SEO Tips for Bloggers: How to Use to Bring in Traffic
One thing that I'm often unsure about, or think I don't understand, is SEO. But I do know it well enough and it is extremely important to blogs. If you want to have people be able to find your blog or website, you need to know how to get your posts to show up in search engines.
As I blog on SquareSpace some things are a tad bit different then on WordPress or Blogger, so I'm going to try to keep this generic as all of these platforms differently.
- Alt Text - This is important for your pictures. You want to make sure they have a good description, as this will help your photos show up better in Google. Mainly because Google can't interpret pictures. You might take the most breathtaking photos but Google has no way of figuring out what it is unless you tell it through Alt Text.
- Search Description - Depending on your platform there are differently places to put this description. On SquareSpace, this is under the option tab. You want to put in 1-2 sentences that describe what your post is about. This shows up in Google Search result right underneath your post title. This is limited to around 150 characters so help it short but detailed. If you honestly can't think of anything to write, the first few sentences from your post can be used but it can become cut off.
- Post Title - You want something that's catchy but detailed to describe exactly what you are writing about. Keep in mind that the very beginning of the title is the most important as these should be the keywords. Or the things you would be using to search for a post yourself. For example the words "SEO", "Tips". and "Bloggers" in the title of this post are highly searched terms which helps the SEO of this post. But don't just add a lot of keywords in hopes that will help. It has to be meaningful. Being too helpful in SEO, will actually backfire as Google can slightly detect you're doing that.
- Name Your Photos - Similarly to Alt Text, a unique title helps in Google Image Search. My camera names things around the line of "2016-07-04 18.49.11.jpeg", that's not going to show up in someone's search for "Breathtaking Lakes in Minnesota". Whereas, "lakes-in-minnesota.jpeg" would be more likely to show up.
- Keywords - As mentioned in post post title and search description, the first few sentences of your post should contain one or two keywords from your title. This really does help bring in views and traffic to your blog. But do it as naturally as possible.
- Tags and Categories - Both of these are helpful for SEO. But don't over do it as these will cause multiple indexes of your one blog post. I didn't realize this until I went to Minnesota Blogger Conference and discussed this with professionals from both the Hennepin County Library and attended an SEO session. The general rule is 5-7 tags and 1-2 categories, otherwise you're doing too many and this will hurt your SEO.
What SEO Tips do you have that have helped you out? I would love to hear them.