In blogging, SEO is a prerequisite to surviving. If you don’t want your blog to die somewhere on the last SERPs or receive traffic that does not convert, you need to optimize it.
SEO, for blogs, is what beauty salon sessions are for people – a way to make them more attractive.
Just like beauticians use treatments and makeup to improve their clients’ appearance, you need to use a couple of tools to make your blog more attractive to the search engines and anyone visiting it.
How do you optimize your blog posts for SEO? There are many ways to do that, but we’ll start with the most important 7 steps and the tools that can help you with them.
Here is what you need to do in order to convince the search engines that your blog deserves a better position in SERPs, boost traffic to your blog, and turn that traffic into money:
1. Measure and Improve Your Blog’s Loading Speed and Performance with GTMetrix
Your blog’s loading speed and performance matters for two reasons:
- On one hand, since July 2018, Google takes into account page loading speed for mobile rankings as well. If your blog does not load fast enough, you will never make it to the first results pages for mobile searches.
- On the other hand, your potential website visitors will not wait forever. If the post they want to read takes too long to load, they will look for the information they need elsewhere (bounce).
According to Think with Google, the more your blog takes to load, the more likely your readers are to look for the information they need elsewhere. Here are the dynamics:
|Page Loading Time||Probability of Bounce|
What does this mean for your blog? You could be losing traffic and money without realizing it.
To find out if that is the case and how fast your blog loads, we suggest that you use GTMetrix.
All you need to do is enter your blog’s URL and click “Analyze”. You’ll get details on Performance Scores (Page Speed and YSlow Scores) and Page Details (Fully Loaded Time, Total Page Size, Requests).
A more detailed report will then walk you through the various elements influencing your page speed, evaluating them and providing improvement recommendations.
The report will even highlight which aspects require your immediate attention.
Improving your blog’s loading speed and performance, reducing bounce rate, and improving your ranking in SERPs is easy when you know exactly what’s wrong and how to fix it.
Keep in mind that your blog’s loading speed issues could have to do with your hosting provider. If they do not allocate enough resources, all your efforts could be in vain.
Besides allocating more than enough resources to ensure excellent loading speed for your blog, Bluehost offers a lot of free tools, a free domain name, 24/7 support, and a 30-day money back guarantee.
2. Optimize Your Blog for the Right Keywords with UbberSuggest
As you may already know, keywords are the search queries your target audience uses to look for what they need. If you want them to get to your blog, you will need to optimize your blog for those keywords.
Ubbersuggest can help you. You only need to enter a keyword or phrase you are interested in, click the „SEARCH” button, and you’ll receive tons of useful and free information.
If you’ve used it before, keep in mind that it received important improvements since Neil Patel bought it. It will provide free data on:
- Search volume
- SEO difficulty
- Paid difficulty
- Cost per click
- Keyword ideas
- SERP analysis
Besides being completely free, Ubbersuggest is easier to use and provides more data in a more intuitive manner than other similar tools. Neil Patel surely knows what he’s doing!
3. Find Hot Topics for Your Blog Posts with BuzzSumo
So you now have a fast-loading blog and a list of keywords representative for your niche. Unfortunately, these alone will not get you traffic.
You also need to know what internet users are looking for when using your keywords as search queries, and what topics draw the most interest and shares.
Starting from this information, you can create content that will draw traffic, engage readers, and receive social media shares.
BuzzSumo can help you obtain the information you need. That is why we included it on our more comprehensive list of 25 Best Blogging Tools.
BuzzSumo will spy on competitors targeting the same keywords and tell you which content pieces receive the most attention and social media shares.
You just type in your keywords, click “Go!” and get a comprehensive report covering 10 titles and URLs, their social media engagements and shares, number of links, evergreen score and total engagements.
You can even sort the results by the specific metric you are interested in, and filter results by date, B2B publishers only, country, language, specific domains, content type, word count, and publisher size.
More titles and information are available with BuzzSumo Pro.
4. Create Clickbait Headlines with Coschedule
Now you know what you want to write about and what keywords your headline should use. Whether or not your blog post draws the desired attention will depend mostly on its headline.
Your headlines are the bait – if they’re not enticing enough, no one will click them to read the rest of your content.
According to David Ogilvy,
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
After analyzing 100 million headlines, Buzzsumo published an interesting report on which headlines draw traffic and shares and which don’t.
It should help you come up with some interesting, shareable title ideas.
To make sure your headline is a sure bet, we recommend that you test it with CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. All you have to do is paste your headline and click “Analyze Now”.
CoSchedule will provide rate your headline out of 100 and grade it. Its report is color-coded, so you should always aim for the green light.
