This post may contain affiliate links. See our full disclosure for more info.
You’ve been putting out a lot of content lately, but the traffic is just not there. Why?
The answer lies in seo, or search engine optimization. you can put out content till the world ends but if you are not optimizing them, you will not get any traffic from uncle G (Google)
I’ll make it easy with this guide to change not getting any traffic from google and get you on the right path.
What is seo – and why you need to care
Seo – search engine optimization is needed if you wish to gain traffic from Google.
Anytime you make changes to your blog you are trying to improve it for seo, which will help with ranking and being found when searched by readers.
But seo is not putting up a few posts and adding a catchy title, no, there is a right way of doing it that will put you ahead of most, because they either don’t know how to do it, or are not doing it at all.
I know a lot of people are focusing on Pinterest now a days, especially when you can use a great tool like Tailwind to boost your traffic, but it’s good practice to still target google traffic.
You don’t want to put all your eggs in one Pinterest basket, blogging success comes from multiple channels, and Google is the main one.
Download an seo plugin for ease
I decided to add this section because it will make it easier for you to optimize your post. Of course, you do not need it, but it does make it a lot easier.
A great plugin I found that works great for customizing seo is Yoast. They provide all the options you need. Google webmasters, focus keywords, Sitemap, etc.
To add this plugin, just go to your Plugins area, then click add new to find it.
What keywords should you use?
Keywords are what readers use to find your content in Google. Everything starts with using the right keyword.
There are two types of keywords that you really need to know. Short tail and long tail – I’ll explain below.
Short tail keywords
Short tail keywords are as it sounds. they are between 1-3 words. Readers that search for these keywords typically don’t know what they are really looking for. This gives them some broad ideas and they go based off that.
Something to know about short tail keywords is that they are searched for a lot in Google, which means a lot of traffic. But don’t be fooled, although these phrases are searched for at high volumes, it’s near to impossible to rank for them.
The reason being, the mega sites dominate this area, and make it extremely difficult to rank for. An example, I want to rank for the keyword “Entrepreneur” but imagine who I would need to compete with for that word. Entrepreneur.com, Success Mag, Lifehack, etc.
Long tail keywords
Long tail keywords start at a minimum of three and could go all the way up past ten words. With long tail, less people are searching for them in search; but if someone is searching for “How can I lose weight in two weeks” it’s obvious they know what they are looking for.
The benefits of long tail, is if you provide the right content it means a lower bounce rate because that is what the reader is looking for. With long tail there is less competition. Mega sites don’t bother going after these keywords because they don’t need to, and most bloggers know nothing about it and don’t target them.
Well, Which keyword should you choose?
It’s simple, if you have a domain authority of 45+, although hard to rank for, you could target short tail, as well as long tail.
But if you are reading this, it’s most likely you are completely new, or kind of new. In that case you want to target long tail keywords. Remember, traffic for long tail are low, but if you have multiple posts on your site optimized for it, it will not seem that way.
A great tool that is made for finding long tail keywords is Long Tail Pro. It’s easy to use and unlike Google’s new update, you can see the actual traffic amount rather than an estimate.
Where to add your keywords
Don’t make this complicated. When it comes to adding keywords, you want to avoid looking like a spammer. That means, yes, you should optimize you post the best you can, but your main focus should always be to put out great content.
In your permalinks
As a rule of thumb, because I post a lot of content that are similar, I use the post title in my permalink. I try to avoid adding dates, and numbers, so that I will not be forced to change it later when I want to update the post.
You want to avoid changing the permalink of a post that has already been published. Doing so, is like deleting it. It takes away the strength of that post. It generally should not be done, unless absolutely necessary.
In the post title
Adding the keyword to a tittle will not always be possible, mainly because you want it to be attention grabbing, and adding a keyword takes away from that.
This is also a dilemma if you want a certain title to show for Pinterest and a different one for uncle G (Google). But don’t fret, there is a work around. what you can do is have the normal title you want added to the blog post and the Google optimized title added to the Yoast title area.
I don’t always recommend this, but it’s good to use at times.
Throughout the post
If possible, try adding your keywords in the first few sentences you write for your post.
I want to add some caution here because bloggers get too caught up on keywords that they forget to write great content.
It’s a good idea to have the keyword show up throughout your post, but when I write, I just write, I don’t worry about this one so much, because I know I will end up adding it without trying to.
Adding your keyword too many times is called keyword stuffing. It has a negative affect if you spam like that.
In your meta description
For the meta description use the Yoast plugin. It makes it easier to know if you are doing things the right way.
Try and get your keyword in there once, but most important, don’t try and stuff it in there as many times as you can – as I said before this has a negative effect. You want to make this 150 word description sound natural and make the reader want to click on it to read more.
Use H1’s H2’s etc.
Using headings and subheadings is a great way to make your post readable, but that serves another purpose also. Using headings helps uncle G identify what your content is about.
You should not be using heading 1’s in your post itself. The title of the post serves as that. you should be using H2, H3, H4’s, I don’t go past H4’s.
When possible, and only when possible, you see that I will use my keyword in the H2. I try not to overdue this, but add it if it’s natural and not being forced for the sake of seo
Add internal links
A great way to retain readers and keep them from leaving your site is by interlinking to other posts on your site.
What internal linking does
- This helps pass what is called link juice to help strengthen your other pages
- Lowers your bounce rate
- Helps Uncle G crawl and index your site faster and easier.
internal linking is really good for your seo.
Add external links
You will not find many bloggers telling you to do this. The reason being is that they know little about it or seo.
Just link with internal linking you should be linking to other sites. But only link to authority sites.
What external linking does.
- Helps uncle G crawl the web easier.
- Google gives trust to sites that link to others
- Helps your readers find more quality information
Add a title and alt to your images
Before you upload any images to your site, it’s important to optimize them beforehand. Give your image a title and use Tinypng to compress them. Doing this will keep images from slowing your site down. You should also use a plugin like wp smush to further compress them.
For more info on what plugins you should be using, check out this post where I go into detail about it.
Google is smart, but if you don’t help it to help you, it cannot help you. All and any images you upload should be optimized. the way to do that is by giving the image a title (different from alt) and an alt. For the alt, just add the title of the post. try not to make it too long and be sure your keyword is included.
Doing this will tell Uncle G what your image is about.
Build links to you post
Building backlinks is getting other quality sites to link to you from their posts. This tells search engines like google and Bing, how popular your site is, if it could be trusted and should it be ranked and shown to searchers.
I will not go into detail about building backlinks for posts itself because it’s not an easy process. You should be trying to get links to a post you consider valuable or that is link worthy. For example, my two posts, how to get your first business idea and how to be happy are both about 10k words.
When you link out to other sites, what you can do once the post goes live is to contact that blogger and let them know you mentioned them. Don’t ask for anything, that is not how you build a relationship.
Doing this can result in getting your post shared, getting a link from that blogger or possibly building a relationship that can last a long time.
Let me know what you think about the post. Was it helpful, and if it was please share it with your audience.