Blog SEO tips for beginners - SEO for bloggers

SEO tips for bloggers are invaluable nuggets of information that every new blogger should know about. Ranking high in search engine results drives traffic to your site. So I’m sharing my on-page blog SEO tips (for 2023) that help me rank high in Google searches.

When I first embraced the challenge of learning SEO for bloggers, I started focusing on optimizing my SEO for my older blog posts on my Suburban Tourist blog.

I immediately noticed an increase in blog traffic over the span of two months. On-page SEO was something I had to familiarize myself with and get used to doing regularly. It worked!

However, like other bloggers, I found blog SEO confusing and daunting at first.

It sounds technical. Yes, there are technical aspects to SEO, such as making sure your blog is a quickly-loading site.

There’s off-page SEO too, like link-building, and heavy promotion with social media and other tools.

Also, SEO is constantly changing because search engines such as Google are constantly making changes and tweaks to their algorithms.

As such, there are very few true masters in SEO for bloggers out there.

Even the experts are constantly having to tweak their sites to ensure they are meeting the new best practices.

Now that the pressure is off, you can rest assured that you can still benefit from simple but good on-page SEO practices for your blog posts.

And the best part is that it’s fairly simple, and requires just a bit of effort on your part. It’s like dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s before you hit Publish.

All professional bloggers make sure they follow good on-page SEO practices with each and every blog they publish.

If you are still feeling overwhelmed after reading my SEO tips for bloggers, I offer blog coaching services that help you get past your challenges.

For now, let’s jump right in and get you started on optimizing your blog posts and improving organic blog traffic.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.

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SEO Tips For Beginners 1

Blog SEO: The Basics Of On-Page SEO

This post on blog SEO tips and good on-page SEO for your posts will run through the basics that you should be doing before you hit Publish.

These steps are often called “on-page SEO”. They refer specifically to the content you have on a page or blog post.

Unlike technical SEO activities, they are much easier for you to implement.

Off-page SEO is another type of activity that is important but requires a separate post. It focuses primarily on creating backlinks to your site.

Any page or post that you want to be found on Google or other search engines needs to be optimized with keywords.

The good news is that with on-page SEO, you are in control.

You can optimize it so that when Google’s spiders are crawling, they can find your post and fabulous content. They say – “Yes, this is obviously about topic XYZ and it should be indexed for this search.”

Well, not literally saying it, but you know what I mean!

What Is On-Page SEO?

But what does on-page SEO involve?

It stems from three general things:

  • Keywords: use the right ones and in the right places throughout your post
  • Links: internal and external links
  • Amazing content

You’ve probably seen so many Pinterest pins on SEO for blogs noting why it’s so important to have the right keywords in your post.

This is where we’ll start. It deserves a large portion of focus in this post because it’s how Google finds your content and ranks it.

The use of the right blend of keywords in your posts is key to successfully rank on search engines - SEO for blogs.

Secondly, you need to focus on links, both from your site and from other authoritative sites. This helps with your page rank in Google in several ways that we’ll explore a bit further later on.

Finally, you need to create content that people will want to read. It helps Google figure out if your posts are quality content, and worthy of being ranked higher.

As well, it helps you build invaluable backlinks, boosting your Domain Authority (DA), as people link to your content for their posts. They help raise your ranking in Google searches.

Key Plugins That Help With SEO For Bloggers

Before you read further to learn all of my SEO tips for bloggers and start to optimize your posts and pages, I suggest you install one of these key SEO plugins:

Rank Math SEO

Rank Math is my preferred SEO plugin.

It’s a newer plugin that’s making waves in the SEO plugin world. It’s quickly become the new go-to for Yoast PRO plugin users.

Why? Because the free version of Rank Math has several of the same features as the PRO version – i.e., interlink recommendations.

It also allows you to add more than one keyword for monitoring your on-page SEO.

While Yoast has many more advanced features, Rank Math SEO is a good option for optimizing your blog posts for those who aren’t too savvy with it or for those seeking to blog on a budget.

I recently switched over to Rank Math SEO, but for this post, examples will include the Yoast plugin.

Note: Rank Math SEO also has new PRO features, however, you really are OK using the free version when you’re just starting with SEO.

Yoast SEO Plugin

This is a plugin that helps you set up technical and on-page SEO for your blog and blog posts.

The free version of the Yoast SEO plugin is great, but if you want to really take your blog to the next level, get the PRO version.

The free version helps you easily let Google know what your site is all about, the site structure, enter keywords, meta descriptions, etc.

The PRO version helps you find links within your site to interlink, and it provides you optimization for up to five keywords.

