In blogging, it is not possible for us not to mention Search Engine Optimization. There can be no blog without SEO. As such, SEO has moved to become the most important part of blogging. With this in mind, this article is aimed at explaining what SEO is and how to do SEO yourself. Though not just a new blog, you can also use the information herein to improve the SEO performance of your old contents to rank better.
What is SEO?
The term SEO is the process through which search engines rank web pages in order to provide results for a given search query. Search Engine Optimization is the art of improving a website’s visibility in the main body of search engine results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the activity of optimizing web pages or whole sites in order to make them search engine friendly, thus getting higher positions in search results.
Currently, there are hundreds of millions of websites on the internet. Some of these websites have similar contents. As such, SEO helps search engines to rank contents based on their relevance and importance to searchers.
Search Engine Optimization is divided into two broad categories – On Page SEO and Off Page SEO. In order to do SEO effectively and accurately, these two categories of Search Engine Optimization must receive close attention.
According to Moz, to rank a website on search engines, web owners pay attention to 70% On-Page SEO and 30% Off-Page SEO. Though the On-Page SEO has the higher effort put into it, yet without Off-Page SEO, the result will surely not be superb.
Benefits of SEO
Before we continue or forge ahead, let us find out the benefits of Search Engine Optimization. It is the benefit of a thing that will tell us if or not it is important. Below are few of the benefits of Search Engine Optimization.
#1 It Brings in more customers through organic search
SEO helps us get more and new customers through organic search. When you are able to rank your business for some keywords on search engines, your site will become the favorite destination of tons of people. For example, if you have a hotel in Paris (France), it is possible to use SEO to attract more customers. This is made possible if you rank for a keyword like “best hotels in Paris”.
Suppose I am a first timer in Paris and looking for where to lodge, if I search on Google and your hotel becomes the first link to be displayed, chances are that I will want to lodge there. With this, you have been able to get me to lodge in your hotel. Also other people may through the same process discover your hotel and turn in. This is one of the ways most e-commerce platforms attract buyers to their business.
#2 It Creates an awesome web experience for customers
SEO will help you create an awesome experience for your customers. This is because ranking on search engines like Google is not bread and butter. As a matter of fact, it is the hardest thing to do as far as blogging is concerned. This fit cannot be achieved overnight.
There are tons of websites with more than 1000 contents yet none of those contents rank on first page for any keyword. This is to show that SEO is not an easy stuff.
On the other hand, when you have successfully ranked on search engine, your customers will build more confidence in your service. This is because they also understand that ranking on search engines is not an easy stuff. It means that your content was able to suit into all algorithms and finally found worthy to rank. With this, your customers will find satisfaction in your contents.
#3 It Encourages you to focus on user experience
One serious part of Search engine Optimization is that it pays keen attention to user intentions. With this, content creators will not write because they have the passion or inspiration. Rather, they will write to solve someone’s problem. This simply means that contents are written for readers.
Search engine algorithms understand how to match your content, search query and user intention. This will help users get appropriate results with ease. As such, with SEO you will be able to focus more on what your users want than what you feel should be on your website.
#4 It Improves brand awareness
SEO is a free marketing strategy for your brand. Many businesses spend thousands of dollars monthly on adverts in order to get more clients or customers. These adverts are run across various advertisement platforms like search engines, social media, TV stations etc. But when you are able to rank your website for several keywords, thousands of visitors will be heading to your site daily. With this, it is wise to say that there is no better marketing strategy than Search Engine Optimization.
#5 It helps keep you informed
Search engine optimization helps to keep you informed always. The reason for this kind of information is that the algorithms are updated frequently. For example, Google updates their algorithm almost four times every year. Such that it is possible to rank for a keyword from January to March and become displaced in the subsequent months once the algorithm is updated. This is why many website owners frequently and constantly update their contents to fit into the latest search engine update.
#6 SEO Increases Organic Website Traffic
The visibility of your website on search engines depends on the quality of SEO you do. As far as blogging is concerned, organic traffic remains the best. Organic traffic is traffic that comes from search engines. As such, you may not successfully run a web-based business without SEO. It helps you get organic traffic which in turn is quality. In terms of quality traffic, search engine traffic is the best. Several of your visitors may tend to convert and become paying customers.
