SEO For Bloggers: Here’s What You Need to Know

Blog-Domains help at SEO

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If you’re serious about growing your blog audience, you’ll want to get to know search engine optimization (SEO): the art of getting your blog to appear higher up in search results.

1. Data helps you make smart decisions

Your SEO isn’t just chance. There is plenty of data available to guide your decisions, and part of mastering the art of SEO is interpreting and learning from the data available to you. Google Analytics is your first port of call, giving you valuable insights into how people are using your blog: how much time they spend on your site, where they’re from, and what keywords they’re using to find you. You’ll also be able to gather data on your competitors’ websites, and Google Search Console gives you detail on the technical side of your site’s performance showing you how many pages are included in Google’s search results and whether there are any that need to be fixed.

2. Know your site structure

For search engines to rank websites in helpful way, they need to understand your site and what it’s about. Technical SEO deals with the things that affect how easily search engines can crawl (read) and index (include in results) your site, and your site structure is one of its fundamental components. Improve your SEO by locating and fixing site errors and uploading an XML sitemap, a readable “map” of your site for search engines.

3. Be fast and mobile-friendly

Smartphones have overtaken desktops, so it’s more important than ever to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and quick to load. It gives your visitors a better experience, yes, but from an SEO perspective, mobile-friendly sites perform better in Google search results.

4. Speak your audience’s language

SEO revolves around ‘keywords‘ -- the words and phrases people type into search engines to find what they are looking for. Harnessing keywords gives you the power to reach the right people, and learning how to do keyword research helps you gather the data you need to understand your audience and market demand.

5. Build the best content to stand out

“Content is king” is a cliched phrase, but it became a cliche for a reason: it’s essential to create content that provides value to people if you want to get your website ranking well in search engines. Understanding what your target audience values is crucial to creating content that will get read, shared and linked to.

6. On-page optimization helps mark content as relevant

On-page optimization is the process of optimizing the individual pages on your website so search engines drive them relevant traffic. Keywords play a big part in SEO, and you can target them, including them throughout your website’s pages to help make each page more relevant for certain searches. Your title tags and meta descriptions are a good place to start. Deploying keywords effectively in your title tags will help algorithms understand what searches your site should rank for, while your meta descriptions are your first chance to attract visitors by showing them your content answers their search query, giving them a reason to click onto your blog.

7. Local SEO has its own rules and tactics

If you’re trying to get your website or blog in front of an audience of local people, there are a few added considerations for location-specific SEO. While these tend to be more relevant to local businesses, like restaurants or shops, our local SEO tips will also be useful if your blog’s audience is people in a particular area. Including the name of the city in the title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, alt attributes, and page URLs would be a good start!

8. Build natural backlinks

One of the most important ranking factors for search engines is the number and quality of backlinks to your site -- that is, other sites that link to you. Links from trusted websites are worth more; a link from the BBC would be worth far more than one from a brand new blog. You can earn these backlinks by creating content that people want to link to, and by promoting your work the old-fashioned way -- marketing and PR.

9. Forget shortcuts

Gone are the days when you could take shortcuts to cheat search engines into giving you top rankings. These days, algorithms are much more sophisticated, and SEO is something you’ll have to work at over the long term to get results. Create great content and keep trying to get your name out there to stand the best chance of SEO success.

The relationship between better ranking and the new top-level domains was proved by a study of Searchmetrics for Berlin-domains. Websites with Berlin-Domains frequently place better than websites with .de domains and .com domains in regional searches with Google. The result of the study by Searchmetrics can be summarized as follows:

"42% of searches show that .berlin domains rank better locally ."

The study of Total Websites in Houston shows that the results by Searchmetrics can be generalized to all new top level domains, including the Blog-Domains: It was proved that Google uses the domain endings of the New Top Level Domains as a key element for the assessment of domains. Total Websites draws as a conclusion:

"It is clear that the new top-level domains improve the ranking in search engines. "

It may sound a lot, but SEO basics don’t require a lot of technical know-how -- and we’re here to help!

Hans-Peter Oswald (English) (German)
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