NOTE: Yoast doesn’t automatically boost your ranking in Google. It just helps guide you by letting you know if you’re doing the right things with your content, links, and images that Google likes. SEO and search engine ranking require much more than just a plugin. We’ll explore this further along.

Getting Started With SEO For Blogs

We’re at the point where you need to start learning the details of how to do this “on-page SEO”.

Remember, these are the basics. You have to start somewhere!

Here are the key steps for blogger SEO activities – feel free to share this on Pinterest.

Blog SEO Process

1. Keywords Are Key To Good Blog SEO Practices

Before we delve into optimizing blog posts, we need to look at the first point for my SEO tips for bloggers: find the right keywords!

A big chunk of good blog SEO practices is coming up with a keyword phrase and similar keyword phrases that help you get ranking in Google and other browser searches.

It may seem daunting at first, but doing keyword research is key to getting organic traffic to your site.

It doesn’t matter if you start writing the post first and edit it later to include keywords. Neither does it matter if you add them as you write.

What’s important is to have your keywords added to your blog post before you hit Publish.

Tools And Techniques For Finding Keywords

Finding keywords can feel like a challenge, especially when you find many of the best SEO tools (SEMRush, Ahrefs and Moz Keyword Tool) can be very expensive.

If you want to use something less expensive but with a robust keyword search platform, try KeySearch.

You can try out with a few free keywords, and if you want to focus on your SEO for a few months, there’s an option to purchase a monthly subscription.

I’ve also been using the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension, which helps me fine-tune my keywords AFTER I’ve done my brainstorming. It’s been very helpful and it’s fairly inexpensive.

Free SEO tools for finding keywords include:

A rule of thumb:

  • A single keyword will have a lot of competition.
  • Longer keyword phrases have less competition.
  • The more specific you are in the longer keyword phrase, the greater the chance of less competition.

Want to know my top SEO tip for bloggers who are just starting out?

Aim for low-competition longtail keywords first. Just be aware that you may not get as much traffic from them at first.

You’ll eventually rank for more competitive, high-volume keywords when your blog post starts to “age like a fine wine” and you update it.

But you’ll have to wait a few months before you do this.

So what’s the easiest way to find keywords? Google itself!

Using Google To Find Keywords

I often like to research what people have used on Google. By entering in my preferred keyword phrase, I note what kind of posts are on the first page.

I ask myself:

  • What kind of keyword phrases are they using in post titles?
  • What are they using as keywords in the meta descriptions?
  • When I click on the first three to four posts, what are the common keyword phrases that are predominantly used?

Google itself gives you an idea of what people are searching for any specific keyword when you start entering it into the search bar.

So there are many ways you can get insights into the best keywords.

WRITE THEM DOWN! Make a list and keep it in front of you when you’re writing your post or editing it.

| RELATED: How To Use Social Media To Grow Blog Traffic

2. Using Your Chosen Keyword Phrase In The Post Title

The first place you optimize your blog post for SEO is by using your chosen keyword phrase in the title itself.

This is what people are searching for, so make it obvious what your post is about from the start.

There are two post titles that you need to consider:

  • The SEO title that appears in search results
  • The headline title that the reader sees when they land on the post or page

Let’s look specifically at the SEO title as there are some rules around it.

A good title with a keyword does several things:

  • Tells the reader exactly what the post is about and what they will benefit from it.
  • Lets Google know what the topic of the post is about (it picks up your keyword phrase).
  • Entices a reader to click on the link and read further.

A post’s SEO title should be brief but descriptive, and it should flow easily. If it’s long, Google will cut it over after a certain number of characters.

If you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin or Rank Math plugin, they help you figure out how long your title should be before it gets cut off by Google.

What about the headline title? I like to use the keyword in this title as well, but I can make it a bit longer, conveying an outcome or benefit.

| READ MORE: How To Create A Blog Post Title That Consistently Gets Traffic

3. SEO Your Meta Description Summary

Next on my list of SEO tips for bloggers is the meta description.

The meta description is the snippet summary you find under your title when you find your post on Google. This is what tells the reader in greater detail what they can expect from your blog post.

Just adding your keyword phrase by copying your blog title isn’t going to cut it.

You need to make the title compelling to read while ensuring it relates to the actual content.

By using action words and the longtail keyword phrase, you tell the reader the benefit of reading your post.

Power words or action words for meta description summaries can be anything such as:

  • Learn
  • Find out
  • Join
  • Discover
  • Sign-up
  • Explore
  • Try
  • Uncover
  • Build
  • Start

Meta descriptions are usually about 160 characters in length.

Once again, you can easily enter your description using the Yoast SEO plugin or the Rank Math plugin.