#7 SEO Offers Amazing Return On Investment
From research and analysis, it has been proven that SEO traffic is more lucrative than other forms of traffic like social media. The return on Investment for your SEO activity is quite encouraging.
#8 SEO Provides reliable Promotion
SEO provides constant promotion for your content and website in general. If you are able to achieve result with SEO, then it is a sure bet that your result will last. SEO results stand the test of time and it is reliable always on a 24/7 basis. If you use paid ads to get traffic to your blog, once your campaign ends, your traffic will drop drastically. But in SEO, traffic comes every time once you rank.
#9 SEO Reaches Your Entire Target Audience
With SEO, your brand can break geographical boundaries without stress. For example, suppose I want to promote this content on social media and other advertisement platforms, I will most definitely choose the location where the advert will be targeted. As such, the advert will not be shown to people outside the target audience.
But then, with SEO, you will overcome that. Searchers from various locations can get to your content or brand. This means that what you may not be able to achieve through paid advertising will be easily achieved through Search Engine Optimization. This is why serious minded website owners can give off every form of traffic to retain SEO. All traffic channels are awesome but SEO remains matchless and the best.
#10 SEO is a Long-Term Marketing Strategy
If you want to achieve result over a long period of time, then SEO is what you need. Every advert has it budget which works with duration. Once your advertisement duration elapses, your result will decline. This is because you have terminated promotion. But the result from SEO does not suffer the same way paid promotion result suffers.
Once your content ranks on first page of search engines, the tendencies that it will last long is high. Until a better content is written to displace yours or the algorithm of search engines are updated, your content will continue to rank. Although, updating search engine algorithm does not mean your content will not rank again. There are some algorithm updates that even favour you more. The point here is that SEO result is more dependable and last longer.
#11 SEO is Key to Search Visibility
If you want your brand, site or content to be visible on search engines, then you need SEO. No content can ever rank on any of the various search engines without SEO. This is why keen attention must be paid to SEO always. You can move ahead of the competition. SEO can give you a strong competitive advantage over your competitors. This is most relevant in situations where your competitors have fat advertisement budget.
There are sometimes that the monthly advertisement budget of your competitors may even be higher than your six monthly complete revenue. As such, you cannot compete with them. SEO is where you should turn to have an edge over them. If you successfully do your SEO well and rank high for some keywords with high search volume, your brand awareness will skyrocket. Thus, while your competitors spend money to make their brand known, your brand gets free popularity with SEO.
#12 SEO helps you in your Public Relations
One of the role digital marketing plays in your brand is that it helps you have a strong Public Relation on the internet. SEO will also help you achieve this. Many buyers turn to search engines for what they want more than social media. Having buyers from both search engines and social media is what everyone wants. But then, when you are not able to get them via social media but you succeed via search engine, you will like your result. Thus, SEO enhances your Public Relations with your customers.
#13 You don’t need to pay for ads in SEO
SEO will save you thousands of dollars you should have spent on advertisement. Imagine ranking for a highly competitive keyword like “high income skills”. The keyword is highly competitive such that big brands will want to pay anything to retain the spot.
Remember that monetary wise, big brands spend more than you earn. Then come to think of what you stand to gain if you are able to rank for the said keyword just by doing a proper SEO. It will be mind-blowing and you will be happy with such a fit. Once this fit is achieved, automatically your blog will grow in popularity, Domain authority, worth, traffic, revenue and visibility. All these will be achieved free of charge when other companies pay heavily to achieve just a few of it.
Having listed few of the benefits of SEO it has become very clear that you need to learn how to do SEO yourself for a new Blog. Your new blog does not have large budget and thus you should not fold your hand at all. SEO can help change the narrative and grow your business.
This is why the content titled, “how to do SEO yourself” is prepared to help you. We can actually help you learn SEO that will last. If you pay an expert to help you, your result will be time bound. When your budget has been exhausted, you may not see much result again. But if you learn how to do SEO yourself, your results will then be based on your effort. Sure you will put in effort.
