SEO tips for blogging: part two

Laptop and iPad

Ello people. Seeing as part one of my SEO tips for blogging went down a bloody storm with you lot, I’m back with part two.

For those of you who missed part one, feel free to head over there before reading this, where I give a lil bit of background about what SEO is and why it’s important.

There’s also a little disclaimer on there that I am in no way an expert at all – I just thought I’d share with you all what I’ve learnt about SEO since I started blogging – and that stands for this post too.

So with all that boring stuff out the way, here’s part to of my SEO tips for bloggers – a few more steps us bloggers can take to make our content more SEO-friendly and rank higher in those all-important Google ratings.

Image alt tags

We all know that including images in your posts is important to a) break up the text and b) make your content more visual, engaging and attractive to readers. But have you ever thought about images and SEO? While images strengthen your blog posts to no end, including relevant ‘alt tags’ to these images strengthen your post for Google’s lil crawlers too.

So in basic terms, your image’s alt tag should be what the image is of. For example, ‘London Bridge’, ‘Boat on the River Thames’ or ‘Big Ben, London’ if we’re carrying on the London theme. Not only does this tell Google what the image is of, but also gives them a good idea of what your post is about on the whole – great for SEO.

And remember those keywords we spoke about in part one? Well if you can include them in your alt tags too – you’re onto a winner m8.

To add an alt tag to your image in WordPress, simply insert your image, and open the image editor. You’ll find a box called ‘Alternative text’ and just put whatever you want your image to be called in there.

Page title

Crafting a good, engaging title is essential for good SEO practice. Not only is it the first thing people see about your post, but it also tells search engines what your post is about.

So, what’s in a title? The two main things a title must achieve are: it must help your post rank for a keyword, and it must make people want to click and read your post.

Again, once you’ve chosen your keyword, it’s really good if you can try and get it into the first half of your page title too – your page title of one of the most important ways Google can determine the topic of your post after all.

Make sure your title isn’t too long either, otherwise the whole of your title isn’t going to show up on search engines – condensing your message into a concise message here is key.

URL – remove stop words

You might not think it, but your URL actually plays quite a big part in SEO strategy. Generally, shorter URLs are much more user-friendly than long cumbersome URLs. Why? They are easier to share, to copy and paste, and to embed = more traffic to your site.

Also, consider taking out stop words from your URL. What’s a stop word I hear you ask? A stop word is any word such as ‘and’ ‘on’ ‘the’ ‘it’ – words that hold no purpose in your URL. So, for example, if your post was called ‘My three favourite restaurants in London’ your URL could simply be: url.co.uk/three-favourite-restaurants-london, or url.co.uk/top-restaurants-london, or any other variation.

I’m not saying go and change all of your URLs now – in fact please don’t – as the existing link you’ve shared however many times will then become broken!

Meta description

First of all… what’s a meta description? A meta description is the small snippet of text that comes up under your page title on Google (see picture below), which is a short summary of the post.

Why is this important? When someone searches for a term that’s in your meta description, Google will bring your page higher up in its rankings, so making sure your meta description is accurate and optimised is really important.

A good meta description should be between 135-160 characters, in an active voice, and should definitely contain your keyword or phrase. As far as I’m aware, the only way you can edit your meta description on WordPress is by downloading an SEO plugin such as Yoast (see next point). Then, you will see a meta description box under your main body of text.

Screenshot

Use a plugin like Yoast

Aside from being able to edit and optimise your post’s meta description, SEO plugins for WordPress are so so helpful when it comes to making your content SEO-friendly. I use Yoast, and I’ve learnt so much, and it’s so easy to use – especially for beginners like me.

Yoast basically scores your content – giving you a red, orange or green light for different aspects. Not all of them have to be in the green for your content to be deemed SEO-friendly, but it helps to make tweaks here and there to try and get as few ‘reds’ as possible. Yoast then gives your overall post a green, orange or red.

I’m sure there are other SEO plugins available, but I haven’t personally tested any of them – and Yoast has worked a treat for me so far.

For those of you that aren’t self-hosted, Yoast has a wealth of easy to understand articles and tips on their website, so if your’e interested in SEO, I’d definitely give it a read when you have a bit of spare time – there’s some really useful stuff on there.

So there we have five more little tweaks you can make to ensure your content is SEO-friendly. But as I said part one, don’t forget that the main purpose of your content is to be engaging and helpful to your readers – so it’s important to find the right balance between optimising your content, and not losing sight of why and who you’re writing for in the first place.
I hope you’ve found this lil SEO tips two-parter helpful – if you have I’d love to hear how.

Thanks for reading!

Christie x

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2 Comments

  1. February 23, 2017 / 12:49 am

    Thanks for this! I really need to be more consistent with adding in meta descriptions etc.

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