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SEO for Bloggers: A Basic Explanation

Posted By Jim Stewart 7th of February 2017 Search Engine Optimization 0 Comments

SEO for Bloggers: A Basic Explanation | ProBlogger gives you the lowdown

By ProBlogger SEO Expert Jim Stewart of StewArt Media.

Search Engine Optimisation. Just reading that phrase can make some bloggers break into cold sweats. You know how to blog, and you know you have to incorporate SEO in your pages somehow to be successful, but the technical aspects of SEO are daunting, at best.

This is the first part of a three-part series on the What, How and Why of SEO and how it relates to your blog. Use these pieces to learn the cornerstones of search engine optimisation and you’ll be better able to use SEO to improve your blog.

 

What is SEO?

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is a way of crafting your blog that focuses on growing your search engine results organically. In other words, it’s a method of writing and building web pages that allows them to rise in the Google rankings, instead of attracting traffic through paid ads. It’s not a way to cheat or game the system. It’s the best way to create your pages to deliver a great user experience, both to your readers and to search engines.

Writing great content with relevant information gives your users what they want. Creating clear information that Google can understand gives it the same thing. The more concise information Google can find on your page, the more it will reward you with higher rankings.

SEO for Bloggers: A Basic Explanation | ProBlogger gives you the lowdownWhat Does Google Want?

Google’s search algorithm is secret and constantly in a state of flux, but we can figure out elements of it by seeing what has worked for other sites similar to your own.  In general, search engines want to refer searchers to sites that are the most relevant to their search requests. It can be determined in many ways, all of which warrant your attention.

  • Content:  Is the information on all your pages relevant to the search keywords? What about the titles and image descriptions?
  • Performance:  Does your site load quickly? Are your images optimised? Do your links all work correctly?
  • Authority:  Do other respected sites consider your blog good enough to link to?
  • User Experience:  Is the site easy to navigate? Are there dead links? How long does the average user stay on your page?

All of these factors combine into what Google and other search engines consider a good blog, one worthy of a high ranking in their search engine pages. The higher your site ranks on this list of positive factors, the closer your site will get to that coveted number one position.

What SEO is Not

Too often, people try to game the system, piling on more and more SEO-friendly details in an effort to get a higher search engine ranking. The result is often worse than if they do nothing at all. Google’s search algorithm is very sophisticated; it can’t be lured by cheap tricks. Well, not in the long run, anyway.

More often, bad SEO is a matter of bloggers thinking, “more is better.” If one item works, why not five of the same kind? It’s an easy mistake to make, but it’s a quick way to sink your blog’s rankings. Some more items to stay away from:

  • Buying links:  Having good, solid links to relevant sites will always boost your rankings, but you can’t buy that kind of respect. Stay away from sellers offering to raise your rank by selling you dozens of links. More likely than not, they’re links to sites that have nothing to do with your niche, which is a black mark in Google’s view.
  • Keyword stuffing:  Using a keyword naturally in a blog post is one of the key ways for you to rank that post in Google. The key is to do it delicately. Always use the phrase without forcing it into the sentence, and don’t over-use the phrase in any post. As a good rule of thumb, if you read the post and the phrase is easily noticed among all the other writing, you’re using it too much.
  • Overall bad user experience:  Approach your blog page with a fresh eye occasionally. Do you have ads lining both sides of your page? Do they compete with the blog post for space? Is it tough for readers to find anything? Check your bounce rate. If 80 percent or more of people who click on your blog leave within 5 seconds, there’s something wrong that needs to be rectified.

Think of SEO as the recipe for the best way to create your blog pages. It tells you the ingredients to add to the mix and the techniques to use when preparing them. After that, it’s up to you to create your own dish for readers and search engines to experience. The closer you follow the recipe, the better your results will be.

Jim Stewart, CEO of StewArt Media, is a recognised digital marketing expert. Jim is ProBlogger’s SEO expert and will share his vast SEO knowledge to equip you with the systems and skills to optimise and monetise your blog using tried and tested techniques. What Jim doesn’t know about SEO and blogging isn’t worth knowing.

About Jim Stewart
Jim Stewart, CEO of BloggersSEO, is a recognised digital marketing expert. Jim is ProBlogger’s SEO expert and will share his vast SEO knowledge to equip you with the systems and skills to optimise and monetise your blog using tried and tested techniques. What Jim doesn’t know about SEO and blogging isn’t worth knowing.
  • Hello Jim,
    Those are some awesome tips for a proper SEOptimized website. I am so conscious when I write an article, always worrying about keywords and how best I can create my content and at the same time be optimized.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    • SEO is all about links and content.

