SEO is undeniably an art and learning how to improve your blog’s SEO is something that should remain at the top of your priority list. At its most basic level, SEO means more people find your content. More people read your content when your search engine optimization tells them about and it answers questions/solves problems they have. Plus, SEO makes your content easier to read and share. There’s not one thing about better SEO for your blog that doesn’t help you. Not one.
Yet you don’t have to become an SEO professional to make your blog and content more visible in search engine results. By taking a few extra minutes to incorporate some basic SEO tips, you’d be surprised at how much you can improve your blog’s visibility.
5 Ways to Improve Your Blog’s SEO
Keywords in captions
Optimizing your images and captions is an often overlooked strategy, but one that’s just as powerful as optimizing your written content. Hopefully you’re already in the habit of adding alt text to your images that includes relevant keywords. Now take that one step further by adding those keywords to your image captions, too. Not only will optimized captions boost your search visibility, but they can also help entice blog visitors to read further into your post.
Tag your titles
You probably use sub-head titles to break up your blog posts and make the content easier to read. Make sure that you use your blog’s H1, H2, H3 or H4 tags to highlight that information, which tells Google that it’s important. Your blog likely formats each tag differently, so pick the one that works best for your particular site. Note—we generally use the H4 tag in our V3 posts, like with the subhead that you see above.
Install a Google XML sitemap
An XML sitemap is, in essence, a list of pages on your website. And it’s a great way to make sure that Google knows about pages and content on your site that may not have been found by Google’s normal crawling process. The best news? If you have a WordPress blog, there’s a handy plugin you can install that will automatically create a Google XML sitemap for your site. Thanks to Kimberly Gauthier with Shareholic for the heads-up!
As you’re writing your post, sub-heads, headline, captions, alt text, meta description and meta tags, you’ll want to include keywords in each. Take a few minutes before you write to do keyword research using a free tool like Google Keyword. Kimberly mentioned in her post that she does keyword research once the post is written, and makes adjustments as needed. You could go that same route, or do the research before you write so you’ll know what keywords to use. This is where the true art of SEO starts to emerge—you want to include keywords throughout your post, but not in a way that makes the post hard to read or spammy.
Build links with comments
Building links to and from your content is also a critical part of SEO. And one of the easiest ways to create links to your blog from a wide number of sources is to comment on other blogs. It can be hard to make time to do this if you’re juggling a busy schedule, but it’s an important—and often overlooked—step. Most comment forms allow you to include a URL that will appear with your comment. You may want to consider linking back to a specific post that aligns with the subject matter you’re commenting on, rather than your site’s homepage. Aside from building more links back to your blog, commenting can be a great way to form relationships with other bloggers and might even lead to guest blogger opportunities. Here at V3, for example, we’ve often approached commenters to ask them to expand on their thoughts in a guest post—and we know other blogs do the same.
See? SEO isn’t so scary, right? Incorporating SEO tricks like these can go a long way in boosting your blog’s visibility and expanding your content’s reach across the web. And because the aforementioned practices are all basic, sound SEO principles, using tips like these can help maintain your site’s visibility regardless of frequent Google algorithm changes.
Do you incorporate these tips each time you write a blog post? Or did you learn something new?
Image via Google