As earlier stated, there are basically two categories of SEO which are On Page and Off Page. If you want to learn how to do SEO yourself, then you must understand On page and Off page SEO and apply them for every of your content.
How to do SEO yourself: On Page SEO Approach
On page SEO are all SEO activities carried out within a webpage in order to help the page rank well on search engines. The aim of SEO is to rank higher on search engine. Without ranking on search engines, your blogging efforts will appear to be frustrating. The goal of every website owner is to see their website pop up on search engines once a query is initiated.
Ranking a website or a post is not an easy deal. It is possible that you may not achieve this in your first one year as a blogger. This is because there are already giants in the niche who has occupied every space before your arrival. As such, displacing them will not be an easy one. As you are working harder to displace them, they are also working harder to retain the top spot.
But then, you can achieve results with time and consistency. If in your first year as a blogger, your contents are able to rank of third page of search engines, it means you are doing well. With time, you will come up to the second and then first. In blogging, it is important to know that your success is a function of the kind of effort you put in.
To rank your content on search engine, there are basically two things to be done. The first is On page SEO and the second is Off Page SEO. In this section, I will show you how to do On page SEO for your blog posts. In the next section just below, I will show you how to do off page SEO for your blog. This is in a bid to teach you how to do SEO yourself.
The intention of On page SEO is to optimize your blog to rank higher. On page SEO are those things that ought to be put in place for search engines to effectively and efficiently index you webpage. They are done within the blog and that is why it is called On Page. For Off page SEO, they are those things that are done outside your website that increases the SEO performance of your site.
I am sure you want to learn how to do SEO yourself. I know you want to see your post seat on first page of Google for a very competitive keyword. It’s going to be an amazing thing for you. Your Google analytics dashboard will make sense and so also your Adsense account.
To help you perform your On page SEO very well, I have listed and explained what is involved. Ensure you follow and practice them for every single content on your website. If there are contents that have not been optimize, this is the time to edit and optimize them to improve their chances of ranking. The On-Page SEO includes but not limited to;
#1 Titles and Meta descriptions
Titles are the headings of your web contents. An example of a title for a web page is “how to do keyword research with Google”, “How to do SEO yourself: Practical tips for On Page and Off page SEO” etc. If you have content on your website that teaches how to do keyword research with Google, then the first will be a good title for the content. While if you have a content that teaches how to do SEO yourself, the second is a good title. Although, having a good title is not a key factor that your site’s SEO is topnotch.
Meta descriptions are those short texts that accompany the title of a webpage. They provide brief description for the searchers on what the page/content talk about and they are 70 characters long. In order to optimize the title and Meta description of your content, try the following recommendations.
Do not use long titles: Let your titles be short and simple. Your title is simply the topic you are writing on. One of my content’s title is “How to get a good domain name for your new website”. With this, you will see that the title is not too short, neither is it too long.
Use your keyword in your title and Meta description: As a way of optimizing your title and Meta description, ensure you use your keyword in the title and Meta description of your content. For example, the focus keyword for this content is How to do SEO yourself. You will observe that the keyword was used both in the title and Meta description.
Use numbers: SEO experts recommend the use of numbers in your title. Like “9 things that make blogging frustrating” instead of just using things that makes blogging frustrating.
Use a persuasive statement: It is also advisable to use statements that will persuade searchers. An example is “How to Run Adverts Professionally: Ads Secret from top brands”. Every startup wants to be a big brand in the future and as such, they will want to imitate big brands. They may likely click on your link once they see the phrase “big brand”.
#2 Use of images and videos
Another strategy of the On Page SEO is the use of images and videos for a given content. Contents with images rank better and higher than contents without images. Every content should have a featured image and other images (like screenshots and infographics) which help to explain your content more. The images contained in a given content should have media descriptions which will contain the focus keyword of the content.
