The Mailbag: Simple SEO Tips for Your Blog
Question: We are looking for some super basic tips just to make sure we are getting the most out of our on page SEO, especially for our blogs. Any recommendations?
On Page SEO, Blogs, Blog Posts, Blogging, SEO, SEO Tips...
Oops, sorry, I got distracted putting a bunch of keywords into the introduction of the post. In fact, I got so busy that I forgot to start working on an answer to your question.
As you may have read or heard about, SEO is continuing to grow in complexity. Most of the tips and tricks that worked best are no longer as relevant as Google has changed its algorithm to use things like recency and relevance as major drivers in search. Not to mention all of the other little changes like social shares, secure sites and no-follow tags that greatly impact search.
If a lot of that sounded unfamiliar to you, that is because search is complicated, but that doesn't mean you have to completely forego maximizing your on page SEO; it just means that most people who are just looking to get the basics right need to not get too bogged down in the technical aspects. Otherwise, you may find yourself swimming upstream into a stronger than desired current.
So for those that are seeking to get the most out of their SEO without going crazy trying to understand all of the rules, here are a few tips I recommend.
- Keywords: When it comes to keywords I recommend 2 things. Utilize the tools to understand popularity and competitiveness of search phrases and then look to target lower competition words. I always say I would rather be top 3 for a search that gets 200 a month than number 60 for a search that gets 10,000.
- Google Authorship: This is good for individuals and sites, but using authorship helps Google to know that the content is yours and that it is on a site that you are affiliated with. With many articles now being duplicated (on purpose and sometimes not) and re-shared, this helps make sure you get proper attribution and rank. Also, by using authorship you can reshare content to other sites where you also have claimed authorship without getting the big black marks from Google.
- Internal and Outbound Links: This is a big one that many companies don't do. But blog content should have internal links anchored to a page that has recent and relevant content on the keyword of the blog. For instance, this blog should be linked to a page on the site that talks about SEO and ideally has high quality content on the subject. In terms of outbound links, it is generally best to link out to high quality sites that have strong page rank and a reputation of high quality content. Linking to low quality sites can hurt your SEO.
- Social Sharing: According to search metrics, 6 of the top 7 factors driving SEO today are actually social. Make sure content is social friendly. This includes using titles that capture attention and having the plug-ins that make sharing easy. Too often sites make sharing difficult and that is silly given all of the great plugins for SEO.
- Article length: Lastly, think article length. In the past short form content ~500-600 words was the best for page rank, but more recently, longer content has become a favorite because often times longer content has more in depth insight and information making it more valuable for the reader.
If you really want to get it right, consider hiring an SEO company that specializes in organic search (or paid if that is your goal) so you can find the right keywords and build the right combination of links, content and social to rank highly enough to benefit from your effort. However, for those that are doing SEO on a budget and want to get the most from all of their content, follow these tips and watch your ranking rise, even if just a little bit.
SEO has a lot of tips and tricks and few people are truly experts. However, with a little focus and by following a few simple tips you can get more from your SEO efforts starting today.
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