We all want our blog posts to show up on the first page of Google. Really, think to yourself. If you are casually searching the web, how many times do you go past the first page of results? This is where SEO comes into play.
I’m going to break this down for those who are just getting started.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” With the right SEO practices in place, you will see higher organic traffic from search engines such as Google, Yahoo, etc.
Now, what are the right SEO practices to put into place? I’ll be going over my top 4, but there are so so many resources out there on SEO and how to become an expert (and I, by no means, am an expert 🙂 Always learning!).
1. Install a SEO Plugin
If your website is hosted on WordPress, I 100% recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin. This free plugin works to improve your SEO from all aspects. They also make it extremely easy and user friendly – especially for those who are just learning about SEO.
At the bottom of every post, Yoast SEO will automatically analyze your text, and give recommendations on how to improve it.
2. Determine a Keyword
As you saw in the Yoast SEO image above, it will ask for your keyword. The keyword is part of what makes it possible for search engines to find your post. In other words, think of how someone would search for your product or topic. Or even better, how would you search for it in Google?
When you nail down the perfect keyword, try and use it in as many places as possible, such as:
- Your Blog title
- I know that sometimes trying to make your keyword fit into the title sounds super unnatural. A cool feature Yoast SEO offers is the “SEO Title” section. This way, your readers will see your ‘fun’ title, while Google is searching for your keyword title.
- Throughout the body text
- Try and use your keyword at the beginning of the post, and then again at the end.
- Image alt-copy
- Meta description
- The meta description is a short overview of your post. I try and keep mine around 140-150 characters. You can also count on the Yoast plugin to tell you if your description is too long or too short.
3. Image Alt-Text and Titles
Always always always name your images. If you are on WordPress, the media library uploader makes this super simple. Do not upload your image with the title from your computer such as “IMG_5586.” Search engines will not know what this means. So we gotta tell them. During your upload, make sure to give the image a title and alt text using your keywords.
4. Use Headings
Not only do headings help divide up your content and make it easier to read, it also helps Google scan your text and grasp the main topic easier. Most CMS make it very easy to implement headings.
I know this was a lot of information to take in. But take a deep breath, and take it one step at a time.
To make it even easier for you, I put together a free SEO Checklist! Use this checklist every time you post until you have nailed down the best SEO practices.