In the first of our ‘Spotlight’ series, we are thrilled to be able to share with you an informative piece from Natalie Weaving from The Typeface Group (winner of #UKBA18 PR, Marketing, Media & Comms business category!) Natalie is discussing the SEO basics and how they can seriously help your blog…enjoy!
SEO Basics: Why SEO is a bloggers best friend
Blogging is an art form; I think we can all agree that. There are bloggers out there that want just to blog what comes naturally to them, and that is fine, whatever floats your boat. However, for those that want to draw in serious organic traffic, make the impact and possibly some money, then understanding the SEO basics will give you that competitive boost.
Now, I fear I may geek out on you too much, so in this post, I will highlight some of the basic reasons why blogging with SEO in mind will help you reap the rewards.
SEO Basics & Considerations For Bloggers:
Domain authority (DA)
DA is a tricky one to improve when you are an active blogger. The reason is that you are adding so much new content all the time that you will have a constant stream of new post pages that need to gather Page Authority (PA) which, in turn helps grow your DA.
For those that have no idea what I am talking about DA is a trust rating out of 100 which is based on many factors including:
- Age of website
- Quality of backlinks to the site
- SEO best practice
- Security of a site
- The quality and relevance of the content on the site
These are a few, but partners will use this as a guide to whether they want to link to you as your DA can impact theirs.
However, before you start judging everyone by their DA, there are a few things you will want to consider when looking at someone else’s, especially if it is lower than yours. These are:
- Is this is a new website?
- Do they look to be carrying out the SEO basics?
- Is the content good? More importantly, is there a relevant link between their website and yours before you post anything?
Ultimately, if you know a website that is asking for you to provide a comment or article with a link, will be good exposure for your blog then do it. However, add a ‘nofollow’ code to the URL you want them to link to so that the search engines do not penalise you if they are not playing by the SEO rules.[in a box <a href=”http://www.yourwebsitenameher.com/” title=”Your website name here” rel=”nofollow”>the text you want hyperlinked here</a> ]
Keywords: No more blind blogging.
Imagine you could find out what people were searching for. Well thankfully you can, and quite simply. Through Google Adwords or a tool such as WebCEO, you can look at key terms and phrases that people are searching for, then you can provide them with the answer or the content they need!
Now, there is a discipline to keyword research (here comes a slice of geek pie). You want to look for those specific and relevant terms to your blog and audience and nothing too overly broad. For example, our (award-winning) marketing blog has hundreds of SEO blogs, but not one of them is optimised to ‘SEO’. They are optimised to the specific element of SEO we are talking about or the problem that people are searching for.
Because SEO is a too broad a term that will bring in traffic that could be looking any aspect, i.e. SEO training, SEO services, SEO audits and so on. The results of this are that our bounce rate would go through the roof and Google would in turn, downrank that blog, and its PA, and the website, for that keyword.
Also, only use one keyword once. That does not mean you cannot use your business name, broad related terms or mention another keyword again ever. Just do not optimise content to the same keyword. You will end up competing with yourself for the top spot, and in that game, only your competition wins.
Helps with the layout.
For those that are not a design-savvy as others, following some SEO basics can help set out the fab content you have poured your heart and soul into.
These all revolve around proving a positive ‘user experience’ (UX) which is an essential SEO ranking factor. These include (but are not excluded to):
Telling people what they have landed on before they have to scroll for info.
- Headers being used to split up chunks of text (every 150 words if possible – and at least one with the keyword in).
- Using images or videos to add variety to the page.
- Ensuring that there is a minimum of 300 words.
- Incorporating internal links to encourage users to engage with the site.
- Also, external links.
By ensuring you cover the above points, with your creative twist, of course, you will have a basic template for blogs while improving user experience, encouraging return visitors and boosting your rankings.
The need for speed.
As from July 2018, speed will become an official ranking factor. If your website takes longer than 2 seconds to load – especially on mobile – get it sorted…quick!
Your first port of call should be your hosting provider. Check your ‘php script’ is upgraded to the most recent. Then look at your images. Have they been resized for web content? There are a few other things you do to check your page loading times. However, if you have ticked off these two, you should be experiencing better speeds. If it still is 4 seconds or more, get in touch!
The mobile generation.
The last point I will cover is responsive blogs.
If you are active on social media, over 80% of people clicking on your social links are going to be on a mobile device. By responsive, we do not mean smaller on a mobile; we mean that you have produced content that works on all devices (although tablets are dying out – that is another blog post).
It may mean that a few of the images that you have uploaded to your latest blog are hidden on mobile view to allow a better user experience. Or that text on mobile is different to that on a desktop. Whatever it is, ensure that each piece looks good on every device it is found on.
This is an insight to the SEO basics that every blogger needs to know about if they want to be found organically and boss the stats that will attract brands. And while this discipline pleases search engines, and can help with creating relevant content for your audience, you should not let it stifle your creative flair. If you only tick 75% of the criteria off above, you are still in a better position then you were before.
Natalie is co-founder of the award-winning Typeface Group who provide marketing services to SME. Natalie’s specialisms are SEO and content marketing and you can find her giving lots of actionable advice via The Typeface Group’s (UK Blog award winning) marketing blog or on her platform of choice, twitter!