Blog Start Series – Step 10 – Search Engine Optimization

SEO

The topic of search engine optimization is a very special one.

Many bloggers have not looked into it or have a very negative opinion of it. For others, it’s a book with seven seals that they just can’t see through.

And then of course there are bloggers who know how important good search engine optimization is and who use it successfully.

In this article in my blog start series , I would like to answer the question of whether search engine optimization is important for blogs and why. I will also show you what it means and of course there are also the most important tips for optimizing your WordPress blog.

However, the topic of “search engine optimization” is so extensive (a lot of blogs deal with that alone and there are various books etc.) that I can only explain the basics and give the most important tips. Tips that I use myself every day.

But that’s okay, because most of you want to blog above all, of course, and search engine optimization shouldn’t be in the foreground and should be done quickly.

That’s why this article provides basic SEO tips that every blogger can quickly and easily implement on their blog. Later there will certainly be articles that delve deeper into the subject and deal with individual SEO measures in more detail.

Why search engine optimization at all?

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Search engine optimization is an important method to increase the traffic (i.e. the number of visitors) on a blog. So if you really just blog for fun and are not interested in more visitors, you don’t need to read any further here.

For everyone who would like to have more visitors to their blog, search engine optimization is a topic that cannot be avoided.

Thousands of new blogs are started every day and the chances are very good that you are not the first blog (or generally not the first website) in your own “industry” (subject area).

If you add to this fact the fact that typical blogs get between 40% and 90% of their visitors via search engines (in Germany, of course, especially Google.de), then it becomes clear that you have to assert yourself against a lot of competition if you want to Are well ahead in search engines like Google and get a lot of visitors.

Of course there are always bloggers who tell me that their texts are sufficient and that the quality will prevail. I wish them every success, but of course I would like to point out that in my opinion this is not enough.

What happens if you develop a great product but don’t advertise it? Exactly, hardly anyone will notice and accordingly hardly anyone will buy it.

What happens if I’m looking for a girlfriend (or boyfriend) but don’t wash, don’t dress well and don’t leave my apartment? There, too, the chances of success are relatively low.

And that brings me to the point of what search engine optimization actually is.

What is search engine optimization?

According to Wikipedia , search engine optimization means “measures that serve to ensure that websites appear in the search engine rankings in higher places” . You can basically leave it that way.

However, opinions differ greatly as to which measures are included. And that is exactly what results in the bad opinion of some towards search engine optimization.

There are always SEOs who try to exploit gaps or weaknesses in search engines (these are just machines or programs) to bring pages to the front that have no business there after objective assessment.

That’s why a kind of cat and mouse game has developed in which the search engines try to provide high-quality and appropriate search results, while black hat SEOs try to bring their pages to the front as far as possible.

However, we are not interested in such methods, because if you have good content, you can get far with the allowed SEO methods.

We just want to prepare our pages and content optimally, so that Google and Co. get a very good first impression of our blog. Almost the same as on the first date. 🙂
And that’s okay even with Google, as they have published their own tips on search engine optimization (link at the end of the article).

Onpage / Offpage = What is that?

A basic distinction is made between SEO measures in on-page and off-page measures.

On-page measures affect all optimizations that we carry out on our blog. For example, on our texts, headings, meta information, images, etc.

Off page measures, on the other hand, include all optimizations that we carry out outside of our blog. Of course, this includes building links from other blogs and websites to our blog.

Anyone who deals with both aspects of search engine optimization will usually achieve better results than if, for example, only doing onpage optimization.

The most important SEO tips for blogs

I regularly use the following tips myself. These have become second nature to me, so that I no longer have to work through my SEO checklist when writing a new article, but now do everything automatically.

And that’s my tip too. Do not see search engine optimization as a one-time action, even if some measures are only carried out once, such as directory registration.

Instead, it is much better if you use these SEO tips daily and consider it part of article writing.

