a particular topic you need to use relevant keywords throughout your post. In other words, we need to make sure your post is perfect for search engine optimization (SEO) so that your post comes up in a Google search.
I like to use a paid-for service called SEMRush to find keywords for my blog. It is an investment, but it is so worth it!
SEMRush offers many amazing features such as the ability to track your keyword rank, track your competition and see how you can one-up them, find the best keywords, and they have a tool which helps you to optimize every blog posts that you write to ensure they are filled with the best keywords etc.
Note: Although I really like SEMRush and use it every single day, I don’t suggest investing in it unless you are really ready to go all-in with SEO, because it is pricey. If you are just dipping your feet in the SEO waters, I suggest using the free tool Ubersuggest.
If you do sign up for SEMRush, I suggest starting off with the free SEMRush SEO Toolkit course. It will walk you through exactly how to use SEmRush and teaches you all the amazing things you can do with your SEmRush subscription.
Using Your Keywords
Once you have determined your main keyword and sub keywords it is time to use them to write an amazing blog post.
I personally find that the best way to do this is by writing my posts in Google docs with the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant Add On.
This makes it easy to enter your main keywords and perfectly craft the optimal article.
SEO Friendly Layout
An SEO friendly blog layout means that search engines will actually be able to get their little buggies into your site and easily crawl through to understand your overall site layout. In other words, there should be some sort of hierarchy of organization and flow to your site.
So, how is that done? Well, here are a few things you should do.
- Download the free Yoast SEO plugin on WordPress. This plugin will make sure your site is creating a site map (basically an organized outline of your site that search engines use) and will help you when writing posts. Note: Yoast has a paid and free version. I think the free version is perfectly fine for what you will likely need it for.
- Make sure your site is set up on Google Analytics. This makes it so you can easily check where your site traffic is coming from.
- Set up an account on Google Search Console. Google Search Console shows you if your site is indexing correctly. It will let you know of any errors etc.
- Make sure your site actually makes sense for a sitemap. This is done by always using categories and tags for your posts for a clear hierarchy and connections.
- Create links throughout your site. In other words, if you write a post about tropical plants and mention monstera plants you should create a hyperlink to your article about monstera plants.
Creating links throughout your site and blog posts does two things. 1. Your readers are more likely to stay on your site longer because they might click over and read the next post (search engines like when people stay on your site for a long time) and 2. It helps create a web of connected posts which helps for your sitemap.
I should also note, this connects to what I taught you about creating blog content. You always want to further your readers journey to solving their problem. So make sure you are linking your surface level posts to your mid level posts to your nitty gritty posts.
Technical Aspects of SEO
As a newbie blogger, it can be difficult to determine if your site is set up in a technical format that search engines are happy with. One of the biggest technical problems is site speed. If your site loads at a snail’s pace search engines won’t bother to index you and your readers will lose interest fast.
The best way to ensure that you have a fast site speed is by using a lightweight theme.
Note: If you are using Hello Elementor theme with Elementor as I suggest, you have a good basis.
Another thing that can effect site speed is the size of your on site media. I suggest always compressing your images before adding them to you blog and using a plugin like Smush.
If you find yourself obsessing about site speed, there are plenty of individuals on sites like Fiverr who can optimize your WordPress site speed for a fair rate.
Off-Site SEO basically refers to how your website looks to Google (or other search engines) through other factors besides just what is written on your site. This involves things like backlinks, guest posts, and social media presence.
One of the best ways to do that is with backlinks.
Backlinks refers to getting other websites (preferably ones who rank high on Google) to link back to your blog. This makes your blog look like a real big deal to Google and will help with your overall ranking.
So, how do you get backlinks?
Well, Some of the most common ways to get backlinks are by writing posts for other websites and having them link to your blog or by posting in forums.
However, I have a secret pro tip for you which I usually only share with my Blog Treasure Map clients.
Are you ready for it?
You can and 100% should reach out to any company which you write about on your blog in a positive way.
What do I mean by this? Well, let me give you an example.
I love the site Skiplagged as a flight search engine. They do not have an affiliate program, but that hasn’t stopped me from fangirling about them.
I once wrote a post on my travel blog in which I mention in detail how great they are as a company.
I then sent them a nice email sharing my post (I provide my tried and true email template in the Blog Treasure Map coaching program). They then shared my post on all of their social media networks. It brought me instant traffic.
Also, often companies will have a page on their site which lists publicity their company has received. The company may link your post in this section of their site. This does two things for you:
- Shows Google that your blog is an authority that should be trusted because other prominent companies are linking to you.
- Provides you with more website traffic as people click on your post from the companies website.
This is one of the easiest ways to build traffic and good SEO standing and requires just a few minutes of your time to draft an email with a premade template.
The great thing about working on SEO is that it has the potential to bring your blog A TON of traffic. It obviously requires work and time, but it doesn’t require the same intensity level as posting on social media every day.
Ok, that was enough of an SEO rant for now. You now have a general overview and some really great starting points.
Get to it!
- SEO for bloggers doesn’t need to be stressful. Instead, think of it as a puzzle
- Keyword research is so important in getting your site ranked.
- Your SEO plan needs to be a combo of on-site and off-site SEO