Gaining blog traffic doesn’t have to be hard, even if you’re just starting your blog. These blogging SEO tips for beginners can be implemented today so you can achieve your blog traffic goals!
And no, it isn’t as scary as it seems to be. However, it’s true that this won’t get you immediate results, but what it will get you is more passive traffic down the road. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
But before we get into how to write SEO friendly blog posts, let’s understand exactly what SEO is and why it’s so important.
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Table of Contents
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s basically you convincing search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo that they should show YOUR posts to your ideal readers.
When you SEO optimize blog posts, search engines are more likely to rank your content higher in the search results.
This then converts into more clicks to your site.
Why is SEO so important?
First of all, it drives free, organic traffic to your site by making your site more visible to potential customers. Isn’t this what we want?? LOL! According to Moz, the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines so heck yeah, it’s important!
And if you are SEO optimizing your site correctly, it will provide an overall better user experience, making readers want to come back for more.
By building this trust and credibility with your readers, it can provide additional opportunities for you to continue growing your blog business and turn into a profitable one.
SEO Requires Patience
Fair warning, please note that SEO is not a short-term strategy as it does not provide instant results. Once SEO has been implemented, it will likely take a few months before the organic traffic starts rolling in.
So be patient… which is easier said than done, I know LOL. But I promise if you take the time to learn and implement these SEO tips for beginners, you will succeed.
How to Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts
Alright, now that you know what SEO is and why it’s important, it’s time to get down to business and learn how to write SEO friendly blog posts.
Understand how to use keywords
Keywords are a huge part of SEO in regards to blog posts, so it’s important to understand when and how to use them.
Do keyword research
Before you do any writing, the first thing you should do is keyword research on the topic. Why? Because you want to make sure that people are actually searching for the topic you want to write about.
We want our blog posts to be seen by our ideal readers, right? So we have to make sure that we write stuff they want to read. But we also want to make sure that we aren’t competing with high authority sites because it would make it even harder to climb up the ranks.
Ideally, you want to focus on long-tailed keywords with high search volume and a low competition score.
Keyword research tools
The keyword research tool I like to use is KeySearch. Not only because it’s like the most affordable one (LOL) but because it provides extreme value for the price.
Another popular SEO tool bloggers use for keyword research is Semrush. However, this tool is way more extensive and provides additional resources to help improve your SEO. The good thing is you can test it first!
Now that you’ve done keyword research, it’s time to sprinkle them throughout your blog post. But where exactly should you be putting them?
Here is where you should be putting your keywords:
Throughout blog post
Just make sure that you are not keyword stuffing.
You are writing for your readers so you don’t want to overwhelm them with word repetition. This would make it sound like you’re writing for a robot instead of them and this is NOT the impression we want to give off.
The point of these SEO tips for beginners is to attract more readers and keep them, not scare them away once we’ve gotten them LOL.
Another way to write SEO friendly blog posts is to optimize your blog post length. Now, this doesn’t mean to write a bunch of mumbo jumbo LOL. Let’s talk about what this actually means.
Make it lengthy and informational
Yes, it’s true that blog posts should be at least 700-1000 words. This is because longer posts help search engines understand what the post is about so they can send the right readers to it.
But like I said, don’t fluff your blog post just to hit the minimum. Instead, focus on ensuring that the information you are providing is valuable to your reader. When you do this, more than likely, you will find yourself writing more than you expected.
However, if you do find yourself consistently not hitting the minimum word count, consider combining multiple posts of the same topic into one.
In the Stupid Simple SEO eCourse, you learn other ways on how to best SEO optimize your content while providing valuable information to your readers.
While your blog post should be long, the paragraphs should be short. The recommended number of sentences per paragraph is 2-3.
Think about it. When you see long bodies of words, does it make you want to keep reading? Not me LOL. It makes me feel like I am reading an essay or something. I need some white space in-between my thoughts haha!
Use appropriate headings
Another way to add white space to your blog posts is to include headers. Many people online are skimmers (I’m one of them).
This means they glance through the article until they find something they want to know the details of. Headings help show what key points you are covering and allows readers to skip ahead if needed.
However, adding the appropriate headings is even more important for SEO as it also helps Google understand the key points your article is covering.
There should only be one H1 which is the title. There can be multiple of every other heading, but just make sure you are using them as needed. Think of them as chapters and subchapters in a book.
Write for your readers
And of course, probably the most important out of all SEO tips for beginners is to always write for your readers.
