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 typically organize their content by date and categories, and they generally focus on a specific 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
- SEO Tips for Blog Posts
- 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. It’s a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and show others how knowledgeable you are. Your blog will do the talking for you.
Credibility is important if you want to sell a product or service. A blog will go a long way in proving your credibility. You just need to share the link to your blog and let it convince others of your expertise and credibility.
Blogs allow you to engage with your audience
All blogs provide the option to allow comments. You don’t have to enable 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?
Additionally, you can generate new article ideas based on the feedback you receive.
Don’t worry about spam comments. You can set up comment moderation, ensuring 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 and relevant comments can help improve the ranking of your content in Google’s search results.
It’s important the comments are relevant and not spammy. Enabling comment moderation allows you to filter out any spammy or irrelevant comments you receive.
For popular articles that receive plenty of comments, Google recognizes that your article is constantly being updated with new content. As a result, Google is likely to boost your rankings for such articles.
The key 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’re unsure about which niche to target for your blog, I recommend reading this article: The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect SEO Niches for Your Business or Blog
If you’re 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.
It’s important to include the primary keyword in the title of your article.
Related keywords can be used within sub-sections of your article. For example, the heading “How to add keywords in a blog post” closely relates to a 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 found. Google is smart enough to recognize and rank you for similar keyword phrases.
Here is the keyword research I conducted for this article before I began 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’s why I include keyword difficulty in my research (that is a score from 1-100 indicating how difficult it is to rank for that keyword).
As you can see from my research list, I limit difficult to 30 or less. Depending on the popularity of your website or blog you can adjust this number, up or down. It’s better to target less competitive keywords when starting your blog.
I usually rank the keywords in descending order of their monthly search volume. However, in this case, the top keyword “how do blogs help SEO” is the main focus of this article.
Feel free to use other related keywords you discover during your research in your article. It’s normal and beneficial to include multiple keyword phrases in a single article.
For curating my keyword research for each article, I use Notion. It’s a free online note-taking app that’s easy to use and ideal for content writers.
Always do keyword research before writing a blog article
SEO Tips for Blog Posts
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 recommend adding a table of contents just below the introduction in each blog article. It allows readers to see the article’s outline and understand its length, while also enabling them to quickly navigate to specific sections of interest.
Table of Contents are beneficial for search engines as well. Just as they help readers comprehend how your article is organized, they also assist search engines in understanding the structure.
If you are using WordPress for your blog or website, I suggest using the All in One SEO plugin. It includes a Table of Contents block that you can easily add to your articles. The plugin will automatically generate the table based on your subheadings (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.
Now, you might wonder, does an 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.
In fact, John Mueller, a Google employee, has shared insights on this matter:
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
Consistently publishing new content is essential to keep your readers engaged and interested in your website. Moreover, it’s crucial to ensure that your content maintains a high level of quality.
Publishing fresh, high-quality content can help improve your search engine rankings. Search engines like Google prioritize websites that consistently provide new and relevant content to their audience.
Creating content that is valuable and informative attracts new readers and keep them coming back for more.
On the other hand, poorly written or low-quality content can harm your website’s credibility and discourage potential readers from revisiting.
Publishing well-written and thoughtful content establishes your website as a trustworthy source of information. It can also lead to social media sharing and backlinks from other websites, further enhancing your online presence.
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 several effective ways to promote a blog post, let’s cover some of the most popular methods.
First and foremost, ensure that 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 for Google to crawl your website and identify the new content. Instead, submit the blog post directly to Google immediately after publishing.
To submit your blog post to Google for indexing, you can use Google Search Console. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one. Here’s the link to Google Search Console:
Once you’ve registered your site with Google Search Console, you can submit a URL to be crawled and indexed by Google. This helps expedite the process of getting your content discovered by search engines.
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. Social media platforms provide a valuable opportunity to connect with a wider audience and drive traffic to your blog.
Guest blogging is an excellent strategy to promote your blog and expand your reach to 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 valuable backlinks to your own website.
However, it’s important to conduct thorough research on the website you’re considering for guest blogging. Ensure that it’s a good fit for your target audience and has a reputable readership.
Another effective tactic for promoting your blog is email marketing. If you have a newsletter or an email list, make 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 achieve success, and some may not receive any traffic at all. That’s why it’s important to monitor your website and analyze what works and what doesn’t.
Tracking key metrics will give you valuable insights into your audience and help you make informed decisions about the direction of your blog.
Google provides an official free plugin for WordPress called Site Kit, which enables you to monitor and track how people use your website. It makes integration with official Google products like Analytics and Google Search Console easy for WordPress site owners.
Site Kit helps you effectively measure the success of your blog and gather valuable data to guide your future content decisions.
Once you have connected to Google’s tracking products, you can access 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
While it’s recommended to directly use Google Search Console and Google Analytics for in-depth analysis, Site Kit provides a convenient way to quickly check your stats. It’s easy to install and set up, and it also alerts you to any misconfigurations with analytics.
In addition to tracking metrics, it’s crucial to monitor how quickly your website loads. Slow-loading websites have a negative impact on SEO and can lead to visitors leaving your site, resulting in lower ranking positions for your content.
How mobile friendly is your website? Use Google Search Console to check your website for mobile usability issues. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, I have previously written an article on how to find and fix mobile usability issues.
Track your metrics using Google Search Console and Google Analytics
Use 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. One tool that I personally use is SE Ranking. It’s an affordable mid-tier SEO tool that offers a range of features, including keyword rank tracking, competition research, keyword research, SEO audit tool, and much more.
If you’re interested, you can access a free 14-day trial of SE Ranking by following this link:
I hope you found this article informative and useful. Here is a quick recap:
- Blogs showcase your expertise and establish your credibility in your niche
- Blogs allow you to engage with your readership and gather valuable feedback
- Conduct keyword research for all your blog articles to optimize your content for search engines
- Add keywords to your titles, headings and image descriptions to improve discoverability
- Consider adding a table of contents to enhance the user experience and provide an overview of your article
- Add fresh, original, quality content regularly to your blog
- Promote your blog on social media and consider email marketing and guest blogging
- Measure key metrics and track the ranking of important keywords to assess your blog’s performance
If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it with your network by using the social media sharing buttons below. Thank you for reading and best of luck with your blogging journey!