      The more sites that link to your content that better your rankings will be.

      Yes, of course Google considers factors like DA, TF etc to rank a site. But it’s also important to know the value of backlinks.

      Just make sure to get them naturally through email outreach, connecting with other sites with useful stuff or repurposing content.

      Also use guest posts to your advantage to rock your SEO efforts.

      Great stuff indeed!

  • SEO has changed alot in recent times, Jim you have shared some awesome strategies here for SEO optimized website and I think it will help many people who are starting out their journey in SEO.
    Most people still dont know how to make proper content & they stick to keyword spamming in content.

  • Hi Jim,

    I dig this clear, concise SEO breakdown here.

    People tried – and still do – to game the system SEO-wise but those days are dead. Google smartened up. Now you need to create value and link to top blogs to garner links in and Google love. Simple process. But your mind needs to be in the right place. Serve. Help. Build posts to help your readers. In time, and by following sound SEO practices, you rank for certain keywords.

    I still had a page 1 ranking for “how to submit a guest post” as of last week and really, no sweat deal on that one. I wrote to help. I dotted SEO i’s and crossed t’s and I landed on page 1 of Google for a super competitive key phrase.

    Thanks much.

    Ryan

  • Hi Jim,
    I read your blog and i have some best tips about SEO and I also have a website, but I doesn’t rank. I thought i have made some bad things for my site that’s why it doesn’t rank. As i read that in SEO has lots of changes in recent time, and Google has an pen quine update, this also defect alot to some of web-sites. But this blog is really great and now I do SEO for my web-site form starting,.,,.So thanks for sharing this post with us,.,.,.

  • Hey Jim,

    If you are just getting started with SEO you might know a little about backlinks. The blog that is giving you the backlinks makes a huge difference. If it is an old domain name with excellent rankings itself then the backlink counts for more.

    I’m going to go ahead and create the post, and this is where a lot of that research comes into play. Because I know what my post goals are and who I’m targeting, and some of the keyword research and what people are looking for around this topic, as well as what’s already out there, I can now make a post that is unique and uniquely valuable. Eventually, thanks for sharing your best experience with us.

    With best regards,

    Amar kumar

  • SEO is providing great content to the seekers.

    Google thinking is “if content is good, it will automatically get attention of the people who need it”. Yes, a genuine promotion through various channels won’t hurt.

    Google just needs to roll out an update to throw out the websites using dirty tricks and make the people behind it left broke.

    PBNs, reciprocal links, buying links, GSA, comment spam etc. are not for long term and sustainable goals.

  • There’s a lot of debate when it comes to approaching SEO. I truly believe the only way to succeed on the long run is to play by the rules. The search engines are getting smarter each day. We’ve seen people manipulate the engines and get results, but they were punished later by the numerous algorithm changes. Of course, high-quality backlinks are still and will always be important. But buying them, or using private blog networks will only harm your blog on the long run. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way than creating GREAT content (google likes to show its users the best results), then let people know about that content, the links will come naturally…

  • Hello Jim

    Paid and social traffic are great for instant traffic spikes, but nothing beat organic search traffic in terms of users taking qualified action on the site.

    Just like you pointed out, the term SEO, plus many complicated theories floating around the net today makes many beginner’s online marketers scared of even attempting to incorporate SEO tactics on their blog.

    While in reality, SEO is not as difficult or complex as it appears on paper.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us looking forward to the subsequent post in this series.

    • Hey Sham I do agree with your comment that paid and social traffic is good for instant clicks but if you rank for your keywords on Google. You can get much more traffic with buyer intent.
      SEO is complex for sure but once you crack the formula it will help you a lot. SEO is evergreen and you need to work continually to see progress.

      • Yes Jitendra Sir,

        You are on point. These types of techniques are good for short term but for long term it is destroying your authority which one no one want to go through.

        And yes SEO is not at all a rocket science. If you know the basics and right track you can rank your blog easily.

        I am in Love with this blog. Full of Knowledge.
        Thanks for this.

  • Thanks for busting some of the myths out there. As a newer blogger, it’s so hard to cut through all the BS out there.

  • Sai

    Well, while reading your article about what SEO is NOT – I think quality of the content also matters. For example, the length of the post. It has become a standard nowadays to write long posts (of course maintaining the keyword ratio) with at least 1500-2000 words.

    But this is where, we need to think beyond SEO and try not to simply increase the length of the post for the sake of SEO. The length should matter only if each and every word in the post is useful to the readers and at the same time they follow the simple rules of English (spellings and grammar) – as I have seen posts taking top ranks in SERPs with low quality of posts and pretty long content.

