If you’re looking for ways to grow your blog, I find search engine optimization or SEO to be the least sexiest of the methods to grow your blog. You won’t see instant and measurable results if you SEO your posts, it’s something that will build up over time, and it’s something that you have to consistently work at.
The first step is to ensure that you’re doing keyword research for your blog posts. If you want to be found by the search engines, they you need to know what they are searching for. The best way to do this is to use the free Keyword Planner Tool by Google Adwords. You’ll need a gmail account to login. You can then type in the keywords you’d like to use in your post, and it will come up with different suggestions. Keep in mind that because this is a free tool, it’s not the best because everyone else is using it too.
So if I know that I’m going to write about Halloween and toddler activities, I can look it up and see that it would be best to use Toddler Activities for Halloween than Halloween Toddler Activities. You want to focus on the monthly search number, the other numbers and information don’t apply to you since Google adwords is geared towards advertisers.
Keyword research tools
Beyond Google’s keyword tools other resources you can use are Wordtracker, they’ll allow you one free search before you have to pay so use it wisely, lol. For seasonal content you can use Google Trends to see when search terms are being searched so you know the best time to post your seasonal content. Ubersuggest gives you a long list of possibilities that can be paired with your keywords, it doesn’t give you information about the search volume
There are key places that you’ll want to have you keyword placed in your article in order for your article to rank for your keywords. You want to have it in your title, the url of the post. You also want to sprinkle the keywords throughout your post without keyword stuffing your post. Write naturally and you’ll find that you use the keyword naturally throughout the post without even thinking about SEO.
You want to include it in the title and alt tag of your images as well. This is why it’s important to rename your images after you upload them to your media library, a name like dsc1234 won’t mean anything to the search engines. Search engines don’t see your images, only their titles. Depending on your Pinterest sharing plugin, it make populate your pin description from your title or alt tag so you want those to be filled in so that your pins can be found in the Pinterest search.
I’m a huge fan of the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, it lets you know how your article is doing SEO wise. It also allows you to use another more SEO friendly title if you choose to change things up to a more catchy headline, you can have a different title that is found by Search. The plugin also allows you to fill in the meta data, this is the area underneath the title when you see the search page in google.
This is the place to put a keyword and also entice the reader to click on your link rather than someone else’s. It shows you a preview of what it would look like in the search listings.
The plugin is a tool, it does not SEO your posts for you, that’s up to you to ensure that you are writing about what your title suggests.
To help your site gain authority, you want to get backlinks to your site on other blogs and websites, how do you do this? Write awesome content so that others will want to refer readers to your blog. Network with other bloggers who would love to mention your site as a resource. You can also guest post on larger blogs that are in your niche since they often allow you to add links to your site within the post.
It’s easier said then done, but this is why SEO takes time. You’re not going to see immediate results, you’ll just have to keep working on it. You can help things along by sharing your posts on social media, you’re getting social signals to your site, and these count as well. Pin it, tweet it, share on Facebook, stumble it, Google+ it. Do all that you can to ensure that you’re sharing your posts everywhere without being spammy.
When people have come to your site via search, there’s a higher likely hood, that they’ve just found exactly what they were looking for, and they’re more likely to stick around. Capitalize on this. Make sure if your title says Best Christmas Cupcakes You’ll Ever Have then your post better blow all the other cupcakes out of the water if you want a repeat reader.
Make sure to read the other posts in my series – Tips to Grow Your Blog