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Create Your Own Blog (A Newbie4Newbie Guide) – Part 4 (SEO Tips)

So I’m feeling more and more comfortable with SEO. I’ve being doing my keyword research using Google Keyword Planner and another useful tool called Keyword.io. I find myself combing through other blogs and trying to take note of their SEO tips. So I have some more SEO tips to share. 

SEO is like an onion, you peel back one layer and there are much more behind it. It’s taking me longer to master it than I initially thought, but I’m happy to report that Yoast is really liking my post more (Yay for the “good SEO” green light).

So let’s rock some more SEO Tips, shall we?

On-Page SEO

Meta Tags

Title Tag: The most important of the meta tags for SEO. This is the title of your page to the search engine.
Tips

  • Avoid Duplicate Title Tags by creating unique title tags for each page
  • Titles tags get Truncated so keep your title tags under the limit to avoid cutoff.

Meta Description: This the snippet of text that appears under the web page name. They serve to quickly describe the content of the page. Use these wisely to entice readers to click on the link.
Tip

  • Don’t use quotes, as google truncates any information after a quote

Image Optimization

File name: Be sure to have a file name that makes sense and is representative of what the image is. Filenames should read “Eiffel Tower 2016” etc. and not DSC1462.jpg or other default camera-given names.

Alt text: These are often used wrong. Its should be a short description of what the image is. For the visually impaired, this is what is spoken by the screen reader. Be sure to also use your keywords here related to the image.

File Size: Use a plugin like WPSmush or SEO Optimized Images to reduce the image size and speed up page loads. You can also edit the title tags, description and alt text with these plugins.

Tips

  • Use captions under your images because they are more likely to be read than your content. If you’re selling a product you can use your caption as a call to action. 
  • If you don’t want people stealing your images (although it’s almost impossible to completely to prevent it) use the No Right Click Images plugin. 

For more tips on image optimization, check out this article by Yoast.

Robot.txt

I know that these are important to be submitted to Google, but I don’t truly understand how they work. And I definitely didn’t know how to create it. I used Fiverr to outsource this for my blog. I’ll defer you to Google for a more information on this topic and a better explanation than I’m able to give now. Maybe someone can comment and break it down for the slightly-dyslexic like me. 🙂

Sitemap XML

Sitemaps list all of the URLs on a site. When created and submitted to Google or other search engines like Bing, it makes it easier for them to find you blog pages when crawled. If you are using Yoast, XML sitemaps can be created easily. Sitemaps do help you rank better in Google.
Taking it a step further, you can also create a sitemap page which is a good way for your readers to easily find specific parts of you blog when created. Kind of like a table of contents in a book.

Webpage speed

No one likes a slow-loading page. I’ve definitely been guilty of leaving a page if it’s loading too slow. Page speed is also another Google ranking factor. You’ll want to optimize your site so that it loads as quickly as possible. Use Google Pagespeed Tool to check the speed of your page.

To Increase your Page speed

  • Eliminate any unnecessary plugins.
  • Reduce image sizes
  • “Minify” your code. You can use W3 Total Cache or a similar plugin to do this.

Post-Blogpost Things to Do

The hard work is done and now you need to share it with the world. Here's a list of some things to after you post.

  • Post it to Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.)
  • Post to Blog Carnivals related to your post topic.
  • Create an associated YouTube video (if you are on YouTube) and link it.
  • Comment on other Bloggers Post in that topic with a link. Don’t be spammy!

Ways to Get Backlinks (Starter List)

  • Get Backlinks by commenting on other bloggers posts.

Tip

Look for bloggers that also use the plugin called CommentLuv. It’s a cool plugin that will show the last post of the blogger commenting. I use it. Find out who uses this plugin by using the site Builtwith.

  • Use internal links: Link to your other posts…inside of your post (that was hard to say!)
  • Guest Posting: That's a whole other topic. But if you want to be a blogger you have to be a part of the blogging community. Get to know other bloggers, form relationships and eventually approach them about guest postings. This process takes a bit of time.
  • Use Infographics: With the advent of Pinterest, it’s much easier to grow your audience. Use sites like Canva, Info.gram, or Visualize to create these. Post them to Pinterest using relevant hashtags.

For a more comprehensive list check out Harsh's post at ShoutMeLoud.

There is so much more to cover. But I'll continue to post on the subject until I understand it. Which may be a little while.

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