When analyzing your headline, CoSchedule will look at:
- The number of characters and words – their recommended title length is of 55 characters
- How your title balances common, uncommon, emotional, and power words
- Overall headline sentiment
CoSchedule offers a free easy-to-follow step-by-step guide for creating headlines right beneath their Headline Analyzer. They also provide a free list of power words.
Based on the results of your headline analysis, you will also receive tips on how to improve it.
The only weakness of the tool is that it places too much emphasis on title length.
Therefore, if you analyze a list or how-to headline that scores well on emotion, power, and uncommon words, but is a little longer than Coschedule recommends, don’t hesitate to use it.
When you’ve barely started blogging and you’re learning the basics of SEO for blogs, it is safer to keep things simple until you feel ready to move to the next level.
5. Make Sure Your Content Is 100% Original and Error-Free with Grammarly
Though your blog, you pose as an authority in your niche.
Well, authorities don’t steal content and don’t make grammar and spelling mistakes. Duplicate mistakes and poor grammar and spelling are actual signs of disrespect to your readers.
To avoid having them on your blog, you should check your posts with Grammarly.
It is a complex tool, with both free and paid versions that can help you improve your grammar and spelling.
With the free version, you get a browser extension to check and correct your mistakes as you post content online, and a Microsoft Office and Outlook add-in that helps you check and correct content offline.
Grammarly analyzes your content, identifies potential errors, proposes corrections, and explains its recommendations. You can learn from your mistakes and correct them with a single click.
The paid version is a little pricey, especially if you cannot afford to pay for an entire year in advance.
However, it includes a plagiarism checker. It will help you identify any duplicate content in your writing, eliminate it, and thus avoid having your blog penalized by Google.
The paid version also highlights and suggests remedies for advanced grammar and vocabulary issues, helping you improve your writings.
6. Boost Your Content’s Readability and Optimize It for the Search Engines with Yoast SEO
Having the right keywords, topics, headlines, data, original content, and great grammar is not enough. You still need to turn them into readable, scannable, SEO-friendly blog posts.
Readers skim through content searching for the details they need. They will not stick around to follow and understand endless phrases and huge chunks of text.
Yoast SEO can help you improve your content’s readability. It will analyze your text and highlight problems, suggest improvements, and praise good results.
Search engines crawl your blog looking for specific data, like metas, inbound and outbound links, keyphrases, image use and attributes, and more.
If they don’t like what they find, your blog will linger on the last search results pages until you learn to follow ranking algorithms.
Yoast SEO can help you optimize your blog posts for the search engines by helping you correct mistakes, suggesting improvements, and encouraging good practices.
If you have not used the Yoast SEO plugin for your blog until now, you should start, as soon as possible. It will help you improve your blog’s ranking in search engine results and your readers’ experience.
7. Monitor and Improve Your Blogging SEO with Google Search Console
We recommended Google Search Console in our list of 25 Best Blogging Tools, and we cannot help but do it again. It is simply the best way to measure your blog’s search traffic and overall performance.
It lets you monitor clicks, impressions, average CTR, average position, search queries, pages and errors, countries, devices, search appearance, and more.
It lets you submit your blog to Google, so you no longer have to wait for the crawlers to do their job. It also lets you monitor backlinks and understand how Google search works and what you need to do to make it work for your blog.
Did You Notice a Trend in the Above Blogging SEO Tips and Tools?
At Blogging Done Right, we know what it’s like to start from scratch and have no or very little money to invest. That is why, whenever possible, we recommend solutions and tools that are free.
As you can see for yourself, all the above-suggested tools are entirely free or have free versions. This means you can use them to improve your blogging SEO without paying.
We also know that implementing the above blog SEO tips and reaping the benefits will take time. We just hope you will be patient and persevere, especially since we are here to help you out.
It will help you get started and learn the basics of blogging, SEO, and more.
With our help, your blog will rank consolidate its position in SERPs by the day, and you will get better and better at what you’re doing.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations on Blogging SEO
We know that, when you’re just beginning, you feel confused, lost, and unsure if it’s worth continuing. But if it were easy, success would no longer seem so rewarding, don’t you think?
In order to achieve your goals, you need thorough planning, hard work, and consistency. You need to set clear blogging goals and achieve them (click here to learn how to do that).
More importantly, you need to keep blogging. Not only does blogging help SEO, but it is a great way to find your voice, connect to your readers, and learn to express your ideas more effectively.
Practice makes perfect. If your goal is blogging perfection, or, better yet, consistent income, start practicing!
You will get better at it, and we are here to help you make sure of that.
Think of SEO for bloggers as bike-riding for children, and of the above tools as the support wheels. You may lose your balance a few times, but the tools will help you bounce back and learn to ride on your own eventually.
Have you implemented the above tools to improve your blogging SEO? What is your opinion on them? Feel free to share your experience and concerns in a comment below and share this post if you’ve found it useful!