There are many things to learn when building a blog or online business, especially to build one that will generate enough traffic to eventually build an income. I’ll admit, figuring it all out can be a little bit overwhelming hence the need for strict prioritisation. Being one who likes to think I can learn and manage every aspect of building a blog or business, I battle with this every day.

From my currently limited experience of building a blog I believe there are multiple areas of specialisation required and hence the need for strict prioritisation. Over the course of my learning and subsequent development, I’d like to explore the following areas of expertise and what I believe to be the foundations of any sucessful blog:

  • Code
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Content

Building A Blog For Organic Traffic

Whilst content is king in the blogging world, today I’d like to focus on an element of marketing called SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation. In lay-mans terms this is the process of delivering content in such a way that it ranks higher in ‘Google’ (insert favourite search engine here..), thus delivering more visitors and (hopefully) more revenue.

I am not the expert when it comes to the topic, but I will happily fumble my way round the internet until I can make some sort of cohesive understanding about the result I am trying to achieve.

Production, not perfection is the aim; at least until I generate enough recurring revenue to hire a true SEO expert.

SEO For Dummies

Fortunately, there are tools out there that make the effort to understand SEO slightly more understandable. By method of aforementioned internet fumbling I found it in a neat little WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO.

Yoast works by analysing your article based on specific keywords you assign to your blog post. This makes it very easy to ensure your content is formed in such a way your readers will have the slightest chance of finding it on the world wide web.

Below are just a few of the key critera’s that Yoast will analyse and is a good place to start when looking to optimise your own blog posts.

Blog Post Length

It used to be that around 500 words was the sweet spot for SEO optimisation but nowadays it seems that is no longer the case.

In 2018 Google seems to rank longer posts higher given a logical conclusion that longer content is more detailed and therefore more likely to answer a users search query. It has been stated through expert articles that perhaps close to 2,000 words is more the ideal, but who really wants to read 2,000 words on an iPhone. So whats the simple answer? Find out who has the highest ranking content given your chosen keyword and use that as a guideline. This will then tick one of the SEO ‘boxes’ to place your content in good steed with your competition.

Yoast recommends at-least 300 words, but I think the key takeaway here is to write relevant and engaging content, not ‘content for contents’ sake’ and make sure your posts aren’t overly short.

Keyword Density

Keyword density relates to the number of times a keyword appears on a page divided by the total number of words in that page.

As per the case with blog post length there is no real ideal or exact percentage for better ranking, but as a general rule experts tout 1-3% of keyword density as being the target guideline.

Google suggests writing ‘natural articles’ so the content doesn’t seem too spammy with a keyword placed at every paragraph.

So where should you place your chosen keywords? Use the below list as a guideline:

  • In the permalink
  • H1 tag
  • H2 tag
  • Meta title tag
  • Start of the article
  • End of the article

Yoast SEO has a great tool which analyses keyword density and makes suggestions as to the best placement which is worth checking out.

Alt Text

Images on blogs are extremely important for generating traffic on search engines. Because search engine bots do not have the ability to ‘see’ images, the alt text assigned to an image is very important. The bots rely heavily on this to understand and identify an image.

When you upload an image to wordpress, a user has the option to add an alt text before uploading it to the post.

An alt text should ideally describe the contents of the image (this is also to help those people with a disabilty) and if appropriate, adding your target keyword to the alt text will boost your SEO rating.

Conclusion

By following the above simple concepts you will be well on your way to creating SEO optimised content and generating more visitors to your site.

If you haven’t already and you’re using wordpress I’d highly encourage you to check out Yoast. You can do so here.

Do you have any SEO tips and tricks to share with me? I’m not the expert here. If so leave a comment below!

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