Learning some SEO for bloggers is one of the best ways you can improve your blog traffic. (SEO, stands for Search Engine Optimization – getting your blog ranked on Google). These steps are aimed at beginners with WordPress blogs.
Gaining traffic from Google is about playing the long game – unlike social media, you won’t get instant results. It can take 3 to 6 months and sometimes over a year before Google will start sending you traffic.
That doesn’t mean you should ignore SEO for a blog. When your blog starts to appear on the 1st page of Google’s search results, it will make a huge difference to your blogging income.
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SEO For Bloggers
- Why Google Doesn’t Like Beginner Blogs
- If SEO For Bloggers Is So Hard, Why Can’t I Just Ignore It?
- 11 Basic SEO Steps For Bloggers
- #Step 1 – Install Google Analytics
- #Step 2 – Set Up Google Search Console
- #Step 3 – Check Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
- #Step 4 – Install Yoast Plugin And Submit Your Site To Google Search Console
- #Step 5 – Check Your Site Indexing On Google
- #Step 6 – How To Set Your Permalinks
- Step 7 – Make Sure Your Site Is HTTPS
- Step 8 – WWW or Non-WWW
- #Step 9 – Optimize Your Site For Speed
- #Step 10 – Make Sure Your Images Can Be Seen By Google
- #Step 11 – Fix Broken Links
- #Bonus Step – Install A Social Sharing Plugin
- Conclusion – SEO For Bloggers
- Frequently Asked Questions
✳️ This is SEO for bloggers guide comes with a complete set of all the PowerPoints used in the videos. Download your copy for FREE.
Why Google Doesn’t Like Beginner Blogs
It’s nothing personal. Let’s face it, Google isn’t a human being. These days it’s a complicated algorithm. It may be getting better at recognizing great content, but it’s still far from being perfect.
Google is a long way off being able to tell the difference between a dry boring post and an entertaining and engaging piece of writing.
Instead Google relies heavily on external indicators such as how many people are linking to your posts from their own blogs or websites.
These are called backlinks and Google loves them. The more quality backlinks you acquire from avid fans of your blog, the greater your domain authority.
The greater your domain authority, the easier it is to rank posts highly on Google.
But starting out your domain authority is pretty much at zero.
If SEO For Bloggers Is So Hard, Why Can’t I Just Ignore It?
Good question. Let’s think about it. You could use Social Media to drive all traffic to your blog or website. But how reliable is social media?
Social media gives you quicker results but you still spend time and effort building up your following. All that time, then the platform changes it’s rules overnight and poof! Your traffic can disappear instantly.
You don’t believe me?
It’s happening right now to Pinterest creators. If all your traffic currently comes from Pinterest, (and mine did when I started both my blogs), you really need an alternative traffic source.
Pinterest can be terrific, but if it all goes wrong, you can lose your traffic overnight. Don’t believe me? Here’s a heartfelt post from the travel blogger Letters to Barbara.
That doesn’t mean you should give up on social media. I still get significant traffic from Pinterest. Plus it will benefit your SEO. You’re pushing content out into the online world and in return, people are linking back to your blog. These backlinks are good for your site.
✳ You may read that backlinks from social media sites are “nofollow” links. This attribute instructs Google to ignore them. However, from early in 2020 Google stated they may or may not choose to ignore the “nofollow” attribute. Most of the backlinks from my own blogs come from social media and I’m convinced these “nofollow” links have made a huge difference in ranking my blogs.
11 Basic SEO Steps For Bloggers
These tips, SEO for Bloggers, will put you ahead of the vast majority of beginner blogs. Work your way through these must-do tips for beginner bloggers and your blog will be in a good position to benefit from SEO traffic.
#Step 1 – Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the tool for measuring all the traffic to your blog. It doesn’t just measure your Google traffic, it records traffic from all mediums. It’s an invaluable insight into where your traffic’s coming from, which pages readers are viewing, their flow through your site… and so much more.
You need to set Google Analytics up straightaway. It may not seem important when you’re starting your blog but it only records traffic from the day it’s first set up. At some point you’re going to want to see the growth in your traffic from Day 1. So set it up now!
#Step 2 – Set Up Google Search Console
Often confused by beginner bloggers with Google Analytics, Google Search Console has a very different function. It’s an insight into how Google views and ranks your blog!
The information is pure gold! Set it up and you’ll find the search queries people are using to find your blog posts in Google’s organic traffic rankings. You can use these queries to rework and revise your posts.
