10 tips for writing a successful blog
5th December 2016
5th December 2016
When it comes to writing blogs, there are a number of pointers that can really help your posts rank. Always cover the basics…here is our top 10…
1. Get your own domain and hosting
The first thing that beginners need to know is that you need your own domain and hosting. Free blog set ups do not do any favours for your SEO efforts. If you are serious about your website you would have your own domain name and hosting. Google only wants to point to websites that are considered serious and trustworthy. Do the sensible thing and get this set up before doing any SEO work on your website.
2. Solve on site content issues
You have to remember that Google’s whole purpose is to provide their customers with relevant and useful search results.
The most important thing you can do as part of your SEO strategy is create useful content that solves people’s problems. If you are solving problems that people are searching for then it is likely that you are going to get shared on social media and ranked in Google. The idea is to build a relationship with your website visitors by providing them with solutions. This will result in more sharing and faster results on the SERPS (search engine rankings positions).
3. Build natural and relevant backlinks
If you are just getting started with SEO you might know a little about backlinks. A backlink is when another website links back to your website from their website.
Not all backlinks are created equal though. Some things to know:
- Never buy them – cheap backlinks can get your website penalised – and Google is on to this now more than ever!
- The source matters – backlinks from a poor source can damage your rankings, always look at the source’s reputation and someone authority.
- The anchor text matters – always make sure the anchor text on a bank link is relevant to your website.
4. Make sure your theme is SEO optimised
Optimising your theme is important because it helps give Google indicators that you are a trustworthy website. It also helps Google find your content. The basics to include are:
- Make sure your website is responsive. If your blog is not mobile friendly you will be losing a lot of visitors as Google prioritises mobile websites for people searching on smartphones.
- Clean coding. Make sure your theme is coded to ensure it’s easily read by those Google spiders that are looking to see whether you have all the elements of a good website included.
- Fast loading. A fast loading site is good for user experience and thus good for Google. You can test your website speed here and make adjustments based on the results.
- No broken links. Make sure you clean up any broken links and make sure your navigation all works smoothly.
5. Fix your permalink structure
Make sure your permalink are structured correct. After all, your audience (and Google) will be looking for relevant URL’s. If your content does not match your URL it can be confusing, which will in turn, damage your rankings.
6. Install a sitemap
It’s very easy to create a sitemap and submit it to google. Don’t forget to do this as it will delay your index speed. If you are using wordpress, install a Google Sitemap plugin that gives a full map of all your posts, pages and archives. This way you won;t have to keep updating the sitemap itself and your website will be submitted to Google, Bing, Yahoo etc automatically.
7. Comment on other blogs
For a long time my SEO strategy consisted of just commenting on other authority blogs. Not only does it get you more traffic, exposure and new relationships, it also counts as a backlink.
Now, some blogs you can leave target anchor text because they aren’t real worried about user names. But on most blogs you need to use your real name. That’s fine.
8. Build your social media profiles
Google is now looking to social media as a signal of an article’s authority and relevance. If thousands of people are tweeting about it then chances are you have written something pretty good. And the best way to get tweets is to build a loyal following and write amazing content that they just love to promote for you.
Some things you need to start doing:
- Tweeting big players. Get to know the big players in your niche by casually building a rapport with them on Twitter. Down the track you can hit them up for re-tweets.
- Add separate value. Tweet and Facebook information and facts that don’t appear on your blog. Think of it as a separate resource for people to tap in to.
- Share others. The more content you share from other bloggers the more likely they are to share your stuff. Give and then get later.
9. Use SEO plugins
There are lots of WordPress plugins out there that you can install to get some help with your SEO. One of the best ones to start with is the All in One SEO Pack which does a lot of the longwinded, mundane tasks for you. Coast is another great wordrpess plugin for beginners that helps you structure your content as you are writing it.
10. Read, study and use SEOmoz
As far as I am concerned the absolute best resource for SEO related material in the world is over at MOZ.
Now, the content on their blog might be a little over your head to begin with but you will slowly start to absorb ideas about trends, tactics and best practices over time. Even if you only check in every couple of weeks and read one or two articles you will find that your SEO knowledge just grows and blossoms