Updated: 18 Jan 2022
Want the best search engine optimization (SEO) tips for bloggers? Optimize your WordPress blog for Google with these always-updated SEO tips for blogs.
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 on the search engine results pages.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips For Bloggers
- 1. Find a memorable brand name for your domain
- 2. Optimize your permalinks
- 3. Use long-tail keywords in the body of your post
- 4. Use a responsive WordPress theme
- 5. Improve your Page Load Time
- 6. Create a Google Sitemap
- 7. Modify your Robots.txt File
- 8. Create ‘epic’, long-form content
- 9. Get backlinks from other blogs or websites
- 10. Update frequently and consistently
- 11. Update outdated content
- 12. Improve your Core Web Vitals
- 13. Stay put
- 14. Grow your social media community
- 15. Build a mailing list
- 16. Add Rich Snippets to your blog
- 17. Improve your internal linking
- 18. Don’t forget Pinterest & YouTube
- 19. Build a Powerful Brand
- 20. Blog Hygiene & Maintenance
- 21. Optimize for Voice Search
- More blog writing tips
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips For Bloggers
Here are my favourite SEO tips for bloggers. Study and apply them to get your blog posts ranked for the keywords you want.
1. Find a memorable brand name for your domain
Exact match keywords in the domain used to be one of the most important ranking factors.
Before Google released an algorithm update that lowered the rank of low-quality exact match domains if you wanted your blog to get found for the keyword “SEO” you had to get a domain with the keyword “SEO” in it.
As the Ignite Visibility blog says, while it’s still possible to rank with an exact match, it doesn’t increase your odds. The problem is that many exact match domains are associated with spam, which can serve as a red flag for Google.
In this video, Neil Patel offers tips to use exact-match domain names to help you rank on Google.
Getting a domain name with your own name might make sense for personal branding, especially if yours is a personal blog. Otherwise, get a memorable name or be creative and make up a word of your own.
The Namecheap Domain Name Generator has a Beast Mode that lets you search thousands of domain names in the blink of an eye, filter and prioritize the results you want to see, and even inspire you with new ideas.
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 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.
The RankIQ AI-SEO Tool has a hand-picked keyword library for every major blog niche. Each library is filled with the lowest competition phrases that also have high traffic potential.
You can also use Long Tail Pro to find profitable longtail keywords to maximize SEO. All it takes is a single seed keyword to get up to 400 long-tail keywords within seconds.
Don’t overdo the keywords or your posts will end up sounding unnatural and spammy to readers. If your post is unreadable because of keyword spam, it will not be of interest to either readers or search engines.
Write your blog post for your readers first and then add keywords in suitable places.
- Best SEO Content Writing Tools To Write SEO Friendly Articles
- Learn How To Write SEO Content With SEO Writing Courses
4. Use a responsive WordPress theme
Mobile digital media time is now significantly higher compared to the desktop. That means most of your blog visitors now read your blog on their mobile devices.
It’s important to 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.
You can use a fast-loading, responsive WordPress theme to make your blog accessible to users on all devices. In the mobile-first era, when over 90% of all web traffic is mobile traffic, there’s really no excuse not to make this change.
The Jetpack plugin gives you access to thousands of professionally designed. elegant and responsive WordPress themes that you can install right now.
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 interfering with your blog’s user experience.
Many SEO experts believe that page speed or page load time is considered a ranking signal. But does page loading speed actually affect Google rankings?
Brian Dean decided to find out and shares the surprising findings in his video below.
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.
You can check your page load time with the GTmetrix page speed checker. It will test your page in different countries, browsers, connection speeds and offer tips for optimization.
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. However, AMP pages are now on the way out.
Personally, I prefer using Jetpack’s site accelerator to improve my site speed, load pages faster and serve images and static files from their global network of servers.
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. But you should also submit your sitemap to Google from the Google Search Console.
WordPress has free SEO plugins like the Rank Math SEO Plugin for WordPress that will help you easily create a sitemap for your blog.
