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Are you a beginner blogger starting out and when you heard that you need to do SEO for your blog, you get a brain freeze. Don’t worry, SEO Made Simple is for you.
In SEO Made Simple, I will give a brief overview of the 3 types of SEO, and after this post, you will get a better understanding and reduce your resistance to learning it sooner than later.
Let’s get started.
I was like you, I did not even know what is the meaning of SEO, let alone try to get into Google Page 1.
I guess I did not understand the value of getting my site shown up on page 1.
Fret not, learning SEO is not as complicated as it sounds.
As a beginner blogger starting out, you have to focus on so many tasks from selecting a hosting for your blog, theme, installing WordPress and so on for your new blog.
If you have not already started a blog, bookmark this post at How To Start Blogging for Beginners so that you can go there and set up your blog and publish your first post.
As soon as you publish, you will soon realize that you need to drive traffic.
Because if not, who is going to come and read? No traffic, no money.
There are more than 75 Social Media platforms available, but you cannot be in all places.
2 Most Common Traffic Strategies: Social Sharing and SEO
Social sharing is sharing on social media and the results can be fast and immediate.
But its downside can be these readers may not necessarily be your buyers.
Though it is also the easiest way to get started.
Who does not have a Facebook account or Instagram or Pinterest account these days?
Facebook (founded 2004) still commands 2.45 billion users while Pinterest (founded 2010) has 322 million.
You will see very quick results when you employ Facebook or Pinterest.
By now you should have also heard so much about Pinterest and the rave that it has gotten from bloggers, who have seen excellent results in Pageviews as a result of Pinterest.
Remember The Tortoise And The Hare Story
To me, social media is like the hare, it gives you a quick start.
You get excited and see results and you are leading the competition.
However, the tortoise is slowly moving and advancing along and alone.
He is slow and steady, inching bit by bit.
That is what will happen with SEO, in the beginning, is a trickle of a couple of search (organic) visitors.
SEO is the quiet boy (tortoise) who does not get the attention early but will work quietly behind the scene, and in the end, emerges as the winner.
So do you want to be the hare or the tortoise?
At the moment, my traffic comes from Direct (47%), Social (26.9%), and Organic (22.4%).
While working on Organic (SEO) to grow, you can use Direct and Social Media to bring in traffic.
However, it will reach a stage where Organic traffic will triumph.
What is SEO: The long and more valuable strategy
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) traffic is free and unpaid(organic) coming from Google, Yahoo and Bing search.
Google is the most popular go-to when users type in a search, and it will trigger the back end computer systems to present the best 10 results on page 1.
Why SEO Matters
Google has a big job to do and that is to understand at a quick glance what the multitudes of websites represent, it organizes them according to their content structure.
So whenever a user keys in a search, it will do its best to display the best 10 results on Page 1.
These 10 spots are the best because busy users do not have time to go to Page 2, and if your blog is hidden at the back like Page 5, 6, and beyond, you hardly get a chance to be seen.
However, being on behind pages does not mean failure, because, with time, Google will put you forward!!
So do not be disappointed even if you do not get to page 1 on day 1.
Once your website age with time, your rankings will definitely inch up.
But it takes time, between 6 months to one year or more, that is why you have to start learning now.
Main Types of SEO
There are 3 main types of SEO and I recommend that you learn in this order, starting from the easiest to the most difficult.
By doing one step at a time, you will then not be overwhelmed and give up.
1. Content (On-Page SEO)
Your blog is first and foremost for your readers, just like you go to read other people’s blog, what is the takeaway when you read other people’s content?
Do you feel that you have learned a great deal and you want to go back for more?
That is the effect we want for our blog readers, and so how do we make them come back?
By writing content that is comprehensive and answer their burning questions.
Before you start to write, you will need to do keyword research to find the target keyword that you hope Google rank you for.
Essentially when your readers type in a query, that triggers off as keyword. You want that keyword to lead to your site.
It’s best to write a blog post that is long, like more than 1000 words. I have seen blog posts that go beyond 7000 words!
Of course as a starter blogger, its fine to start with 800 words. But you want to aim to add more content.
The way to do this is by creating an outline and structure of your post.
How can you gather sub-topics in each post?
Simply google your main title in Google.
Then you can see related questions under People Also Asked.
These are the questions that people are already asking Google, and your job is to answer them thoroughly in your post.
As you write with a conversational tone, you will find that your post will get longer and your writing is not so rigid.
You can also read what the other posts are ranking on page 1, draw ideas from them, and ensure that your writing answers user’s Search Intent.
Quick Hacks for writing your first piece of SEO Post
Without getting into too deep details, here is a short list of how you can easily churn out a first SEO post.
1. Title – Use an H1 tag. If you are already using WordPress, the title should already be auto H1 tag.
Make your title catchy by including your target keyword, and use numbers to increase the click-through rate of your post.
Example of mine is 23 Tips to rank on Google Page 1 With A New Blog
Fill them up with your target keywords.
