Blogging has taken over the world. Each day, over 2 million blog posts are published on the web. By the time you’ve finished reading this, roughly 46 people have published a post on their blog.
Statistics like this put the world of blogging in perspective. With so many published works on the web, how can you stand out?
According to a 2006 study by Forrester, roughly 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine. You might get readers from social media or email marketing, but search engine rank is still crucial to your blog’s visibility.
To reach the largest potential audience, you need to make it to the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best way to improve your site’s rank and reach more people.
SEO can be in-depth, but we’re going to look at some basic steps you can take to get your optimization strategy up-and-running within a few hours.
Step #1: Understand On-Site and Off- Site SEO Fundamentals
There are two types of SEO: on-site and off-site. On-site SEO are factors you can control, such as:
– Page Content
– Title Tag
– Images and media
Page Content – This is the meat and potatoes of your blog. Optimized page content should cover a relevant topic, include keywords relevant to the subject matter, and should be at least 500 words in length.
Title Tag – The title tag should be less than 70 characters in length. It should include your brand or business name, as well as keywords related to that page.
URL – URLs should include keywords relevant to your page’s content. Never settle for abstract URLs, or you’ll sacrifice SEO.
Images and Media – Captions for your images should include the target search phrase. Your images should be relevant to the page’s content, to help visualize the target search phrase.
Off-site SEO factors are much less in your control, but there are ways you can make them work in your favor. These factors include backlinks and recommendations, which we’ll discuss further in Step #3.
These are the basics of on-page SEO fundamentals, but Altitude Marketing features an in-depth SEO checklist guide on their blog that outlines the details of on-site SEO.
Step #2: Start With Content
No blog is complete without excellent content. Your content is what drives visitors to your page, and it gives your site visibility on SERPs.
Content doesn’t stop at the written word. Some types of quality content you might consider include:
– Blog Posts
– How-To Guides (or Tutorials)
– Buyer’s Guides
– Product Reviews
You’ll need to plan and create your content strategically to land that top spot with Google. Using Google’s Keyword Planner, create a list of search queries you believe relate to your niche. Take the most valuable keywords and run them through a content analysis engine like BuzzSumo or EpicBeat Epictions to see how your keywords are performing in content. Use your findings to draw inspiration for your own content.
The more content you feature on your website, the more likely you are to show up on SERPs, and the longer your page visitors will stay on your site. To learn more about content marketing, KissMetrics has a complete Beginner’s Guide which can help you get started on the right foot.
Step #3: Optimize Off-Site Factors
Link building is essential to SEO success. Google uses backlinks to determine which content is trustworthy and which isn’t. When a reliable source links to your content, Google translates this as a recommendation, and trusts your content a little more in return. Each backlink from a credible source adds reliability to your brand, and improves your SEO.
There are a few different ways to get links:
– Organic Links – These links come naturally. You create excellent content, and other bloggers link to you in their own.
– White Hat – White Hat backlinks are ones you earn by connecting with other bloggers. These don’t come as naturally, but they’re as good for your SEO as organic links.
– Black Hat – Black Hat links can come from spammy sites or link generators. Google has ways to detect Black Hat links, and your page will be punished if you use them. We recommend to never buy backlinks, as they’ll almost always ruin your site’s credibility and ranking.
Getting backlinks is a complex process. It isn’t as easy as sending an email to your favorite blogger and hoping for a response. Check out eCommerceFastlane’s in-depth backlink strategy to help you get more credibility and rank more highly with Google.
SEO is crucial to the success of your brand and your content. An excellent SEO strategy can help you reach a larger audience than ever and significantly improve visibility for your brand. With excellent SEO, you can compete with your biggest competitors and start to build a name for your brand, without ever paying a dime for paid advertising.