With more than 600 Million Blogs in the world and the current uptrend in Digital Marketing, Blogging has emerged as one of the most lucrative career options. With a proper strategy and planning, the sky’s the limit in terms of earning with Blogging.
This specific Guide for Bloggers contains each and every aspect of SEO which you will need in order to build a successful blog.
This Guide will equip you with all the necessary information to start and win at Blogging using SEO.
Importance Of SEO
The fuel for every blog is traffic. There are multiple ways of monetizing your blog, including Google Ad sense, native ads, affiliate marketing, etc. and every one of these ways is dependent on traffic.
SEO is what helps you rank your blog posts in Google searches from where you can get tons and tons of traffic. Without an SEO strategy, your blog posts will not rank on Google, and it becomes almost impossible to build an huge audience for your blog.
Take for example, Blogging Wand is ranking for many money making keywords,
Blogging Wand has also secured a lot of featured snippet, here is a quick look,
Getting organic traffic is very essential for your blog. And this guide is written specifically to help make your blog for friendly for search engines.
Keep reading to learn more about SEO for bloggers.
What Is SEO
SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimisation.
The meaning of SEO is optimizing and making tweaks in your blog so that it is easier for search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. to rank your articles.
It has various subdivisions and strategies which you can use to make changes on your blog and make off-page efforts to help improve your rankings and website.
An SEO professional is capable of ranking his/her blog on any competitive keywords which can bear amazing results.
Types Of SEO
Basically, there are three types of SEO namely,
On-Page SEO is the combination of numerous rules and changes which must be applied before posting anything on your website.
On-page activities revolve around the targeted keyword. Numerous practices like integrating the keyword in the title, meta-description, 1% keyword density and other rules help you rank for particular keywords.
There are a number of rules and factors that must be taken into consideration while posting something. I will be discussing each of the significant factors in this Guide.
All On-page activities are done within your website.
Off-Page SEO consists of all the activities that are done at other websites and forums to increase the authority of your website.
Off-page activities do not consist of anything that can be done within your website. Major of the activities include making high-quality backlinks to your website that bring traffic from other sources to your site.
Just like On-page, I will be covering all of the significant Off-page strategies that can make sure to rank your blog and increase its authority.
Technical SEO is the combination of all activities that affect the user experience of your blog. No need to worry here as you won’t have to learn to code to perform technical SEO on your blog effectively.
There are just a few standard activities that you can learn and repeat on any blog.
Most of the technical SEO activities are one time and make sure to provide a seamless user-experience to your visitors forever.
What Is Organic Traffic
Organic traffic is the traffic that you get from your ranked articles on Search engines. To understand correctly, let’s suppose you have a blog in the health niche, and you are ranking for the keyword “Best exercises to help cure backache.”
Everyone who searches for this keyword on Google and clicks on your listed blog is termed as organic traffic. Organic traffic is the primary source of traffic for most of the bloggers.
This is where SEO helps as you can enjoy millions of traffic with the right SEO strategy.
Importance Of Keyword Research
Keyword research is the first and foremost step in SEO. You can understand it with an analogy with the shooting. Imagine practicing shooting without a target; there is no point, right? Similarly, in SEO, keyword research helps you define your target.
Another major factor of keyword research is that there are millions of undiscovered keywords that can help you rank faster and easier.
Targeting a high competition keyword, in the beginning, can deter you from ranking and also demotivate you. New blogs should target low competition and high searched keywords which will help them get traffic easily and improve domain ranking at the same time.
How Do Search Engines Work
Search Engines like Google work on numerous automated robots which help them distinguish between high and low-quality content. Technologies like RankBrain use machine learning and AI to rank blogs.
Google Robots crawl websites and check for pre-defined algorithms to rank them.
I found this amazing video, which explains it in depth,
The first step is On-page SEO. If you have correctly targeted keywords and the content quality is upto the mark, Google will surely rank your blog posts.
Ther are hundreds of other factors that decide rankings and also help Google robots to determine the domain authority .
Some of the factors are listed here,
- Number of clicks per number of impressions of the title
- The time spent on the Blog-post
- Bounce Rate, as in if the visitor checks other parts of the website or returns
- The quality of outbound links in a blogpost
- Plagiarism in the article
- Images and their alt text
On-Page Vs Off-Page
On-page and Off-page SEO are like the right and left arm of the human body. You need to devote equal time and attention to both On-page and Off-page in order to grow your blog successfully.
Working on On-page will help you index for particular keywords but will not automatically improve your rankings and domain authority.
