If you're reading this right now you're probably needing a little bit of help understanding and getting to grips with SEO. What is it? How do I use it? What's the frickin' point of it?! Believe me, I've had the same thoughts in the past! I've written about some SEO tips in regards to publishing a blog post before but I wanted to do a more detailed & handy guide for y'all! SEO can seem like such a daunting thing but I'm going to try and make it super simple for you and help you along the path of search engine greatness! 👑
So, first things first, what is SEO and how can it help you?
I like to think that Search Engine Optimisation is basically another way of saying "putting you on the map". SEO (as the name suggests) means that you're tailoring your blog to be picked up more my search engines. For example, if you've written a chocolate brownie recipe (can you tell I'm hungry?), you want that recipe to appear on the first results page of Google when people search for it. There are lots of little tips and tricks that can help people find you online. It may take time and understanding but once you've done the best you can, you'll find your page views and referrals from search engines sky-rocketing! Are you ready to get started?
Identify Your Keywords
Think about the blog post your writing and the topic/category it's under - then have a think of the 5 to 10 most important keywords/phrases around it. For example, if I were to write a post about tips for working from home, I would say my keywords/phrases would be 'working from home', 'self-employed', 'job', 'freelancing', 'tips', 'hints', etc. These are useful to identify from the get-go because you should be including them throughout your post as you're writing it.
Top tip: You should be using your keywords throughout your post but you shouldn't be bombarding your post with them. If you use too many keywords in your posts and labels/tags, search engines see this as spammy and it will negatively effect your SEO ranking.
I've said this before and I'll say it again! Google prioritises pages/sites that have the keywords as a heading in the code. For example, if I searched for "Best Hashtags To Use On Instagram", blog posts with that exact phrase in a heading will show up first. You can identify a heading as text wrapped with <h1>,<h2>, <h3>, etc in the HTML of your blog post. On Blogger, this is a simple fix. You just click on the HTML of the post and find your blog title and subheadings and add <h1> before the heading and </h1> afterwards. On Squarespace, you can set up headings in the Style Editor and when you post text you can select what heading you want to use. This automatically sets up the heading in the code for you.
Link to Old Blog Posts
If you're writing about a topic you've covered before, don't forget to link back to old posts. This will tell search engines that you have some authority on the subject and will push you higher up the SEO ranks. For example, if I'm writing about Instagram, I would add this line in: 'I've already covered the best hashtags to use on Instagram, but today let's talk about...'. This not only gives you more page views on old blog posts, but it also helps with your SEO.
Edit Your Permalink
For those of you who don't know, a permalink is simply the URL of your blog post. You can edit this before you post from some like "myblog.com/2016/01/13/2398" to "myblog.com/top-seo-tips". If you include keywords in the URL, this will really help search engines find your blog. You can do this on Blogger by selecting 'Manual Permalink' and editing this. On Squarespace, it's under 'Options' when you're editing your blog post!
Name Your Images
I cannot stress how much this little trick has helped me! Search engines also pick up image names so if you've got any photos in your blog post, name them! That photo of a product review named 'photo1' ain't helping you get noticed on Google! However, if you name the file something like "Maybelline-Blush-Review", it could well be pushed to people searching that phrase. I also add in the name of my blog post in the name of photo files so it also gets picked up if someone searches for my blog!