Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a bit daunting and hard to understand at first, but it is a key to the development of your blog and its longtime success. In the following article, I’m going to offer you six tips on how to optimize your site and find SEO success.
The first thing you want to do is make sure you have strong content in all your posts, especially the shorter ones. Longer blogs are typically picked up more by search engines and will outrank shorter blogs. Take the time to go through your blogs and expand upon the content to make it at least 1000 words.
Also, keep in mind the bounce rate of your content. You don’t want people clicking and leaving the page rapidly; you want them to stay and read what you have written. Make the content engaging to the reader!
The fix is as simple as breaking large paragraphs into multiple sentences (as I’ve done here), and adding images throughout the content as people love pictures rather than walls of text. This is why social media outlets like Snapchat and Twitter have been so successful: Less text, more pictures!
Speaking of social media, you can also use pieces of your own social media inside these posts for more engagement. Show off a tweet or an Instagram photo to pique the reader’s interests.
The above excerpt is from an ESPN.com article. You can see that they have embedded a tweet to add to their story and expand upon it. This breaks the text up with an interesting fact (as seen here), or it could carry a link to more content the reader may find interesting.
2. Customize/Edit Your URL’s
URL’s should be relevant and accurate to the content of the blog. You want to have the URL setup so that when someone views it they will have a good expectation of where that link will lead them.
Make sure they are focused and don’t contain words like ‘a’, ‘of’, ‘the’, etc. These add nothing of value to your URL. Also, be sure to use hyphens instead of underscores to separate words as explained on Googles website:
The more focused your URL’s are, the stronger your SEO will be.
We all know that the purpose of a headline is to capture the reader’s attention and give information. This has been a consistent formula for many years. Though now, people will share the stories at a much faster rate, content can explode in size based on how popular it is in a matter of minutes and spread across the globe. Therefore, there are more stories being presented to us than ever before.
We want our content to be picked up by search engines and ranked high. To do this, we need to use the old way of writing headlines, but also make sure to add in specific keywords as well. There is a very simple way to do this, take specific focus keywords, and build the additional triggers around it. Some examples of headlines that do this from our blog include:
4 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT AFFILIATE MARKETING
“Affiliate” and “Marketing” are the keywords here with the triggering words “Common” and “Misconceptions” before them. Also, a number in front lets the reader know it’s a list format blog.
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR AFFILIATE PROGRAM
“Affiliate” and “Program” are the keywords with “Managing” and “Expectations” being the triggers to draw readers into the blog and make them interested.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT FONT FOR YOUR BLOG
“Blog” and “Font” are keywords. “Choose” and “Right” are triggers in this headline.
It’s very easy to put together headlines that stand out, grab readers attention and can boost your SEO. Also, keep in mind that you can use modifiers on headlines to draw additional interest. We use modifiers such as “for the Vegan,” “Best of 2016” and so on which cater to specific groups of readers.
4. Page Load Speed and Optimizing Images
A big factor in rankings, as well as just making your visitors happy, is optimizing the load speed of your site. A KissMetrics study shows that 40 percent of website visitors will abandon a site that takes longer than three seconds to load!
Think about this fact from the study referenced above. If you have a site making $100,000 per day, a 1-second delay could cost you over 2 million dollars in lost sales a year!
Page load speed is critical so make sure your images are optimized. There are online tools and WordPress plugins to automate this process, or you could do it manually. Images are usually what take the longest to load, due to their size, and will slow down your site more than anything.
We make sure our images are optimized for quick loading. Especially with our Tip of the Day posts, which you can see an example of below:
5. HTML Improvements
Consider specific HTML parts of your site that you may have ignored. These can help your SEO if they are filled out for each blog on your site. You can view these in your Google Webmaster Tools.
Meta descriptions, while not a direct factor in rankings, can assist users and their click-through rate. You should have these on every page, but make them concise and to the point.
Title Tags are the way to tell visitors to your site as well as search engines exactly what a page on your site is about in the clearest way possible. You must have these along with the Meta Descriptions for good SEO. Some things with Title Tags to watch out for:
- Missing – You need to have a title tag for good SEO, make sure it’s in there!
- Duplicate – Make sure you do not have any duplicate title tags; this can hurt your rankings.
- Long – tags that are too long will be cut or shortened automatically by Google
- Short – tags that are too short are not living up to full SEO potential
- Non-informative – these won’t be used if they are not helpful to readers.
6. Internal Links
Internal Linking is a major part of good SEO. You take one piece of content and link it to another that has related information. The intention being that both target and source have the same domain. We do this frequently on the ShareASale Blog as a means to boost viewership to other similar blogs from the one the reader has just read.
It is an easy way to guide their navigation through your site or blog while providing them additional information in-line with what they had been researching. This can also help decrease your overall page bounce rate as well.
For example, look at this blog:
At the bottom of the post, you can see ‘Additional Resources’ with 3 related blogs. These are all clickable and will take the reader to separate blog posts where they can continue to learn more. This maintains page views and reduces page bounce.