Content Marketing

5 Simple Tips to Finally Start Using SEO on Your Blog

Brad Smith
October 26, 2011

You want to create content, not spend time worrying about SEO.

It’s difficult and evolves everyday. You don’t have time to keep up.

But it’s incredibly important.

Organic search is one of the best ways for people to find your site, subscribe to your blog and buy your products.

And it doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated.

Here are 5 simple SEO tips that you can apply to your blog today.


Social Media comic cartoon: Writing Blog Content For Search Engine Opimization (SEO)
Image courtesy of seanrnicholson

SEO Made Easy

There are hundreds of different variables that determine search engine results.

But they all boil down to two major categories:

  1. On-Page Factors
  2. Off-Page Factors

On-page factors are the things that happen on your own site. These factors make it easier for people (and search engines) to navigate your site, find what they’re looking for, and have a positive experience.

Off-page factors are the things that happen away from your site. These deal with your blog’s popularity, and how many people are recommending your content.

That’s it. No scary math or technical jargon involved.

So what you need to do is focus on a few key elements that have the biggest impact, and simply forget about the rest.

Here’s what this strategy has done for me on a relatively new site.

In the past month, organic search was the largest source of traffic for my website (accounting for about 37% of my site’s total traffic).

But the largest keyphrase only accounted for 1.3% of my overall traffic. That means I’m getting search traffic from a ton of long tail keyphrases that aren’t difficult to pick up, and aren’t subject to danger from Google changing their algorithm.

So use a simple SEO strategy that hits the low-hanging fruit, and you’ll receive 80% of the results with 20% of the effort.

And because you’re a blogger, it’s even easier for you to hit these than most other people.

Let’s get started.

The Only 5 SEO Elements You Need to Worry About

1. Quick, Long-Tail Keyword Research

SEO begins with targeting keywords that (a) people are searching for, and (b) are relevant to your site.

So you need to look for some that will bring you traffic, but also aren’t too competitive.

The easiest tool to use is the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. You simply enter in some phrases that describe your blog, and it will recommend other ones to choose from.

Note: Please understand that these numbers aren’t very accurate. So you’re looking for relative positions, not absolute data. And make sure you switch from “Broad Match” to [Exact Match] so it’s more accurate.

Now you want to target the long-tail keyphrases. These are the longer, more descriptive phrases that people are searching for but don’t have a lot of competition.

It will make it easier to rank, but you’ll also get more targeted traffic because these people are searching exactly for that thing. (Better traffic means = more subscribers and more money!)

So look at the “Local Monthly Search Volume” column. If you’re just starting out or have a new site, then I would target keyphrases from 500 Local Monthly Searches and lower.


Anything over that is for the big boys that have been around for awhile.

Here’s what you’re going to need to find:

  • One major keyphrase to describe your site
  • 3 – 5 keyphrases to describe your main pages
  • And one smaller keyphrase for each blog post you write

2. Title Tag of Your Website

The title tag of your website is the major descriptive phrase at the top.

Most people just use their company or blog name. But you should do something a little different.

Instead, put the main keyphrase that you want to rank for in front of your blog’s name. You can then use the pipe symbol ( | ) or a hyphen ( – ) to separate the two phrases.

So it should look like this:

Keyphrase | Blog Name

For example, Copyblogger wants to rank for “content marketing”. So their title tag looks like this:

Content marketing software for WordPress | Copyblogger

If you’re using WordPress, then look under the Settings tab for the Title of your site. Or you’ll find the title tag option in whatever SEO plugin you’re using.

3. Content Hubs

The next step you want to take is to create content hubs.

These are the main pages that you can use as Category or Landing pages for your visitors.

You’ll use the 3-5 keyphrases you picked out earlier for your content hub pages. You can make these pages stronger for search engines by continuing to add content or links over time.

Another good example of content hubs is when bloggers do a post series. The main series pages would be the hub, with links pointing to other supporting posts (and vice versa).

So make sure you’re choosing good keyphrases for these pages and series posts.

4. Backlinks with Appropriate Anchor Text

Link building is essential for getting SEO traffic.

Luckily, the exceptional content on your site should naturally attract links.

But you’ll also need to get out there and guest post on other people’s sites if you want to build your traffic and brand.

Just make sure you’re getting the right type of links.

For example, let’s say you want your blog to rank for the keyphrase “personal development blog”. Then that’s also the actual text you want to use to link back to your site all over the internet.

Most people make this mistake all the time in the byline of their guest posts. Instead of linking back to your homepage with the name of your blog, link back with the title tag you chose in step
#2.

Because if you don’t, then your site won’t get as much SEO credit.

5. Social Sharing

Social signals are going to have a huge impact on your organic search rankings… and it’s only the beginning.

Just look at Google+.

Google is heavily integrating it’s new social network into every other product they own. And with over 3 billion searches per day, it’s poised to explode.

So you need to create a real social presence that has a passionate audience. But make sure you’re prioritizing the right things. The key here is to focus on engagement, nut big numbers.

Because you need people sharing your content, not just consuming it. The biggest audience in the world is useless if they don’t share anything.

Just look at the Facebook formula. The more engaged people are with your page, the more you’ll actually reach and experience more viral growth.

Conclusion

If you want a successful blog, then you need SEO traffic pouring in consistently day-after-day. And now you know it doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming.

You can see that people make these small mistakes all the time. But it’s paying attention to these little details that will set you apart.