Search engines have updated their algorithm such that for many search queries, videos are also displayed as part of the result. Hence, contents with videos also tend to rank higher. In learning How to do SEO yourself, ensure you optimize the images and videos you upload on your post. This is important so that they do not slow down the site’s load speed. In optimizing your image, ensure the focus keyword is mentioned in the alt description.
#3 Use of keywords but not keyword stuffing
The benchmark of SEO is your ability to use keywords accurately. Every content is expected to have keywords which they are focusing on. Writing content without focus on any keyword ends up not making sense at all. Although, it is possible to rank a content for more than one keyword. For example, there are some websites that rank for hundreds of thousands of keywords, yet they do not have up to five thousand contents. This is because several of those contents rank for tons of keywords.
For wordPress blogs, keywords are set using plugins like yoast, Rankmath, All in One SEO etc. Using the free versions of these plugins will help you focus on one keyword but with the premium version, you can focus of up to 5 keywords per posts. Yet it is possible to rank a page for more than 10 keywords.
Keyword stuffing means repeatedly using a keyword in content more than it is supposed to be used. Search engines do not like contents where keywords are stuffed. I advice you use a keyword once within every 250 words. Anything more that this is keyword stuffing and it is not a good SEO practice. Try also to use keywords in your headers, it is an optimization strategy as well.
#4 Creating internal links (inbound links)
Creating inbound links is one of the On-page SEO techniques. Inbound links are links to other related contents on your website. These are links that when clicked on, the reader leaves the current page and moves to another page on the same website. For example, this content is linked to several other contents on this blog such that if you click on any of those links, you will leave this post, but you are still on this blog.
There may be no limits to the number of inbound links per page, yet creating excess inbound links per content may not be necessary. Ensure you are moderate in applying them because too much of everything is bad.
Another benefit on inbound links is that it enhances your visitors dwell time. It makes your visitors spend more time on your blog, although it may be on multiple contents. When visitors spend so much time on your blog, it sends a positive signal to search engine.
#5 Creating external link (outbound links)
Outbound links are links to other websites. This is a way a providing references for copied information on a website. It’s necessary that every page should have at least one outbound link. Creating outbound links tells search engine that a particular statement or information on your page is copied from another webpage. This in turn reduces plagiarism and enhances originality.
Outbound link to your site is backlink to another site. That is to say that if the link is coming from your blog, it is outbound link. Then to the blog it is point to, it becomes backlink. As such outbound link help your on page SEO and the Off page SEO of the site you are linking to.
Recently, I discovered another hack in creating outbound links. Ensure you link to domains with high domain authority. You might have not heard this before but it is very important. Limit the way you link to websites with a domain authority of less than 60. The higher the domain authority, the better for you.
#6 Enhancing readability of your contents with tools like grammarly
Contents are written for people and such, the accurate use of words and phrases cannot be overemphasized. Tools like grammarly help to check for accuracy of phrases in your content. Using the yoast SEO plugin, it highlights all inaccurate phrases and sentences on your contents. This in turn reduces the readability of your content. But on the other hand, grammarly will help correct such errors thereby enhancing the readability. In enhancing the readability, do the following;
- Ensure that your sentences are not more than 20 words long. Where such sentences exists, ensure they are minimal.
- Use various headers: The title by default appears in Header 1 (H1), but then other sections should come in H2 and following.
- Ensure your paragraphs are not too long: When your paragraphs are too long, it makes the content appear clustered. As such, it affects the readability.
- In mentioning your keywords, mind how you do it: Mentioning your keyword in your content gives the reader and search engines the insight to what you are focusing on. But ensure you do it appropriately. Apart from the fact that search engines discourage keyword stuffing, people will not comfortably read content when a phrase keeps appearing over and over.
#7 Using headers
Use of headers is a strong On-Page SEO technique. This helps sectionalize your contents. When contents are arranged in sections, it improves the organization and readability of the content. Originally, the page title comes in header 1 (though it could be changed), but then, other headings should come in header 2 and following.
#8 Site update frequency
Search Engine crawlers (especially Bing) take note of how frequent contents are uploaded and as such, this is one of the optimization strategies and ranking factors of search engines. Several website owners have a schedule with which they update or post contents to their website. With this, search engines can ascertain the level of involvement and commitment of the site owners. For this reason, it is important to have a schedule for your blogging career. State how many posts you want to make daily, weekly or monthly.