Similarly, working solely on Off-page might grow your domain authority, but you will not get organic traffic by ranking on particular keywords.
Introduction to On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization is the first thing that you should learn and ace in SEO. It helps you understand the basics of the working of algorithms of Search Engines.
SEO plugins like Yoast and Rank-Math can help you understand the basics of On-page techniques, and with the time you will be able to do them without any assistance.
Blogs that have been adequately optimized using On-page strategies will surely rank for keywords. Initially, you might rank at the 5th-6th pages, and Off-page techniques will help you improve rankings.
If you are not ranking for a particular keyword in Google, it means that your blogpost is not optimized with On-page techniques. I am mentioning each and every technique, and if you follow all of them correctly, every of your blog posts will rank in Google.
One-Page sEO Techniques
- High-Quality content – I am sure that you must have heard the phrase, “Content is King”. After years of experience in the SEO industry, I can say that there is no doubt about this fact. High-quality, engaging content is the most significant On-page strategy. If your content is not up to the mark, no amount of efforts can make it rank for an extended period of time. To improve your content writing strategies, you must learn the basics of copywriting and follow blogs like copy hackers to write words that attract users. A killer introduction and value-driven blog post is the key to blogging success.
- Use Of Appropriate Heading Tags – Heading Tags are the first and the most important thing for Google crawlers. You must use your targeted keyword as a tag and other related tags. The title, i.e., heading of your article or also mentioned as an H1 tag, is given prime importance to understand the niche of the blogpost. The targeted keyword must be creatively placed in the H1 tag to get your blog post indexed.
- Image SEO – Image SEO plays an equal amount of role compared to other factors in the ranking of blog posts. Google crawlers understand the meaning and theme of the image using alt text. Alt-text is basically a description of the image. Just like the heading, you must think of a creative way to include the targeted keyword in the alt text of the image. The alt text contains additional points that help you rank for the particular keyword.
Image SEO will also help you to get additional traffic for your blog. Image bloggers understand the importance of Image SEO as their traffic is solely dependent on traffic from images.
Event blogging which forms a big part of bloggers is also based around Image SEO. You must use tools like Canva to build engaging images that help improve the user-experience and rank your images in Google.
- Internal And External Links – Internal and external links play a significant role in On-page SEO. You must make sure to include outbound links to big blogs and websites relevant to the niche of your article. Adding a link to any of the big sites like Google, Facebook, etc. counts as an outbound link. The article must also have inbound links to other articles on your blog. This will help decrease the bounce rate as people will click on the link and check other articles on your website.
- Long Tail Keywords – Long tail and LSI keywords are another way to ace your On-page Strategy. Long tail keywords are usually low in competition as most of the bloggers do not target them directly. LSI keywords are intent-based related keywords that you can find and target. Using multiple LSI keywords within your article will help you to rank for multiple keywords using the same article.
- Site Speed – Site speed plays one of the most prominent roles in On-page SEO. Numerous studies have been done on website speed that reveals that a 1-second delay in website speed can result in more than 90% loss of your visitors. If you page loads in more than 5 seconds, you will lose most of the visitors. Some of the ways to increase page speed are to upload low sized images, possibly less than 100Kb max and integrating AMP technology with your website.
- URL – URL plays the same or more important than the heading of the blog post. You must have observed that Google highlights the heading, meta-description and the URL with your searched keywords whenever you search for anything. Your blogspot URL must contain the targeted keyword in order to optimize the Blog for On-page SEO properly.
- Mobile-Friendly – Most of the users of your website will be accessing the site from their mobile phone. New technologies and strong internet connections have shifted most of the tasks to mobile phones, and people prefer to surf using their mobiles. Your website and blogspot must be optimized for mobile view. You must view and change the look of the site if you face any issues in the mobile version. The most effective strategy to make your website mobile friendly is by integrating AMP technology with your blog, which will increase the site speed for your website.
- Additional tip – Using an index for every article and an FAQ section is one of the leading strategies used these days. User-experience is what matters the most in a blog and adding a categorized index section on the top can help readers understand the different sections of the blog post. The FAQ section serves a similar purpose and Google even displays the FAQ section in the search results. There are various plugins available for free in WordPress which can help you integrate this section for every blog post on your website.
Introduction to Off-Page Techniques
Off-page SEO refers to all the SEO measures taken to improve website authority which is done everywhere except your website.
There are a number of Off-page strategies that will help you to improve ranking and authority of your website. I will be discussing the major and the most effective approach of Off-page SEO that does most of the work.
One thing to keep in mind about Off-page SEO is that it is like eating food. Just like you eat food every day, Off-page activities must be done on a daily basis.
