What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation is the steps you go to in making your site more attractive to search engines.
When I started blogging it was a foreign language. Over the months I have researched ways to improve my Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I have slowly started to advance up that ever slippery slope.
Most of the pages dedicated to improving SEO suggested you download plug-ins to your website. Easy enough, except to use plug-ins you have to have a business site at £18 a month.
As a new blogger, I was not willing to commit this amount of money every month.
Here are the five free techniques I used to increase my SEO.
1 ) Keywords or Phrases
It is important to choose your keywords or phrases carefully.
If you were writing an article on fluffy cats and used the keywords ‘Fluffy Cats’ you would find many posts. If you changed those keywords to be ‘Ginger Fluffy Cats’ you have already cut the articles down.
Ensure when you write your posts that your keywords are as specific as possible.
You can then check how these keywords are performing on search engines. Google Trends is an easy way to do this. As a writer, you can then tweak your phrase for maximum exposure.
2 ) Using Those Keywords
Once you have settled on your keywords you need to use them to your advantage. Ensure that the keyword or phrases are used in the title of the post. Then ensure it appears again within the first 100 words of your post and once more in the first half of your writing.
Don’t cram keywords in every sentence, as this will actually have a negative impact on your rating.
Ensure that you use relevant pictures in your post. Pictures can also help increase SEO. Don’t upload a picture which is called JPG12345, change the name to your keywords.
You can do this by right-clicking on the image and hitting rename before you uploads. Further to this you can then hover over the picture on many websites and click to edit it. Change not only the title of the picture but the Alt Text to your keywords or phrase.
Finally, ensure that you use the keyword or phrase once more in the conclusion to the article. Ensure that before you hit publish, you use the keywords or phrase as tags in the post.
3 ) Use headings and subheadings.
Ensure that your article is broken up into headings and subheadings. I use WordPress for my blog. They state Heading 1, Heading 2. Obviously, Heading 2 will rank higher in the search results than Heading 4. Again try to use your keywords and phrases but don’t stuff them in so the post doesn’t flow.
Quality writing will increase SEO faster than any tips and tricks.
4 ) Link to Other Posts
This is the easiest of all the tricks and has other rewards. Ensure that you link to past blogs you have written. Linking to other sites is also good but, not as productive as linking to other posts you have written.
Increase SEO and increase views to older posts as well.
It is important when using links that you check to make sure that all these links are still relevant. A broken link, as it is called can reduce SEO. I do this by using a simple online checker once every 6 weeks.
5 ) You Control Your Title
Ever seen a post published where the titles are a bunch of random numbers. This happens when the host site tries to assign you a title and fails.
You can also change this to be more concise and contain your keywords or phrase. On WordPress, you click here
There will be a way to do this on all hosting sites. Use their help menu to try and locate it if you can’t find it.
Myths About SEO
There is a common misconception that posting duplicate content across many platforms. For example on your personal website and Medium can affect your SEO. This is not the case. Search engines are clever enough to know where the original content was published. The will send you to this article first, but it will not affect your SEO.
It is up to the individual writer to decide which is their main platform for writing and post to that first.
The idea that if you alter your post then searches will recognise them as two different posts, is a myth. If search engines see two posts very similar they may think that your website is copying content. Rather than enhancing your SEO, it could reduce it.
These are the basics of Search Engine Optimisation. Search for more detailed posts to take the concept further.
Over the months I have seen an increase in traffic to my blog and my followers have increased. Just, from adopting these five simple techniques.
This was not an overnight success but, it has made a difference.
Remember though my number one tip, is always provide quality posts for your readers.