SEO for bloggers doesn’t have to be hard.
However with everything there is to learn as a beginner blogger, it’s easy to overlook the importance of using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your new blog. I’ve compiled a list of powerful tips that makes SEO for bloggers simple. These tips can be easily implemented, even if you’re brand new to blogging.
If you’re not already familiar with SEO, I’m sure the thought of having to learn another skill can seem daunting. But, SEO is important for driving traffic to your blog, so you do need to at least understand the concept. I promise it sounds a lot harder than it actually is.
Before we dive into the blogger SEO tips I want to share with you, let me answer a couple of questions you might have.
What is SEO?
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.” – Wikepedia. That definition fits perfectly, at least for the purposes of this blog post.
No matter what niche your in, having your blog’s content showing up near the top of Google search results for popular search phrases is a huge factor in growing your traffic.
Why Do Bloggers Need To Use SEO?
Bloggers need to use SEO strategies to make it easier for search engines to better understand how to categorize your content and where to rank it in their search results. With the right SEO for bloggers strategies in place, you’ll increase the chances of growing your blog organically.
The internet is full of information-overload on just about every topic you can imagine. That’s why search engines use algorithms to determine which content should show up for any given search term (keywords and phrases).
It takes a long time for new content to actually start ranking in search results organically. We’re talking months or even years, depending on how competitive your niche is.
However, if you learn to use at least basic SEO practices from the beginning, your blog will have a better chance of ranking sooner in Google and other search engines for the topics you write about.
Implementing SEO really isn’t that hard once you understand the basics.
That’s why I’ve compiled the most powerful SEO tips for bloggers that will make a huge impact on helping your content rank higher on Google. I’ve split them up into a few different categories to help you understand when to implement them.
PRE-LAUNCH SEO OPTIMIZATION
Before you even launch your blog, there are a few things that will impact whether your new website will be given authority in search engines.
Search engines like Google, Bing and Explorer are looking for the most valuable and trustworthy information to show users. That means you need your website to be optimized from the very beginning.
Here’s a list of the most effective on-page SEO tips for bloggers to rank higher in Google search results.
1. Choose The Right Blogging Platform
Are you serious about building a successful blog? Do you plan on standing out from the competition as a professional and expert in your niche?
If so, don’t pinch pennies by using a free blogging platform for your website. It costs less than $5/month (even less if you pay annually) to have a self-hosted website where you can use a custom domain of your own.
Using a free platform like WordPress.com (do not confuse with WordPress.org) or Wix immediately screams “beginner” to any website visitors. They could even be looked at as untrustworthy. Because of this, those blogs on free platforms give you a lower impact for ranking in search engines.
If you’re still using one of those free platforms, there are so many reasons your content will be overlooked. For a professional blog, and especially if you want to monetize your blog, spend a few bucks a month to get your own website.
Get your own professional website with Dreamhost now.
2. Get A Custom Domain Containing Keywords
The very first step to getting Google’s attention is to get your own self-hosted website, which means you’ll also get your own domain name.
This is the perfect opportunity to use keywords relevant to your niche and the content you plan to write about on your blog. Not only will this help you rank with search engines, but your readers will also recognize the point of your blog right away, just by the website address.
Of course, this isn’t always possible, but if it is, take advantage of the opportunity.
For best results, choose a domain name that ends with .com.
3. Use An SEO Optimized Theme
Next, you’ll need to choose a theme for your new website – this is the fun part! There are thousands of themes to choose from but that doesn’t mean they are all a good fit, especially those that are free.
If you’re at this stage of building your blog, I highly recommend choosing a theme that is optimized for SEO. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing an SEO-ready theme:
- Upload speed
- Website structure
- Responsive design
- Social media integration
If you want a beautiful theme that meets all of those requirements and has plenty of design options, Astra is perfect and has a free version that will do the job nicely. You can download Astra theme here.
4. Correct Your Permalink Structure
Since search engines depend on the their spider-bots to read and understand your links, your SEO strategy is best served with the right permalink structure.
