SEO Basics for Bloggers

image representing 7 deadlly SEO basics for bloggers, avoid the sins

7 Deadly SEO Basics for Bloggers

SEO basics are not just for internet marketing websites. Bloggers can knock ‘em dead by using SEO tactics to gain more readers. A few charismatic bloggers may thrive on reputation or social media followings, but most bloggers struggle to be found in the first place. The best way to gain readers, after writing helpful and interesting content is to apply some basic SEO practices so that their posts get found in search engine results. Few internet surfers go to page 2 and even fewer beyond so it is important to optimize. These SEO tips can help you avoid the 7 deadly sins while blogging. And you will rank higher and earn more subscribers.

Keywords are Key (don’t be slothful)

Laziness will get you nowhere in life or in SEO. Do your keyword homework. As you plan to write or after you have written an amazing post for your subscribers and new readers you are trying to attract, research keywords. Variations of word usage and longtail keyword phrases will produce varying volumes of internet searchers and levels of competition. Select a keyword related to your topic that gives sufficient search volumes and that you believe people looking for your post would use. Use your keyword near the beginning of the post title, URL (slug), first sentence, and heading 1. Those are the SEO basics for keywording, but you can take it another step and include the keyword in heading level 2 and/or bulleted information. Then sprinkle keywords and synonyms of your keywords throughout the content. Once you have keyworded, go back and edit to ensure that the post is written first for your readers and secondly, for search engine consumption. (Bonus SEO basic: When earning links to your post later, be sure to use keyword and synonyms in the anchor text of the backlink.)

Spread your Link Equity (don’t be greedy)

Share! If you have a great post of webpage that ranks because of the amazing referencing backlinks, share it with posts you want to rank. Writing great content will encourage links, but some posts will always get more backlinks than others. So to increase the search engine value of your posts that have not caught on yet and thus have few backlinks, spread your link equity from already ranking posts to those that do not rank. This will help boost the newer or undiscovered blog article to higher rankings with the search engines. You can always edit previous posts to link to related posts. But you can achieve the same results with less intensive effort by using a WordPress plugin for internal linking automation.

“Nofollow” Outbound Links (avoid anger)

You might become angry if you are just now finding out that when you link to a site and do not include a “nofollow” attribute, you are giving you link juice away! Many bloggers give away their hard-earned link juice by passing it unknowingly to sites they link to because they don’t know about these SEO basics. Occasionally, you want to share link juice with your own social media account, a guest blogger’s site, or another site that you are partnering with. But many sites you either don’t want to give away link value or the site does not need it to rank, like Wikipedia. So unless you have a specific reason to give away some link juice, preserve it by using the rel=”nofollow” attribute on your link statements in your HTML, like this: <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>anchor text</a>. WordPress bloggers can use a plugin to quickly achieve this change without touching the html code.

Noindex Necessary Pages that Do Not Need to Rank (avoid gluttony)

Trying to have it all by ranking every page wastes your time and energy. Most websites need an contact page, privacy policy, or terms and conditions, but you don’t need to rank them. Noindex them so search engines will not “count them” or use them in search results: You can look into how to modify your robots.txt file, update your page header, or use a WordPress plugin. Also, noindex your author and date archives to avoid having your blog posts be counted as duplicate content.

Remove Old Posts that Don’t Rank (don’t be prideful)

If you have posts that are more than a couple of years old, that have no traffic or link equity, consider deleting them or noindexing them. It is easy to be prideful of all your content, after all, your wrote it! But remember that you shared link equity among your posts. Well, you want to preserve it by eliminating posts that are not utilizing it to rank. By removing the dilution, link equity is stronger for other posts that are attempting to rank.

Don’t Reciprocate (don’t lust)

Getting links to your site can be tiresome. Sometimes you will do anything to get a link so you can get on with other necessary work. But avoid reciprocal links. If you have a lower ranking page, you may be benefiting, but as you rank higher then you end up giving away link equity. Remove reciprocal links unless they are there for a specific reason. You can apply the “nofollow” attribute, just be sure you are not tricking the person you made the reciprocal link agreement with. SEO basics never trump ethics and common courtesy.

Don’t Copy Content (say “no” to envy)

Others’ words are sometimes more attractive than our own…that is just human nature. While you may be envious of others’ words and ideas, avoid the temptation to copy or spin others’ content. Not only is it wrong (according to your mother, most religious texts, AND Google!). Duplicate content will kill your ability to rank faster than you can recover from it. Use your own unique ideas and writing voice. Soon, you will have those who are envious of you.

How many of these SEO basics do you use? Are you “sinning” against your blog? Do you have any other top SEO rules for your blog? Share your tips by commenting below.


photo credit: AMERICAN ARTIST BEN MURPHY via photopin cc

By Wanda Anglin

Wanda Anglin has a passion to help businesses and non-profits reach their goals by attracting more of the right website visitors. Her empathy and understanding for small business challenges comes from a background in project management, sales support, accounting, and business ownership. When not helping clients, Wanda is traveling, fixing her home, or tending to her 900 trees (really).

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