With so many SEO guidelines, it can seem like you are supposed to be writing for a robot but this isn’t the case. You should always write for your readers.
I personally like to read my blog post drafts out loud to ensure it sounds like me. It shouldn’t sound like a robot is doing the talking haha. So don’t be afraid to give your blog posts some personality!
Did you know that links (both on-site and off-site) are a critical component of SEO? Let me explain.
Outbound links are ones that link to another site. There are two types of outbound links that bloggers normally include on their posts, sponsored and non-sponsored.
Sponsored links can either be affiliate links or links in posts that link to the sponsors site. These sponsored links must be labeled correctly in order to stay in Google’s good terms. But other than that, Google doesn’t really care if you use these links in your post.
The outbound links that matter are non-sponsored links. This is when you link to another high-authority site from your blog post.
Now why would you want to do this?
It helps build more trust in the content you are sharing by letting Google know that you are giving credit to this site without gaining anything in return. So always try to include at least one outbound link in your articles.
Of course you want readers to stay on your site longer, right? In order to do this, you need to link to other URLs within your own site. But the cool thing is that it not only helps readers know what else you share on your site. Nope.
Internal links help connect your content in a way that helps Google better understand the overall structure of your site. From here, they will determine how to prioritize and rank your posts.
So anytime you have a related article, always add an internal link on your post. You can do this by naturally linking a phrase within a paragraph or you can add a “Related Post” line under it.
And don’t forget to go back and add your new blog post links to older related content as well. Don’t be like me and forget to do this until weeks later LOL.
Now I never said that all SEO tips for beginners are on-post. A part of SEO also involves how other high-authority sites view your site. And this is done through backlinks.
Backlinks are when another site links to yours, so basically the opposite of the outbound links. The reason this is important is because it lets Google know that your site is well-respected within the industry and other leaders trust your knowledge.
So besides making you feel good (LOL), backlinks help your blog posts rank higher in the search results.
But how the heck do you get other sites to link to yours??
Well, my favorite and free method is by using HARO (Help a Reporter Out). It’s a journalist site where they send daily emails requesting experts to provide information on a specific topic.
Many times, if they use your pitch, they provide a link back to your site. However, keep in mind that they receive a ton of pitches and don’t use them all.
So there will be times where it seems like no one is using your quote but don’t give up. It’s all a numbers game so the more pitches you send, the higher your chances of getting quoted.
Thankfully, this isn’t the only way to get backlinks to your site.
There are over 30 ways on how to get backlinks without you having to do blogger outreach. Easy Backlinks for SEO covers all these various methods to help you gain quality backlinks.
I honestly wish I had known this a lot sooner and is why I’m including it in these SEO tips for beginners. Your overall site speed matters because if your site is too slow, the user experience isn’t a great one. This causes search engines to rank your site lower.
Here are a few ways you can increase your site speed without doing too much work.
Compressing your images is actually extremely easy. First, you want to start by only uploading JPG files instead of PNG.
From there, you can use an image optimizer plugin like ShortPixel. This plugin will literally do all the work for you once you have uploaded your image to WordPress. And the best part is you don’t need a monthly plan for this one. I personally opted for the 10,000 images credit and I’m not even close to using them all.
But speaking of plugins, you also want to make sure that you don’t have too many plugins on your site. Having too many can slow it down so only keep the crucial ones.
Some important plugins to keep on your site are:
Yoast SEO or RankMath for SEO guidance
A social sharing plugin like Grow Social Pro
An image compressor like ShortPixel
This list is by far not a full one as it will vary per site. But the point here is to reduce the plugins you have if possible. And definitely ditch JetPack and Instagram carousels, these are known to kill speed.
Sadly, I’m a culprit to this but only because I didn’t know better. So one of the best SEO tips for beginners is to use a good hosting provider.
When I switched from Bluehost to Siteground, I saw an immediate change in speed. And let me tell you… I was hesitant to do this at first because my plan with Bluehost wasn’t up yet, but boy am I glad I did!
I really don’t think I would have been able to have so many blog posts rank on page one of Google if I had stayed with my original provider. So make sure you are using a good host as this one component can make a huge difference.
Stupid Simple SEO: A full blown eCourse on everything you need to know about SEO including keyword research, competitior research, backlinks etc.
The course itself only opens for enrollment a few times a year. In the meantime, this free SEO masterclass can help get you started
Adventures in SEO: Another full SEO course with a different teaching style. This method is good for you if you already have some content on your site and are having trouble finding new content to write about.