This post was last updated on November 22nd, 2020 at 10:29 am
SEO Guide For Beginners
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For those who wanna get serious with your blogs, SEO is certainly something to think about. At first, it sounds scary and confusing (when you’re new in this blogpedia) and when you read the information on the internet, you’ll think WHAT EXACTLY THIS DAMN SEO!
When deciding to start blogging, the first thing that I have to learn is about SEO! I heard that many times but I don’t really know what it is and how it works for my blog.
Here, I don’t pretend to know everything about blogging. In fact, I have no problem at all putting my hands up and say to you that I don’t know many things about certain aspects of this blogpedia.
I’m learning. Yes. You read that. Learning. Every day I try my best to learn tons of things about this blogpedia thing. It’s fun but at the same time can be overwhelming. Blogging is a process and there is always something new to learn every day – I think that’s what makes it so exciting, right?
Well, you don’t need to worry. Really. After reading this very very LONG post, you need to make sure your blog posts and your blogs, in general, are SEO friendly, this will increase your views and your visibility on search engines. All of you want that, right? Thousands of bloggers out there all trying to achieve something similar.There is plenty of information out there about SEO guide, even SEO courses or ebooks. BUT, here I’m going to share with you a simple guide for beginners. You can use it right away to help you secure some SEO juice in all of your posts! Click To Tweet
What is SEO?
Basically SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – means SEO making sure that words and phrases that you use in your content help to tell search engines (eg. Google) what your post is about. SO, when people search for some keywords on Google, they can find the solution they are looking for and also, your work!
Why Do You Need SEO?
For new bloggers, like me, SEO can be really intimidating. Even with consistent posting, in order to be noticed, search engines like Google can take up to a year or more to see your content. SO, the earlier you start the better. You need to try to learn about SEO from the very beginning so that your posts can build some SEO juice over time.
It’s much easier to start from the beginning rather than trying to go back and fix your old posts. In this case, you should still do updates of your old posts from time to time, but small fixes are one-thing and SEO is another.
How Does SEO Work?
It’s quite simple, actually.
Here an example, let’s say I want to start blogging and don’t know where to begin. I found the answer on Google, Yahoo, etc – by typing into the search bar, and VOILA, the search engine searches the millions of articles looking for the best ones to match my question.
It happens because the articles that are listed on the first page are most likely to have the keywords or phrases that I was looking for.
If you aren’t using SEO-rich keywords in your blog content that people are actually searching for, your hard work may never be noticed.
The more you work on your keywords and phrases in your title, headings, alt text, and within your paragraph, the more likely those keywords will show up (when scanned) in a search engine when someone is looking.
How To Start Working With SEO?
Using Relevant Keywords
Before creating your blog post, the best thing to do is to find related keywords and long-tail keywords. You have to do a quick search for keywords, it will help you set up your outline in an organized way and meet the needs for the SEO.
Once you have keywords, use it in your title, first sentence, headings, meta description, alt text, spread them throughout the entire post while still sounding natural.
The meta description is the snippet that is shown in search engines below your post name.
Using SEO To Your Images
Always remember to make sure your image titles and description are having the keywords you have researched. Rename your images before uploading them to WordPress because you won’t be able to change them afterward. And add captions to your images!
Changing Your Permalink Structure
I have explained how to change your permalink structure after installing your WordPress. Permalink is the link of your post name after your URL – www.monodreame.com/yy-yyy-yyy.
You need to have your permalink geared towards your keywords. Use your title for a catchy intro and the permalink to tell Google what is your post about.
For example, I write posts about ‘Powerful Blog Post – 15 Steps To Optimize Your Post’, but I don’t want all those words to be part of my permalink structure because it’s too long and not something people would search for.
SO, I change the permalink to something like ‘professional blogger’ which is related to my keywords and content. To change your permalink (do it before publishing your post), go to the right-hand sidebar in your post view.
Publishing Relevant Content
Search engines especially like it when you are posting relevant, related, and consistent content on your site. That’s why I tell you to find your niche in the very beginning before launching your blog.
Consistently posting is really important. Google would like it very much and push the website to the top of the results list that posts 2-3 times per week every week for a year than another one that posted 52 posts in one month and nothing for the other 11 months.
Related: How To Choose A Blog Name
In simple terms, backlinks mean having other websites include your links in their blog. How to do that? You can do link exchanges on sites that have similar niches to yours or have guest posts for other bloggers. Find these collaborations in Twitter threads or Facebook Group share threads.
You can also find GuestPost.Directory, they help both writers and blog owners find potential blogs to write for or you can list your blog as open to guest posts.
Using Internal Links
These links are links that will take your audience to other parts of your blog. When your audience stays longer on your site, search engines will value that your content is valuable and should be placed higher in rankings.
Posting Comments On Other Blogs
Take your time 15-30 minutes every day to find some great sites that are already established, read their content, and leave some meaningful comments on their post.
This way can also help build your domain authority especially when you get to leave your site URL. WIN-WIN for everyone.
Making Your Post-Shareable For Others
This way not only can allow people to share your post (plus extra views) but also shows Google that your post is relevant.
Install plugins like Social Warfare on your posts, it will help make it super easy for others to share your work.
Best SEO Tools To Improve Your SEO
Rank Math SEO
Rank Math SEO is a great tool other than Yoast SEO. It’s the best tool for beginners to learn deeply basic SEO. It’s really simple to use and measure all of the content and find loopholes for improvement.