You can choose to do small bits of exercises every day or twice a week, but you must make sure to do them regularly. Doing a lot of Off-page activity on one day and then not doing it for months is not advisable. The major strategies are –
- Link Building – Google keeps track of a number of websites and forums linking back to your website. If any of the sites include the link of your blog post in any of their blogs, it is called a backlink. The more backlinks you have, the merrier it is. The quality of your backlinks also plays a significant role.
Getting a backlink from high authority websites like Healthline, Wikipedia, etc. can actively increase your website authority. Backlinks can be of various forms including comment backlinks, Quora backlinks, forum backlinks, social links, etc. You must also regularly pursue Guest blogging to get high-quality backlinks.
- Social Signals – Social signals are the combination of likes, votes, shares and other engagement activities of your blog on social media platforms. Just like every different phase of our life and business, Social media plays a significant role in the authority of a website. Google’s algorithm keeps track of all social activities of your blog and rewards you if you get a lot of shares on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Building Domain Authority – All these Off-page SEO activities help you build your domain authority over time. Every high-quality backlink adds to your domain authority and starts a chain of improvement in rankings. Social signals and mentions in forums again add to your authority. Natural searches on Google about your domain name are also considered as a good sign by Google.
Domain Authority or DA is measured on a scale of 1-100. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other similar websites have a DA of 100. New blogs start from DA of 1 and continue to grow with every Off-page activity. You can also consider buying expired domains that have DA of more than 20 as these can help you start with an edge.
What Is Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the aspect of SEO which refers to fixing the technical issues on your website to improve your rankings in Search Engines. There are a specific number of fixed tweaks that you can learn and apply to help Search Engines index your blog.
This section of SEO majorly consists of codes that must be integrated in order to aid Search engine bots to understand your blog posts. Although you do not need to worry about learning to code as these are basic code which can be copied and minor changes will do your job.
Importance Of Technical SEO
Technical SEO is distinguished from various parameters. The first and the foremost point in the importance of technical SEO is that it guides the search engine crawlers about the structure of your blog.
You can use the technical aspects to guide the bot to crawl only specific areas of your blog. You are generally allotted a particular limit of the crawl, and you have to make sure to utilize it properly and rank for specific keywords.
Another importance lies in improving the user experience for the visitors.
Techniques For Technical SEO
These are the most important strategies of technical SEO that will help you ace the technical part. These are sufficient and include all the critical elements related to technical SEO.
- SILO structure – The best analogy to understand the SILO structure for a website is a book. As in the case of a book, the first section is of the index containing all the chapter topics. Similarly, you have to understand the theme of your website and divide it into particular parts. Search engines love the SILO structure as it improves user experience. Any visitor can understand the theme of the website from its structure. You must then post blog posts under these categories only.
- Sitemap – Sitemap is like a guided menu for the search engine robots. You can find various sitemap generators online or choose plugins like Yoast, which can automatically create a sitemap for you. You must make sure to build the sitemap is an XML format that is loved by search engines. A sitemap will contain the structure of your website and all the posts. It basically guides the crawling robot to focus on particular blog posts in order.
- Schema Tags – Schema tags are a set of code that helps to define the way your results are marked in search engines. Schema tags can easily be made online, and the code can be integrated with HTML in order to design and define rankings in SERP. You must have seen stars and other details on search engine results. These are basically defined by the schema tags using which you can integrate multiple features apart from title and meta description.
- Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs are an essential SEO tool that helps to improve user experience. You must have observed site navigation with arrows at the top of the website for blogs. These are loved by search engines and visitors alike because they make the navigation easier. You can easily click and move to previous home pages. These also help you understand the structure of the website.
- Robots file – Robots.txt is the first file accessed by search engine crawlers. This file must be present on your website as it improves SEO parameters. This file contains the instructions for the robots to crawl the site. You can choose to disallow the robots to crawl individual pages that you do not want to index. This file can also be easily generated using SEO plugins or manually, and you must disallow any activity before your website gets ready initially.
- Deep Linking – Deep linking in SEO is related to creating backlinks to high authority websites. It helps improve the technical SEO as you link to relevant and engaging content on major sites. Deep linking should be done for blog posts rather than the home page of the website, which is a common mistake done by new bloggers. Deep linking also involves a list of links to relevant sites in a particular niche.
What is Blackhat SEO
Blackhat SEO is the combination of various techniques used to rank websites for particular keywords quickly. Blackhat is never a long term game as you might be able to rank for the targeted keywords at once, but you will soon be removed and even penalized. Google has a strict policy against Blackhat SEO.