Most of time, your WordPress default setting for the permalink structure will need to be changed. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings -> Permalinks -> Choose “Post Name” -> Save.
FINDING THE RIGHT KEYWORDS TO OPTIMIZE FOR SEO
Keywords are going to be a huge component of your SEO strategy, so it’s important to choose the keyword phrases that are most relevant to your blog.
5. Do Some Keyword Research
When deciding on the keywords you should focus on, think about your target audience. What are their biggest pain points?
Make a list of the different search terms your target readers might use to find answers to their pain points as they relate to your niche.
Now, I know it would be nice to rank high for the main niche keywords like “travel”, “blogging”, or “recipes” – but it’s highly unlikely.
You do however, have a chance to rank for popular keyword phrases like “travel to Europe on a budget”, “seo tips for bloggers”, or “gluten-free dinner recipes”.
That’s why your main focus for keyword optimization should be aimed at those longer keyword phrases that your target audience is typing into search engines.
Doing your keyword-research is going to have a major impact on where you rank in search results. You can also use a reliable keyword-research tool to help you find the best keywords for your blog and website content.
6. Setup Google Search Console For Your Blog
Google Search Console offers a plethora of helpful information for your blog’s SEO performance.
If you’ve already been blogging for a bit and are getting some traffic to your website, Google search console can help you determine which keywords are already bringing you traffic.
Even if you’re new, you still want to sign up for Google Search Console as soon as possible.
You’ll be able to see how many of your pages are being ranked in Google’s search index, track the performance of your links and even submit a link to Google for indexing. This will help your blog posts get indexed faster, and hopefully bring you traffic sooner.
You can learn about all of the benefits of using Google Search Console in this post from Databox.
WHERE TO USE KEYWORDS FOR SEO
Now that you you’ve determined the keywords that you want your website and blog content to rank for, it’s important to know where to actually use them.
Keywords should always be used organically in your content so that it flows naturally. Search-engine spiderbots have evolved to recognize different keyword-stuffing techniques. Here are the important places to use keywords throughout your website to start ranking in search engines.
7. Image File Names
Before you upload your images into your WordPress media library, take a moment to rename the image file to reflect what’s actually in the image.
Search engines do not “look” at the image and only know what it is based on the file name. For example, if you have a picture of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, change the file name to “eiffel-tower-paris.jpg” instead of leaving it as “img-002485.jpg”.
For each individual page or blog post, you want to choose keywords that are relevant to that particular content. This keyword phrase should be much more targeted. You also want to choose a different keyword phrase for each page/post.
By using a variety of on-page SEO strategies in your blog post, you can improve the chances of that particular link ranking in search engines.
8. Blog Post Title
For every blog post you write, you should be focusing on a specific topic or keyword-phrase (hopefully relevant to your overall niche).
Include the keyword phrase in blog post title, also known as the headline. Try to put the phrase at the beginning of the title if it will make sense to do so.
9. URL Slug
Make sure that the keyword-phrase is also used in the URL slug for your blog post.
WordPress automatically generates the URL slug but just use the “Edit” button next it to change it. You can eliminate the stop-words to shorten the URL since search engines ignore them anyway. Just be careful that your URL reads correctly for the message you are conveying in your blog post.
According to Yoast “Removing stop words can actually hurt your SEO because it can make your URLs read differently. For example, /growing-up-with-hearing-loss/ is NOT the same thing as /growing-hearing-loss/ (the version where stop words are removed).”
10. First Paragraph On Page or Blog Post
Always try to use your selected keyword phrase in the first paragraph of your content. Not only does it tell search engines what your content is about, it also helps readers know immediately what the main point of the page or post.
11. Sprinkled Throughout The Content
While you’re writing your blog post, it should be easy to naturally include your keyword phrase in various sentences throughout.
Remember, you don’t want to keyword-stuff – search engines will penalize you for that.
Also, search engines have evolved enough now that they pick up on variations of your keywords. That means you don’t have to repeat the same phrase over and over. You can use an alternate phrase with the same meaning to add variety but still be optimized for search engines.
