We get a ton of questions from Influencers asking how they can improve their SEO, even if they can’t invest in our services right now. From an SEO standpoint, there are hundreds of things you can and should be doing to improve your blog’s SEO. However, there are some general tried and true basic SEO rules that you can start implementing today.
So we’ve compiled a list of SEO best practices for bloggers to follow on a day to day blogging basis. Before you start with this list of best SEO practices for bloggers, make sure you understand SEO in general and why it’s so important for bloggers by reading this post on SEO for bloggers.
SEO Best Practices For Bloggers To Follow:
If you can’t work with us to get strategic and really grow your blog following, there are some things you should be doing on the regular. Below are a list of things you can do to ensure that you’re not harming your SEO or doing anything that is for sure “wrong”. Plus, in general this list is a ideal guide for creating high quality content and building a community.
Focus on a niche.
Choose a niche, and cover it thoroughly. We mean niche down in all aspects of the word. Both in the general categorization of your site, and in the individual blog posts you publish. Especially when you’re just starting out, you want to get as specific, and dialed in on a topic as possible. When it comes to SEO, broad is more competitive. So in order to really start earning more traffic from search engines you have to get specific. Plus, the more you focus on a niche, the easier it will be to gain rankings in that niche and grow your traffic faster.
Let’s use fashion bloggers as an example.
Here’s a super basic idea to drive this point home. First, as a fashion blogger if you’re posting a ton of fashion content, search engines will recognize you as an authority in the space. Over time, it will become easier for you to rank for fashion content. It will be harder for you to randomly rank for something random, like gardening. Especially when you’re just starting out. But once you build up your site authority as a whole, you can start branching out into other topics if you want and be able to compete.
Now let’s consider how to niche down for a specific topic.
For example, a general topic could be something like “Fall Outfit Ideas”. A way to niche down on that would be “Fall Outfit Ideas With Skinny Jeans”. Or maybe “15 Ways To Wear A Flannel In Fall” or “How To Style A Maxi Dress In Fall”. These ideas are just a little bit more specific and targeted. Which means they’re more likely less competitive. Which means you’re more likely to rank for them on page one. Page one rankings are essential for growing traffic. No one clicks to the second page of search results. Do you? If you had chosen the broad topic of “Fall Outfit Ideas” you would be competing against larger, high authority sites. Therefore, your chances of ranking on page one are much smaller. And you’re not going to grow your traffic as much.
How long should your blog posts be?
One of the most common SEO mistakes we see is thin content. In other words, blog posts that are too short to be considered valuable enough to rank. Your blog posts should be at minimum 300 words long to avoid being thin content. However, ideally your blog posts would never be less than 500 words long in order to actually add value. In a perfect world, your blog posts would be even longer. The average top ranking blog posts on Google’s first page of results is about 1,890 words long ( source ). But that’s an average. Also, we definitely should mention that every topic is different. How long your post should be is really based on what search engines have already recognized as valuable. So don’t take these numbers as hard facts.
For all InfluencerSEO Strategize clients, we provide blog post outlines including how long to make the post.
How long should your blog post titles be?
At the time of writing this blog post, your titles should ideally be 50-60 characters long. At minimum 4 words, but ideally between 6-13 words long. Remember, things in SEO are constantly changing so it’s important to note the publish date of this post.
Choose an informative title:
Your titles should reflect the overall topic of your blog post. Refrain from using random or generic titles. For example, some of the SEO title mistakes we’ve seen include using song lyrics as a title, or general feelings like “Good Vibes Sunday” etc. You want your titles to showcase what your blog post is about and the value readers can gain from clicking to read your post.
How many images should you include in your blog posts?
Images in your blog posts serve multiple purposes. First, they’re aesthetically pleasing and improve the user experience. Second, they’re easily shareable and Pinnable which gives you and your readers more opportunities to distribute your content. Finally, images add SEO value. We always suggest at least 4 images, and no more than 10. Obviously the most important thing is to make sure you’re providing value for your readers. So if for some reason the blog post topic calls for more images in order to add value, then do it.
Subheadings are essential for SEO and for improving the reader experience. Subheadings help break up your text to make it easier to read. Plus, it helps catch the attention of blog post skimmers. It’s a part of SEO optimization, as well as readability. You can learn more about why subheadings are important for SEO and how to add them to your website HERE.
