Are you listening?
There are six things every blogger can do themselves — from titles to tags, for better blogging SEO. You can increase blog traffic organically without paying a dime or taking any additional time.
Does this sound to good to be true?
Once you understand it, just like grammar and punctuation, writing with SEO in mind becomes second nature.
To be sure, there is more to SEO than just the six things I list here, but implementing these six blogging tricks into your every day posts will create a noticeable difference that you can measure.
Choosing a great headline or title for your post used to simply be about coming up with something relevant yet catchy. While it is still important to have an attention grabbing headline, it is also true that when it comes to SEO your title matters.
In your “editor” you have the ability to create an appropriate URL for your post, and you should. In most cases it should mirror your actual title. Do not leave it up to WordPress [or another platform] to choose and create it for you. Learn how to fine-tune it yourself. It takes no time to do so and the reward can be substantial.
The Title and URL are the first things recognized by search engines. Your post’s URL should closely match your title which should be relevant to your post’s content.
Make your titles and URLs succinct and searchable.
Also, and this is important, be sure your URL is not set to post as a number, for example:
As you can see in the above example, post “269” has zero relevance to anything where as the other is not only a match to my title, it in itself is optimized as I will explain further.
“Better Blogging SEO” is a great key phrase.
Most bloggers are interested in blogging SEO and some search the internet for SEO tips and tricks they can do themselves instead of paying the big bucks for someone like me to do it for them, or worse, not do it at all.
A long time ago we used to hear terms like “welcome statement” when it came to websites and although the “welcome statement” has not gone away, it has merely evolved because Google and other search engines have evolved to help combat “Black Hat” tactics and to accommodate the world’s insatiable hunger for more and more information, i.e. content.
Basically a “welcome statement” was never so much about welcoming your website visitors as it was about having a prominent place to creatively string a bunch of key words and key phrases together to entice search engines in order to [hopefully] increase our page’s rank in web searches.
In my example above you will notice the many key words and key phrases I used that are not only relevant to my title, but also include the words of the title itself. In addition I have addressed cost and time which are always concerns for any blogger; whether their blogs are personal, hobbyist or business related.
The opening statement of your post sets-up what the rest of the content will be. It is your “elevator speech” to generate reader interest to encourage continue reading. It is also the equivalent of the 90’s website “welcome statement” and should always be rich with those important key words and phrases.
Aside from the title and opening statement, is the rest of your post’s content cohesive? Have you repeated your key words and key phrases when and where appropriate using variations of the same throughout the body of your text?
The beauty of key words and phrases is they are not necessarily set in stone.
The fact is, when determining exactly which are the right key words and phrases, you need to think about an end-user, i.e. your reader or blog visitor. What words would they be typing into a search engine that could potentially land them on your page?
Their words are infinitely more important than your own because you already know how to get to your website, they don’t. It is your job [in having a site] to set out clear landmarks for your guests to navigate their way over.
Maybe you did all of that right, but did you stay on point within your post?
Sometimes us bloggers can come up with catchy titles and great post ideas however, it is easy to get off-track from our original points as we go along.
Re-read your post with a fresh set of eyes after you have walked away for a bit. Does it still tie into your title and your key word driven opening statement by the end of the post?
If not, maybe you wrote a different post than you had intended and should go back and take another look at your title and opening.
Do you need to tweak it?
If so, don’t forget to also re-edit the URL appropriately before you hit “publish”.
A wise WordPress employee once told me, “If you use more than 15 tags and 15 categories your post won’t show up in the ‘Reader’…”
I will admit, when it came to categories and tags I was as confused [and intimidated] as the next person. I was also a little overzealous, but I have learned the error of my exuberance and will share the jest of it with you here.
Categories and tags are different. Some may cross-over and be beneficial to use in both places, but often the better choice is to think of “categories” as headings and “tags” as the bullet-points you would list under each heading.
For example, if I wrote a post about a song called, “Mine Would Be You”, by country music artist Blake Shelton, I might use the following…
CATEGORIES–> Music, Artists, YouTube
TAGS –> Blake Shelton, Country Music, Mine Would Be You, Lyrics, Miranda Lambert, Videos, Songs….and so on.
Worth noting however is the “obvious” broader categories and tags are not always the only way to go because categories and tags work the same as key words and phrases. This means you need to continue to think like your potential reader. It is OK to include lesser known, “niche” words if or when they are common among your prospective audience.
While it may make perfect sense that the more categories and tags you use, the more apt your post will be to be found, like a numbers game, right? Wrong, as I pointed out with the limit of 15/15 in order to show-up in the WordPress “Reader”this is just one example of how less is more in this case.
Frequent readers of Cheri Speak have heard me go on and on about using images. There are so many reasons to use images that I could write many more posts on that alone, but for this list I will just go over the basics regarding images and SEO.
While images can be great for readers once they are on your page [and of course they can also help move a reader’s eyes around], they are perhaps more importantly, wonderful tools to drive SEO related traffic…if you have them titled and alt tagged properly. A good description helps too.
Images cannot speak to search engines [like your text] unless you give them a voice. Their “voice” is your use of effective and honest Alternative Tags aka “Alt Tags”.
When you insert a photograph, graphic or any other image, it has its own “editor” where you can add the appropriate, title, alt tags and description…
Do you need more help with images? Try these!
Just like images, you have also heard me opine a time or two about the power of social media usage when building traffic. I am not going to regurgitate a bunch of things I have already gone over and will instead point out how sharing relates to SEO.
When your post is shared on social media [whether by yourself or a reader], your post is getting a backlink. Backlinks are the other side of SEO that — unless you spend a lot of time cultivating, can be a real pain in the ass to accumulate. However important backlinks may be, our time is important too so for the sake of that time and your sanity social media share options are there to help.
Beneath the posting window and its “recommended links” in your editor is a box for “sharing”. If you do not have one, look in your settings and adjust them accordingly.
Here you can see which of your social media accounts you have set-up to immediately share your post with upon publishing. Remember, not all posts are appropriate for all social media platforms. have a purpose in what you share where.
This is also the place to edit (if necessary) your title and to add hashtags. Yes, I am
insisting suggesting you use hashtags for all of the posts you share. Twitter isn’t the only one recognizing them these days and their use can only benefit you if done wisely. Remember to keep your eye on the character counter in the bottom right so your posts on Twitter don’t get cut-off.
The “Fab Five” I suggest for minimum social media sharing are: FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+ and LinkedIn.
There are lots of things you can do, but as you can see, if you do it right along the way you are already ahead of the game!
What are some of your best blogging and SEO tips?