Pro Tips: Don’t simply feel happy when you get the green color (means your SEO is great) as it’s more important to write useful information for your audience first, SEO comes second.
Use a free keyword tool like Ubersuggest which will sort the keywords by highest searched and include some of those relevant keywords that perform well with your idea.
One of my best resources for ideas is Answer the Public. Knowing what your audience wants and needs will help you with your DA (domain authority), help you to choose relevant keywords, and bring the audience back to your blog for more.
Related: 40+ Blog Resources For New Bloggers
BONUS! What are SEO Links?
Common questions are asked by so many new bloggers. What are the external links? Nofollow? How do I use them? Why do I need them? AND, what do they all mean?
Well, I feel the same at first. It’s like going back to my university life and asking my professor about grammar things. GOSH. Why are there so many anyway?
These links have a special place in blogpedia ( I love this word). Not only give a positive reader experience on your blog, but also for SEO. All bloggers want their site to have actual traffic coming to it, right? When you learn about these links and understand how to use it, you’re getting on Google’s good side and ranking high within the search engine.
I’m going to break the types of links in SEO down for you so that all of you can create amazing content instead of getting headaches about these little things. At first, I’m going to post it in different posts but since it is related to the damn SEO, I’m going to put THEM ALL here for you!
Links that you add to link to other relevant content within your site/blog.
It’s better to have 3-5 internal links in each of your posts that link to other content in your blog. This will make your audience stay longer on your blog and reduce your bounce rate, PLUS provides additional value to your audience.
For SEO purposes, don’t forget to periodically go back and update your old posts with relevant content links. Google loves fresh content and these little updates can really boost your blog,
The one you use that will lead your audience away from your blog.
You should have 1-2 high-quality external links in your blog post. High-quality means that a site offering amazing value within your niche (considered a high authority site), such as the New York Times, Google, or Forbes.
You need to do research if you want the links to add to are the topics being discussed in your post. By having these will enhance your audience’s experience and show that you have quality information to share.
Backlinks are when other websites include your links within their blogs. This way can help you quickly build your SEO, boost your standings and authority.
In 2019, Forbes posted that quality backlinks may be one of the most important ways to boost a blog’s authority, especially with the algorithm update.
Here are some ways that you can get good quality backlinks for SEO:
- Leaving quality comments on sites that keep your URL in the comments
- Promoting your content on social media
- Guest posting on sites with a higher domain authority than your site
- Mentions from ‘experienced’ bloggers in your niche
- Reach out and do collaborations with other bloggers on a regular basis (can help grow your backlinks)
Affiliate links are links that you add in your content that if clicked and/or purchased from, you may get commissions in some way.
There is no exact amount to use within a post, but it’s best to create affiliate links that include reviews of the affiliate that you are mentioning rather than just random links. Affiliate links should always be set to ‘nofollow’, which is explained below.
Sponsored links are links that you are compensated for. Google announced that instead of using ‘nofollow’ for sponsored links, you should start using ‘sponsored.’
If you read this after posting tons of sponsored links on your old posts, you don’t have to go back and update all of them. Google is fine with that as long as going forward, you use the new one instead.
DoFollow vs NoFollow
DoFollow and NoFollow links tell if a search engine should follow on to the next site.
Search engines (Google and others) don’t like it when you make them follow a link from your site to another site which you could be compensated for and can penalize you for it. This includes sponsored posts, affiliate links, and comments.
By default, WordPress sets all your external links to ‘dofollow’ and so the links that you are being compensated for will need to be changed to ‘nofollow’ – to make sure that Google stops following the link.
Then, how to change links from dofollow to nofollow?
All you need to do is go to the top right corner dots in your WordPress editor and change your view to ‘Code Editor.’ It sounds scary because you will need to edit your HTML.
But, thankfully, I’ve been using a plugin called Pretty Links from the beginning. If you haven’t installed this plugin, it changes long-messy links into pretty-to-use links that match your URL and automatically open my external links with a ‘nofollow.’ It’s a great reason to use this free plugin when you start using affiliates.
The ‘NoOpener’ code will be added to your HTML code if you choose to open your link in a new window. This is a great idea so your audience doesn’t get moved away too quickly.
This is a personal preference, but unless my audience is clicking a link (external link) near the end of my blog post that will take them away from my page, I prefer them to stay on my page to reduce my bounce rate.
This is one of the codes that no one seems to be sure what it’s purpose is, but this code doesn’t seem to harm anything on your blog, so just leave it be.
Tips: Anchor text. Some bloggers, perhaps new bloggers will just link a single – non-specific word to their link. BUT, search engines like Google prefer that you use a phrase that is describing SEO instead. Example: find more on how to become a professional blogger is better than find more on this here. The italicized text is what is known as the anchor text and Google likes it to be specific.
Congrats! If you are here, that means you’ve reached the end of this SEO guide!
How long does it take for you to read and understand about SEO from this post?
It will take time. So don’t worry. I always said that blogging needs so much work. It doesn’t come easy to learn new things, even when you want to make money from blogging.
This is a great challenge for you. I hope for those who don’t really understand – or just know about ‘SEO’ word now – this post answers some of your questions on what SEO is and how to implement it on your blog!
Photo credit: OhTilly