September 8, 2011 8 Comments
If your blog posts aren’t getting the traffic you expect you may be missing simple steps that will help the search engines find and rank your posts. We’ve all heard that content is king, but getting that content found and indexed doesn’t happen magically. Try incorporating some of these strategies to improve the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your posts.
Use an SEO WordPress Plug-Ins
If you’re using WordPress.org you have the option to add plug-ins to your blog to increase the functionality. The All In One SEO Pack is an excellent plug-in for optimization and very user friendly. Once you’ve installed the plug-in you’ll see the above field at the bottom of every post and page. Make use of this plug in to fill in the fields with your title (different from your post title – try to keep this one under 60 characters as that’s what Google will display), your description, which is what Google displays under the search results and your keywords for the page.
This is how these items will show up in search results.
Even if you’re using WordPress.com and don’t have access to an SEO plug in, there are still plenty of things you can do to optimize your blog posts.
Make Use of Your Post Title for SEO
The post title is what will display in your browser title bar as well as determine the URL of your post. To make sure the search engines can understand the content of your article include one or two of your keywords in your post titles. For example, if you’re writing an article about the weather in Phoenix, Arizona you’ll want to make sure to include “weather, Phoenix, and Arizona” in your title. Seems simple enough!
Use Header Tags for SEO
Search engines read the text surrounded by a header tag before they read normal text. Make use of these formatting options and include keywords in the text formatted with them. Here’s where you format text using header tags:
Optimize Your Images for SEO
Search engines can’t read or interpret images, only text. When adding photos or graphics to your blog posts make sure to fill in the Title and Alternate Text field in the image options section. Not only are you adding valuable text to your images for the search engines but you are also helping those using a screen reader understand the visual elements of your posts. You might start seeing traffic from Google Image Search after you add these tags. Of course, by now it goes without say to include keywords in those alternate text descriptions. Here’s where both versions of WordPress provides these options:
Use Formatted Text for SEO
Even in the normal text section of your posts you can still bold, underline or italicize the keywords that appear naturally in your article. Search engines will place higher importance on this kind of formatted text.
Use Links for SEO
Link to other articles within your own blog. Search engines give higher credibility to these links. If you’re linking to an outside resource make sure to wrap that link with text that the search engine will read as pertinent to the post. Note: using “click here” as a link does not accomplish your goal. The search engine cannot associate “click here” with any relevant content. Instead, use “Click here for more about the weather in Phoenix, Arizona” as your link text. Doing that will keep your users happy and increase the odds that the search engines will rank your post accordingly.
These are just a few of the SEO tips for blogging. Do you have suggestions for improving the SEO of blog posts? Leave them below!