When it comes to blogging, most people assume it’s an easy task and writing content is simply a matter of being consistent.
However, most people soon realize that it takes more than just continuous output to get anywhere with a blog.
It can take months, if not years of trial and error with minor results. But how do the professionals do it? And what exactly separates their blogs from yours?
Well, before you jump into the blogging world heads first, you need to know certain rules, guidelines and basics that will kickstart your blog.
The rules we’ll be covering in this article are some of the most important and critical factors every blogger should know when it comes to SEO if they want to succeed.
By learning these basics, not only will you have a giant leap ahead of your competition, but also ease your work and generate a lot of success in the future.
But where exactly will you be able to find these rules and how long will it take to learn them?
All you have to do is continue reading and within a few minutes you’ll be wiser than ever!
You’ll find that not only are these easy to understand, they are also incredibly easy to implement. You’ve most likely been doing some of these points already. Combine them with the other basics and your blogging skills will have jumped to the next level.
What we’ll focus on is SEO. Those three letters may seem scary at first sight but once you understand the meaning this fear quickly fades.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
This basically means that you want to optimize your website or blog to please search engines, such as Google and Bing. But in order to understand how to do that, you need to firstly understand what search engines look for in a website.
When you look at Google’s company overview, you will find that their “mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
This should stick in the back of your mind whenever you create any piece of content.
What the core of this message actually means, is that you want to provide quality information for a specific audience and make it easily accessible for them. The better your content is organized and the more quality you provide, the higher Google will put your site on the search results related to your niche.
As you can imagine, being ranked at the top of Google’s first page is every website owner’s dream because by reaching this dream you’ll get the best conversions.
Therefore, it’s insanely profitable for you to keep these rules on deck.
You might think that it is pointless to start learning SEO tips and tricks as the algorithms of search engines keep changing. That may be true to some extent but you’ll also notice that the points we will talk about below, have been there from the start and still play a vital role.
Regardless of the endless updates search engines will come up with, these will always be the heart of SEO and if you implement these you can’t go wrong.
Think about it this way, if you want to be an Olympic runner, there are many things you’ll need to do to train your body for certain distances.
…and many other factors that probably play a vital role to be a good athlete.
However, it all starts with the very basics, and that is knowing how to walk!
Now that you understood the importance of SEO, we can look at the 10 basic rules that you can start implementing today!
Whenever you write a new piece of content, you want to start with a topic. Now that you have your topic, your next step should not be coming up with a great title.
Before you even think of the title, you should start your keyword research. Using the right keywords will separate your article from an average one!
There are many tools you can use to perform your keyword research! Just make sure you do it.
A well-written article has a well-written title. Make sure your keyword is included in that title. But also, make sure this title is written as an H1 Tag!
A big header lets the readers know what they can expect from the text and it lets search engines know your text will be informative.
As important as the top header, are sub-headers. Introduce each part of your text with smaller headers, also known as H2 or H3 tags.
This will actually help you organize your work better and make it easier for you to write your content, as it breaks up the text into different sections.
Breaking up the text even further can be done through images. Not only does that make it easier for your audience to go through your content, it also supports your points.
This is especially useful for tutorials. It can guide and show them exactly what to do through imagery. Remember we’re trying to make it informative and pleasing for search engines as well as actual people.
To further increase your SEO skills, you want to label images correctly, letting search engines know what the image portrays.
As the Google spiders crawl through your page and images, it will give you some plus points to show them that there are images included. But if these images don’t have any labels, the spiders can’t see what’s on them.
Therefore, you want to give each image an alt tag and a file name. Use the keywords you’ve researched in the beginning and insert well-fitting ones for each image.
Regardless of what your niche is and how much of an expert you are within that niche, you can never know enough. Any well-written piece of content usually has some external source to support arguments.
You want to do the same by internally and externally linking bits and pieces of your posts.
Obviously, only do so when relevant. Search engines love it when they see links to other relevant articles.
Of course, it is highly encouraged to link internally to older posts on your own blog as it shows a strong connection within your entire blog.
In 2014, Smallbiztrends already notified us how consumer behaviour was shifting towards mobile gadgets and that desktops are being used less frequently (see graph below).
This means that one of the most crucial SEO tactics you should implement on your website is to make it mobile-friendly. Many WordPress themes have already adopted this trend but it is worth taking a second look and making sure all functions work fine for both mobile and desktop users.
When it comes to content, there can never be enough. A well-constructed and well-groomed website will rank high in the search results if it is kept up-to-date.
That being said, the more content you produce and the more regularly you publish it, the better. You can never have enough content on your blog. By doing so, you’re signaling search engines that you’re keeping people informed.
As previously mentioned, you want to make sure your reader have a nice experience when spending time on your blog. The best way to achieve this, is to make sure you have a structured way of writing.
Besides adding headers and subheaders, adding images and linking to relevant internal as well as external sources, you would want to ensure you are not writing giant paragraphs.
Keep your sentences short and avoid having more than 2-4 lines per paragraph. Anything above that tires people out fairly quickly.
As tempting as it might seem, don’t ever copy someone else’s work. You will get heavy penalties from search engines and your site will find it hard to recover from them.
Besides no one likes a copycat, so be original!
It’s fine and more than acceptable to get inspired and even quote other people but don’t take their work and try to use it as yours.
There you have the 10 must-know rules of SEO! As you can see they are pretty simple and before you know it, they will become second nature.
Believe it or not, you will see significantly better results in no time if you learn these early on.
Don’t be lazy and try to get around them. You’re only going to make it harder for yourself.
Using these methods will also make your content a lot better and you’ll find that your work becomes more productive.
Please do note that although you should be doing all of the above-mentioned points, make sure not to overdo them either. For instance, if you have a keyword you want to use in your text, don’t insert it in every sentence and make the text unreadable.
Overdoing one thing can quickly turn out to be very dangerous and harmful for your blog.
So what do you say? Will you stick to these rules and write SEO optimized content from now on? What are your thoughts? Do you have any other basics you include?