Until someone decides to turn off the power at Google search engine optimization is going to continue to be an important topic. The algorithms that search engines use to generate search result rankings may be mysterious but the basic ingredients are pretty well known. SEO is important for all sites, even blogs. You want and need new readers to be able to find your content through search. Here are the 4 most important SEO principles for bloggers to understand.
1. Get Your Metadata Right
Metadata is the lifeblood of SEO because it gives you the most flexibility for getting your indexed how you want it. The meta description should be used for a short description of your post. Google uses meta description as the text portion of your search result, so keep that in mind when writing it. Any keywords that you want to focus on should be near the beginning of the description.
The meta keywords section is not as important as it used to be because Google no longer uses it as a factor in search rankings. Other search engines do still factor the keywords in, so you should still make sure that you have the relevant data there.
2. Write Descriptive Page Titles
Page titles are a huge factor in search engine rankings. The keywords you want to rank for should account for approximately 50% of the page title and should be placed at the beginning of the title. A good example of a page title is “How To Use Metadata – Some Awesome Blog”. Many search engines use the page title as the title of the search result, so be aware of that when writing your titles.
3. Tags and Categories
Tags and categories are important for organizational purposes within your blog, and that organization will also benefit you from an SEO standpoint. Just like readers, search engines also like to see orderly content. Choosing your tags and categories wisely gives you a set of links using your keywords, which is often difficult to acquire from outside sources. Example: if you have a blog about baseball, you might want to have tags and categories related to each team. Clicking on the “Yankees” tag will get you a list of articles talking about the Yankees… this is valuable SEO juice.
4. Social Media Links
Social media links are becoming an increasingly important part of Google’s ranking algorithms. The most recent Google update has started showing social media links your search results, especially from users in your networks. Most bloggers are already putting links to their articles up on the social networks, but you will want to consider posting links a few times, possibly with different wording, titles, etc. to maximize exposure and keyword coverage.
5. Links Links Links
The biggest off-site work that you need to do for your blog’s SEO is link generation. Ideally, your blog will have many sites linking to your posts. Preferably, those incoming links will be on your targeted keywords. If your blog is about unicorns and your domain is myawesomeunicornsite.com, it’s better for other blogs to link to you using the term “unicorn” than “myawesomeunicornsite.com”.
How do you handle SEO for your blog articles? Is there a process that you go through for each article?