12. High-Level Headings
When writing a blog post, using headings and sub-headings helps to organize the content and provide a better reader-experience. The more you break up content, the easier it is to scan.
Your H1 heading of your blog post is usually reserved for the title and should already include your desired keyword phrase.
When possible, try to include your keyword in other higher-level headings (H2, H3). Again, don’t overdo it.
13. Meta Description & Excerpt
Your meta description is the short paragraph that shows up next to your post title in search results. It’s an opportunity to grab the readers attention and convince them to click through to your content.
Use a strong hook – peak curiosity, include a call-to-action and use powerful, emotional words. Keep in mind that you’re given a limited number of characters to win your reader’s click-through, as shown in the graphic below.
You should always create a custom meta description. Otherwise, search engines will pull from the first paragraph of your blog post.
14. Image Alt-Text
In SEO tip #7, I talked about images and using keywords in the image file name before uploading into your media library.
When you add the image to your blog post, or anywhere else on your website, you’ll want to update the image alt-text. The alt-text (also referred to as alt-tag) is used to describe the image on-screen, and is read out by screen-readers for the visually-impaired.
Google looks to the image alt-text to understand the image and also to help identify the text around it. That means using your keyword phrase in the alt-text can help your post get a boost in ranking and show up in the “Images” results on search engines.
BLOG POST BEST PRACTICES FOR SEO
There are a number of SEO tips for bloggers to use within your blog posts, too. Use these best practices for all of your blog posts to help increase your rankings in search engine results.
15. Write High-Quality, Long-Form Content
Although there’s no “minimum” number of words required for a blog post, you should always be aiming for in-depth content. When writing on a topic, give your reader all of the information. Don’t make them hunt around to other websites for the answers to questions you should cover in your post.
For any given topic, the first-page results on Google are almost always blog posts that contain over 2,000 words. Yes, it takes longer to write – but the benefits are worth the extra work!
Consider this blog post, for example. I could have simply included a numbered list of the SEO tips without any explanations. But how helpful would that have been for you? I’m pretty sure you’d have been confused by at least some of these ideas without the in-depth, accompanying information.
Give your readers as much as they need – if you’re really able to do that in less than 1,000 words then go for it. Otherwise, write a longer post. Period.
16. Include Internal Links
Every blog post and page should include links to other content on your website. Search engines use the links in your content to help determine what your writing about. By including links to other blog posts, you’re helping Google and other search engines understand the topics you cover to better categorize your blog.
Including internal links is also a smart way to keep readers on your website longer, reducing your bounce rates (also good for your SEO).
Update Older Posts
Don’t forget to periodically audit your older blog posts.
This gives you a chance to make sure that the information is still accurate and allows you to update with internal links to relevant newer posts on your blog.
17. Add High-Ranking Backlinks
Another important piece of the SEO puzzle is link-building using backlinks. Search engines take notice of the websites you are linking to in your content.
By backlinking to high-ranking, reputable blogs, you’re actually building your own authority with search engines.
You do want to actually verify the content that you’re linking to. Backlinks should always be relevant to your blog post and helpful to your readers.
Use outbound links to validate claims made in your article, provide social proof or expand on an idea. For example, you’ll notice many of the outbound links in this blog post are for articles that provide further details about these SEO tips.
WEBSITE UPDATES THAT CAN IMPROVE SEO FOR BLOGGERS
18. Secure Your Domain
Google openly admits that secure websites receive a slight boost in rankings. Google now displays a warning to Chrome users that indicates a site is “not secure” if it doesn’t carry the “https”. In some cases, there will even be an entire page warning the user that it may be unsafe to continue to a particular website without https. This can have a huge impact on your traffic, your bounce rates, and even your income – so you need to secure your website with an SSL certificate.
Since most web hosts are now offering a free SSL certificate so there is no reason not to secure your website. If your web host doesn’t, you may want to think about switching to one that does.
19. Speed Up Your Website
The speed of your website should also a critical component of your SEO strategy. The longer your website takes to load, the less authority your pages are given.
