Have you ever wondered how to get your post on the first page of Google (or any search engine)? Well, thats were SEO comes in. You’ve probably heard about seo all over the blogging world. If your don’t have a clue what SEO is or if your a new blogger, then I don’t want you to panic! SEO is not as hard as people make it out to be but it’s really important that you get to grips with it if you want a successful online business. Today I want to share with you how to do seo by yourself, the easy way with this ultimate guide of understanding seo for beginners.
What is really is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process in which you try to get your post/article on the first page of the search engines, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.
In other words, SEO tries to increase the visibility of your post for a particular search term that people are looking for. Better SEO will increase traffic on your site.
The search engines use a number of metrics and algorithims to find out what posts have the most relevant/valuable information for a topic or search term.
They’re not going to waste their time showing people results that are spammy, useless and boring.
Why SEO Matters?
Before I explain why SEO is so important, I just want you to imagine the situation below.
So you go to your favourite search engine (Google, Bing or Yahoo) and let say your looking for information on how to start a blog fast.
You see the first link and think i’ll check that out.
You then want to see what other’s think about ‘how to start a blog’ and click the next 3 search results.
Your happy with what you’ve learnt and go along your merry way to create a blog.
Did you ever go to page 15? .. Page 10? … Page 5? …Let alone page 2? to find what you need.
Nope, Nobody got time for that!
Most people go to the first 5 search results to find what they are looking for. It’s not common to go past page 2 in the search results because people want good answers fast.
And that is why SEO matters.
You want all your posts to have that golden position on the first page of the search engines. No one is going to find your blog if your stuck on page 20. Every time you go to google analytics to see your traffic numbers, you’ll just see some tumble weed floating across your screen all because you didnt improve the seo on your blog.
Your amazing content deserves to be seen by the people that need it. Dont let it get lost in the trillion of pages on the internet.
Plus the traffic you get from search engines is the purest form of traffic. It’s FREE ORGANIC TRAFFIC. – That’s the kind of traffic you want for the long haul of your blogging journey.
Warning: Improving your blog’s SEO does not show immediate results. It’s a process that takes time but should also be seen as a golden method to gaining long term traffic and respect from the search engines.
Myth #1 SEO is too hard – This myth personally annoys me on so many levels. You might of read some where on the internet that good SEO is just too complicated and hard to do on your own. Well that’s simply not true. The reason why this myth makes me feel uneasy is because I think that sort of advice makes new bloggers feel as though they will never achieve success. – It takes hard work but it’s easier than you think.
SEO is fairly easy if you have the right guidance and it’s rarely ever something that changes overnight. The SEO practices done 15 years ago are pretty much the same as they are now.
SEO is not hard! it just takes the right action and time to achieve good seo.
Myth #2 You need to hire someone for SEO – This pretty much comes from the first myth. People think SEO is difficult and that they need to hire some “SEO expert” to be able to get on the first page of google. Save your money peeps! you don’t need to hire someone to do SEO. I’ll show you how to do SEO by yourself successfully.
Myth #3 Good SEO is pot luck – Personally I believe luck comes from the actions that you take. Successful bloggers aren’t just ever lucky that they became successful. They put the right steps in place and took action. There is a “science” to SEO and blogging. You can improve your SEO by following the proven steps below.
How To Do SEO by Yourself
Learning how to do SEO yourself has never been easier, just remember that SEO takes time. It usually takes 6 months to start seeing the results of your SEO actions. Also the more authority your site has, the quicker your see results.
To be quite honest, Its very quick to implement all the SEO steps below in your blog and blog posts. Once you’ve done it a couple of times, it becomes second nature.
BONUS TIP: Before you do any SEO on your blog, please ensure you set up Google Analytics. Every blogger needs to sign up to google analytics to analyse their traffic. If you don’t measure your traffic, it can be difficult to know what is working and whats not. Google analytics helps you understand the performance of your site, so you can make the right changes.
There are 2 types of SEO.
On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
On Page SEO
On-page SEO is everything that you can optimize on your blog or site. It’s easier to achieve good on-page SEO than good off-page SEO. The reason for this is because you have so much more control in improving on-page SEO than you do on off page SEO.
Here are 10 on-page seo tips:
1. Long-tail Keywords
So I didnt realise how big of a deal keywords were until I saw how powerful they are in helping you get your post on the first page of google. If you dont already know, long-tail keywords are phrases that people are searching for on the internet.
Dont assume you know what people are looking for. Keyword research helps you determine how popular a phrase is and gives you an idea on what to write about. You want to find keywords that have high monthly searches but low competiton (low number of of site writing about that exact keyword).
Using long-tail keywords in your content is the number #1 tip in getting good SEO.
Finding good quality long-tail keywords can be easy if your using the right tool. Check out my guide on how to find golden nugget keywords and a full review on the best seo keyword research tool.
Once you’ve found a keyword you want to write about, ensure to include it in your title, throughout your content and in your image titles (and alt tags).
Bonus Tip: Dont keyword stuff. Search engines hate this as is looks spammy. Include your keyword in the first 100 words and then only include it when it’s relevant or necessary.
2. Meta Title & Meta Description
Your meta title and meta decription is the title and descrition that shows in the search engines. It’s a short snippet that shows potential readers what your blog post will be about. So it’s got to be highly optimized so that people feel compelled to click and read your post.
