You just want to write, right?
And so you should. You’ll see the phrase “just write” throughout what I say about actually getting down to writing blog articles. Not much anyone can do without any content.
But a bit of planning will save time and go towards making sure that what you write:
solves a problem
is original (or at least contains original thoughts by you, especially if you are using references from other people)
is relevant to what people are searching for
is a good read.
All those points are good for SEO. Webopedia’s definition is:
“SEO is the process of improving a website or web page so it increases organic traffic quality and quantity from search engines. Successful SEO means a web page will be more likely to appear higher on a search engine results page (SERP). The most popular search engine is Google, but other search engines (Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc.) also have their own unique algorithms for crawling web pages and returning the top search results."
If you want to go a little further into the subject, Search Engine Watch has loads of insights into the fast-changing area of SEO.
Searching for something on Google triggers an algorithm
To match information as close as possible to what you are searching for, and to make sense of the wonderful (if chaotic) internet, Google has developed an algorithm. Algorithms are bi-products of a computer programme, and they present different options of how you interact with them.
Google sends out “spiders” to “crawl” around websites. These digital arachnids are useful and friendly if handled with care, and their job is to find out whether your website or blog is any good. They do this by measuring your content against over 100 indicators like traffic, fresh content, domain age and backlinks etc.
SEO is always changing and evolving. For a good update, read “Blog SEO: How To Rank Higher On Google in 2020 (In 17 Easy Steps).
What does all this mean for your blog?
If you have a website, make your blog part it. Hosting your blog on your website means that you’re using your own name (or company’s name) in the URL, which is, as far as Google is concerned, more authoritative than using a separate blogging service with a different domain name. After all, you want people to visit your website after reading a blog article, so make it easy for them to do so - you want all that lovely traffic generated by blogging going to your own website, not some other platform.
Most websites (and we include website builders like Wix and Weebly) have blog plugins, and these blogs will have an SEO feature. One such feature is the Meta Description. Spiders might not pay much attention to these, but your readers, searching for the meaning of life, the universe and everything, do.
The Meta Description is the short description (160 characters) you see on the search results page, and it is important.
Make sure the Meta Description is up to scratch for each article before posting and sharing your blog.
Be original and solve problems.
Google spiders love munching on originality.
Writing to solve problems is what content marketing is all about. What you want to do is attract customers by thinking about them, being interested in them and what they want to know. Write naturally in an entertaining way - educate even. Telling a story is a useful method. It takes practice, and sometimes you'll be shouting at your screen.
A few other things will help SEO for your blog:
Photography and images
Images are good for enticing people into your article. From an SEO point of view, you need to:
Add alt tags
Make sure you have a descriptive file name
Alt tags are not strictly tags. They are words that describe the image. None other than Google itself explains how to tag and name images here. They count towards helping Google (more spider fodder) find relevant images for searches.
Make sure your images are optimised for mobile viewing and that they fit nicely on the screen. Make sure their file size is balanced between size/quality and upload speed for the viewer.
Rename your image to a relevant file title before uploading to your blog
After uploading, find where to update the Alt text for the image - each blog platform will be slightly different
Optimise the size of the image.
Camera, Action! Google loves videos even more than images. Video builds links and traffic from YouTube and is very useful on mobile. Cameras on phones and tablets can now produce a good quality video.
A podcast is an accessible medium that people can enjoy on the move, so particularly good for mobile.
Tools and plugins
Use useful tools that make peoples’ lives easier or better, like calculators and weather forecasts. Google really likes this. You can find these tools for your website by searching for them online.
Collect links back to your article. This is considered very important to improving SEO .
Make sure your blog theme is optimised
By theme, we mean the way your website is designed and how it is coded.
Assuming you are going to add your blog to your website (see above), clean code means that spiders can read the code of your site easily. Do a bit of research first before you either build it yourself or hire a web designer. Once your website has been created and then you find out it is bad for SEO, you have to get it re-coded or build a new website from scratch.
Make sure your website can be viewed on all sizes of screen, especially for mobiles. Google prioritises mobile sites for people searching on smartphones.
Don't keep the punters waiting. Make sure your blogs load quickly across all devices.
Make sure that your website and blog works smoothly and doesn't have any dead-end links.
Rename your permalinks
This is important. Give the link to your blog a relevant name. The permalink is the title of your blog after the “/” (backslash) in the URL. For example, the link to this blog article is: https://www.letsdothiscopy.com/post/how-to-seo-your-blog-so-people-can-find-it. Google’s spiders search URLs, so make sure that the title of your blog is in the URL. Most blog platforms should allow you to edit the permalink.
Caution! Changing old permalinks will break any backlinks (see above) to the article, so change the permalink immediately before getting any backlinks and before you publish your article.
If you have any questions or need any copywriting/content help, please do contact me.