Search engines not only want to provide results that are relevant and precise, the user experience is also important for your rankings.
There are so many factors that can slow down your website. Here are some tips that will help improve your site speed and help with your overall SEO strategy for your blog.
20. Clean Out Your Media Library
I don’t know about you but my Media Library ends up with a ton of images and other media that’s not being used. Images take up space, which slows down your website. You might be wondering why you would have media files that aren’t being used. Here are a few examples:
- Demo images that came with your theme
- Page builder template images that you swapped out for your own
- Duplicate images uploaded by mistake
- Old images that you deleted from posts or pages
- If you updated your website and branding, switching out the images with new ones
I’m sure you get the point. Over time, they really add up to extra weight for your database.
How To Bulk Remove Items From Your Media Library
To get rid of media files that aren’t being used, follow these instructions:
- Open up your Media Library and filter by “Unattached” and click “Apply”. By doing so, you’ll only see those files that aren’t being used anywhere on your website.
- Select “All”. Verify that there aren’t any PDF downloads linked to from your email marketing client or other items you want to keep.
- In Bulk Actions choose “Delete”.
That’s it! In the next tip, you’ll learn how to permanently delete junk files to save even more space.
21. Permanently Remove Unused Files
Lighten the load of your website by cleaning up unnecessary and unused items. This is similar to emptying the Recycle Bin on your desktop or laptop.
When you delete a plugin or trash a page or post, it doesn’t actually remove it from your website. In fact, every revision you’ve ever made to a post or page is also stored on your site.
You can remove all of these unused junk files easily with a plugin called Advanced Database Cleaner. It’s free and allows you to permanently delete those unnecessary items that are slowing down your website.
22. Compress Your Images
Your images can be one of the biggest components of slowing down your website. Image quality is important, but you can compress your images without sacrificing quality. Just install an image compression plugin like Smush to automatically compress images.
BLOGGING SEO STRATEGIES TO BUILD BRAND AUTHORITY
As discussed in SEO Tip #17 above, search engines look at the quality of backlinks. You can improve your own backlink authority with the following tips.
23. Guest Post On Other Blogs
The right guest blogging opportunity can take a blog from zero to overnight sensation. Not only should it be a part of your content strategy, it should be part of your SEO strategy as well.
When you write a guest post, you are automatically building backlinks to your own blog. When those backlinks are coming from high-quality, high-authority websites, search engines start recognizing you as a valuable source of information.
24. Leave Comments On Other Blogs
There are a lot of blogs that use the CommentLuv comment plugin (including this one!). When you leave a comment on blogs using CommentLuv, it automatically adds a backlink to your most recent blog post!
This is an easy way to build your backlink authority and show your support of other bloggers. Commenting on popular blogs in your niche also gets you on the radar of those bloggers, which could help you with landing a guest post or collaboration opportunity.
Be sure to leave a thoughtful and meaningful comment that shows you actually read the post. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or add your input on a topic discussed in the article.
Personally, I love reading and responding to comments. So why not start implementing this tip right now by leaving a comment on this post? I’m very interested in your feedback!
25. Use Keywords In Your Comment Responses
When readers leave comments on your blog posts, you should always respond. Not only is it an opportunity to build a personal connection with readers, you can use also improve your SEO.
Write heartfelt responses that add even more information about the topic in the blog post. You can enhance your SEO by including keyword phrases in your answers and linking to other recommended content on your blog (if it’s relevant to their comment).
Conclusion – SEO For Bloggers – 25 Powerful Tips
Ranking in search engine results for your blog’s relevant keyword phrases takes time. The sooner you get started with implementing tips like those in this post, the quicker you will start seeing results.
Google considers over 200 factors when choosing the ranking for organic search results. These simple changes will become second nature and help improve your overall strategy for building a successful and profitable blog.
What Do You Think About These SEO Tips For Bloggers?
Your feedback is important to me. What SEO strategies do you use on a regular basis? Are there other simple tips that I could add to this list that help with search engine optimization? Please take a moment to leave a comment below.
