Introduction to SEO for a beginning blogger


#1

Hey rockstarfinance!

I’m just getting into SEO, and its really overwhelming. I’m wondering if anyone has any advice for small steps I can take to improve my blog’s SEO. My website is Akashsky.com


#2

@millennialmoney has imparted a lot of advice on that issue in a thread here: http://forums.rockstarfinance.com/t/free-seo-help-for-bloggers/648

It can look a little overwhelming to go through, but just start a little at a time!


#3

I’ll check that out!


#4

My advice: Understand that “Search Engine Optimization” isn’t some magic pill that, if swallowed, will instantly make your blog #1 on Google. It doesn’t work like that. I find that a lot of people overcomplicate SEO, but it doesn’t need to be complex.

Understand that you could do everything right from an SEO perspective and still be nowhere to be found on Google. Chasing the #1 spot on Google is tough to do - it takes experience and the right circumstances, and yes, maybe a little bit of luck as well. Time is your biggest friend when it comes to SEO.

Content is king. Your #1 priority to improve your SEO should be content. Not writing click-bait headlines. Not meta-tagging the hell out of your posts. Not trying to use some clever trick to make Google think your page deserves Page 1 status (because Google probably thought of that trick before you did!).

Keywords are queen. If you’re writing about student loan debt, then be sure that the phrase “student loan debt” is in the title of your posts as well as towards the top of your article’s content. But, be realistic and understand that competing with the phrase “debt” in Google probably won’t be fruitful. “Debt” is a very common word. Millions of blog posts talk about debt. If you try to compete for highly-competitive keywords, you’ll lose almost every time.

Consistency is third. Don’t publish 15 articles in a month and then take the next month off. The more consistent you are, the larger your readership will get and the more likely it will be that your articles will be linked to from other blogs on the Internet - Page Rank. Too complicated for this forum post, but there’s a bunch written about Page Rank on the Internet. Research as your heart desires.

My two cents. Keep SEO simple, at least to start. If you don’t master the simple stuff, the more advanced shit probably won’t do a thing for you.


#5

SEO is tricky at times…but don’t forget that there are other related but not-quite-SEO things that will help. I wrote up a post about those things…hope this helps.


#6

Groovy man. That’s what I would have said, but you said it better, so thanks for reinforcing the confidence in my own thoughts.


#7

What do you think is a good target range for blog post frequency & length to publish blog post to grow your monthly visitors?


#8

Depends on who you ask. Some people say you should post every day, some say at least once per week. Same thing goes for word count…longer posts tend to get better rankings.


#9

That’s a decision that you will need to make.

For me, I publish three times a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Friday post is more of an aggregation post where I link to other PF blogs, but it’s still a post and definitely one of my most popular.

A typical post length for me is between 1,000 and 1,300 words, though I will occasionally write posts that are shorter or longer. Just depends on the topic that I am writing about and my overall motivation at the time to write. I hold no hard and fast rules for myself. I blog for fun. I write based on how I feel. If I only feel like writing a 500 word post, I write a 500 word post.

Do longer posts rank better in Google? Many say they do. This study found that the average top-10 post in Google contained more than 2,000 words. Though, one could argue correlation does not imply causality.

My take is actually quite simple: I don’t care. I write the way I like to write. If Google wants to pick it up, great. If not, that’s cool

I do rank quite highly on a number of keywords, however - one of my post popular keywords is, ironically, “minimalism sucks”. If you search for “minimalism sucks” in Google, one of my articles is the #1 hit. And guess what? The post contains less than 1,000 words.


#10

Hey AkashSky,

I’ve been an SEO and SEM consultant since 2004. I’ll take a look. KW research is probably the most essential piece, following the GIGO (garbage in garbage out) rule, if your optimization is structured around guesses without search query research, you’re relying on luck. Let the data drive your decisions.


#11
  1. Use Google Keyword planner to build a list of keywords for your vertical, look for both high search volume keywords, as well more specific queries (long tail) with less traffic but maximum relevance
  2. Start with your home page, and move down the nav (DOM structure) to next level of pages, create unique and relevant title tags, and meta descriptions for each page. Be natural, don’t keyword stuff (over use)
  3. Fix your Tag Manger placement, it’s not happy where it is. This is a problem with WP. If your plugin is up to date, then at least use Google Tag Assistant to see what data is being passed to Analytics. Both GA and GTM show they are not happy and could be losing out on traffic data :slight_smile:
  4. Claim your Google Search Console account, and submit a sitemap (Dont trust that to Yoast)
  5. Configure Yoast. By itself it can’t do much. You have to tell it what to do.
  6. Use a ranking tool (there are free ones) to benchamark where you are now for your chosen keywords.
  7. Be sure to curate new content that incorporates your target kw’s. Tip you don’t have to use the exact KW phrase over and over, try variations, even semantic variations, Google is more sophisticated these days, and over using KW’s can flag your site for KW spamming.

Try these 7 steps and give 3-6 months. Then revisit. Good SEO is an iterative process.


#12

Write good and quality content. Google will locate you