The Internet is full of information about blogging and SEO, and a lot of this is fairly complicated. Sometimes you just need someone to explain the basics so you can make sure you have the right foundations in place.
Google has complex algorithms that are used to rank your site, and the algorithms and crawl indicators change regularly. However, the basic principles have always remained the same.
In this blog, I’ll cover the most important basics of optimising your blogs for maximum traffic.
Get your own domain and hosting
It’s important to make sure you have your own domain and hosting set up. Don’t use a free service. Google does not send much traffic, if any, to a free website.
Google loves to send traffic to sites it believes are serious, trustworthy and of a high quality, and if you’re serious about your business, you’ll have your own domain and hosting.
Publish original content
A great blog is one that solves a problem no one else has been able to solve before. If you’re providing valuable solutions to genuine problems, people are more likely to share your content. Google will see that your blog gets shown around on social media and will tend to rank it favourably.
Original content doesn’t just have to be written text either. You can include photographs, videos, podcasts and other tools in your content creation.
Check that you’re technically sound
It’s important to make sure the back-end of your website is technically sound and in good working order. To do this:
- Make sure your website, theme and plugins are all up-to-date
- Make sure the site is cleanly coded
- Make sure the site has a fast loading time
- Make sure there are no broken links
Set up proper permalink structure
A permalink is the part of your URL that comes after your domain name. E.g.: www.yourdomain.com.au/this-bit-is-the-permalink.
You should make sure your URL displays like this, with the name of your blog in the permalink. You can do this by adjusting the permalink settings in WordPress.
It’s even better if you can add your keyword in the title and therefore in your permalink somewhere. But never edit an old permalink once it has been published without setting up a 301 redirect to the new URL. You never know who has linked to that URL and their link will be broken if you change it without the redirection.
Submit a sitemap
Google will find your site eventually and crawl it, but you can make the process more efficient by adding a sitemap plugin to your website. This will send a sitemap to all the search engines and they can index it faster and more regularly.
Build quality backlinks
A backlink is when another website creates a link to yours. It’s important to only seek out quality backlinks from reputable sites, never buy backlinks (these can do more harm than good to your rankings), and try to make sure the anchor text (the words used as the link) include your targeted keywords. An example of a backlink is the keyword “marketing for IT companies.” If I backlink it to another website like DesignRush for example, it would look like this marketing for it companies. If you click on the word, (in blue) it will take you to the article that is related to the keyword.
If you create quality content that people want to link to, then gaining backlinks happens without you having to do much.
Comment on other blogs
Commenting on other blogs (and leaving a proper, worthwhile comment) counts as a backlink in most cases, even when you have to use your real name and not your business name.
Google keeps an eye on your social media accounts and can see when you link to a blog from your social media page. If hundreds (or even thousands!) of people have liked, commented and shared your post, Google assumes you’ve created some great content and will reward you.
Use an SEO plugin
There are plenty of SEO plugins you can add to your website if it’s in WordPress. Choose one that looks like it will work well for you (like Yoast SEO). This lets you add your keyword, write an SEO title and Meta description and tells you what you can do on your blog to improve the SEO.
Get friendly with SEO education sites
There are lots of websites dedicated to educating the general public on SEO, such as Moz. The more you read, the more you’ll learn, so read a little bit each week.
It’s important that you get the basic components of SEO under control before you move onto the more complicated aspects. If you’d like any help setting up and maintaining the SEO for your website, please call us for a consultation.
For more helpful information about B2B Online Marketing strategies, check out this free eBook.