On-page measures

  • 1 keyword per article In my opinion, this is almost the most important SEO measure when writing an article. Concentrate on one topic or one keyword (search term) per article. So if possible do not write about “New Features from Trigamy, AdSense, Facebook and Bing”, but rather an article on each of these 4 topics. The reason for this is that Google tries (automatically) to find out the relevance of a page to a certain search term. If your article revolves around various different topics, then the article is (simply put) not that very relevant for the individual search terms. If an article is only about one topic, then the article is usually more relevant in Google’s “eyes”. That brings us to keyword density. Do not just write the important keyword in once, but more often and if possible in all elements of the article. So in the headline, the title, the meta information (description and keywords), the text itself, of course, the subheadings, images, etc.
  • Title tag The title tag is also very important because it appears, for example, in Google as a somewhat larger link in the search results as a heading. By default, the blog name is often given first and then the heading. That is suboptimal. I recommend the following structure: manually entered title – categories – keywords This title structure can be implemented with the ” wpSEO *” plugin, for example . After I changed my “Title” to this structure, the Google ranking for my blogs has improved significantly. In my opinion, an important insider tip.
  • Metadata The meta information is ridiculed by many and wrongly in my eyes. On the one hand, the description is still very important and appears, for example, in Google search results. The keywords may no longer be that important as a separate meta tag, but due to the automatic integration into the title (see previous tip), the input of keywords is indispensable for me. Both in the description and in the keywords, the main keyword must appear at least once, even better twice.
  • Loading time This is sure to be disputed. But since I moved to a server, the number of visitors has increased significantly. Other bloggers and SEOs also report that fast loading times have positive effects. This may only come indirectly from the fact that the bounce rate of a page drops when the page loads quickly. You don’t need a server right away. But it is important that the pages load quickly even with many simultaneous visitors. If in doubt, a cache plug-in like “Hyper Cache” can help.
  • internal linking Internal linking is also underestimated. It has 2 essential functions. For one, it is important that search engine crawlers can find all articles on a blog. The more you link internally, the more opportunities you offer search engines to really find any article. There are useful plugins that link similar articles. But you should also manually, if appropriate, link in new articles to older, thematically appropriate articles. Secondly, you can give individual pages another extra push by cleverly linking them. If you have 3 or 4 articles on a topic, then in Google (mostly) only one of them will rank for a search term in Google. If you link from 3 articles to a fourth, this becomes more important for Google . With this I have already brought some of my articles very far forward in Google. If you set a link by hand, you should pay attention to 2 things. On the one hand, you can give each link a title attribute. This should include the landing page’s most important keyword. On the other hand, the anchor text, i.e. the text that is marked as a link, should also be given the most important keyword. Instead of my blog home page to create a link so as here long , you should do better so: for Blog Start series
  • Article structure and formatting The important keyword should appear at the beginning of the article (several times) and not just at the end. In addition, it helps a lot if the keyword also appears in the subheadings (<h1> – <h6>) and is also highlighted every now and then (not every time), e.g. with the <strong> tag.
  • pictures Pictures are often underestimated. But blogs that use a lot of images in their articles should definitely give each image an ALT attribute. Is there anything in it? Right, the main keyword of the article. 🙂

Offpage measures

  • Force left You should always force others to set links a little. There are of course a number of tips for backlinks , so I don’t want to go into too much detail here. The only important thing is that you don’t just wait to get backlinks, but get active.
  • Use blog directories Especially after starting a blog, it is a possibility to enter your blog in blog directories . These won’t be the killer links, but they’ll put Google on its own track and don’t do any harm.
  • Anchor texts In the case of external links, too, you should, as far as possible, ensure that the anchor text of the backlinks contains the relevant keyword instead of link texts such as “click here” or the like. However, you shouldn’t overdo it and like to use the domain as anchor text over and over again. If keywords appear as anchor text for too many external links, Google can be very dissatisfied.
  • actively market Social news sites, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are very important. On the one hand, these bring short-term traffic, but are also important from an SEO perspective. Because the more external people find out about your interesting articles, the higher the chance that someone will link them to their blog or website. And a lot of good backlinks are an important factor for a good Google ranking

That’s it with the basic tips for bloggers for now. I don’t do much more. Of course, an SEO professional would conjure up a lot more tricks up his sleeve, but that is often not necessary at all.

Because blogging is also about effort and result. The points listed are quick and easy to implement, so that they hardly take longer to write an article. And you have the time for the essentials: Writing articles.

Avoid SEO mistakes

Of course, you can also make mistakes with search engine optimization. I have already written an article about this that lists 14 SEO mistakes that should be avoided in your own blog .

little helpers

There are also a number of WordPress plugins that specifically focus on search engine optimization. I have already presented 10 SEO plugins in detail.

I use the paid plugin ” wpSEO *”, which I can only warmly recommend.

SEO eBooks

You can find more SEO tips in Google’s own Google SEO Guide .

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