Both let you know when you are over the Google recommended length of 120 – 158 characters. Anything over will be truncated.

This is what you see when you use the Yoast SEO plugin to make changes.

You can click the Edit Snippet to change the Meta description in the box below the Slug. You can do this with Rank Math SEO as well.

EditingSlug Meta Description in Yoast SEO

PRO TIP: Imagine writing the meta description as if it were a Tweet. You want to entice a reader to check out your link on that topic. It keeps you concise and on topic!

PRO TIP 2: Do not copy meta descriptions. Make it a unique summary for that specific post.

4. Add The Keyword Phrase In Your Slug

The slug is a short, user-friendly URL link that you can customize to include the keyword phrase.

To make changes you have to have your permalinks set up to Custom – ” %postname%”. So it’s very important to make this change to your permalinks at the start of creating a blog.

An example of how to set up a permalink: blog SEO tips for beginner bloggers.

You can add the keyword phrase in your slug in three ways.

First by clicking on the Permalink under the title if you’re using the Classic WordPress editor.

Secondly, in the block editor version, you can click on Document and then scroll down to where it says Permalink.

Finally, you can also change the slug in the Yoast SEO plugin (see the image above) and Rank Math.

NOTE: If you’re changing the Permalinks after having published blog posts, you will need to use a redirect plugin. This is so that you can redirect your old URL links to the new custom version with the ”%postname%”.

5. Add Your Keyword Phrase In The First Paragraph

Practicing good blog SEO means you need to let the reader and Google know immediately what the subject of the post is about.

The first paragraph should include a summary introduction that includes the keyword phrase.

I like to use the method of creating the context in the first paragraph, using the keyword phrase. The first paragraph is usually no longer than three sentences.

This lets me use easy, flowing language to set up the situation. It makes the reader think, “I can identify with this problem – it’s the same one I have.” They are interested to learn about my solution.

TIP: Read your first paragraph out loud. Does the keyword phrase fit nicely with the words? If it sounds off, it’s time to edit and rewrite until it does!

6. Add Your Keyword Phrases Throughout Your Blog Post

Remember when I told you to write down the different long-tail keyword phrases?

Well, now is the time to use the main one, the secondary one and the third one throughout your blog post. This is one of the key aspects of good blog SEO and optimizing your blog posts.

If you’ve pre-written your post, read it out loud while editing it and see if you can add your keyword phrases throughout the post. You should aim to have it evenly distributed.

If your main keyword phrase doesn’t flow nicely, use your secondary one.

Google is intuitive enough to figure out if you’re using similar keyword phrases that point to a specific topic. This makes optimizing your blog post for SEO much easier than you think!

I like using the Rank Math SEO plugin or Yoast’s SEO plugin because they let me know if I’ve done a good job adding keywords throughout the post.

They also tell me how many times I’ve used the keyword phrase. Rank Math lets you add several keyword phrases. You can do this with the Yoast PRO version as well.

7. Include Your Keyword Phrase In The Image Alt-Text

One of the more important SEO tips for bloggers is: don’t ignore alt-text.

The last place where you need to add your keyword phrase for good blog SEO is the alt-text (alternative text) of your image.

Alternative text pops up when your image fails to appear on a page for any technical reason and it helps describe your image for anybody with visual disabilities.

It also helps Google understand what your blog is about, giving it an SEO boost.

Optimizing your blog posts with alt-text helps as Google uses it to populate its “Images” results when you’re searching for images. You want your images to show up in searches!

So how do you implement it on the images in your blog post?

If you’re uploading your image using the Classic editor, you can click on the image to edit it and add the Alt-Text.

If you’re using the block editor, when you add the image on the right-hand side you’ll see an empty box when you can fill out the Alt-text.

The Alt Text should be a short phrase describing the image and including your keyword phrase. For example, this one below has the alt-text as: “Good blog SEO includes filling out the Alt-Text for every image you post.”

Screenshot of how to add alt text for an image in WordPress - blog SEO tips for beginners.

| READ MORE: How To Optimize Images For SEO And A Blog Traffic Boost

8. Use Relevant Internal Links

Optimizing your blog posts by interlinking is one of the most important things you can do to make your blog traffic grow.

Many bloggers don’t do this and it’s one of the best ways to optimize your blog post for SEO.

Chances are that you have at least two to three blog posts that are related to content. Why not let your readers know about them? And at the same time, let Google and search engines know too?

When it comes to on-page SEO, it’s good to add links to older blog posts to new ones you create to help them improve in ranking.

The bonus is that readers will also discover them in your recent blog posts and if interested, click on them.

Blog traffic win!

