What Is SEO, and How to Use It to Grow Your Blog Traffic

What is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of gaining more traffic to your website through organic search engine results. SEO helps improve search engine rankings, drives traffic and makes your website more visible online.

There are many strings to an SEO bow, from the words you put in the content to the descriptions you place on an image. SEO isn’t just about making the website user-friendly for search engines; it’s about creating a blog that people will want to read.

So What Is SEO?

Getting a good placement on Google can be tough. However, once you understand the importance of SEO and have a grasp of the basics, you will start to see results. The above video gives an easy-to-understand SEO overview in just three minutes!

We’ve put together some simple, key SEO tips that will help improve that Google ranking!

1.) Create Unique Blog Content

what is seo? - create original content

Google loves unique content. If you want to focus on a high-quality, SEO-friendly blog, then unique content is key. Google classes any content that can be found on the internet in more than one place as duplicate content.

Duplicate content can result in lower rankings and traffic loss as search engines rarely show multiple versions of the same content. That’s why blog content should be fresh and original. Plus you’d never want to plagiarize someone else’s work!

2.) Use Relevant, Researched Keywords

what is seo? keywords

Keywords are one of the main elements of SEO. SEO keywords and keyword phrases make it possible for people to find the blog. These are the words and phrases that people enter into search engines. The keywords need to be relevant to what people are searching for so that there is a better chance of their finding your content.

Do some keyword research by doing a Google search. Simply start typing the title of the post, and it will automatically suggest some searches based on the keywords. This will give you an idea of what people are searching for. Use a keyword finder like SEMRush to find the most popular searched words. This will also help create content that people actually want to read. Singular keywords may have higher search volumes. However, with these it is extremely hard to stand out from the crowd, and competition is fierce. Pair a high-volume keyword with something more descriptive and not as vague or general. For example, instead of using just “dogs,” use “crazy dog haircuts.”

Once the relevant keywords have been chosen, they should be used in the page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs. Primary keywords should be incorporated 3-4 times throughout the blog content. The keywords should be placed in the following places:

  • Blog title
  • First paragraph
  • Subheading
  • Image file name and alt text
  • Meta description
  • Permalink

3.) Length of Content

what is seo? - content length

Blog posts that are 300-500 words long used to be the standard length of content. These posts will still perform well; however, Google now tends to rank longer blog posts higher. For each post, 1,000+ words is a good ballpoint to aim for.

Google prefers content-rich blogs; as mentioned, longer content performs higher in search rankings, and the more content you create, the more opportunity there is to add those golden keywords and keyword phrases.

4.) Optimizing Content

what is seo - optimizing content

Now that the unique, original, 1,000+-word blog post has been created and all of the relevant keywords and keyword phrases have been incorporated 3-4 times within the content, it’s time to optimize the post for SEO.

  • Permalink – the full URL used for a post. If it is over six words, you may need to consider shortening it.
  • Headings – It can be hard to read a load of text without it being broken up by heading titles. Headings also work as signposts for the reader. Make sure the appropriate <h1>, <h2> and <h3> tags are in the HTML text. H1 should surround blog post titles, and subheadings should always be H2.
  • Post titles are the first thing that a search engine will pick up. The title should be about 50-60 characters long, as Google has a limit and will cut off anything over this. The primary keywords should be included in the post title.
  • The meta description is a snippet of text that summarizes the content of the post. It should be 155 characters long and include the primary keywords.
what is seo? h2 tag

Adding code to a subheading in HTML text

5.) Adding Internal and External Links

what is seo? - add links

By adding both internal and external links to your content, it will improve the SEO of the blog post. Internal links are hyperlinks that direct the reader to another page of the same blog or site. Internal links help keep the reader engaged and stay on the website for longer.

Adding trustworthy external links to blog content helps improve the credibility of your website. Quality external links to high-ranking websites will also enhance the authority of the blog by providing the reader with references to other websites.

Make sure that all links have relevant content related to the post.

6.) What Is SEO Image Optimization?

what is seo - image optimization

When creating content for a blog, always include an image. Images bring the post to life and allow the reader to relate to the article, not to mention images also contribute to SEO. Once the right image for the post has been found, it can be optimized for SEO by doing the following:

  • Change the image file name to include the keywords.
  • Scale the image to the size required. Big images and file sizes impact load time, which impacts SEO (slower load times have a negative impact).
  • Add alt text (or alt tags) to all images. Alt text adds a description to the image. This description will then be in place if the image is not available or if a description is required for a visually impaired reader.
  • Caption – the image caption is different from the alt text. This is the text that appears alongside the image and helps readers to understand what’s happening in the image.

If you haven’t got a blog set up yet, then you need to read our 5 reasons to start a blog like yesterday!

Do you have any SEO tips? Why not share them with us on social media? Just tag @topfivecom and use #top5SEO.

Download our free SEO checklist below to be more efficient and productive and to help you nail that SEO!

ultimate seo checklist download | What is SEO? what is seo, and how to use it to grow your blog traffic

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