Starting a blog is remarkably easy, but building a successful blog that reaches a large audience is far more difficult. One of the best ways to reach an optimal number of readers is to focus on SEO from the very beginning of the blog creation process.
SEO and Why It Matters
SEO is a tiny word that has a great big meaning, Search Engine Optimization. It’s a term people throw about quite a bit when talking about anything related to online marketing, which includes personal and business blogs. Essentially, SEO describes the strategy and marketing efforts incorporated to get the attention of search engines such as Google. SEO is important because if search engines are not directing people to your blog they have virtually no way to find you and they are being directed to a competitor’s site.
There are several ways beyond keyword focused content to focus on SEO when you start a blog. SEO should be implemented when creating title tags, header tags, internal links, and any backlinks you utilize by publishing content in other places. Equally important is what you don’t do. Do not duplicate content and do not use no-index tags. Both of these will harm your SEO efforts.
Incorporate SEO in Your Blog Design
A large portion of successful SEO implementation is incorporating SEO into the design of the blog from the beginning. The two easiest ways to achieve this are with carefully chosen SEO plugins and an SEO optimized blog theme. Ensuring your theme is optimized is important for a number of reasons, the most important of which is it acts as a road sign to tell search engines where you are and that your content is safe for the travelers they will send your way.
The code is the part of the theme no one will ever see, not even someone who is blogging unless they have an active interest in doing so. However, the people who create the themes know exactly what needs to be included and the descriptions will tell prospective users what features are included and how they will help optimize the blog. The next critical feature is a fast loading time. If there are too many components eating up the processing time, users will get frustrated and leave before they are able to read the SEO optimized content which has been carefully crafted and published. Finally, one of the new features a blog needs is a responsive design. This is important because more people than ever are accessing web content on mobile devices rather than computers and laptops. The way a site is coded for a full-size screen is different than one that is optimized for a digital device. You need a responsive design so your reader is able to access your information from wherever they wish.
Be an Authority
Before writing the first post, it is important to identify the focal point of your blog. This may be the single most important component of successful SEO marketing. If you don’t know what your focus is, it is impossible to choose keywords to target and become an authority people will want to follow.
You must become an authority in your chosen niche in order to gain a consistent following and attract new readers. A defined focus helps you stay on point with your messages and helps give readers a sense of security that reading your blog is valuable and worth their time. One of the most effective ways to be considered an authority on a topic is by achieving the high ranking for specific keywords. This is only possible with high-quality SEO.
SEO Focused Posts
Once you have the perfect theme, have developed your tightly focused point of view, and decided how to best establish and share your authoritative view it is time to create SEO optimized content to share. Keywords within the post have historically been one of the best ways to tell a search engine that the content someone has searched for can be found on a particular site. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as posting several targeted keywords and moving on to the next post. Instead, there is a concept known as keyword density which suggests that target keywords should be utilized at regular intervals and with an exact frequency. There has been some discussion recently about
There has been some discussion recently about if keyword density is still important for SEO. The short answer is, yes. The longer answer is that keywords and density do matter but they are far different than they were a couple of years ago. For a long time, people were able to focus on repeating a single keyword throughout the body of a piece. Even if the content wasn’t well written or creative the fact that the keyword was there would be enough for a search engine to bring people to see why. Now search engines are more advanced and they look for logical groupings of keywords to indicate the overall meaning of a site. This means you can use a variety of related keywords to direct search engines to your content. It also means it is slightly more difficult to narrow down the density required. This sounds like it makes the process more complicated, but it actually makes it easier for writers to write high-quality content in an engaging manner that search engines will recognize and reward with a greater number of visitors directed towards the site.
Title tags are another way of optimizing SEO within a post. These tags, along with header and blog post tags, are used to classify content which allows search engines and readers to find them quickly and easily. As with keyword density and many other SEO tactics, the way tags are used is changing in response to how search engines identify quality content. Previously, all of these tags could be filled with the targeted keywords and the search engines would send the appropriate searches to the pages. Preliminary research on the new algorithms indicates search engines such as Google no longer require exact keyword matches to direct traffic. They have become more akin to directions one would get from a friend rather than the GPS directions one can get from their favorite map app. There is more flexibility with the keywords you use in tags just as there is more flexibility in the way you target keywords in the body of your writing. As long as it is related to the content and the concepts you are targeting, search engines have become remarkably good at identifying and promoting relevant content.
SEO continues to evolve as search engines learn more about humans communicate authentically. You must have the tools in place to ensure search engines are able to find your blog. Before writing begins it is imperative that the focus of the blog has been identified and that every post on the editorial calendar is in line with that focus. Then one is free to focus on creating authentic and useful content centered around the point of focus. Once those steps have been completed, the people interested in your niche will begin finding their way to your blog.
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