You want include your keyword in the meta title and meta description for each blog post. This can easily be done with a plugin called Yoast SEO.
Yoast SEO (FREEMIUM) – Yoast SEO is a wordpress plugin. Yoast SEO helps you optimize your posts and pages for the search engines. It has a list of actions you can do on your post to get a great SEO score.
Here is an example of all the indicators that Yoast SEO gives you on each blog post:
What I love about Yoast SEO:
– It shows you a preview of what your post looks like in the search engine.
– It makes sure you include your keyword in all the relevant places.
– It pretty much holds your hand throughout the process of SEO-ing your posts.
-Its totally FREE! There is a paid version but you really dont need it as a beginner blogger.
3. SEO friendly URLs/Permalink
You want to make the URL of your post SEO friendly. A permalink is the URL that links to your blog post.
You can make your permalink seo friendly by including keywords and making it readable.
When you publish a blog post, the URL is automatically populated and it usually looks something like this:
Instead, it’s much more SEO friendly to change your URL to the below:
You can change your permalinks by going to your WordPress menu.
Click “Settings” then “Permalinks” and selecting which one you would like.
This will then change the permalink structure for all your future blog posts.
If you want to change an individual blog post permalink, you can do this by editing the permalink under the title name.
Bonus Tip: Dont change your URL after publishing your post as it will result in a 404 error when someone clicks your post. Google will penalize you for this. You can change your URL before you publish the post.
4. Heading Tags
Heading tags give the search engines an indication about what your post is going to be about.
You can easily pick the heading tag you want in the wordpress editor. Try to include keywords in your headlie tags.
The blog title will be a H1 tag.
The sub-headings should be H2 & H3 tags.
Internal linking is the process of linking one of your blog posts in the content of another blog post. Search engines love this as it indicates good user experience . It shows the search engines that your blog has content that is valuable and that readers love.
Google has this metric called “Bounce Rate”. Bounce rate is a percentage of how long someone spends on your site. The lower your bounce rate, the better. Internal linking improves the bounce rate of your site.
6. Optimize Multimedia
Optimize your images and videos as they are seen as searchable items in the search engines. You dont want your image to be labelled as image980.jpg, instead label it as weightlosshacks.jpg.
You want your image to be labelled with a name that is relevant to the post, ideally a keyword.
Also include the keyword in the Alt text.
7. Write Long Content
Nobody can deny in the blogging community that content is king. It’s the bread and butter of your blog success.
The main reason why visitors have come to your site is to gain valuable information and to get there problems solved.
Good quality content is important in SEO.
Gone are the days where you could write 500 words and get it to rank on the first page of Google the next day.
Search engines see good quality content that is indepth, as it shows that you have knowledge in the topic and something to offer the reader.
Try to write posts that are 1500-2500 words. Don’t fluff up your content though. Say what you need to say in as many words as it takes.
8. Add Social Sharing Buttons
Adding social sharing buttons to your blog and posts helps improve your SEO greatly. When your content gets shared, it shows the search engines that people love your content and that it’s worth reading. The more engagment your post gets, the higher it will usually rank. Google values these social sharing signals highly.
I use the Sumome plugin to add social sharing buttons to every post. It makes it easy for the reader to share my content and it also shows the number of times my content has been shared on that platform.
9. Mobile Responsive
With most people browse on the internet using their mobile phones, its important to have a mobile responsive theme. The theme you choose can effect your SEO.
Google prefers sites that are mobile responsive and are indexing mobile sites first.
Check out my post of 6 Great WordPress Themes that are mobile responsive.
10. Site Speed
Site speed is so important for not only SEO but also to your visitors. Did you know that your visitors expect your site to load in less than 3 seconds? If it’s any longer they will leave.
Also the search engines don’t like slow sites. So if your site is slow, you might get penalized and have trouble getting on the first page of Google, Bing or Yahoo.
Use can use Pingdom Tool to check your site speed for free.
Here are some things that can help improve your site speed:
- Download the W3 Super Cache wordpress plugin.
- Your web hosting makes a huge difference on site speed. I highly recommend SiteGrounds GrowBig plan as it includes a level 3 Supercacher. This dramatically increases your sites loading time. Also Siteground are renowend for being the fastest hosting company on the market.
- Optimize your images so that they load faster by using the EWWW Image Optimizer Plugin.
- Also try to keep the number of plugins on your site under 10. Too many plugins can slow down your site. Check out this my guide on the 8 essential plugins that you need.
Off Page SEO
Off-page SEO is everything that is done away from your site or blog that helps increase your traffic and visibility on the search engines.
SEO experts say that off-page SEO is determined by the number of backlinks (other sites that link to your site) to your site, as well as other metrics such as the level of how much your content is shared.
You can build backlinks by guest posting and influencer outreach. But don’t try to force this. Focus on building your blog first.
Your off-page SEO will naturally improve as you continute to write, publish and share high quality content.
Understanding SEO for beginners or advanced bloggers doesnt need to be complicated or difficult. I hope that this post has helped you get a better understanding of how to improve seo on your own blog. Use the guide above for when you set your blog up and for every single time you write/publish a post. – You wont go wrong! 🙂
If you’ve not started a blog yet and would like to know how to start a successful blog, then check out my post:
<<If you learn some more about SEO or learn how to turn your blog into a profitable online business, then check out my #1 recommendation here >>
Leave your comments below. What are your SEO struggles? Do you have any SEO tips you want to share?