I tell everyone who is looking to become a full-time blogger that you need to figure out (quickly) what your streams of income will be. Having multiple streams of income is the only way you will survive. There will be times when the sponsored post game will be scarce (first quarter is always rough for me) and you won’t be able to pay your bills on promised money. One of my streams of income is ad sales. Through lots of trial and error, I’ve learned that the only way to make decent money with ad sales (and I’m talking commas) is to boost your blog’s traffic using SEO techniques. There are lots of tricks and proven tips that get your blog noticed by the Internet God–Google! Since we learned in grade school that sharing is caring… here are a few SEO tips for all my blogger babes!
1. Catchy headline
Think about all the blog posts that you skedaddle right past because the headline is boring AF, the headline made absolutely no sense to you, or you’ve already seen that headline five times since you’ve opened Facebook and started your morning scrolling session. Let’s not allow any of these bad headline scenarios be the death of your next blog post. Your blog post headline should not only be catchy but it should be an emotional connection between you and your reader.
These are the things you should be asking yourself about each of your headlines:
Are you solving their problem?
Are you making them laugh uncontrollably in public while reading your post?
Are you forcing their thug tears to escape with your sappy words?
I know what you’re thinking.
But how do I do that?
Start by using adjectives in your blog post headlines. If there are no adjectives, you are kinda failing this. Adjectives will add a little color to your boring AF headline.
Try to always use numbers in your post. This tells your readers exactly what they can expect once they click on your post. Example: If You’re Not Doing These 6 Things Your Blog Probably Sucks. My readers know they will get 6 reasons why their blog might suck. They’re also clicking to make sure their blog doesn’t suck. See what I did there.
And lastly, you can never go wrong by starting your blog headline with How To… or What Is… every popular search usually starts with either of those two questions.
2. Pinnable Images
Pinterest can be a huge traffic driver for your blog if used correctly. Not only is Pinterest a great DIY inspo hub it’s also a place where a lot of readers go to learn “how to” do something. So if you’ve written a post about How To Style Your Red Shoes Without Looking Like A Clown (you can have that headline btw) you should design a pinnable image that lives inside your post that your readers can share to Pinterest. Confession: I don’t do this often. Also: Don’t judge me. This is a trick I just learned so I will be going back through all my “how-to” posts, adding a pinnable image, and re-sharing them on my Pinterest account. Did I tell you SEO would be easy? SIKE.
Here are a few sites where you can use to easily create pinnable images.
3. Heading Tags
Some experts go back and forth about the significance of heading tags. It’s been told that Google will scan your blog post to grasp the main topics of your post. I still use this technique because I like the way it highlights my blog posts. What we know for sure is that most people don’t read. And when they do read they are “skim reading”. When the heading tag is used this usually prompts your reader to stop skimming your post and go back and read what they missed.
Here’s how to use them properly:
The H1 tag will be what Google will scan for first, so use that one before the others. H1 can be used for listing your points, or product names. For example, in this post, all of my tips for boosting your SEO are H1 headings.
H2 is for subheadings of H1. You can use this heading to divide the content up into scannable blocks that Google and your reader will love. I rarely use any other tags after H2 because I think H3-H6 is pointless. But you can use them for the closing heading on your post where you would place your call to action.
4. Title, Meta Description, URL
Y’all peep my SEO receipt tho! This is the one step many new bloggers forget to master. It’s an easy step to skip because Lord knows after spending hours trying to find the perfect 350+ words for your blog post who really wants to spend another 20-30 minutes pimping out the blog post so that everyone will see it. WAIT! Read that last sentence again and come back here. So what’re 30 minutes of prepping your blog post for everyone to find it? You spent hours writing it and resizing images and creating fancy graphics…we don’t want all of your work to be in vain. So don’t be lazy. Update your title, the URL, and the meta description.
Here are a few things to remember:
Your title, URL (or permalink), and description should include your keyword or keyword phrase. Always think of your keyword or keyword phrase as what your readers are searching for to find your post (not your blog but your actual post).
Your URL structure should only include your keyword or a keyword phrase (It does not need the date! This is unnecessary Internet jargon). For example, this post’s keyword phrase is “SEO tips for bloggers”.
The “alt text” to all your images in your blog post should also be your keyword or phrase. Sometimes you may not rank in Google search for your keyword or keyword phrase but you will rank in Google Images. So when someone is searching Google Images and your properly “alt text” tagged image populates for them, chances are they will click on your blog post. #Winning
For more clarity, I used “SEO tips for bloggers” as my title, it’s my URL, it’s listed in my meta description and it’s listed as all the alt tags on my pictures for this post. AND I also repeated “SEO tips for bloggers” thousands of times throughout the post copy. You want to try to keep your headline and your SEO title the same but it won’t hurt your SEO if it’s slightly different.
5. Install the Yoast SEO Plugin
Even if all of what I said above sounded like Chinese to you, download the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. If you’re still on Blogger I don’t have a solution for you. But feel free to comment below if you have a Blogger app or whatever that compliments this WP SEO plugin. This plugin will literally guide you through creating the best SEO possible for your post and will alert you when its either good or bad. All you have to do is follow it’s direction.
6. Links to older posts
Both external and internal links are crucial for your blog’s SEO. External Links are hyperlinks that point to any domain/site other than yours. They are considered the most important source of ranking power. External links pass on this sorta imaginary Innanet “link juice” (aka ranking power) and search engines consider them as third-party votes for your site’s relevancy. The more people that link out to you (or refer your blog posts) the more relevant you will appear.
Internally linking all of your blog posts is the best way to keep a reader on your blog. This process allows the reader to move from one post to another to another and 20 minutes later they are still reading your blog. Of course, this means you have to have amazing content! For SEO purposes it’s also a way to connect the dots for the Google crawlers that are scanning your blog for relevant search terms. This is especially helpful for people who blog about one than one topic. This will also help you to reduce the bounce rate of your blog.
(Bonus.) Length of posts and the speed
There’s nothing more disappointing than finding a good headline to click on and it takes forever for the page to load. And then once it’s loaded it’s just 10 sentences. Ma’am, you wasting all my damn time! I know the goal is 350+ words but it’s 2017 and it’s time for you to channel your inner J.K. Rowling and write a blog post worth clicking. K!
To check your blog’s site speed you can use sites like Gtmetrix, Pingdom and Google Pagespeed Insights. Make sure you’re compressing your images to a web-friendly size. There is no need for a picture of 5,000,000,000 megabytes to be on your blog.
Ok, so I think that’s it.
Although I feel like I might have left something out.
If you can think of other tips be sure to leave a comment below. Also, if you liked this blog post you can thank me by leaving a comment or sharing this post on social media.