Free How To Blog Course

  • WordPress setup step by step videos
  • How To Blog 101 Course PDF
  • Private Facebook Group Access
  • How To Blog Newsletter
Get access now

100% Privacy. We will never spam you. Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.

50% Complete

Free How To Blog Course

Get access to my WordPress Setup Step-By-Step Videos, How To Blog 101 PDF and Private Facebook Group.

100% Privacy. We will never spam you.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips For Bloggers

Thsi post is a list of search engine optimization (SEO) tips for bloggers. It will be kept updated as I come across new and better SEO tips for blogs. Bookmark it and check back for updates.

Updated: 1st September 2018

I wrote this article (originally called Search Engine Optimization For Blogs) in 2004 and when I revisited it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not as outdated as I feared.

A lot of these tips are still valid, but I’ve added a few new ones and updated it to reflect the new ranking factors of social media and mobile usage.

Blogging software is really a simple Content Management System (CMS) that easily adds new pages and integrates them into your site’s navigational structure and linkage.

Blogs and blog posts are naturally search-engine-friendly because they are text-rich, link-rich, frequently-updated web pages that use stylesheets or CSS, and have very little extraneous HTML.

Optimizing a blog is very similar to optimizing a website, and optimizing a blog post similar to optimizing a web page. But depending on the blogging service or software you use, the results may look somewhat different.

If you follow some simple rules for search engine optimization, you can get your blog ranked for your keywords of choice in the search engine results pages.

Here are 16 of my favourite SEO tips to get your blog posts ranked for the keywords you want.

1. Use your primary keyword in your blog domain

This is still one of the most important ranking factors. Whether you purchase a separate domain (recommended) for your blog or host it on a blogging service or a subdomain of your own site, try to ensure that your URL contains the primary keyword you want to optimize for.

For example, if you want your blog to get found for the keyword “SEO” get a domain with the keyword “SEO”, or use the keyword in a subdomain as in http://www.yoursite.com/seo/

Getting a domain name with your own name might make sense for personal branding, especially if yours is a personal blog. But if you’re blogging for business reasons and want targeted traffic to flow your way, primary keywords in your domain or subdomain are a move in the right direction.

2. Optimize your permalinks

If your primary key phrase is “blog seo” make sure that the word blog, or seo, or both, appear in your blog headers (the H1 or H2 tags) as well as the title of each of your posts.

Most blogging software will take the keywords in your post title and put them into the file name of the permalink it creates.

For example, if you have a blog on Blogger and title your post “Search Engine Optimization For Blogs”, Blogger will automatically create a page with your post and name the file “search-engine-optimization-for-blogs.html” or something similar.

In WordPress, it is possible to achieve the same results by selecting the “Post Name” option in the Permalinks settings as I’ve done for this blog here.

3. Use your long-tail keywords in the body of your post

If you want to get listed for long-tail keywords use them infrequently in the body of your post and pepper your blog titles or links with them as appropriate. Don’t overdo this or your posts will end up sounding unnatural and spammy to readers.

Write your blog post for your readers first and then add keywords in suitable places. If your post is unreadable because of keyword spam, it will not be of interest to either readers or search engines.

4. Mobilize your blog

According to this article, mobile digital media time in the US is now significantly higher at 51% compared to the desktop (42%). These statistics bear out on some of my more high-traffic blogs, where mobile users comprise almost 50% of all blog readers.

Naaree mobile users

With Google’s recent “Mobilegeddon” update, you must ensure that your blog is easily accessible and readable on all mobile devices. The best way to do this is by using a responsive theme that adapts your blog design to the device it is being viewed on.

WordPress has thousands of free, responsive themes available that you can download and install right now. Or, if you want to keep your theme, you can use a plugin like WP Touch  or Wiziapp, that makes your blog mobile-friendly with just a few clicks.

Wiziapp Display

Or if you prefer, you can use a fast-loading, responsive WordPress theme like Astra to make your blog accessible to users on all devices. This is the theme I now use for this blog and many others.

In the mobile-first era, when 70% of all web traffic is mobile traffic, there’s really no excuse not to make this change.

Also read: 15 Ways To Create A Great Mobile User Experience For Your Blog Readers.

5. Improve your Page Load Time

Visitors who access the internet from handheld devices strongly dislike slow-loading sites. Page load time also impacts your conversion ratio, so improving load time is one way to boost your conversions, especially if slow page speed is a interfering with your blog’s user experience.

Because Google considers user experience as an important SEO factor, page speed or page load time is now considered as a ranking signal. 

Page Load Time or Page Speed refer to the amount of time it takes your page to load in your reader’s browser. A number of factors, including your web host and your blog design, contribute to page load time.

