There are several areas to grasp (SEO being one) when building a blog, especially to create one that will drive enough traffic to generate an income. I’ll admit, figuring it all out can be a little overwhelming, hence the need for strict prioritisation.
Being one who likes to think I can learn and manage every aspect of building a blog or business, I battle with this every day.
From my currently limited experience of building a blog, it’s become clear there are multiple areas of specialisation required and therefore a need for strict prioritisation. Trying to learn everything at once can cause overwhelm and, subsequently, paralysis.
As I build this blog and learn more, I’d like to explore the following areas and what I believe to be the foundations of any successful blog:
Building A Blog For Organic Traffic
While content is king in the blogging world, today I’d like to focus on an element of marketing called SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation. In simple terms, this is the process of delivering content in a way that your content ranks higher in a user’s search engine, providing more visitors and, hopefully, more revenue.
Whilst I am not an expert in SEO, I will happily surf the internet until I find the information for the results I am trying to achieve.
Production, not perfection, is the aim, at least until I generate enough recurring revenue to hire a real SEO expert.
SEO For Dummies
There are tools out there that make understanding and implementing SEO easier, and fortunately, I found it in a neat little WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO.
Yoast works by analysing your article based on specific keywords assigned to your blog posts. Yoast makes it very easy to ensure that your content is optimised for a search engine algorithm and, therefore, a higher search ranking.
Below are some of the criteria that Yoast will analyse, and is an excellent place to start when looking to optimise your blog posts.
Blog Post Length
It used to be that around 500 words were the sweet spot for SEO optimisation, nowadays it seems that longer lengths are preferable.
As of 2018, Google tended to rank longer posts higher, because longer content is more detailed and, therefore, more likely to answer users’ search queries.
It has been stated in expert articles that perhaps close to 2,000 words is ideal, but who wants to read novel-length content on an iPhone?
So what’s the simple answer? Find out who has the highest-ranking content given your chosen keyword and use that as a guideline. You will then tick one SEO box that will place your content in good steed against your competition.
Yoast recommends at-least 300 words. I think the key is to write relevant, engaging content, and make sure posts aren’t overly short.
Keyword density relates to the number of times a keyword appears on a page divided by the total number of words on that page.
As with blog post length, there is no real ideal or exact percentage for better ranking, but as a general rule, experts tout 1-3% of keyword density as being the target guideline.
Google suggests writing natural articles, so the content doesn’t seem too spammy with a keyword placed in every paragraph.
With that in mind, where should keywords be placed? Use the below list as a guideline:
- In the permalink
- H1 tag
- H2 tag
- Meta title tag
- Start of the article
- End of the article
Yoast SEO has a great tool that analyses keyword density and makes suggestions as to the best placement, which is worth checking out.
Alt text embedded in your blog images plays a significant part in your ranking with search engines. Because search engine bots cannot see images, the alt text assigned to an image is essential. The bots rely heavily on this to understand and identify an image.
When you upload an image to WordPress, you will have the option to add alt text before uploading it to the post.
Alt text should ideally describe the contents of the image, and if appropriate you can add your keyword to the image to boost your SEO ranking.
SEO and AI?
Want to forget all of the above and let robots do all the work? Well that may a possibility in the very near future. My friend Julian over at Julian Goldie SEO has created a very educational video showing how it quite possibly could…check it out!
By following the simple guidelines above, you will be well on your way to creating SEO optimised content and generating more visitors to your site.
If you haven’t already, and you’re using WordPress, I’d highly encourage you to check out Yoast. You can do so here.
Do you have any SEO tips and tricks to share with me? I’m not the expert here. If so, leave a comment below!