A blog is a fundamental tool when establishing an SEO strategy for your website. For that reason, and for all your articles to rank well in search engines, it is essential to ensure proper SEO techniques.
And it is not only important to improve the SEO of your blog in general, but also of all the articles you post. In this post, I will give you SEO advice to optimize both your blog and each of your posts.
How to index your content on Google
Search engine indexing is a key element when we talk about SEO because without proper indexing of your website and blog, you simply won’t appear in search results.
The Google bot will be responsible for tracking your content through different links, but there are some techniques that help and speed up the process of indexing the pages of your blog:
Create a Sitemap: a sitemap.xml is a file that collects the URLs of your website or blog, and helps Google know how your content is organized and what they need to ‘crawl’ for indexing. In WordPress, there are plugins that create the Sitemap automatically.
Use the Robots.txt: this file, on the other hand, has the function of blocking some URLs that you do not want to be indexed in Google. It also sends an ‘invite’ to Google that you encourage them to index your website.
Update your blog constantly: the more you publish in your post, the more the Google bot will enter to check if there is new content to index. Of course, that’s not why you should post anything, you should bet on the quality content.
Include internal links in your content: linking to other posts of your own blog within your articles will improve general positioning. Also, remember to include some external link. Linking to other sites actually helps your search engine rankings.
Although our goal is for Google to index our pages automatically when you start you can “force” the machine to accelerate the process. Google has a tool where you can send your URLs to manually tell them to review and index them.
Create and configure your Google Search Console account
You can configure the Search Console of your blog. Its correct configuration makes it much easier to index the content correctly. If you still do not have an account, the steps to create it are very simple:
- Visit Google Webmaster Tools and log in with your current Google account or create one for free.
- Add the property (the domain) of your page. Make sure to use the right prefix of your domain (http, https, or www)
- Verify that you are the owner of that domain, Google will give you a couple of methods for verification.
Google Search Console has several tools that will help the positioning of your page, including:
- What keywords are people searching to find your website: it gives you some information about what keywords are bringing you organic traffic.
- Choose preferred domain: as indicated before, you should create (and verify) a property for each type of domain (with www and without www), so you must indicate in Search Console which is the preferred form between the two.
- Indexing state: it tells you how many pages you have sent to index and how many have been indexed correctly
- Sitemaps: here you can send your sitemap.xml and facilitate the work of indexing your website.
- Tracking errors: it tells you which are the errors that the Google bot has detected when it has passed through your site: 404 errors and blocked pages, among others.
The best thing to do is enter your Search Console and see all the possibilities it offers!
Set up your pages and URLs correctly
The structure of your pages, their URLs and redirections are very important when optimizing (or penalizing) the positioning of your blog.
Among the things that you should keep in mind, we find:
- Friendly URLs: the URLs of your posts can not be something like / 30-12-16-titulodelpost-category-185, but should be as clear as possible about the content. Also, it is much better if they contain the main keyword that you would like the page to rank within Google. Another tip is that they do not have more than 100 characters, that you use hyphens “-” and not low bars “_” and that you avoid symbols (accents, questions, etc.).
- Broken links: check very well that you do not link to any page that gives an error, because it can penalize you.
- Custom 404 error page: it is best to personalize your error pages. Try to contain the menu of your page or some way to return to the home, so the user will not leave if they land on a page not found error.
- Operation with and without www: check that your website and your blog work correctly in both ways.
Other strategies to improve the SEO of your blog
There are many more factors that will improve the positioning of your blog, for example:
- Use keywords that have a sufficient search volume (70-80 at the minimum month) but with a medium or low level of competence (10% -20%).
- Create a guest posting strategy on other blogs to link to yours.
- Include links to your social networks.
- Register your page in Google Places.
- Link your blog from your web page so that it passes the page authority.
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Advanced: optimize your page’s performance
If you control a bit of code or have someone on your team who can help you, you could do the following actions :
- Check and improve the loading speed.
- Remove plugins that you do not use.
- Optimize your page for mobile and check that Google recognizes it.
- Install the Google Analytics code.
- Include the tag if your page has several languages.
SEO tips for each article you post
Finally, I’ll give you tips to optimize the positioning of the pages or individual posts of your website or blog:
- In each of your posts, work a keyword with a minimum of monthly searches (50 at least) but with a difficulty of less than 30% (10-20% better).
- Choose 4 or 5 variations of that keyword to include in the post.
- The first paragraphs and the meta description should also contain the main keyword.
- The URL must have the main keyword, be friendly and contain less than 100 characters.
- The title of the post must be H1, and after the article have a descendant hierarchy (H2, H3 …)
- Includes at least one image with an alternative title defined with the main keyword.
- Create both internal links (to other posts on your blog) and external ones.
- Choose an appropriate category for your post.
- Make sure the page is responsive and loads quickly.