Google AMP pages are designed to load pages almost instantly, and since Google’s is placing a great deal of importance on speed and user experience, your page load time will definitely influence future search rankings.

To make your pages load faster on mobile devices, install these two AMP plugins on your WordPress blog:

Installing these two plugins, and optimizing the settings for the second one, took care of the errors in our AMP pages and boosted the traffic on one of my websites significantly.

We’ve seen that our AMP pages now get two to three times more traffic than normal pages, especially from the Google search results pages.

However, AMP pages do have less functionality, and experts like Brian Dean are not in favour of AMP pages. The alternative is to use a fast-loading WordPress theme like Astra to speed up your blog. See how I use it on my travel blog.

6. Create a Google Sitemap

Set up your blog so that the side navigation bar is present on all pages. Make sure your archives and previous posts are accessible from all pages of your blog so they get spidered easily.

You can take steps to ensure that all your pages get spidered by creating a Google Sitemap that lists all the pages and posts of your blog.

WordPress has free plugins like WP SEO by Yoast, that can easily do this, but also submit your sitemap to Google from the Google Search Console.

7. Create ‘epic’, long-form content

If you want your content to stand out from the glut of online content and attract the kind of shares and links that boost search rankings, you’ve got to create epic content or “10X Content”. Most of the content that ranks in the top 10 of Google is over 2000 words in length, so you need to create long-form content.

A study jointly conducted by BuzzSumo and Moz also noted that “deep research or opinion-forming content” attracts more shares and links. In fact, the content sweet spot for achieving both links and shares online is “authoritative, opinion shaping journalism on current topics or well researched and evidenced content”

Learn more about the kind of content that will work in the years to come.

8. Get backlinks from other blogs or websites

The best way to get backlinks from other blogs and from social media sites is to write posts that are engaging and worth sharing. But, you can also use the methods below to build your links and boost your visibility.

  • Submit to Blog Search Engines and Directories

Submitting your blog and RSS feed to blog search engines and directories is a good way to get high-quality links back to your blog.

Here is the best list I’ve found of places to submit your feed or blog. (This list was active in 2004 and, amazingly, it still is today!)

Robin Good’s RSSTop55: Best Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sites

If you know of any newer resources better than this one, do share them in the comments below.

  • Comment on other blogs

You can also get back links to your blog by posting legitimate comments in response to posts on other blogs. With plugins such as CommentLuv, these backlinks are automated.

Of course, the “no follow” tag ensures that you will get little juice from such backlinks, except for getting your blog seen by other commentators. However, you can get a decent amount of referral traffic from these links, especially with a well-written comment.

  • Skyscraper Technique

Brian Dean’s famous Skyscraper Technique involves writing an epic piece of content and then reaching out to influencers and prominent bloggers to ask them to link to it.

The fact that it took him just 31 articles to grow his blog traffic to 90,000 visits a month shows just how well it works. If you’re interested in SEO, a subscription to his blog is a must.

9. Update frequently

There’s no better fodder for search engine spiders than fresh content. According to a study by Hubspot, the more blog posts companies published per month, the more traffic they saw on their website.

They also found that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 to 4 monthly posts.

blog_monthly_traffic

Ideally, you should test your audience’s tolerance for publishing more frequently. If the rate of unsubscribes increase when you publish more often, you might want to scale it down and find a happy medium that is right for both, you and your readers.

10. Stay put

Once you create your blog, stick to the same domain for as long as you continue to publish. You could end up losing a lot of your organic traffic, your readers and all your search engine listings if you decide to move or change your domain and URLs.

If you do change domains or your site architecture from http:// to https:// you will need to add 301 redirects for each of your pages to let Google know you have moved them.

11. Grow your social media community

Social shares are important because they help your blog post get discovered, so getting more shares and Retweets on social media networks is never a bad thing for your SEO efforts.

Build communities on the big three networks – Facebook, Twitter (the best networks for content sharing) and LinkedIn. If you publish content in multiple formats (images, PPT, infographics, videos, PDFs), you should expand your list of networks to include Pinterest, Slideshare, YouTube, Vine, and Visual.ly.

Because we can’t rule out the fact that +1s might be a ranking signal for Google (since it owns the Google+ network), it’s also not a bad idea to build a following on Google+. The best way I found, that works for me, is to start a Google+ Collection and share your blog posts with them.

Engage your social community by sharing third-party content as well as your own blog content (I recommend a ratio of 80:20 for third-party versus your own content) so that your community knows that you’re interested in sharing great content, and not just plugging your own.

12. Build a mailing list

This is not strictly an SEO tip, but it ensures that you get repeat traffic to your blog by capturing emails and sending out regular blog updates to your subscribers. The amount of time that visitors spend on your blog also plays a role in your ranking, because it tells Google that your blog is useful to your readers.