7. Modify your Robots.txt File
According to Google, a robots.txt file lives at the root of your site and consists of one or more rules that either block or allow access for a given crawler to a specified file path in that website.
In this video, John Lincoln gives an overview of the robots.txt file for SEO. Read through his list of the most common technical SEO issues that could be affecting your website’s performance right now.
8. 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” and learn what kind of content will work in the years to come.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- 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.
- 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.
Here are some SEO writing skills to add to your content writing or blog writing skillset:
- Learn how to write SEO content and become an expert at SEO copywriting.
- Learn how to use SEO content writing tools to write SEO friendly articles.
- Learn how to use AI-based content writing tools like Surfer SEO or the RankIQ AI content tools to help you write blog posts that rank on Google’s 1st page.
- Learn the craft of writing for the web so you can boost your content’s readability and user experience.
- Learn how to come up with the best blog topics to write a blog so you can boost your reader engagement.
The best way to get backlinks from other blogs and from social media sites is to write posts that are engaging and worth sharing. However, blogger outreach and guest blogging are also good ways to build links.
Matt Diggity has an excellent YouTube playlist on building backlinks. Watch his video below on the 3 pillars of backlinks.
LinkAssistant is a link building tool with one-click outreach for hassle-free link building. Depending on your link building strategy, you can choose your research method from the 10 most effective link prospecting mechanisms.
From guest posting opportunities to active giveaways, with the chosen search method you’ll get link suggestions that are best suited to your needs right now.
John Lincoln’s Off-Page SEO guide covers all the latest off-page SEO tips, including link-building, unlinked mentions, guest blogging and many more techniques and strategies. In the video below, he covers link building for SEO and provides a simple strategy that works.
You can also use the methods below to build your links and boost your visibility.
Submit to Blog Directories
Submitting your blog and RSS feed to blog directories is a good way to start building 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!)
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 backlinks 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.
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.
Use these influencer marketing tools to connect with celebrities and social media influencers to promote your content and campaigns.
10. Update frequently and consistently
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.
Ideally, you should test your audience’s tolerance for publishing more frequently.
If the rate of unsubscribes increases 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.
Alternatively, you send out a weekly newsletter with all the week’s updates or publish fewer high-quality posts that are regularly updated to keep the information fresh and current.
Consistency is more important than frequency. 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.
11. Update outdated content
Outdated content can cause your blog to rank lower in the search engines and leave your visitors with a poor impression of your website.
Delete and redirect what Brian Dean calls “zombie posts” – posts that don’t get any traffic – and focus on updating the ones that do get traffic.
You can optimize an old underperforming post and put it in a position to be a top performer in less than 30 minutes with RankIQ’s SEO toolset.
As Neil Patel recommends in his video below, keep your blog posts updated with the latest information and rewrite, redirect, or consolidate old blogs to improve the relevance and usefulness of your bog content.
12. Improve your Core Web Vitals
According to Brian Dean, Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors that Google considers important in a webpage’s overall user experience.
Core Web Vitals are made up of three specific page speed and user interaction measurements: largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift.
In short, Core Web Vitals are a subset of factors that will be part of Google’s “page experience” score (basically, Google’s way of sizing up your page’s overall UX).
Check out the video guide below to use Google Core Web Vitals for WordPress Optimization.
13. 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 install the SSL protocol and change your site architecture from http:// to https:// you can install one of the plugins below to force redirects.
SSL is an important part of website security as Google now requires sites to be secure and have HTTPS in the URL. The good thing is that you can secure your main domain and sub-domains with a single certificate and get a cheap Wildcard SSL from a trusted provider.
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.
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.
15. 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.
It also helps you become network-agnostic, so should your Instagram profile get deleted by mistake, you can always start fresh by sending out an email and asking your subscribers to follow your new profile.
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.
You can choose from a number of email marketing tools to capture and follow up with your subscribers. These services can be set up to send an automatic update to your subscribers every time you post on your blog.
16. 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 someday.
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.
The Rank Math SEO Plugin for WordPress has excellent Schema options to help you set up the markup you need quickly and easily.
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.
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 and watch the video by John Lincoln below.
