It would be fair to say that when I set up Mummy Fever many years ago, I had absolutely no understanding of SEO or why it mattered. It would also be fair to say, that to a degree I still feel that some days. I try to combat this by bringing things back to basics as much as possible, as often when we over complicate things we just make life hard for ourselves.
I know that many bloggers struggle with SEO and where to start, so I thought I’d put together the things that have helped me over the years and those things that I keep coming back to when it feels overwhelming.
What is Blog SEO?
Let’s start out with establishing what blog SEO is. It’s basically using techniques to increase your blog’s visibility during organic searches.
Why do we need to do this? With blog SEO there are two main goals we are going after. The first is to make sure search engines can find and understand your blog posts so that they can deliver them to relevant searchers across the web. The second goal is to make sure that your content aligns with your readers’ and keeps them interested and engaged.
This process in turn increases your credibility as a blogger over time, allowing you to become a trusted resource. It’s important for the longevity of your site.
The most important thing I think I have learnt is that SEO is a long game, a VERY long game. Do not expect to see instant results, you have to continually remind yourself you are in this for the long game. Don’t loose sight of that. If you do feel completely out of your depth, you could always look to get support from an SEO agency in UK.
Tips to optimise your blog for SEO
Think carefully about your target audience
Who are you writing for? You have to know this and write to it. Every so often you will need to check in with yourself and check that you are STILL writing for that audience. Is there anything you need to change or switch up? Make sure you are being consistent, that way you will, over time become a trusted resource on the topics you write about.
Use key words strategically
Keywords are really important, but don’t mistake a keyword for a word that you have to write in every sentence in your bog post, as that can often have the reverse effect and make Google hate you!
There are four critical places where you should try to include your keywords, these are: the title tag, headers and body, URL, and meta description. Make sure you hit all these without swamping your article with your keywords – find a good balance.
Include image alt text
The most engaging blog posts contain relevant images that support the text around them. However, search engines don’t simply look for images, they look for images with image alt text. I am really bad at this and I personally need to spend time over the coming months addressing this on my site. I wish I had got this right from the start, as then it would be something I did routinely.
An image’s alt text tells the search engine what an image is about. This ultimately helps those images rank in the search engine’s images results page. So “a woman sat in a chair nursing her baby” for example.
Ensure your site works well on mobile devices
This bit is really important as we know that the vast majority of people Google things on their mobile devices. Websites that are responsive to mobile allow blog pages to have just one URL instead of two — one for desktop and one for mobile. Having only one means your site won’t be divided between the separate URLs, therefore supporting SEO.
Link to related blog posts
We all know the value of decent backlinks to our sites – inbound links to your content help show search engines the validity or relevancy of your content. The same applies for linking internally to other pages on your website. This clicked with me a few years back and I built it into my routine when I create a blog post. I automatically link to other articles on my site with those topics. This helps Google to view you as an authority on that topic matter.
This is very simple, but really good practice and easy to implement.
Get help from plug ins
When in doubt, get a plug in! Maybe, but make it a relevant one. Many content management systems (CMS) offer plugins that can help streamline your blog SEO efforts. I use one on my site which is useful, it will highlight any problem areas for SEO, so I can then put them right before publishing the blog article. I do find this helpful and a good starting point and often it will spark something in me and remind me to look at other areas of SEO as well.
SEO can be as complicated as you want to make it. My main tip is to start small and build up as your knowledge increases over time, because even little things you do will make an impact over time.