There are some blogs that makes only one content per week. There are some that makes more than 20 per day. Whatever schedule you choose, ensure you are consistent with it. Search engines pay attention to your site update frequency. The more frequent you are, the more chances you have. When there is a decline in the frequency, search engines also take note of it and it affects your ranking.
#9 Website load speed
Load speed of a website determines the bounce rate. Slower webpages receives less traffic compared to fast loading webpages. According to Neil Patel, on the average, a website load speed should not exceed 3 seconds. Anything higher than that is not a good one. To calculate your website load speed, use PageSpeed calculator. There are several websites that enhanced their load speed to be as fast as possible. Therefore, those sites tend to rank higher and faster than their counterpart, irrespective of the quality of content they have.
Having a blog that load slowly leads to decision fatigue of the visitors. Visitors are not patient enough to wait so long for your site to load when there are other options. When your bounce rate is high, it sends a negative signal to search engines and in turn, your ranking will be drastically affected. Therefore, one of the On page SEO strategy that helps you rank higher is the load speed of your blog.
#10 Using keywords in your URL
According to Brian Dean, using keywords in your URL is superb. It makes the URL of your site more focused and direct. Instead of using URLs that may be confusing, use simple URLs that will have the focus keywords. With the URL, search engines will understand what the link focuses.
#11 Keeping your URLs as short as possible
Short URLs are awesome. The shorter the better. Search engine will easily understand a URL like, www.infoducation.com/backlinks than a URL like www.infoducation.com/wp/backlinks/2021-20. As such, make your URLs short.
How to do SEO yourself: Off Page SEO Approach
In this section, I want to guide you on how to do off page SEO for a new blog or website. We are still learning how to do SEO yourself. The first step in learning How to do SEO yourself is learning On page SEO. The next is Off page SEO and that is what this section teaches. Off Page SEO are those optimization strategies that are done outside your website. It refers to all of the activities that you and others do away from your website to raise the ranking of a page with search engines.
As much as majority of the Off Page SEO activities are done outside your website, it is still important to note clearly that it all depends on you. The primary aim of Off Page SEO is to get backlinks to your blog. Learning how to do Off Page SEO for a new blog is not an easy stuff. It is a very tough adventure, but it deserves all the efforts. For new blogs, this will actually be a very serious task. It may appear as a nut that you would not be able to crack. But as time goes on, many backlinks will begin to come to you.
Here are few of the techniques on how to do Off Page SEO for a new blog. If you look closely at them, you will find out that Off Page SEO is not something you can lazy about. It needs everything about you.
#1 Paid search
If you want to learn how to do Off Page SEO for a new blog, paid search becomes a very serious matter that needs attention. Paid search are Off-Page SEO techniques that involves paying to search engines, social media and other advertisement agencies to rank for competitive keywords.
On Google platform, the paid search is done through a Google service known as Google Adword. When you type in a keyword in search engines (for competitive keywords), the first 2-3 results are adverts. These results are not product of organic traffic but paid search. The reason for paid search is because competition for such keywords is high. Therefore paying to rank for them is a way to put you at the advantaged side.
As much as content is key, backlinks is the king. The simplest way to understand what backlinks means is looking at it as recommendations from other websites. When a webpage points to another webpage as the source of a particular information, it tells search engines who the real owner of such information is. Now when several webpages points to one page, search engines will surely rank the original page higher than the others. This is to say that the more backlinks a webpage have the more chances it has to rank higher. Follow this guide to learn how to get quality backlinks for your website.
#3 Guest Posting
Guest posts are post made on a particular website with the intention to drive traffic back to the original source of that content. For example, articles on Nairaland are mostly written to drive traffic back to another website. For Nigerian websites, Nairaland.com is the king of backlinks. Guest posts are always free but the chances of having such opportunities are scarce. This is because not all platforms support guest postings. When you discover a website that gives the guest posting privilege, catch it because such privileges are hard to come by. If you write a guest post content on a high authority website, it has the capacity of flooding massive traffic to your webpage.
