This post is written as part of The Blogging Mavens blog series which you can see the rest of at A Closet Writer.
There is a delicate balance between using basic SEO principles to bring in the search engine traffic you should be seeing on your site, and “writing what you want to write”. Many bloggers are under the misguided opinion that being aware of SEO will be selling out from their writing and their audience. I disagree – knowing how SEO works will enable bloggers to FIND their audience. Or rather, to help their audience find them!
The ABC’s of Good SEO Writing
When I’m talking about search engine optimization, especially with beginning bloggers or those who are just learning about SEO, I like to talk about the ABC’s.
A = Active Titles: Call the post what it is. Titles are one of the key elements on the page that Google checks when determining what the post is about. If your post is about making homemade pizza, call the post “Making Homemade Pizza” and you’ll bring in the right readers.
B = Bolded Subheadings: Use subheadings like mini-titles to describe each paragraph or two so Google, and your readers, know what you’re talking about. That way Google can send you the readers that want to hear what you have to say.
C = Cut Away Fluff: With very few exceptions, it’s better to write multiple, shorter posts, than it is to write one gigantic post. Don’t cram the homemade pizza, the delicious dessert and the family fun night game into one 1500 word post. Make them three 400-500 word posts and give your readers more opportunity to find you.
Moving beyond the ABC’s of good SEO there are a few other tips to keep in mind.
Additional Ways to Increase SEO on Your Blog Posts
Here are a few other ways to improve the SEO on your blog posts and articles. While I go in-depth into each during my talks at conferences, I want to just highlight them here for you. If you have questions, let me know.
- Name your photos with a strong keyword phrase.
- Use image alt text and/or captions to improve your post’s SEO.
- Interlink relevant posts from within your website.
- Crosslink to relevant content on other sites (your own as well if you write in more than one place).
- Register your own domain name.
- Get rid of your clunky themes (sites that load too slowly are penalized by search engines).
- Use clear categories and tags instead of cutesy and obscure.
- Build incoming links to your blog. Consider linking to specific posts in addition to your main website.
- Write, write, write. Fresh content gives you more chances to be found.
So when you’ve moved beyond the very basics of search engine optimization keep some of these other tips in mind. Use your keyword phrases wisely and remember that you can still choose to write about whatever topic you want to write about. By formatting the post with a few of these SEO tips in mind, you’ll bring in additional readers from search engine traffic you may have otherwise missed.