I am by no means an expert in SEO. But on most days most of my referrals come from search engines so I figure I must be doing something right.
When I first tried to learn a bit more about SEO I found it really difficult to find the information I was after. There were lots of tips on how to increase your SEO but they might have well been in a different language. They were referring to lots of things I didn’t understand.
That’s why this month I am taking back to basics with some simple SEO definitions. I hope if you are just starting to get get grips with SEO you find them useful.
Lets start with SEO! Search Engine Optimisation. It’s all about trying to get your posts on that first page when someone searches the internet for something that might be related to a post you have written.
Alt Tags: Otherwise know as attribute tags. These are used on images, and they serve two main purposes. The first is for the blind and visually impaired. Alt tags are what screen readers will read out to describe your image. So that’s exactly what you should do with your alt tags, describe what is in the image. Secondly alt tags provide google with information about the subject matter of the image, so they will show in relevant searches. Whilst it is important to use your keywords in alt tags, overuse can be seen as spam by google.
Anchor Text: This is the text that you apply a link to. The anchor text should be relevant to the link. So ‘click here‘ isn’t a big hit with google! It’s also better not to be too exact all of time as this then looks spammy. So if you are linking a post called ‘how to potty train in three days’ you could link it to the sentence, ‘Check out my great tips on potty training‘ using ‘potty training’ as the anchor text. So relevant, but not exact. Clear as mud?!
Back Links: These are links to your site, either internal (linking to other posts from your site within your own post) or external (a link back to your site from another website).
- External back links are fantastic for increasing your Domain Authority. Content is king when it comes to back links. Great content will encourage back links. You can also take part in guest series to increase your Domain Authority. The main thing with back links is it’s quality rather than quantity that is important. The more authority the site has that is giving you the back link the better.
- Internal back links improve your keyword ranking, help google to crawl your site, and hopefully keep your readers sticking around to read more.
Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of people who navigate away from your site after viewing just one page. I’ve not heard of anyone asking for a bounce rate when working professionally, but it is a good idea to encourage readers to stay on your site (it’s those back links again!) An average bounce rate is 41% – 55%. You can find out your bounce rate through google analytics.
Categories and Tags: These provide google with more information and should typically represent a keyword a user would search for in relation to your post. The easiest way to differentiate between categories and tags is to think of categories as a contents page and tags as an index.
Domain Authority (DA): This is a scale used to determine the authority of your site and how well it will rank with search engines. It takes time to build a good DA. Time and back links! The higher the number the better. A good DA is around 20 – 25. Professional bloggers would be looking at around 40 upwards. Check your Domain Authority with Moz.
Focus Keyword: Your focus keyword needs to be relevant to your post, but it also needs to be competitive. For example ‘Christmas Gift Ideas’ may have your keywords, but there are going to be a lot of matches on google for that search. You need to make your focus keywords targeted. ‘Christmas gift ideas for boys under £20’ would be a better focus keyword. Think as unique as possible, but not so much out of the box that people would never search for that term! I never said SEO was easy.
H Tags: Otherwise Known as heading tags. Google likes posts that are broken down with sub headings rather then one long piece of text. Now depending on what you are writing about this may not be applicable. But if you are doing a list style post use the H tags. These are numbered H1 through to H6. H1 is the most important and is usually the title of your post. Don’t use more than one H1 tag in a post as google will get confused. Your next sub heading should be H2 and so on. You can make your headings H tags by highlighting them and selecting from the paragraph drop down menu. H tags can also be customised to your desired font and size. I customise mine with the google fonts plugin.
Meta Description: The meta tag describes your page to search engines. It’s the bit that shows up underneath the heading link when you search on google. What you put in the meta description is a really powerful tool to engage readers and draw them in. You want to encourage them to click, so think of it as a mini advertisement and remember to use your keywords.
Yoast: The mother of all plugins for SEO. If you don’t have this in your life, you need it. It makes SEO easy!
Check out these posts for more SEO help:
- 20 Things You Need to Know About SEO – Motherhood: The Real Deal
- SEO: Optimise Your Posts The Easy Way – My Random Musings
- SEO for Bloggers: 13 Tips to maximise Traffic – You Baby Me Mummy
- How to increase Domain Authority – Cuddle Fairy
- A great site with lots of useful information about SEO is SEO-chicks.com
I hope you find this post useful. Let me know if there is a blog geek subject you would like some tips on.
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You can read other posts in the Blog Geek Tips series here.