Even using a free service like Feedburner to capture subscribers’ emails is better than not having a subscribe box at all. If you want to get more professional, you can use Mailchimp or, my personal favourite, Aweber, to capture and follow up with your subscribers. All these services can be set up to send an automatic update to your subscribers every time you post on your blog.

13. Add Rich Snippets to your blog

Adding Rich Snippets to your posts and pages is more important than ever, with Google hinting it may decide to use structured data in its ranking algorithm some day.

Rich Snippets, or Schema markup, is a way of delivering information (microdata) to search engines that tells them more about your content. It gives them the information they need to display data such as star ratings, author information and more, in the search engine results pages.

Schema Markup

Read this article where I simplify Rich Snippets so that you can understand how and why you need to add them to your WordPress blog.

Schema Pro is a WordPress plugin that lets you set up a markup in minutes with a simple click and select interface.

14. Improve your internal linking

You can lower your bounce rate (another important ranking factor) and increase the amount of time that visitors spend on your site with internal links to previous blog posts. The best way to do this is to manually link to these posts using the anchor text you want them to be ranked for.

However, you can also use one of these WordPress plugins to boost your internal linking automatically. For some best practices in internal linking, read this post.

  • Internal Link Architecture

The links within your blog content are counted as backlinks or votes by Google. What they point to tells Google what you think are the most important pages on your site.

These internal links can act as powerful signals and you can often rank on the first page of Google just by optimising the link structure of your own internal pages.

This form of on-site architecture is often referred to as a Content Hub, a system popularised by David Trounce, an SEO Professional and the founder of Mallee Blue Media.

A Content Hub is a set of content (usually web pages) organised around a specific topic (usually a central page). It could be a category (like Excavator Transport) or a section of pages on a website.

Content hubs are the key to on page SEO and converting users who come to your site. They work because they have a structure: a wide base around a high centre.

Internal Site Architecture

As in the example above, one of the keys to this power structure is that your internal links only ever (usually) point in one direction, thus signalling to Google the most important keyword or internal page within a Hub – the series of articles or content all focused on a single theme.

15. Be Consistent

When it comes to building traffic, consistency is important. When your readers know that you’ll be posting a new blog every week or so, they’re more likely to subscribe and watch for updates. Search engines will also spider your site more often if you post more consistently.

Post to your blog regularly, and use all the tips outlined above and there’s no reason why your blog will not get top rankings for long-tail keywords.

16. Don’t forget Pinterest

Pinterest is not a social network. It’s a visual search engine that also requires SEO to rank higher on. Bloggers who were early adopters of Pinterest are getting hundreds of thousands of visitors from this search engine. To learn all about this awesome, and often ignored, source of traffic, download my Pinterest 101 guide.

Conclusion:

A successful website launch is critical for any online entrepreneur. Worried about missing out important steps when you’re ready to launch? Here’s a checklist to follow when launching a new WordPress website.

© Priya Florence Shah

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips For BlogsSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips For Bloggers

Learn how to set up a WordPress blog in a weekend. Get access to my WordPress Setup Step-By-Step Videos, How To Blog 101 PDF and Private Facebook Group.

100% privacy. I will never spam you.

Priya Florence Shah is Founder and CEO of Blog Brandz, an author and social media marketer. Connect with her @PriyaFlorence on Twitter.

76 Comments

  1. Ojai Attorney

    This is a topic that’s near to my heart… Many thanks! Is it OK to share on Linkedin? Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi there, nice post and nice job . First my sincere congrats,

    Let me comment a part about frequency of posting.
    I think many seo’s are mistaken that freguency of posting is related to rankings. Which is not.
    Content frequency is only for getting more and better targeted traffic. Rankings are achieved with promotion.
    I agree one needs to make regular posts and content (I am doing it on my blogs regulary daily – furniture market here in Slovenia), but that must not take time away from promoting. 10% to 90% is ratio form making content versus promotion.
    I think many content creators are missing that (me too many times).
    Regards, Matija

    1. I agree totally, Matija. As Derek Halpern said, you need to spend 20% of your time writing your post and 80% promoting it. That’s pretty close to what you recommend. That’s why I wrote a post on Blog Promotion Tips here. The more ways you use, the better.

  3. Nice article. Thank you for sharing this useful information and it is very effective for the people who are all looking to get the details on SEO tips for blogs.

  4. These SEO tips are really very useful. It gives a clear picture of what makes a site outstanding. Thanks for sharing

  5. These are all very interesting blog tips. We already following these tips and really get a positive points. If someone try to start their blogging journey then they should must keep in mind all these tips. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial with US.