If a particular website has been identified to be performing blackhat SEO continuously, Google penalises the sites and de-indexes the complete website. This basically means that all the pages are removed from the search engine, and you suddenly get to 0 organic visitors which is a nightmare for any blogger.
BlackHat Vs WhiteHat SEO –
There are no doubts about the fact that Whitehat SEO is way better than performing blackhat SEO. Blackhat is a short term game and often results in penalties. Another important fact is that most of the blackhat activities actually do no work these days.
With new updates coming every other month, Google’s algorithm has evolved to detect black hat techniques on any blog quickly. In extreme cases, your IP address also gets blocked, so you are unable to surf and research easily.
Avoid These Black Hat SEO Techniques
These are the main blackhat techniques which are mostly used by bloggers. These results in the most significant loss to new websites, and you must make sure to avoid these at any cost.
- Buying links – It is a widespread tendency for new bloggers to buy backlinks for their website. This, in my view, is the biggest and the most famous way to ruin your blog. Every backlink is not a healthy backlink. You do not get awarded for poor quality backlinks which have no relation to your blog.
To understand the first possibility, you will usually get links from a PBN, which is a private blog network. Google is extremely strict about PBNs and punishes a group of websites which keep linking to one another.
Another possible cause is of Chinese backlinks. Most of these sites are spammy, and the biggest red flag is a Chinese website linking to an English website. Before getting any backlink, you must make sure to analyze the DA and backlinks of the particular website. This is true for getting backlinks by guest posting on low-quality sites.
- Link Exchange – Link exchange is also another form of PBN. If you exchange links from similar websites and Google is able to close the loop, you are in for trouble. Google wants you to work naturally so that websites link to your site on their own. Although this is a problematic scenario, you have various options like guest posting, comment backlinks, and participating in forums. You will also find a lot of Facebook groups dedicated to such activities. New bloggers are often lured into these groups and you must avoid joining such groups.
- Duplicate Content – One of the biggest mistakes done by new bloggers and content writers is plagiarism. Google can easily identify a content which has been copied from other websites. The percentage of plagiarism matters in the case of search engines. Plagiarism below 5% in your articles is generally acceptable but you should always aim for 0%.
Another part of duplicate content is Image duplicacy. You cannot upload any image in your blog posts. Usually, first-time bloggers have a tendency to download images from Google images and integrate them on your website. This practice will invite multiple DMCA notices in your Email. You must make sure to incorporate copyright-free images which can be found on numerous stock images websites like pexels, Unsplash, etc.
- Article Spinning – As a newcomer, you will many times get lured into article spinning tools and websites. The modus operandi of these tools are to change a few of the words with their synonyms and rearrange the sentences in order to generate a new piece of content. The biggest flaw with such activity is that the articles do not make sense and are horrible to user experience. Google can easily detect spun content and penalises the websites and other links which might be related.
- Keyword Stuffing – About a decade ago from today, Google used to rank websites based on the number of times a particular keyword appears in it. This is a big no-no in these times. The process of keyword stuffing is to include the targeted keyword multiple times within the article. Usually, blackhat SEO involves more than 15% keyword density. In some cases, you might be able to rank for these keywords but will surely be penalised later. The best practice is to maintain a keyword density of 1%.
- Doorway page – Doorway page is a very old Off-page blackhat SEO technique. In this particular form of Blackhat SEO, a page is created which contains multiple links to different websites which are generally part of a PBN network. Usually, you will find pages with more than 30 links on a single page all linked to particular blogs. Just like keyword stuffing, a Doorway page is linked stuffing. This technique can result in penalizing all the links on the specific doorway page.
I would like to conclude by saying that you are among the lucky few individuals who have realised the importance and scope of Blogging. Blogging is bound to grow and will attract a lot of money in the future because of the increasing number of businesses coming online.
The marketing spend on Digital marketing is growing every year, and a big chunk of this money is spent on Google Ads. Google AdSense is one of the premium ad networks used by bloggers, and its scope is increasing every day. You must although follow a guided workflow and everything mentioned in this Guide.
To make your journey comfortable and exciting, I will guide you to follow your passion. The first step is to analyze and find your passion, i.e., the niche. Once you have selected the niche of your blog, you must choose a CMS. WordPress is one of the best and user-friendly CMS for bloggers.
SEO will act as the backbone of your blog. You just have to make sure to follow all the guidelines given in this Guide. Although, you will continue to learn new and advanced techniques in your journey of Blogging. I wish you all the success and do not forget to message me once you receive the first earnings from your blog!