Throughout January we will be running our 31 Day Blog Challenge: 31 days to clean up, grow and improve your blog. What better time than the start of a new year to get things sorted and ready to go for a brand new year of blogging?
We'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to get things in order and make blogging easier. This is Day 28.
We've given you lots of tips along the course of our 31 Day Blog Challenge to help with SEO. Things like cleaning up broken links, submitting site maps to google webmaster tools, making your photos SEO friendly, using internal links in your sidebar, using nofollow links for sponsored posts and more.
So what else can you do to improve your SEO?
Google's SEO Starter Guide
First and foremost, if SEO is important to you then you need to check out Google's SEO Starter Guide. It's 32 pages of the SEO basics you need to know and worth a read. We're pretty sure everyone will find one little nugget of new information in its pages.
The best way to give yourself a solid foundation in SEO is to follow good web design practices. Ok, we know you're not all web designers but, if you follow a lot of the tips we've given you in past articles as well as those in the SEO starter guide, you're well on your way to doing the key things right that google consistently looks for.
SEO Friendly Templates
Not all blog templates and themes are created equal, unfortunately. Things like load time and structure can count for a lot in SEO. Check out reputable theme developers like StudioPress (Genesis), Woo (Canvas), DIY Themes (Thesis) or Elegant Themes (Divi) for WordPress. If you're using Blogger, check out this list of 10 recent, SEO friendly templates.
Using SEO Plug-ins
This applies to self-hosted WordPress users. There are two plug-ins that do the job: All In One SEO Pack and Yoast's WordPress SEO plug-in. These two seem to be constantly jostling each other for the top spot in the WordPress SEO plug-in world. One will pull ahead for a few months and then the other one will. Whichever you choose will serve you well.
SEO plug-ins allow you to add key words to specific posts, create an SEO friendly post description and even create an SEO friendly title that differs from the title your reader sees. For example, if you like cute, punny post titles, they may not be SEO friendly. You can still use them but create a second title that's more descriptive of the post itself!
Writing for SEO
This is a tough one and we're not experts in it by any means. One of the keys to being a successful blogger is finding your own unique voice and writing with it. Trying to remember to use key words, internal links and the like can stifle your natural narrative. Write for your audience - they're your core readers. If you can fit in keywords, phrases and internal links in a way that's seamless with your posts content, then by all means, do so. But if it's a struggle, just remember, consistent, interesting, quality content will always serve you well.
As always, we love your feedback. Do you have any SEO suggestions for your fellow FBC members?