By spending more time on your blog, readers are indicating to Google and other search engines that your blog has reader-worthy content. This helps your posts improve in ranking.

Add relevant links from older blog posts to boost their rank with Google to keep readers on your blog longer.

Also, when Google crawls your site, it gets a better understanding of your site.

It’s very important to use the right anchor text, in other words, the phrase to which you add your link.

It helps Google identify what the link is about and the topic. So adding the link to a “click here” in each blog post or to a written-out URL makes it less likely to be indexed properly by search engines.

Here’s an example of adding a relevant link with good anchor text that you the reader might be intrigued to read:

| Read More: Top Three Thing To Increase Blog Traffic By 200% In One Month

Rank Math and Yoast’s Pro version help identify similar blog posts making interlinking much easier and quicker.

However, in some cases, it’s good to do a quick manual search of your blog posts for any that either of the plugins may have missed.

I do a filtered search of my posts for similar tags and categories to ensure I’m not missing any.

| Related: How To Set Up Your Categories And Tags For Good SEO

9. Link To Relevant External Content

The last thing to consider for SEO for blogs is external links.

By adding outbound links to relevant, authoritative sites you improve your credibility.

Also, it improves your site’s ranking as you are providing quality information for users to reference.

When adding an external link, make sure to click the option to open the link in a new window.

The reason is that you want to have blog visitors stick around rather than leave your page, going to an external link.

Remember, the longer a visitor stays on your site, the better your site is in the eyes of Google and other search engines!

Moz explains external links for on-page SEO in greater detail if you want to delve deeper into understanding them.

Don’t think of it as having people leave your site. Rather, think of it as you providing your readers with invaluable information, curated on your post, that they can reference.

10. Amazing Content Is Key To Good On-Page SEO

There are a few things that you need to consider when it comes to your actual content and optimizing your blog post for SEO.

  • Make it longer and more in-depth when it comes to information. Search engines like Google index posts that are 1000 words + higher than those that are under 300 words.
  • Use headers with keywords when possible – tags should be H2, H3, and H4. It makes it more reader-friendly, and search engines pick up on the content in the headings. Do not use H1 as it’s used only for titles.
  • Ensure you don’t have any broken links. This is especially true if you’re updating old blog posts and optimizing them for good SEO. Use the Broken Link Checker plugin.
  • Create a call-to-action at the end to encourage comments. Having to write a comment keeps a reader on your site longer, signalling to Google and other search engines that your blog is full of worthwhile information.

Helping a reader solve a problem or providing them with the information they’re seeking greatly improves the quality of your blog posts.

Optimizing your blog posts is the best way to get easy, organic blog traffic with minimal ongoing effort.

The Blog SEO Best Practices: In Summary

By now, you should know that on-page SEO isn’t difficult. It just takes a bit of time. It also takes some getting used to realizing that you are writing for your readers as well as for search engines.

Optimizing your blog posts every time you write and publish should be a natural thing you do every time.

So here is a recap of the key steps in making each blog post optimized when it comes to your on-page SEO:

  • Start with a list of the right keyword and longer keyword phrases
  • Add the keyword phrase in the post title
  • Write a meta description with your key keyword phrase, that’s enticing and invites readers to learn more about the post’s topic
  • Add the keyword in your slug
  • Include the keyword phrase in the first paragraph of your blog post
  • Add the main keyword phrase and other keyword phrases throughout your blog post evenly
  • Write alt-text entries with a keyword phrase for any images you post
  • Include internal links to your posts that are relevant to the topic
  • Add links to authoritative, informative external links

Remember to also optimize your About Me page for on-page SEO to ensure that you and your blog get found. If you’re looking to be found as a specific niche blog, this is where you want to add specific, relevant keywords!

PRO TIP: Learn more about how to write a great About Me page that converts readers into your community members.

Learn More About Boosting Blog Traffic

SEO for bloggers isn’t too difficult, but there are many things to learn. One of the things you’ll need to do to boost your traffic is diversify your sources of traffic.

Find out how you can increase blog traffic by reading these posts:

Feel the need for a deeper dive into SEO for blogs?

Check out my e-book on this topic, where I expand on these points above and give you a fuller picture of what SEO is, why you need it, how to use it and how to give your blog an extra boost for organic traffic after you hit publish.

Get it: Optimize It: A Beginner’s Guide To Blog SEO – a 50-page book & worksheets!

Optimize It EBook 2022

Before you go, did you know that Pinterest also has its own SEO too? Learn how to discover keywords on Pinterest and optimize your pins for more visibility.

QUESTION: What do you find the most confusing about optimizing your blog posts for SEO? What do you find the most confusing about SEO for bloggers?

SEO Tips For Beginners

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