When you start a blog, you want it to be successful. What is the point of writing if you have no audience reading your posts? Growing that audience is by no means easy, and in order to be truly successfully, you need to understand SEO techniques, what they mean and how to implement them for your own site.
SEO Checklist #1: Who is Your Audience?
First, you need to know to whom you are writing. If your business is in a specific area, then you want to attract readers who are interested in the topics you are covering. This step is the first and arguably most important before you take off into the blogosphere. Who are your customers? Are there new groups of individuals you would like to attract?
Be sure you not only tailor the subjects covered to that group but also the voice you use when writing your content to draw them in. It shows you have done your research and also shows you are interested in what they want and what their interests are. It will pay off greatly for you in the long run.
#2: Establish Goals
Once you get going, you want to see your site grow. Sure, the goal is to get content out there and to draw in a readership at the beginning, but eventually you will want to grow that base even more and also make your site change with the times and also with the growth of your own business. Sit down and write down a list of where you would like to see your site be by the end of the year.
What are your goals in putting out this blog? Are you wanting to make money from your blog? If so, you will need to come up with a plan as to how much you would like to make and how you want to get to that point. Once you write them down, be sure to visit them throughout the year. Make sure you are reaching your milestones set and establish new ones as you check others off your list.
#3: Brainstorm and Be Creative
Creative content draws in readers. People do not want to read what they have already read before. Come up with something fresh, new and unique. Keep a list of these ideas as they hit. Some day you may have trouble coming up with a unique post, but if you have a list handy, you will never be short of good ideas.
Read what is out there in similar genres and see what has already been done. Try to take a different spin on what you read so that you are not recreating the wheel and are writing something that others have never seen. The key is to be as creative as possible. Readers will know when they come across something new and fresh, and they will keep coming back for more.
#4: Make Your Content Easy to Read
You may have the best content ever, but if all your reader is looking at is blocks of text, he or she may be scared off. Content needs to be easy to read and needs to draw you in. One way to go about this is to make sure it is scannable. To make your content easier for a read to scan following the steps below:
- Use subheads to break up your content
- Utilize bulleted lists to get your point across
- Make sure you emphasize your call to action and important points are highlighted
- Write deeper captions for your site’s images.
People will keep coming back to your site if they like and can easily read your content. SEOs keep track of user behavior when coming up with rankings and when your site has a consistent pattern of keeping users on your site, you will likely end up higher in rank than others.
#5: Include Keywords in Your Content
Keywords are vital when it comes to SEO. Search engines utilize these search terms when it comes to ranking sites, and if you want your site up towards the top of search results, you need to include at least three to five words to help draw attention to your content. However, be sure you scatter these keywords selectively throughout your piece. Including too many keywords does also alert search engines that you are trying to unfairly weigh the odds in your favor in tricking the algorithms used to set search rankings.
If you are not sure what keywords would be best for your site, try the following tips:
- Put together a list of terms you believe relate to your topic.
- Conduct online searches of sites with topics similar to yours and pay attention to what terms are consistently used.
- Utilize keyword research tools found online to see what words would be best for your blog or site.
- Test it out. Once your site is live, type in various keywords you have selected and see where your site ranks in terms of the search results. Modify and refine as needed.
#6: Always Proofread!
It is like sending out a resume’ with a spelling error. No one is going to take you seriously if they find huge grammatical errors in your text. Make sure you are using the correct version of “your or you’re” or “their and there.” You lose a lot of credibility right off of the bat if someone sees one of these glaring errors while reading your content. Do not let that happen.
#7: Buy a Custom Domain
When a reader sees the terms “blogspot.com” or “wordpress.com,” they may automatically associate your site as a personal site or one put on by an amateur. You want credibility, and you want to be taken seriously. Both search engines and users tend to go towards sites with custom domains when looking for authority and trustworthiness.
Check out the various places online where you can purchase a custom domain for a reasonable price, and start your site off with that extra professional appearance.
#8: Optimize Your URL
It seems easy enough, but make sure your URL is concise and clearly indicates what the user should expect on your page. Do not automatically go with the URLs automatically generated for your page. No one is going to type in a whole bunch of random numbers and letters to find something.
If your page is all about breeding techniques for dogs, make sure the URL is something like “www.yourdomain.com/dog_breeding_techniques” or something along those lines. The page is easier to find for not only search engines but readers as well.
#9: Insert Keywords in Others Ways
If you put in graphics or images on your site, make sure you include meta tags or descriptions that also utilize the keywords you have chosen. Also, try to implement those keywords in your URL and in your headers in the site. Be selective on where you choose to insert these words but this technique can give you that extra boost in SEO.
You are off to the Races!
These tips are just a few ideas you can utilize to help improve the SEO for your blog or site. Do a little research and see what other tools exist out there to give you that added assistance. Try one or a few of these and test out how well they were. Most importantly, do not get discouraged. Success does not come overnight, and you have to find that right fit for you before your site can truly take off.