Welcome to the world of SEO and blogging. In this article I’ll explain the crucial role that blogs can play in helping your website rank higher in search results.
Not sure whether blogging is for you? Maybe you have a blog but don’t get many visitors. Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to learn all about the wonderful world of SEO and blogging.
First, what is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, it means using techniques to make your website and content more attractive to Search Engines (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and others). More on that later…
Next, what is a blog?
I’ve written about this topic before: What is a blog and how does it work? In short a blog is a website, or a section of a website, that has written content. The content is usually in the form of articles or blog posts. Blogs normally organise their content by date and categories. Usually blog content is focused on a niche.
Now we are now ready to talk about why you should blog and how to use SEO to acquire more readers and visitors to your website.
Table of Contents
- Blogs showcase your expertise
- Blogs allow you to engage with your audience
- Importance of Keyword Research for blogs
- Blog post SEO tips
- Does RSS feed help with SEO?
- Add fresh, quality content to your blog regularly
- Promoting your Blog
- Measuring Success
- Final Thoughts
Blogs showcase your expertise
Think of a blog as a constantly updating proof of your expertise in a particular niche or topic. There is no better way of proving to someone how knowledgable you are. You blog will show them.
Credibility is important if you want to sell a product or service. A blog will go a long way to proving that for you. All you need to do is give someone a link to your blog – let the blog do all the convincing of your expertise and credibility.
Blogs allow you to engage with your audience
All blogs come with the option of allowing comments. You don’t have to allow comments on your articles but it’s a good idea.
Why? Because you can engage with your readership, find out what they like – and dislike – about your content. What questions do they have? What other topics do they find interesting?
You can get new ideas for articles based on the feedback you receive.
Don’t worry about spam comments, you can set up moderation for your comments so that no comments appear publicly on your blog until you have approved them.
Turn on comments for your blog
Do blog comments help with SEO?
Google will see blog comments as part of the article. Well written, relevant comments help your content rank well in Google.
It’s important the comments are relevant and not spammy. You should turn on comment moderation so you can filter out any spammy or irrelevant comments you receive.
For popular articles that get many comments Google will see your article is constantly getting updated with new content. Google will likely boost your rankings for this.
The important factor for Google is does your article with comments provide value? If you have a readership that regularly provides relevant and valuable comments to your articles you can expect to see your content rank better.
Turn on comment moderation for your blog
Importance of Keyword Research for blogs
Most traffic to your website will likely be through search engines. By optimizing your blog for relevant keywords, you can improve your search engine rankings and make it easier for people to find your content.
I’ve discussed keyword research in depth many times before on this blog, check out this article on finding low competition keywords.
If you are not sure what niche you should target for your blog check out this article: The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect SEO Niches for Your Business or Blog
If you are looking for a mid-tier keyword research tool I can recommend SE Ranking, I reviewed it here: SE Rankings Review – Affordable SEO tool that’s surprising good
How to add keywords in a blog post
After doing keyword research you will have a list of keywords to use in your content.
You should add the primary keyword in the title of your article.
Related keywords will appear in sub-sections of your article. For instance “How to add keywords in a blog post” section heading is very similar to a related keyword phrase I researched for this article.
You can modify your keyword phrases for better grammar and readability. They don’t have to exactly match the keyword phrases you find, Google is smart enough to still rank you for the similar keyword phrases.
Here is the keyword research for this article that I did before I started writing:
I always do research before writing a blog article. Why? Because there is no point writing an article that no-one wants to read. Even if the keywords you choose are popular can you rank for them? That is why I include keyword difficultly in the list (that is a score from 1-100 indicating how difficult it is to rank for that keyword).
As you can see from my list I limit difficult to 30 or less. Depending on how popular your website or blog is you can change this number, up or down. It’s better to target less competitive keywords when starting your blog.
I usually rank the keywords from highest monthly search volume downwards. Although in this case the top keyword “how do blogs help seo” is the main keywords for this article.
Use other related keywords you find during your research in the article. This is normal, don’t limit yourself to one keyword phrase per article.
I use notion for curating my keyword research for each article. It’s a free note taking online app that’s easy to use and great for content writers.
Always do keyword research before writing a blog article
Blog post SEO tips
This is not an exhaustive list of SEO tips but should get you started. You can always add new techniques for writing and publishing content as you learn about them.
Add a table of contents for an SEO boost
I add a table of contents just underneath the introduction to each blog article. Readers can see the outline of the article and an idea of how big the article is while allowing readers to quickly jump to any specific section of the article.
Table of Contents are also good for search engines. Just as it helps readers understand how your article is organised it helps search engines do the same.
I suggest, if you are using WordPress for your blog or website, using All in One SEO plugin – it has a Table of Contents block that you can drop into your article and will automatically build the table based on your sub-headings (H2 and H3).
Once you add this Table of Contents block you don’t need to worry about it anymore. It automatically updates as you edit your content.