If you found this post helpful, please share it on social media or pin to your favorite Blogging Tips board on Pinterest! You’re the best.
Until next time…
46 thoughts on “SEO For Bloggers – 25 Powerful Tips”
This post was so very helpful. Thanks so much for all the Seo info.
You’re welcome, Monica. I hope you’re able to use some of the tips.
As a new blogger, this are so much helpful to me, I’m sure will be helpful for a lot bloggers. Thank you I really appreciate
I’m glad you found this post helpful, Elly. As a new blogger, I know there’s a lot to learn, but stick with it-you’ve got this!
Hello, This was a informative read. I follow most of the tips that you mentioned to write my articles, but few were new to me, so thank you for sharing your suggestions. Also I use LiteSpeed Cache plugin to increase my website speed.
Thank you for this post, I will be making sure cleaning up my Media Library (I didn’t realize it was slowing down my site)
There are some great tips on this post! I had no idea that permalink structure can affect SEO – I’ve just changed mine now. Thanks for sharing.
Hello Eve! I’m so glad you learned something new in this post and that you’ve already started implementing some of the tips. Thanks for your feedback and let me know if I can help with anything else.
Wow.. Such an informative and helpful post..! Thanks for sharing..! I will definitely try all the tips that you’ve shared.
I have started focusing on SEO since last week and your post made it pretty clear to me. I am using the Yoast plug-in. Is it good?
Yoast SEO is a great tool! I definitely love the readability scores and the tips for improvement are on-point. The SEO portion is also very helpful, however it’s to be used as a guideline. Just because you have a “green light” doesn’t mean that Google is ranking you high in search results. Ranking organically takes time.
The best strategy is to make sure you’re choosing the best keyword phrases for your blog niche and post first – then follow the tips in this post to make sure you’ve optimized your blog post.
I love all your tips and they are really helpful. Particularly the one on deleting unattached files, I think I have many of those so time to check my blog out.
That a great idea! Getting rid of trashed items and unused plugins and media can really help to speed up your website. Thanks for your feedback!
I sincerely wish that I had read this five years ago this month when I was starting to develop the idea and look of my blog. I would have save me so much effort and stress.
I know it’s so important to know about SEO but I just can’t be bothered. Keep thinking I have to get into it and then I would just rather do other things (:
I used to feel the same way. In fact, I’ve just started trying to focus on SEO over this last year and thought it would be such a daunting undertaking. That’s why I wrote this post – these are simple things that can make a huge difference. The best part about them is that they don’t take too much time to implement!
These are such great tips! I’ve been needing to work on my SEO!
This is a very great tips! You enlighten me up how Search Engine Optimization works. And your post is so simple to learn step by step because of its very clear and informative sentences. Thank you so much and more power on you!
I’m so glad that you found the tips easy to implement. That’s always my goal – to help bloggers grow and give relevant tips that are easy to understand and actually get you results. Thanks for your feedback!
This is very well detailed, I wish I saw it sooner before paying to learn about SEO. Which SEO tool do you recommend? Is the yoast SEO (premium) good enough? I am yet to optimize older posts, hopefully before the end of the year.
I love Yoast SEO – as long as you use the configuration wizard and connect to Google, you can feel confident that your posts are being indexed by Google. I also love the help it gives with readability of the blog post. Just keep in mind that no plugin is going to do the work for you – it’s up to you to do the keyword research for your content. The plugins are just to help you make sure you’re content is optimized and indexed by search engines.
Great tips for me when I struggle for SEO ranking. Images part is new for me, I will work on it. Keywords in comments are also a new concept for me. There is so much to learn. I will follow your suggestions and see how much I can improve.
These are great SEO tips. It is important to remember though that you can’t just change permalink structure on an already established blog. There is a good deal of redirection that will need to be setup before making that move.
Alexis, you are so right!
When changing your permalink structure, you’ll have to make sure you’re redirecting the old links to the new links. The free plugin 301 Redirection makes this task fairly simple.
Thanks for pointing that out and leaving your comment 🙂
These are really great tips. I’ve found the yoast plug in to be tremendously helpful
This is GOLD! I wish I read this before I started blogging! Awesome work!
