Blogging SEO for Beginners: Optimize Your Posts (Part 2)
In Part 1 of my Blogging SEO for Beginners: Optimize Your Posts, I covered the steps you can take to optimize your post content. In Part 2, I will cover steps you can take in the back end that will help give your posts an extra SEO boost.
1. Use an SEO plugin
SEO plugins are great at helping you streamline the optimization process and fine tune your posts so that search engines can find you more easily. To keep it simple, use the All in One SEO plugin for WordPress (assuming you use WordPress as your blogging platform).
2. Optimize your images
As discussed in Part 1, optimizing your images will provide another avenue for your post to be served in the SERPs. Search engines can’t “see” your images, they can only read, so your description of the image is important in order for it to be served as a search result and give you another opportunity to use your identified post keywords.
With every image, there are three opportunities to add keywords and descriptions (these can be added while uploading or through the ‘Edit Image’ option in WordPress):
- File name – the description you give the photo when you save it
- In the title field within WordPress
- And in the Alternative Text field within WordPress
As with your post titles, the object is not to spam with keywords when writing your image description, so use them naturally.
3. Re-visit your post title
Most CMS’ will automatically add your page title ahead of the post title, which does not allow the post to rank individually. In order for them to rank individually, you have to place the post title first.
You can change the way your posts are formatted and use your All in One SEO Plugin to create a more SEO-friendly title. WP Beginner has a nice All in One SEO guide that covers how to set title formats that also incorporate the use of the plugin for beginners.
A good example of a proper post format will look like this in the search engines:
4. Include your keywords in the meta description
While the meta description doesn’t affect your rank, it does help with the click through rate. When people search Google for a specific keyword, Google will bold that phrase in the results if that keyword is in the meta data. This will help call more attention to your result and encourage people to click your link and read your content.
5. Use your category and tags
Using category tags will help your posts within that category or keyword tag rank in the search engines.
Tip: don’t use the same category titles as your keyword tags in order to avoid overlapping.
WordPress gives a good breakdown on the difference between categories and tags and how to use each within your posts.
6. Pay attention to your URL structure
The URL for each blog post is also something you can alter easily with your All in One SEO Plugin. By default, WordPress creates URLs with numbers that are not search friendly. The plugin, however, will automatically create a URL from the headline of your post. In some cases, it makes sense to edit the URL so it appears different from your post title. Instances for this would include editing for keywords or length.
Of course, there are several other factors that can help boost your search engine rank that I haven’t covered here. However, these 12 simple steps can help you kick-start your SEO and build your content database. Always remember to be patient, getting search engine traffic takes time.
Do you have any other SEO quick hits that you’ve found useful for new bloggers?