Use 2 to 3 long-tail keywords and a Strong Call-to-Action to tell them the benefit they will get if they click the post to read.
Entice them to get to the other side of the post.
3. Before your hit publish, shorten the Post URL, leaving only the keyword that you want to rank for. Delete the rest of the non-relevant words like “how to”.
4. Throughout your post, include internal links using relevant anchor text, not just “Click here”.
A good 4 – 6 internal links to your other posts will show Google that all your posts are interrelated.
Also add external links referencing to higher authority sites, like Wikipedia and more established websites.
5. When using Images, remember to also update the Alt text box inside the Image Settings, with your keywords.
This is so that Your images will also appear in the Images Area of Google’s search result pages.
Besides using free stock images from Unsplash, Pixelbay, you can also consider buying stock photos from Depositphotos
You can sign up to receive free images every week.
6. Having good and happy content will keep your readers reading on your site.
That increases reading time on site and reduce bounce rate, which is them leaving after arriving on one page.
Be sure to answer their search intent by making your content solve their problem.
7. After you publish your post, you can submit your post URL to be indexed by Search Engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. There is also another website that you can submit to get indexed to more than 65 Search Engines. This will increase your speed of being indexed and hopefully move up to Google Page 1 and eventually on Google Featured Snippet.
2. Keyword Strategy
Keyword strategy is another big-ticket item to master but the gist of it is to
a. Find High Average Monthly Search Volume
b. Low Competition keywords.
It will be pointless to write a post on something that nobody is searching for.
But at the same time, we also do not want a too high search volume, so different tools like specifying a different range that is ideal.
For Example, when I started out in Mar 2020, I use Jaaxy Keyword Tool, I would be looking at Average Monthly Search Volume more than 30, and competition (QSR Quoted Search Results) of less than 100.
The other thing is to look at the KQI(Key Quality Indicator) to be green or Great. Meaning this is a good keyword without being super competitive.
Another great free tool to use Ubersuggest.
If all this still seems over the head, use this last tool.
Google is helping you every time you search, did you realize that?
Ever see Google Suggest? Google Instant? Just add these keywords naturally throughout your post.
So use these keyword tools to help you find target keywords that your users will mostly punch into their search bar, with high average search volume yet low competition, to give yourself a chance to hit that Page 1.
3. Link Building (Off-Page SEO)
This will be the most important portion of ranking in Google, but you will have to hold off until the above 2 are mastered well.
What is Link Building?
On-Page SEO is everything that you do on the website, from keyword research to writing the posts and adding a keyword to strategic places.
In Link Building, you want to have links in other higher authority websites to point back to your website. And there are a few ways to make this happen.
You can do Guest Posting in Site A’s (higher authority) website so that your post is published in Site A, Site A’s readers will read your post. When they are interested to find out more about you, they will click over to your site. This will help you gain readers to your site.
There will be more efforts like sending outreach emails to some of these sites.
So we can save these efforts for when you are more established.
Getting to rank organically in Google will take about 6 months, so meanwhile, let’s get back to put our SEO skills to work.
Watch this video to better understand SEO :
BONUS SEO Tips
Before you go, here are also some quick SEO (technical SEO) tips that you can quickly set right from the start so that it can get out of the way so that you can focus on the above SEO.
1. Use WordPress.org
By now, if you are already using WordPress in your blog, then congratulations.
You are on the right start.
If somehow, you have read till here without knowing that you need to have a self-hosted blog, go grab this How to start blogging for beginners
Also, check whether your site name starts with https and has a lock icon beside your domain name.
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a form of security layer for your website and all hosting companies with WordPress.org come with it.
2. Images Size
Make sure your images do not hinder Site speed.
You can save them as JPEG instead of PNG. Use PNG in your Pinterest pins.
You can also install a Shortpixel plugin to minimize image sizes.
3. Adjust your posts to show Excerpt instead of full post length.
Go to Settings > Readings and select “Excerpt”
4. Choose a light and responsive theme for your blog.
Personally I am torn between GeneratePress and Astra, Both have free versions and are neck to neck in terms of speed and functionalities.
At Wealthy affiliates, the hot favorite is GeneratePress and I seriously think it is skewed towards more masculine design. The design is clean and light, with no pretty pinkish designs or flower patterns. So readers are really free to focus on words and contents.
As for Astra, it is a hot favorite with many female bloggers as the designs are sweet, feminine and the colors are more striking. I think women bloggers like blink.
So for now, I will just stick with the GeneratePress theme and not rock the boat.
Important is that both themes deliver in terms of responsiveness, fast loading times, lightweight. These factors will support your goals of being an SEO friendly site. Also, it is not wise to keep changing the theme, that was why I chose to just stick with GeneratePress.
If you have read till here, I appreciate you!
Let me know in the comments below whether this article has given you a better understanding and encourage you to give your posts an SEO boost.
If you have better ideas and explanations, please share below too.
I am still learning day by day and your comments will motivate me to find and simplify SEO into easy to understand for quick implementation.
I can’t wait to read your comments!