How to Improve Your Blog’s SEO

How to improve your blog's SEOSEO is undeniably an art and learning how to improve your blog’s SEO is something that should remain at the top of your priority list. At its most basic level, SEO means more people find your content. More people read your content when your search engine optimization tells them about and it answers questions/solves problems they have. Plus, SEO makes your content easier to read and share. There’s not one thing about better SEO for your blog that doesn’t help you. Not one.

Yet you don’t have to become an SEO professional to make your blog and content more visible in search engine results. By taking a few extra minutes to incorporate some basic SEO tips, you’d be surprised at how much you can improve your blog’s visibility.

5 Ways to Improve Your Blog’s SEO

Keywords in captions

Optimizing your images and captions is an often overlooked strategy, but one that’s just as powerful as optimizing your written content. Hopefully you’re already in the habit of adding alt text to your images that includes relevant keywords. Now take that one step further by adding those keywords to your image captions, too. Not only will optimized captions boost your search visibility, but they can also help entice blog visitors to read further into your post.

Tag your titles

You probably use sub-head titles to break up your blog posts and make the content easier to read. Make sure that you use your blog’s H1, H2, H3 or H4 tags to highlight that information, which tells Google that it’s important. Your blog likely formats each tag differently, so pick the one that works best for your particular site. Note—we generally use the H4 tag in our V3 posts, like with the subhead that you see above.

Install a Google XML sitemap

An XML sitemap is, in essence, a list of pages on your website. And it’s a great way to make sure that Google knows about pages and content on your site that may not have been found by Google’s normal crawling process. The best news? If you have a WordPress blog, there’s a handy plugin you can install that will automatically create a Google XML sitemap for your site. Thanks to Kimberly Gauthier with Shareholic for the heads-up!

Research keywords

As you’re writing your post, sub-heads, headline, captions, alt text, meta description and meta tags, you’ll want to include keywords in each. Take a few minutes before you write to do keyword research using a free tool like Google Keyword. Kimberly mentioned in her post that she does keyword research once the post is written, and makes adjustments as needed. You could go that same route, or do the research before you write so you’ll know what keywords to use. This is where the true art of SEO starts to emerge—you want to include keywords throughout your post, but not in a way that makes the post hard to read or spammy.

Build links with comments

Building links to and from your content is also a critical part of SEO. And one of the easiest ways to create links to your blog from a wide number of sources is to comment on other blogs. It can be hard to make time to do this if you’re juggling a busy schedule, but it’s an important—and often overlooked—step. Most comment forms allow you to include a URL that will appear with your comment. You may want to consider linking back to a specific post that aligns with the subject matter you’re commenting on, rather than your site’s homepage. Aside from building more links back to your blog, commenting can be a great way to form relationships with other bloggers and might even lead to guest blogger opportunities. Here at V3, for example, we’ve often approached commenters to ask them to expand on their thoughts in a guest post—and we know other blogs do the same.

See? SEO isn’t so scary, right? Incorporating SEO tricks like these can go a long way in boosting your blog’s visibility and expanding your content’s reach across the web. And because the aforementioned practices are all basic, sound SEO principles, using tips like these can help maintain your site’s visibility regardless of frequent Google algorithm changes.

Do you incorporate these tips each time you write a blog post? Or did you learn something new?

Image via Google

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  • http://www.route72.com/ SEOGuy72

    Can someone help explain what a sitemap is and how I put one together?  I hear that they are very helpful for crawling but i’ve never made one.  Thanks to anyone who can help me.

  • http://www.m2sys.com/ John Trader

    Damn. Completely slipped my mind that keywords in picture captions get crawled by Google too. Here I am trying to be all creative and fancy pantsy with my captions and all along I should have been sticking with keywords.

    Thanks for the tip Shelley. 

  • http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/blog Dr. Christina Hibbert

    Very insightful. I’m a new blogger and still trying to learn the ropes! So much to learn! I appreciate you making SEO just a little less overwhelming!

  • liveotherwise

    It’s worth noting that a lot of WordPress blogs have links from commenters set as no follow, ie they won’t do you any good in seo terms. Commenting can help build community though so can still be worthwhile.

  • Anonymous

    Cool post.  Another couple of ideas are:  - Do internal linking between articles using the relevant keywords.  Bold some important text within the article.  Use variations of the keywords and don’t just repeat the keywords all the time.  Ciao from Sunny Ireland :-)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Ian … all great ideas. You rock!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks … you are totally right. But since that’s something we can’t know, like you, I still try and comment.

  • Anonymous

    Hooray Christina … glad you enjoyed! Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Anonymous

    Sure thing :) ))

  • Anonymous

    Thanx for helpful info :)

  • Anonymous

    That makes two of us :-)

  • James

    Wow, what great techniques used to elaborate this
    concept.  It gives a great feel and
    inspires to become an expert in this aspect. It really mesmerizes everyone to read
    it. Thank you for providing us such an informative article.

     
     

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  • Anonymous

    Thanks James. Glad you enjoyed.

  • Jody Lamb

    Thanks for this, Shelly. By the way, I was at the Ragan conference last month in Chicago and I loved your presentation. 

  • Abhijeet Pradhan

    Hi, it’s very good article about the how improve the seo of blog, there are many thing that can we implement and improve the seo, like meta tags, build the links with the comments… Thanks for the tips.

  • Jenny Graph

    The five points are very helpful for blog seo. From my point of view “Build link with comment” is a very interesting job when your are doing seo for blog, I have already use this for my site. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.searchoptimal-losangeles.com/ Searchoptimallosangeles

    The article is very informative. I have used these five point for seo of blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/donald_576 DONALD UKPONU

    Your post is very useful More about us http://www.socialwebpost.com ,Thanks Donald

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Donald. Glad you enjoyed.

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  • http://www.carvermediagroup.com/services/website-development.html Website Development

    Blog page update your Web site with regular new content. Search engine crawlers notice frequent ads new pages and addresses to your web site and recognize this as the updated content. The update is taking freshness discussed above in mind when arranging your website.

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