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 popularized 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.
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.
18. Don’t forget Pinterest & YouTube
Pinterest is not a social network. It’s a visual search engine that also requires SEO to rank higher on.
However, there are some essential differences between Google SEO and Pinterest SEO and you need to understand these differences to boost your search engine ranking on both Google and Pinterest.
Bloggers who were early adopters of Pinterest began getting hundreds of thousands of visitors from this search engine. Today, Pinterest has introduced Pin formats like Idea Pins that can help you boost branding but won’t send traffic to your website.
However, it can still be an awesome source of traffic for bloggers if you learn how to use Pinterest the right way with these Pinterest courses and tools for bloggers.
Check out my Pinterest Masterclass on the AskAviArya Show below where I show you how to get traffic from Pinterest to a new blog.
YouTube is also a search engine and with video becoming the #1 preferred form of content online, all bloggers now need to have a YouTube channel, and possibly, also a podcast.
According to Neil Patel, YouTube search traffic is high-quality traffic, and it’s much easier to rank and generate those views than on traditional Google search. Best of all, you can rank well on YouTube within a matter of days… even hours.
If you’re an introvert who doesn’t enjoy being in the limelight but understands the benefits of video marketing and wants to add the power of video marketing to their online marketing plan, read my article below.
19. Build a Powerful Brand
Misinformation and fake news are the scourge of the internet. In an effort to stem their spread, social media sites like Facebook hired independent fact-checkers to help identify and review false information.
Google’s E‑A-T guidelines that prioritize Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness – especially for content that affects Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) – are also a way to stem the flow of misinformation online.
This trend is proof of the fact that old-school journalism ethics and standards don’t just apply to print journalism. Ethics in media also apply to writers who want to become authoritative bloggers.
The EX-CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, noted that brands are becoming more important signals whether or not content can be trusted.
So, if you want to do well in the long run, you have to build a brand, and according to Neil Patel, the future of SEO is in building a brand. But a brand is hard to build, no matter how good of a marketer you are.
My personal branding course, Creating Brand YOU, offers a 21-step personal branding process with actionable steps that help you build a powerful personal brand and go from Unknown to Well-Known.
For less than $1, you’ll get access to my personal branding eBooks, a personal branding worksheet, and blogging tutorials to help you start building your digital footprint.
More personal branding tips:
- Using Brand Archetypes For Personal Branding With Kaye Putnam
- Effective Personal Branding Tips For Developing A Killer Personal Brand
- Personal Branding For Coaches: How Do I Market My Coaching Business?
20. Blog Hygiene & Maintenance
A lot of websites tend to accumulate broken links, especially ones that were created years ago and have many links pointing out to other websites. Having a large number of broken links on your website can adversely affect user experience and in turn, your rankings.
One of my blogs had that problem until I installed a broken link checker plugin and cleaned up all the broken links on the website. You can use the Link Checker plugin to do that or run a site audit using tools like Screaming Frog.
21. Optimize for Voice Search
According to Brian Dean, voice search isn’t “the next big thing” – it’s already here” and it’s only getting bigger. So how do you optimize your site for voice search? That’s exactly what Brian’s Definitive Guide to Voice Search will teach you.
Everyone is starting to use devices like Alexia, from Amazon, to perform voices searches. In this video, Neil Patel shares how you can generate more search traffic using Voice Search.
If you’re newer to SEO or just struggling, the SEO Checklist by SEO Buddy is your roadmap to every important SEO action you need to take to optimize your website and get more organic traffic.
The SEO Checklist includes:
✅ The 102-Point SEO Checklist (Google Sheet + Web App)
✅ 42 Step-by-Step Process Docs (detailed standard operating procedures)
✅ The 62 Page eBook (PDF)
✅ A 52-WEEK Content Planning Calendar Method (PDF)
✅ The 50-Point Content Distribution Checklist (Google Sheet)
You can download the Google Sheets and make it your own, or use the interactive Web App version (this allows you to assign tasks to team members).
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If you found these SEO tips for bloggers useful, do share your views in the comments below.
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