Make sure you have an efficient URL structure.
Your URL’s should be structured as follows: yourdomain.com/blog-post-title/ If there’s anything else in there, for example the date, a .html, category, or random numbers and letters, your URL’s are not efficient for search engines.
If you would like help making your titles more efficient, our team can do this for you in the Strategize Package.
Do not keyword stuff.
Shoving your blog topic into your post over and over is not going to help you rank. It’s actually going to hurt you. Same goes for the way you name your images and add alt text. You want everything to be authentic. So write authentically and always focus on adding value. If you’re truly adding value on a specific topic, it’s basically guaranteed that you’ll get your keywords and related keywords in there naturally.
Add internal & external links on every blog post.
External and internal links are super important for SEO. They add context, showcase value, and connect your readers to other content that can add more value for them.
You want your website content to connect to each other. Both for readers and search engines to see how your blog is webbed together to create a cohesive and versatile resource. If you’re covering your niche thoroughly, you’ll likely mention topics that you’ve blogged about in the past. So you want to naturally and authentically internally link your blog posts and pages together.
External links are a great way to add value and credibility to your content. If you’re talking about something scientific, link to a study that proves your point. Or if you’re talking about clean beauty products, externally link to a post showcasing the dangers of toxic chemicals. The point here is to truly create valuable and informative content for your readers. When you don’t have the proof or resource on your own site, link elsewhere to showcase that value.
Refrain from series posts that require duplicate, low value titles:
I know, this is not a popular tip amongst bloggers. Bloggers love their series posts! But it’s truly one of the biggest SEO mistakes we see bloggers making. If you’re not sure what we mean by series, this refers to blog posts that are weekly, monthly, or in general have the same concept and no specific theme. Here are a few examples of series we see often:
- weekly outfit roundups
- favorite links of the week.
- monthly sales
- currently / recently ( insert your favorite phrase: loving, inspired, shopping, liking, linking, etc. )
If you want to do a series, here’s how to do it in an SEO friendly way:
There are SEO friendly ways to maintain a series on your blog. Here are a few ideas:
1. The Update & Recirculate Strategy:
Create one blog post, that you update and recirculate every single time you have a new post in your series. This works great for sales posts. If you’re doing a weekly or monthly sales post, those sales end and the blog post featuring those sales is now old and useless. So instead of adding a new blog post every time to feature the sales you love, simply update and republish the old post. That way, you’re actually making the post featuring the sales way more competitive because you’re consistently updating it. AND you’re not consistently creating a bunch of low value pages with similar titles & URL’s that eventually end up with a bunch of broken links and sold out products on them.
2. Create a “never ending” blog post
This is similar to the update and recirculate concept. However instead of deleting things, you just keep adding to the post at the top. This works great for “Outfit of the Week” type series or “Instagram Outfits”. Where you’re featuring outfits and items that you love, so you wouldn’t necessarily want to delete the old content or you want to be able to send readers to find this type of content easily. We love this because readers can also always easily access this content if they’re looking for it. They know that it’s all on one post vs. having to go fish through tons of old blog posts in order to find “that one” outfit of yours that they liked. You can also do this for recommendation style posts. For example book recommendations, restaurant recommendations, etc.
3. Create a category for your series
This is a great way to make sure your readers know that your post is obviously a series post, without having to put it in the title every single time. You can instead choose to make the title and content of the series more specific to that actual posts content. Which leads us to our next point.
4. Theme individual posts in your series.
This is definitely a smart way to run series. You can apply this concept to almost any type of blog topic. But to give you a few examples, let’s say you have a series on your favorite books. Rather than just doing “my favorite books this week” each post would have a theme. So maybe it’s “Books by Inspiring Female Authors” or “The Best Books For Bloggers” or “Best Motivational Books.” Let’s try another example. Let’s say you’re a fashion blogger and want to feature what you’ve been wearing lately. You can do it by month, season, or even outfit type. So for example, “January in Chicago Outfit Ideas” or “Capsule Wardrobe For June” etc.
Any questions regarding these basic SEO tips & best practices?
Hopefully this basic SEO best practices list for bloggers is helpful for you guys. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to comment below. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about your site’s current SEO performance you can reach out to us direction at Info@InfluencerSEO.com or request a free SEO evaluation. We are here and happy to help!