When you’re just starting to blog you’re going to have a lot on your plate. Beyond learning how to write for the web and mastering the technical side of posting, you probably have one large question floating around your head.
How am I going to get traffic to my blog?
You’ve probably already come across dozens of methods to get traffic back to your website. One of the most tried and true methods for sustainable long-term traffic is SEO.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, refers to techniques designed to improve your site’s rankings in the search results of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.
When it comes to SEO there are a few things you’ll need to get right from the get go. Below we offer seven of our best SEO tips for new bloggers, so you can make sure you’re laying the right foundation for future rankings.
1. Get Your Titles Right
Your titles are more important than you might think. Your titles matter a lot when it comes to your rankings. For starters, you should try to include your target keyword in your title, if possible. Second, your title will determine if people are actually going to open and read your posts.
People will only share and read titles that are intriguing, so make sure your titles are interesting and relevant. Unsure of how to create epic titles for your blog posts? Then make sure you check out this post from HubSpot.
2. Do Keyword Research First
Before you begin writing you should have a solid understanding of the keywords you’re going to rank for. At the very least, understanding which search engine keywords your market is based around will point you in the right direction towards creating useful content.
It will also help get you traffic, as having a keyword focus for each post, and optimizing that keyword properly will increase the chances of your post ranking.
3. Quality Matters
One of the biggest elements to focus on should be the quality of your post. In the old days of blogging and SEO you could throw up a crappy, keyword-stuffed post, and the thing would rank.
Today search engines are much smarter than that. They want to rank high-quality content as it provides more value to their users – the people who use search engines like Google and Bing to find answers to their questions.
Plus, people are more likely to share high-quality content, and other bloggers are more likely to link to it. The quality of your post is directly related to how valuable others find it.
4. Know the Power of Linking
Onsite SEO is just as important as offsite SEO. One great onsite SEO strategy is interlinking all of your content together. Go to Wikipedia to see a site that’s done this effectively. Every single article on their site links out to other content they’ve written dozens of times, at least.
Interlinking your content makes it easier for the search engine robots to crawl your site; it helps to disperse link juice throughout your site, and provides more value to your readers.
5. Consider Using a Plugin
There are a lot of technical elements you need to get right when it comes to optimizing your blog posts. Instead of trying to do all of these things yourself it can be effective to utilize a plugin like Yoast SEO.
This is one of the most commonly used SEO plugins for WordPress, and for good reason. This plugin will help you optimize every single post on your site for SEO, while educating you about the basics of SEO in the process.
6. Focus on Readers Over Robots
Your biggest focus as a blogger should be making your readers happy. By focusing on user experience you’ll improve certain metrics across your site that are good for SEO.
For instance, if one of your posts has a low bounce rate and an increased site dwell time (how long a user stays on your site), Google will mark this piece of content as very high-value and it’ll rank much higher. You can watch these metrics using Google Analytics.
Delight your readers and see your rankings improve.
7. Know Your Network
Chances are there’s already a network of existing blogs that serving your space. It’s in your best interest to become very familiar with these blogs and network with those who run them.
If you continue to produce stellar content, link to them on a regular basis, and share their content across social media, you’ll start to build up a reputation. Often, just a single share or link from these massive sites can do a lot for your traffic levels and rankings.
SEO is constantly evolving, but by implementing the practices above, you’ll set yourself and your site up for success in the long run. Having a long-term focus will always be beneficial when it comes to SEO.
Any beginner SEO tips we failed to mention above? Share your favorites in the comments below.