Include keywords in headings
Once you have completed your keyword research for a blog post be sure to include those keywords throughout your article. Add keywords to the following areas of your post:
- Headings (H2-H6)
- URL (the link to your blog post)
- Within the body of your article
- ALT tags in your images
- Anchor text in your links (internal or external)
- Meta description (not visible in the article but shown underneath the title in search engine results page)
For more on SEO tips you can read this article: 29 SEO Tips and Tricks to help you rank better in Google
Does RSS feed help with SEO?
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is a way to publish and distribute updates from a website in a standard format. It allows users to subscribe to a website’s content using an RSS reader or other software, and receive updates whenever new content is published.
So, does RSS feed help with SEO? Not directly. But it does help Google index your content, especially for sites that regularly update and add new content.
This is from John Muellar, a Google employee:
In general, there’s two aspects involved there. One, is if you are looking for a ranking boost by having an RSS feed, that’s not going to happen. The RSS feed is really something we see as more of a technical help to crawl and index the content a bit better. So if you have a website that is changing content fairly quickly, a news website, a blog with a lot of new content, maybe even a shop that has lots of new content, then the RSS feed really helps us stay on top of things so we can pick up on all of those new URLs and crawl them as soon as we can.
– John Mueller, Google webmaster trends analyst
For WordPress websites, RSS is on by default. For other blogging software you may have to research whether RSS is supported.
Add fresh, quality content to your blog regularly
It’s important to consistently publish new content to keep your readership interested in your website, you should also ensure your content is of high quality.
Publishing fresh, high-quality content can help improve your search engine rankings. Google and other search engines prioritize websites that consistently publish new, relevant content.
Creating content that is valuable and informative attracts new readers and keep them coming back for more.
Poorly written or low-quality content can actually harm your website’s credibility and deter potential readers from returning.
Publishing well-written, thoughtful content can establish your website as a trustworthy source of information and can lead to social media sharing and backlinks from other websites.
Publish high quality content on your blog frequently
Promoting your Blog
It’s important to promote your blog so as many people as possible see it. There are various ways to promote a blog post, let’s cover some of the most popular ways.
Ensure your content has been indexed by Google and other search engines.
Once you have published a blog article don’t leave it to Google to find your content! It could take weeks before Google crawls your website and identifies the new content. Instead, submit the blog post directly to Google immediately after publishing.
Here is the link to Google Search Console (you will need a Google account to use it):
Once you have registered your site with the Google Search Console you can submit a URL to be crawled and indexed by Google.
Submit your blog URL to Google after publishing it
Leverage social media
Leveraging social media is a must for promoting your blog. Share links to your blog posts on your social media accounts, and consider joining relevant groups or communities where you can share your content and engage with potential readers.
Guest blogging can be a great way to promote your blog and reach new readers.
Guest blogging means writing articles for other websites or blogs in your industry, you can expose your content to a whole new audience and potentially gain backlinks to your own website.
Just make sure to thoroughly research the website you’re considering guest blogging for to ensure it’s a good fit and has a reputable audience.
Another effective tactic for promoting your blog is email marketing. If you have a newsletter or email list, be sure to include links to your latest blog posts in your emails. Consider working with other businesses or bloggers to cross-promote each other’s content via email.
Promoting your blog takes time and effort, but the payoff can be huge in terms of driving traffic to your website and growing your audience.
Not every article you write will be successful, some articles may not receive any traffic at all! That’s why its important to monitor your website to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.
Tracking key metrics will give you valuable insights into your audience and help you make informed decisions about the direction of your blog.
Google has an official free plugin for WordPress to monitor and track how people use your website. It makes it easy for WordPress site owners to integrate with official Google products (Analytics and Google Search Console).
Here is the link: https://sitekit.withgoogle.com
Download, install and configure Site Kit plugin from Google.
Once you have connected to Google’s tracking products you can see reports on the following metrics:
- Website traffic over time including channels, location and devices
- Search traffic over the last 28 days including impressions, clicks and unique visitors
- Top search queries for your site with clicks and impressions
- Top content over the last 28 days including bounce rates and session duration
You can, and should, use Google Search Console and Google Analytics directly. Still, Sitekit is easy to install and setup and is good for quickly checking your stats. It will also inform you if you have a mis-configuration with analytics.
You should also monitor how quickly your website loads. Slow loading websites are bad for SEO and will result in visitors leaving your website and lower ranking positions for your content.
How mobile friendly is your website? Use Google Search Console to check your website for mobile usability issues. I wrote about this topic previously, how to find and fix mobile usability issues.
Track your metrics using Google Search Console and Google Analytics
Get a keyword rank tracker
You need to track your keyword rankings. Having a keyword tracking tool is essential – you can’t improve what you don’t measure.
There are a number of keyword rank trackers available. I use SE Ranking, it’s a mid-tier affordable SEO tool that includes:
- Keyword rank tracking
- Competition research
- Keyword research
- SEO audit tool
and much more… Free 14 day trials are available here:
Here is a summary of this article:
- Blogs showcase your expertise
- Blogs let you engage with your readership
- Do keyword research for all your blog articles
- Add keywords to your titles, headings and image descriptions
- Add a table of contents
- Add fresh, original, quality content regularly to your blog
- Promote your blog on social media and consider email marketing and guest blogging
- Measure your key metrics and track your ranking for important keywords
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