Can you remember when you first found out about search engines? It was a magical moment, wasn’t it? You suddenly realized you have the power to look for something in the Internet without having to browse through tons and tons of sites and data.
Nowadays, the search engine is not just something you can use to look for the latest gossip, news and cat videos anymore; it has also evolved into a powerful tool you can use to the advantage of your blog. How? By making sure your blog is on top of the list (or at least close to the top) when it comes to keyword searches.
How do you make sure your blog posts are SEO-friendly? Here are some basic steps …
Use Keywords Strategically
One of the mistakes most bloggers make is to flood their page or a ton of keywords, but in the long run this will only impact negatively during a search. What you want to is put the keyword sparing, but as naturally as you can in key places.
Where you should place your keywords so the search engine can easily detect them?
The title – The keyword in a title will make it easier for search engine bots to find it.
The body of the text – Use the keyword as naturally as you can. Again, too much use of the keyword is a bad thing. In fact, many articles will rank for a keyword without the keyword even being present in the text.
The URL – Search engine bots also scan URLs so it will be advantageous to place them there.
Make Sure Your Blog Has a Responsive Design
Not all of your readers will access your blog using the same device; some will use smartphones, others will use tablets, and still others on the good old personal computer. Make sure your blog is optimized to conform to whatever screen they are using and that no content will be lost, disarranged or disadvantaged in the use of any device.
You might be tempted to create domains for a blog to accommodate different devices, but this will only create confusion for those who want to access your site. It will also do your SEO ranking good if you only had one URL to a page.
Use the Right Images
We are all taught that the ideal blog must have pictures and other visual elements. But did you know visual elements can also impact a search? Search engines don’t just look for matching words, they also search for matching images. Correction; they look for matches in the alt text of the image. Search engines are programmed to interpret the meaning of that image through the alt text since they are unable to “see” it as we do (as far as we know:) ).
Ensure that your images have the correct alt text on them. How do you do this? Place your cursor over an image and a small box should pop up with a description of that image.
Use Canonical Tags to Reconcile Similar Content
Sometimes it cannot be avoided that you have different articles or pages with similar content on your blog. Having pages with similar content impacts on your SEO ranking. What do you do when you want to keep both articles or pages live and at the same time tell the search engine those similar pages are actually about different issues? You use canonical tags.
Canonical tags tell search engines what page to index and also allows them to link to the appropriate page the readers want to get to.
This is how to make a canonical tag:
-Go to the page that you want to be indexed, and write down the URL
-Go to the pages that contains similar content (the one you don’t want indexed) and insert this code in the <head> section: <link rel=”canonical” href=”INSERT INDEXED PAGE URL”/>
Don’t think of search engines as something you control, to do so would be to court disaster for your blog. The best you can do is know how search engines work and use that knowledge to your advantage.
Anything we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments below!