Google Search Console gives you information on backlinks to your blog, which posts and pages are indexed and your site performance. It’s an essential tool and always open in my browser when I’m working on my blogs.
#Step 3 – Check Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
Doh, unless you’re still in the stone age is hard not to know that everyone one uses their phone to search the internet. Having a mobile friendly site is essential and for larger blogs, Google will rank your site based on your mobile performance.
#Step 4 – Install Yoast Plugin And Submit Your Site To Google Search Console
Yoast is an SEO plugin for WordPress. There are other options, but I have always used Yoast. It’s helped me grow my blog traffic to 100,000+ monthly pageviews for my lifestyle blog.
This SEO plugin will help you with the basics for good On-Page SEO, such as using your keyword in the Post Title and internal linking. The free version is all I’ve used on my lifestyle blog.
An SEO plugin will only teach you so much. You still need to understand how to choose appropriate keywords for your beginner blog.
Your sitemap is an index of all the pages and posts on your blog. Submitting your sitemap to Google Search Engine will help the Google bots crawl your site and understand the layout of your blog.
#Step 5 – Check Your Site Indexing On Google
It’s really easy to check if Google is finding your posts and it’s very easy to block Google from crawling your site by mistake. Make sure your blog is visible to Google.
#Step 6 – How To Set Your Permalinks
Permalinks are the addresses of your blog pages and posts. You can read more about them in this post (or just watch the video):
Step 7 – Make Sure Your Site Is HTTPS
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It means data sent between web browsers and website hosting servers is encrypted and securely protected from being intercepted by third parties. In other words your blog readers can browse your site in safety.
For your blog to be HTTPS you need a security certificate. Find out how to get one for FREE and make sure your beginner blog is HTTPS in this post:
NOTE: If you have an established site with a lot of pages and posts that’s HTTP get some professional advice before upgrading your security to HTTPS.
Step 8 – WWW or Non-WWW
Some blogs have the full URL https://www.mydomain.com and some ,like mine, are https://mydomain.com. It really doesn’t matter. If you have a younger audience I suggest dropping the WWW.
Just be consistent. Pick a version and stick to it.
#Step 9 – Optimize Your Site For Speed
Speed is everything on your site. If you only watch one video, I suggest it’s this one. Google loves fast blogs and websites and this is something that’s increasingly becoming important for SEO.
For a new blog, the biggest issue is often your images. Make sure these are optimized. I started off using the plugin TinyPNG and I still recommend it for beginner bloggers.
#Step 10 – Make Sure Your Images Can Be Seen By Google
Google needs a little help to see your images. Learn all about labelling your images correctly.
#Step 11 – Fix Broken Links
Fixing broken links is an easy win for any blogger. There are lots of different sites that will let you check links on a small blog for free. I normally use brokenlinkcheck.com.
#Bonus Step – Install A Social Sharing Plugin
I count installing a social sharing plugin as an essential requirement for SEO. You want people to share your posts, so make it as easy as possible.
✅ Currently, I’m using Grow by Mediavine for all my blogs, but as a new blogger, you can use the FREE version of Social Warfare. I started out with this free Social Warfare version and I recommend you do the same. You can invest in paid tools when your blog is making money.
✳️ This SEO for bloggers guide comes with a complete set of all the PowerPoints used in the videos. Download your copy for FREE.
Conclusion – SEO For Bloggers
If you’re looking for long-term, solid traffic to your blog, the best thing you can do is learn SEO. Traffic from Google is more reliable and often better traffic. Visitors are actively searching for answers instead of randomly clicking on links on social media.
Learn about keywords and get up to speed with SEO for bloggers. It’s almost essential if you want to make serious money from your blog. Without SEO, you could be spending a heap of time writing posts that no-one will ever read. Except maybe your Mom!
✳ You’ll find more information about using keywords in my post:
Frequently Asked Questions
Research appropriate keywords for your blog, write posts targeting keywords with good On-Site SEO, add your blog to Google Search Console and add your sitemap, optimize your site for speed and compress your images, make sure your site is HTTPS and use social media to acquire backlinks.
It depends on your niche. Check the length of the top 10 posts ranking for your target keyword. Competitive niches tend to have long-form posts where post length is 100 words+
Self-hosted WordPress.org is the clear leader for SEO. It’s open-source software which means it has a huge active community constantly developing and improving the platform.