There is an abundance of information, good and bad, about SEO online and I feel some bloggers may feel overwhelmed and do not understand entirely what they need to do to give their blog the best possible chance of being found online.
The page title is the first line seen in the search results. For example here is a snippet of how my home page title appears within Google search results:
You’ll notice relevant phrases and keywords are used in the title to give the reader and search engines a clear understanding of what this page is about. Anyone seeing the site for the first time in search results will understand that it’s a blog featuring a Lifestyle category by the title.
It’s important to have a unique page title for each page, as each page provides different content.
Page titles are still an important ranking factor, so use high volume keywords when populating your titles. Titles should not be longer than 512px in width. A good way to measure this is create a column within Excel measuring 512px wide with an Arial font in the size of 13.5pt. If your page title fits within these parameters it will not be cut off when displayed in the search results.
Meta descriptions give you the opportunity to convince readers why they should click into your page as apposed to a competitor when they search in Google.
Unlike the page titles, meta descriptions do not have a direct influence on rankings, but they do influence click-through-rates by bolding text based on a users query. For example if I search Fashion and Lifestyle blog this is how my meta description appears within Google (notice Fashion and Lifestyle keywords are bolded):
Meta descriptions are based on character lengths and should be between 150-160 characters. It’s a good idea to have a call to action in your meta description, for example if you have an eBook to download state it in your description ‘download your free eBook today’ – or something along these lines.
Action: In Google type Site:yoursite.com For example I would type Site:emiliarossi.com.au to see a list of every page of my site. Scroll through your results and review if your page titles are descriptive and relevant enough. Also review your meta descriptions to make they are not too long and that a call to action in included to entice the user to want to click into that page to find out more.
There are three important steps to consider when optimising images.
Step 1: Image file sizes should be as small as possible. Google takes page speed into account as part of its ranking algorithm, which is important across mobile devices. This means that you shouldn’t make users download a 2mb banner image when you can close enough image quality at 100kb – remember users are not printing these images they are viewing them on a screen.
Step 2: Include an alternative text (Alt Text) for each image. The Alt Text descries what the image is to search engines and to visually impaired readers. Therefore, make sure the name your images appropriately.
Step 3: Creating descriptive, keyword-rich image file names help images rank in search engines. Search engines not only crawls blog text it also searches for keywords within your image file names.
Internal linking is not a just good way to cross promote blog posts; it also provides a signal to search engines to priorities these pages when people are searching for them in Google.
Most CMS’s provide various ways to link to old posts either through a side bar menu or widgets at the bottom of each post. Get in the habit of providing in context links within your posts to relevant articles. For example if you post is about beauty apps you might link to an older post you wrote that relates to the beauty apps post. Make sure the phrase you hyperlink uses relevant text such as ‘see my last post on beauty apps’ and have the words ‘beauty apps’ hyperlinked as apposed to ‘click here to read a previous post’.
Using relevant keywords within hyperlinks helps search engines better understand what that page is about and improves its ranking potential.
Action: Review posts to see if they cross promote other relevant posts and start being mindful trying to reference old posts when you write new articles.
From an SEO perspective backlinks is any link from an external site, which links to your site. Google algorithm was actually founded on the basis of backlinks, similar to how a great essay has an extensive list of references, a great website would have an extensive list of quality backlinks.
If you don’t already know, people are being penalised for buying links because it’s an attempt to directly manipulate the way Google was intended to work.
The quality of your backlinks makes a difference. One good link from a reputable site such as a popular news site boosts your ranking a lot more then having a lot of crappy links. The best way to build quality backlinks is to write engaging quality content that adds value and that people would want to link to and share with an audience.
Google’s Keyword Planner tool sits within Adwords and is free to use as as long as you sign up. The tool provides data on how many times people times search for something within Google.
The tool tells you what sort of demand is out there for topics before you write them. For example, if your post is about Top Apps for Ipads you would be better off titling the post “Best iPad Apps” instead of “Top iPad Apps”. The reason being is because the former has 1300 people searching for it in Australia per month compared to other variation, which only has 170 people searching for it in Australia.
But don’t stress too much, the most important thing as a blogger is to have great content and title tags can always be added based on keyword research at a latter stage.
I hope these tips give you a better insights on how to write better for SEO ad hopefully increase the number of organic visits to your blog!
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.