Blogging is becoming more than just a hobby for many, in fact some even see it as a profession. Some agencies look for authoritative blogs to collaborate with, and can therefore allow you to monetize from it. The basics to creating a good blog means producing an appealing website and generating high quality content regularly. Once the foundation has been set, you are ready to take your blog to the next level. There are technical steps to allow your blog to be deemed authoritative. This tactic is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which involves setting up your site to be recognised as relevant to your chosen niche and ight want to do in order to encourage page views and site visits.
Attracting blog visitors: A quick SEO guide
In order to attract visitors onto your blog, you need to improve your ranking on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) for keywords related to your blog. This way when a potential visitor make a relevant search to your blog, you will show up as one of their results.
Your visitors will most likely be making their searches on Google as it is the biggest search engine out there. If you want your website clicked on rather than your competitors, you will have to rank highly within Google’s organic search results. The higher you are ranked, the more likely your blog will be selected.
The results are determined by Google’s algorithm which was put into place in order to guarantee organic (rather than paid) results. Its purpose is to sift through millions of websites to find those that are most relevant to the search term alongside its high quality content.
Google’s algorithm is processed by crawlers, which are only able to ‘read’ written content. The process of adapting a website to enable Google’s algorithm to recognise and rank it is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), which this what this SEO guide is all about.
How to rank higher on SERPs
To start off your SEO journey, you should know that it is an ongoing practice that you will have to commit to in order to see your blog’s authority maintain or even improve. If you are completely unaware of SEO you can do for your blog, give these tips a go:
1. XML Sitemap
An XML site is a site structure readable to Google’s crawlers, by creating a clear XML site, it ensures that important information is quickly identified. This means you should aim to have a clear site structure important pages like your homepage or abouts page don’t get missed out.
The XML sitemap can be understood as a version of a table of contents. It not only reveals the hierarchy of your pages and allows the crawlers to identify essential information from your blog and therefore it indexes your site clearly.
You can obtain an XML sitemap from the SEO yoast plugin and submit it to Google via the Google search Console and your website will immediately start seeing improvements in its ranking.
2. User experience (HTML Sitemap)
Besides the XML sitemap, you would want an HTML sitemap as well. This helps the crawlers determine if your blog is user friendly.
Rather than the structure, the HTML sitemap focuses on the content instead. It lists all the relevant pages in an easily readable format and acts as a guide to clarify your titles, headlines and contents. Another helpful element would be to use ‘breadcrumbs’.
Customising the title and description tags on your blog posts helps the crawlers to identify its keywords. And the more relevant these keywords are to your users’ search term, the higher the page will rank.
3. Mobile Readability
With the growing preference of reading on phones rather than on desktops, you need to accommodate the two kinds of readers you have. You can do this by using a ‘responsive theme’ that can adapt your content on both interfaces. If your blog doesn’t accommodate mobile readers, you could be inadvertently turning away potential visitors.
Standing out from the crowd
This SEO guide is not only for optimising your rank on SERPs, but also to allow Google to identify your content as resourceful. Some actionable tips that you can apply include:
1. Writing High Quality Content
This may be considered as a given, but what qualifies as high quality content? Google completes several checks, some of which include it being error free, it having accurate grammar and spelling. Your stylistic approach should also be legible and easy to read. The length of your post can also impact the favorability of your blog by Google’s algorithm.
2. Heading tags
Besides the content, structuring your content is highly important. Make sure you label them using tags. The H1 tag should be reserved for the main title as it marks it as highest important. H2 descending to H6 are usually used for subheadings, with H2 having a higher status than and H6 being the lowest status.
Images are important for your blog as it can keep the readers attracted to your blog page for a longer period of time. However, crawlers can only read texts, so your images may not be benefitting your blog in SEO terms. In order for Google’s algorithm to recognise what it is, make sure you add alt-text to image so it can pick up on the relevant keywords.
Executing SEO on your site
The more emphasis you apply to the SEO aspect of your blog, the better it will perform. There are various resources that you can use to help your website perform better.
However, if you’re looking to explore SEO to a greater extent, reach out to search agencies like click.co.uk, they are experts who can provide an in-depth analysis on what you should be targeting.