  6. All the tips here are really useful and informative. Bloggers want to get success but without proper knowledge, they will not successful. You tips will help to reach the goal pf success. Thanks for your inmteresting article.

  7. Wow I like the content quality that you have shared with us. Just a quick query.. I see you have a table of contents before starting the points. Apart from the navigational benefit is there any hidden seo value for structuring the blog post in this way?

  8. Quite handy SEO tips for blogs. When we follow the proper SEO methods, we can rank well for our blog or website in search engines.

  9. Great share about blogs. Blog posting is really an important part of SEO. Using Long tail keywords is really beneficial.

      1. Mark Excell

        SEO for blogs is the same as SEO for any site. For Google inbound links continue to play a huge role, but on-page areas of focus should be title tag, h tags and body copy. If you need to be more technical than this, then products like Yoast really wont help. At that stage relative position of H tags and structural markup start to play a part. (Which Yoast cant handle). In an ideal world at this point you will have coded your custom WordPress theme and have a good handle with regards to SEO.

  10. Obaoye Adekunle John

    It’s a really nice article. I learnt about SEO, especially interlinking of articles.

  11. Hey,

    I have been using Grammarly for so long and it’s really helpful. You don’t need to look upon the spelling mistakes your own. This tool will do it for you.

    The SEO audit is required to get a high ranking. Interlinking is one the best things. It would help you to reduce the bounce rate of your website.

    Thanks for the article.
    ~Madhu

    1. I use Grammarly too, Madhu. Improving your language can definitely improve the user experience. Have not used the SEO audit yet, but I will check it out.

  12. Wonderful share about blogs. Blog posting is absolutely an important part of SEO. Employing Long tail keywords is absolutely beneficial.

  13. Thanks Priya for sharing this informative post. After Mobilegeddon responsive blog is very useful for better click through rate.

  14. Very much informative post. My word press site is in initial stage & would like to implement the above mentioned points.

  15. Hey Priya Shah,

    Great SEO blogging tips!

    Here, I discovered some special tips and tricks with the deep knowledge of search engine optimization.

    I notice that you mentioned a brilliant infograpgic with the key notes to the powerful structure of SEO.

    I found this very informative. And I’ve been long time fan of skyscraper methods.

    Love the way you work dude!

    Thanks,

  16. Morris Edwards

    Hey!

    Excellent SEO tips. I’m still a long ways from feeling competent at this, but I do know that the posts where I do pay attention to SEO, tend to receive the most traffic. Thank you for the reminder that I can’t afford to not be attentive to this.

  17. Hey Priya .. I have found some really interesting and useful SEO tips here. Learn a lot of things about SEO optimization and now have the deep knowledge of interlinking. I Will use on my blog for sure. Great work and thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

  18. David Anderson

    Hi Priya,
    You shared very good SEO tips for blogs. I think for link building, web directories play an important role because they don’t only help to increase website’s DA but also increase traffic. But choose good quality of web directories instead of free spam directories. I know some good quality web directories personally, These are doing well. I submit my websites in these directories and i got good traffic from these directories. These are human reviewed and don’t approve all listings except quality one. Here are the links below…

    Leading Link Directory

    SEF Directory

  19. Great review, absolutely the best tips for SEO! I think the key here is regularity of everything – posting, analyzing, just being in the game

  20. Hi Priya,

    Great article! These are old but gold SEO tips. SEO is always changing especially with frequent algorithm updates of Google but what you mentioned are all a must.

  21. Certain tips need to be follow up while doing seo of your site as improving the website loading time will boost up more and more visitors to its page and also depending upon its User interference how much time visitors spend upon their website and section of your website.

  22. sujit

    nice post but i am using blogger can you tell blogger plagging

  23. Even though this blog is a little old some of the tips mentioned still hold true in 2018. Great article. Thanks for sharing

  24. I really wish that when I first created my blog, I would have understood just how important SEO is. I realized it later, but it would have made my struggling first year a lot easier. Thanks for the post!

  25. Amazing Tips, Priya.. Thank You For Sharing this SEO tips ! really this is awesome tips sir for me

  26. Thanks for sharing valuable information with us.
    This blog will really help every digital marketer at a beginner level. But what I suggest is that at the very first beginning understand what do you want to do or what your client needs in digital marketing for their business.

  27. wow, PRIYA FLORENCE SHAH, this is the post every blogger should read to grow as a Professional Blogger.

    Yes, all the tips you have explained really works, placing a keyword in the permalink, Title & content and optimizing a blog for speed & mobile works better to grow higher in Google.

    G+ is going to die so I would suggest all newbie blogger to use Quora & Reddit to grow audience network, which also helps to improve ranking with quality backlink & traffic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *