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Basic SEO for Bloggers

How to Make Your Blog Search Engine Friendly:

There are plenty of things that no-one bothers to tell you when you first start your blog.  Perhaps the single most important piece of information is an explanation of SEO (search engine optimisation).  If you want your blog to get found by search engines and, more significantly, the posts you write to be properly indexed by Google, a basic understanding of SEO is essential.

Seo for Bloggers Basics

While it isn’t that hard to get your blog domain listed on Google and other search engines, being top for a frequently searched recipe or travel destination will help to find new readers for your blog.  Here are a few tips to get your posts properly listed

  • Start by considering who you are writing your post for and what they might type into google if they were looking for it.  If, for instance, you are doing a round-up of Christmas recipes your readers might be looking for ‘top Christmas recipes’, ‘easy Christmas recipes’ or  ‘quick Christmas recipes’.  A restaurant review could be searched by the name of the restaurant itself (if it is well known or new), but it could also be the area where it is located, the type of cuisine or price point.

SEO for Bloggers

  • Make sure you have a good SEO plug-in installed.  We use YOAST.  The plug-in double checks the structure of our posts and guides us through making what we are writing more SEO friendly
  • Make sure all your images use relevant file names, titles and alt tags.  So, rename an image that simply has an index number with something appropriate – we might choose the  image above to be called ‘seo-guide-plug-in.jpg with a title of ‘seo plug-in guide’ and an alt tag of the same thing.  Sure, it takes a little bit of time, but it means your images will be indexed by google for the right search terms.
  • Try to write a post that is at least 500 words long.  There is some debate about the perfect length for a blog post and although really long posts over a thousand words may actually work even better for spiders, reseach shows that in terms of readability most people switch off after about 500 words.
  • If you are writing a recipe, make sure you use a plug-in to format it into the right structure for Google Rich Snippets.  There are lots of good plug-ins – try Zip Recipes or Yummly.  Google has created a structured markup which means that if you use one of the recipe plug-ins, your content is more likely to be indexed correctly.  And that means if someone searches for Celery Soup, they might just find YOUR recipe.  There are other rich snippet markups too.
  • Make sure you comment on other blogs.  Every comment gives you a backlink.   And it is only by building those backlinks that you will improve your google ranking.  Writing for third parties also helps.  Make sure you always ask for a link back to your site as the author.

Simple SEO for Bloggers

Of course, SEO is a huge area and one which is constantly evolving.  We have just touched the tip of the iceberg here but will continue to write short features to help  the blogl community.  So, please keep reading – and if you have any questions or thoughts about what we have written do comment!

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