  • Hi, Jim!

    I often come across SEO discussions. I think SEO-driven strategies are overrated. The reason is that when people start to pursue SEO success, they somehow miss out the VALUE that could be focused while creating the content.

    What I’m seeing is totally based on the human connection. I agree that SEO is important. My point is that it’s not more important than the ‘value’ that you can deliver to the readers. Because once you deliver something useful to the readers, they’re likely to build a soft corner for you as you’re helping them in some way and that’s where the human connection is built.

    Going to share your blog post on Facebook and Twitter!

  • Hey Jim,

    I totally agree with your point about breaking into cold sweats. SEO keeps changing due to the Google algorithm.

    But the basic concepts never change. The ease of quality content and the proper use of keywords without stuffing.

    Buying links can result into Google penalization.

    ~Ravi

  • I Agree with your post SEO is Becoming Like approaching to people now a days Thanks for Sharing

  • wim

    Solid content with backlinks is still in my opinion the only way to grow whitehat method. Off course a solid sourcecode is instrumental in the beginning. A nice insight into blog SEO, thanks for the share

  • Hey Jim,

    Great Article buddy. I agree with your point that the basics of SEO never change, although things are different for all those who are buying links, manipulating rankings with various techniques, they can say that SEO changes very quickly, but actually tit remains the same.

    Specially if we have genuine, good content on our site, which can help readers, SEO never changes.

    And also, we don’t have to worry about any penalties or anything similar. It is total fearless stuff for all genuine bloggers.

    ~ Atinder

  • being a newbie in the field of SEO, your blog has provided me with enough information that I should know to excel in this arena. Thank You!!

  • Though it is not a topic of my interest, the way you have expressed your know how is impressive. Keep up the great work.

  • Some light keyword research will also help you match what you write with the terms people are actually searching for. No keyword stuffing of course! But if you have to choose between a title people are searching for, and one they’re not, the former is always a better decision.

  • Hello Jim,

    You have nicely explained the SEO, and yes, it is an art. I have been blogging since 2012 and have I would say that we need to act smart in pleasing the search engines.

    Most of the bloggers are crazy in building the links, and they show a keen interest in buying them. Also, they do stuff the keywords and try to make their blog posts with a high keyword density.

    Google is a giant, and it is still trying to offer the best results for the searchers. So, the black hat SEO techniques won’t work.

    It would be better to focus on user engagement with a pleasing and fast loading site design. Including LSI keywords would be an added advantage.

    I completely agree with your viewpoint that the user experience and quality content is the real SEO that needs to be implemented.

    Thanks for your helpful contribution!

  • This is a good basic explanation, Jim. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hey jim,

    Really nice and what is exactly needed by beginner. I also want to suggest a quality baklink building strategy for beginners here http://wpfaculty.com/build-backlinks/

  • Great Post!
    I would like to know if guest posting is still working as a way to build links. If not, what is the best way nowaday to build links?

  • This was a great blog even for a inconsistent blogger like me.

  • Hello Jim,
    Awesome tutorial for students and new blogger about SEO. Great information shared to follow a qualititive SEO process, Your article is very informative. You have described very simple, descriptive and effective too.
    I would say you’ve done a amazing job ! Outstanding Blog! Keep writing such kind of information.

  • This is truly a masterpiece Jim. I like the way you blog and write your content.
    Thank you so much that I’ve learned so much from you. Currently, I’m building my blog using your tips and suggestions. I’m growing it. It’s slow, but it’s definitely growing.

  • Good start to the article jim, do you have any examples of how to outreach to others to get them to share your content?

  • Hey Jim,

    A solid explanation, good read.

    I just have something to add, or rather notice. In this sentence here “More likely than not, they’re links to sites that have nothing to do with your niche, which is a black mark in Google’s view.” you probably made a typo as it should be “links from websites that have nothing…”
    I don’t want to split hairs, but since it’s a basic explanation intended for beginners, they wouldn’t notice the difference.

    Cheers

  • I think UX has always been the priority for Google. Well, because they land the billion dollar company Google everything. So as an advanced SEO one should probably look beyond the traditional aspect and UX is a good place to start.

  • Page Rank is one among the important signals that Google consider to rank web pages in search engine results. Moreover, the architecture of your web page plays a major role in deciding its performance in search engine. If your page lacks any necessary requirements or is of poor quality, then the search engine fails to crawl your page resulting in low or no visibility to consumers.