Another good part of the guest posting traffic is that they traffic are always original. They are not traffic that is gotten as a result of the Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDOS). When this happens, it could help the global rank of your website to skyrocket. It is very possible that a single guest post from an authority website is all you need to announce your website to the entire world. As such, when such opportunities come by, grab it. Guest posting is one of the easiest and sweetest strategies to do Off Page SEO for a new blog. If you have a new blog, then this is for you.
#4 Sponsored Post
This is one way to do Off Page SEO for a new blog. Although, it is not free. Sponsored post is a kind of guest posting that you pay for. When a website offers the guest posting service for pay, it is sponsored post. For you to achieve result through sponsored post, you must ensure that the said website is a high trafficked website. When you run a sponsored post on a website that does not get quality traffic, chances are that you will not achieve result.
When a website gives you credit for an information or content, it send a strong signal to search engines to recognize your website. Mentions are more authentic when they come from top influencers. When top websites like forbes, fortune, backlinko, neilpatel, etc. mentions and links to another site, it has the chances of boosting the ranking of such websites. Look at it from this point of view, when someone you respect recommends and quotes another person for you, chances are that you will adopt and accept the recommended person.
#6 Forums and social share
In talking about how to do Off Page SEO for a new blog, we cannot neglect the role of Forums and social media. Forums and social media are vital tools to be mentioned if you want to learn how to do SEO yourself. Active participation in forums related to your niche will help build strong backlinks for a website.
Several forums have thousands of registered users and thousands of none registered users such that interested people searching for information may find your content helpful and in turn visit your website for more information. For example, if a content luckily appears on Nairaland homepage, it actually becomes a good success for that site that day.
On the other hand, social media are also strong platforms for backlinks. If you leverage on some key social media platforms for backlinks, you will end up meeting your target. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, Linkedin etc are exceptional for this purpose. With the number of people active on these platforms, using them to get or achieve your goals would be worthwhile and successful in the end.
One of Bing’s ranking factor for a webpage is the number of social shares it has. It means that Bing communicates closely with social media platforms. When your content has much shares on social media, it means there is a high level of quality and users involvement. This in turn will be to your advantage.
#7 Quality of Content
If you have learnt how to do SEO yourself to this point, let us round up with this. The quality of the contents on a website is considered by search engines before such contents could be ranked in top results. According to Michael Basilyan, a senior program manager at Bing, reported in 2014 that “content quality” is one of the key priority areas of the page ranking phase of the search engine. In its rating estimation, Bing takes three attributes into consideration: the contextual importance of a website, the meaning, and the consistency of the content.
Topical significance questions like if a website page is linked to the query, i.e. “Does it address the query?” Content analyzes contextual and historical users and asks specifics, such as whether the query might be about a common recent issue, what the user’s physical location is, the search history of the user, etc. Finally, and most notably, the standard of content explores three crucial questions: “Can we trust this content?” “Is the content helpful and sufficiently comprehensive?” and “Is the material easy to find and well presented?”
Running a successful blog is not just about getting hundreds and thousands of contents on your site. You must ensure the quality of those contents. This is what will determine its usefulness and relevance to your readers. If you have quality contents, you have a natural advantage. Ensure that your contents provide enough satisfaction to searchers. With this, many visitors will bookmark your blog for subsequent return. To learn how to write quality contents, follow this guide
At this point, I will surely say that you have learnt how to do SEO yourself. If you have a new blog, follow the above steps to optimize them. Result will not be achieved immediately but with time, it will boom. In SEO, every of the above mentioned points matters a lot. On page and Off page SEO are as important as the other and as such serious attention must be paid to them.
Good Off page SEO activities without a corresponding On page SEO activity is trash. In turn, good On page SEO activities without a corresponding Off page SEO activity is also trash. I want you to learn how to do SEO yourself this is why this content is as long as you see. I have tried to gather almost every information you need in order to know how to do SEO yourself. Apply them and watch your result over time. Cheers.