Excellent! This blog post packs quite a punch on the subject of SEO, which I haven’t seen anywhere else without having to read numerous other articles. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I’m so glad to hear that! I try to give as much info as possible so you don’t have to track down answers on other blogs. Glad to hear I hit the nail on the head with this one 🙂 Thanks for your feedback.
This post is a gold mine for new bloggers. You have done a great job Angel. I am going to pin it and save it on my desktop to check mark the tips every time I write.
Nadia that’s awesome! Thanks for your feedback and I’m glad you found my SEO tips helpful. Also, thanks for pinning 🙂
THESE Are some really great amazing tips! I had no idea about deleting revisions and how to get rid of unattached photos (never really thought of it) that in itself makes me jump with excitement. Great idea about responding using keywords. Also another thing I had not tried. I love the commentluv plugin. I’m going to have to check and see if it’s compatible for my blog. Thanks again for all the great advice!
Hi Jenn! Please let me know if you notice a speed difference for your website once you get rid of all the “junk”. Also, glad you’re going to check out CommentLuv. If you have a WordPress blog it should work just fine. Let me know if you have any questions about any of the strategies you’re starting to implement (or anything else to improve your blog’s progress!).
You’ve got some great SEO tips here! I love that you laid it out in a way that’s easy to follow, even for those that are newer to the world of blogging and SEO – a great resource for bloggers of all levels!
Hi Britt! I’m so glad that you found it comprehensive for beginners. SEO was something that was very intimidating for me when I was new to blogging because I didn’t understand the concept. The articles I was reading were just adding to my confusion. My goal for this post was to make SEO less scary.
Thanks for the feedback!
This is a very helpful post and you touch on everything that is really important. I never thought about using SEO words in your comments, however, it makes perfect sense! I really would like to venture out and guest post but a wee bit nervous still.
I’m glad you liked the post, but I really want to talk with you about guest posting.
What about writing a guest post makes you nervous? Is it pitching the blogs? Afraid your content isn’t good enough? I’d love to help you move past that obstacle because guest blogging is great for ALL bloggers, no matter how new you are.
Check out my post How To Write Killer Guest Posts – 7 Simple Steps For Success. I go over every step of guest blogging including choosing the blogs to write for, pitching your idea (I even include a free template of my exact email pitch that you can use), how to write a great article, and more. It’s written just for you (brand new to guest blogging)!
Check it out and let me know if it helps! You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re still feeling nervous – I’ll help you through it 🙂
Great SEO tip list! I always make sure to use the long tail keywords instead of trying to focus on just one or two words for my keywords. I find that using the longer keyword terms to be on of the most useful things to help with SEO.
Awesome post! Using keywords in comment responses is one I’ve never heard before! Brilliant! Thanks a bunch!
Up until now (yikes!) I though google Analytics and google search consuls were the same thing! Just adding this on my to do list!
Seriously well-written post with great tips! I’ve been trying to optimize my blog for a while now and your post actually taught me quite a few things I didn’t know yet. Thank you so much for sharing!! 🙂
Nice blog! So useful and informative..! I love to learn more about how to use SEO for my blogs, this is such a great help.
SEO is one of those things that I do struggle with. But each time I read a post, such as this, I gain a better understanding of SEO. One item I will start implementing right away is to name my pics before uploading them. Thank you for the content!
Yes, SEO can be very confusing. It takes awhile to start ranking organically but little things can make a big difference if you’re consistent.
Thanks for your comment.
Nice post. I never thought about my image names being used for SEO. I guess I’ll have my work cut out for me renaming those images! Thanks for the tips 😊
I’m new to SEO and these tips are great. I had no idea that the size of the pictures and old files laying around could affect my rankings. I know what I’ll be working on this weekend!
Yes, Anissa. I didn’t know there was a plugin that can easily take care of that for you. The plugin I recommend in the post is awesome and very easy to use. The free version is quite effective on it’s own, but the premium version gives you even more options.
Let me know you see improvement after using it.