24 August 2019

On-Page SEO Tips For Bloggers

The letters SEO are laid out on a white background. Each letter has a different geometric design.
Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

At one point or another, every blogger has heard the term ‘Search Engine Optimisation', or, SEO and given the same puzzled look. We know how important SEO is for improving search engine rankings and increasing our Domain Authority (DA), but, most of us don't come into the blogosphere with a wealth of technical knowledge to just naturally make good SEO happen.

There are two types of SEO to focus on for your blog; on-page and off-page SEO. This post is going to focus on some of the actionable steps can take to improve your on-page SEO before you tackle the off-page steps.

1.    Keyword Research

One of the most important things you can do to help boost your on-page optimisation is to make sure throughout your page titles, metadata and content you are using your keywords effectively – and that means doing keyword research for every piece of content.
It might sound like a long or even difficult process, but it isn't. Keyword research really is key because by understanding the keywords surrounding of your topic, you can understand how people are using Google to find posts.
If you know what words people are using to search for content, you can make sure your blog posts are including those keywords in the content. It's as simple as that.
So, you might be wonder how to do keyword research? Well, there are a lot of different ways you can do it. This post from Moz has a lot of great detail on how to perform keyword research and some of the tools you can use to do it.
Personally, I like to use Google Keyword Planner to do my keyword research as I find it a very easy to navigate platform and to use the tool, you just need to have a Google account to log in with. What I love is that you get a downloadable report in an Excel spreadsheet that lists a huge list of the keywords ranked from low to high search volume.

2.    Optimise Your Meta Data

You might have heard the phrase metadata thrown around in regards to blogging and SEO – and with good reason. But what is metadata?
Metadata is the information about your blog's pages that appear in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) and generally includes your title tag, meta description and post URL, each of which can be optimised properly to ensure the best Google ranking and higher click through rates.
·      Your title tag is the main title of your blog post and should be no more than 50-60 characters long, sum up what the post is about and include 1-2 of your keywords.
·      Your meta description is the small snippet of text that shows up in the SERPs should be no more than 155–160 characters or Google will cut the text off. The meta description should summarise the post's content clearly and concisely.
·      Your URL should include the title of your post and make it clear to the reader exactly what your post is about.
Metadata is really important improving your Google ranking and your overall onsite SEO, so its important that you take the time to optimise your website's metadata.
One of the main reason metadata optimisation is so important is that these little nuggets of information appear on Google and, if they aren't properly optimised, people may not click through to your content because they don't find it engaging or relevant enough.

3.    Have a Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Design

It's no secret that having a responsive blog design is a must. Having a website design that is responsive to the users really boosts the overall user experience on your site, and, with that comes the issue of mobile responsiveness.
Website responsiveness has a lot SEO benefits to consider, such as; improved site usability, faster page speed, decreased bounce rates, less duplicate content, and more social shares. In a nutshell, the more responsive your blog is, the better, as this is what is going to keep people on your site for longer. Having a really responsive website could be the key to making your site more visible and turning a one-time visitor into a returning reader.
In terms of mobile-friendly design, Google has been penalising mobile unfriendly sites and blogs since 2015, however, with Google's official roll out of mobile-first indexing back in March of 2018, now more than ever is vital that your blog's website not only performs smoothly on desktop.
Depending on what platform you're using there are different options available to you when it comes to website design. For Blogger and WordPress based blogs Etsy is a great source of both responsive and mobile-responsive themes for very affordable prices.

4.    Internal Linking

Google loves links and link building, whether internal or external, is a huge part of SEO. Google uses links to find out what content is relevant and high authoritative, and this becomes a big part of what feeds into improving your domain authority an rankings on Google.
Internal linking is when you add a link into your blog post that takes the user to other relevant content on your site. Internal linking can boost your blog’s optimisation as by doing this your all Google to understands:
·      the relevance of your older pages
·      the relationship between your newer content and older pages
·      the value of any pages
It is also recommended that every so often throughout the year you do an internal link audit to check for broken links. This will also help improve your blog's SEO as it will make sure you are keeping on top of links that no longer work or add any value.

5.    Optimise Your Images

While a large part of your on-page SEO is through text, images are important as well. One of the reasons for this is because they play a big part in user experience, which feeds directly into how well people interact with our blogs.
This matters to your SEO because Google’s algorithm pays attention to behaviour that reflects user experience on your website, such as bounce rates how long visitors spend on your blog. Not only do these images improve the overall experience visitors to your blog have, but they can be optimised more technically so that, while users see high quality and relevant images, Google's search engine crawlers will see the text behind the image. Alt Text is highly important as well, as this will allow there to be a description if the image fails to load for some users, or if a user is visually impaired.
To optimise the images on your blog there are a few things you can do, such as: using relevant and high-quality images, changing the filename to appeal to search engine crawlers, use the Alt tags, use the correct quality-to-size ratio, use the right file type (.jpg, .gif, .png), add images to your site map and host your own images.

If you're still looking for more information on on-page SEO tactics, Moz has a great guide to on-page SEO tactics. I've also recently started reading a great book by Nick Smith called ‘SEO and Search Marketing in A Week', which has some amazing information about all things SEO!

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