I started my blog here in October 2016. It was a time when I was working way too much, not getting enough sleep, and losing my creative drive. I had to change something.
At first, I focused just on having a creative project to do after work. I started by creating a simple, pretty website. Soon, though, I had four pages, some social media links, and few pre-written posts.
It looked great to me so it was super tempting to launch my blog right away. Yet I had to hold myself back. I still had a few more technical things to think about.
You know the cliche, “showing up is half the battle”? Okay, it’s corny, but showing up is truly half the battle when it comes to your blog. By that I mean showing up on search engines. It’s not enough to just have a blog. You want to make sure that it ranks well when someone runs a search and that search engines aren’t penalizing your site for some natural mistakes. For me, it took until December to get on top of those technical things.
How to Start Making Your Blog SEO Friendly
I’m a former SEO Specialist (now digital marketer). So, admitting that SEO came last for my blog here is kind of embarrassing. At the same time, SEO usually does come last on a website’s pre-launch checklist. So at least I was able to refrain from launching my site before tackling the few things I needed to make my site SEO friendly.
In this post, I’ll help you do the same by showing you the steps I took to make this blog indexable by search engines. I’ll tell you how I was able to do it and what tools I used (including some free ones I’ll be giving away for you!)
6 Thing You Can Do Today Make Your Blog Search Friendly
Make an Editorial Calendar
Here’s the good news. The best thing you can do to make your site successful is to focus on your content. That means you should continue to write awesome posts on a regular basis. Just try to remember to also include some on-page SEO measures to make sure those posts get found. Namely, remember that each post you write should have a keyword that you use in your post’s title, meta descriptions, h1 headers, and in the post content itself.
For this blog, I use a Google sheet to help me both plan out my topics and to prepare some of these more technical things ahead of time. That way, I can just focus on writing my posts later on - a.k.a. the fun part!
You can do the same with this free blog editorial calendar sheet. Plus, once you have one to three months worth of content planned out, you can start pre-writing your posts so that you can take a worry-free vacation down the road!
Focus on Your Content
- People are sick of constant promotions, cold-calls, sales, and ads. It becomes literal white noise after a while. Yet, they naturally crave stories!
- Content helps you relate and build a relationship with your target audience.
- Each post you write can be repurposed, re-shared, or re-leveraged so you can continue to earn new leads and engagement.
- Well researched content can establish you as a thought leader in your industry or niche.
- Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social media.
- Each post you write counts as a new page that can by indexed be Google. Meaning, you’ll have more opportunities to be found when readers run a search!
- You can use your content as an additional tool to help direct people to a landing page offer and thank you page that will take them further into the buyer’s journey.
- A solid content marketing strategy can increase your online traffic by 850%.
Leverage Alt Text
Alt text is another way to show search engines what your content is about. You can add alt text to your images by using the keyword for your page or post. This helps prove that your content is relevant to search engines and it helps searchers find your posts when they run an image search.
I try to use unique alt text for every image on my site here. Plus, I make sure to add my site name to each of my original pictures to help increase my brand awareness (and to make sure no one claims my pictures for their own).
Implement Clear Navigation
Nothing can hurt your bounce rates more than a menu that isn’t well designed. I’m sure you’ve been to a site where you couldn’t find the menu or a page you’re looking for, right? Inevitably, you just get annoyed and leave the site (or bounce away). That’s why a simple menu that is clear and easy to use on both desktop and mobile devices is so important!
Thankfully, Wordpress sites handle the menu issue for you so you don’t have to worry. Just make sure you don’t have a million sub-tabs for each menu item and you should be good to go. If you made your site yourself, like me, my best advice is to go for simplicity over anything fancy when it comes to your menu design.
Have A Solid Mobile Design
Late last year it was reported that there were officially more mobile users than desktop users online during a month. I seriously remember exactly where I was when I saw the headline for that article by the way. It’s just quickly becoming true that people are on their phones more often than they’re on a computer. That’s why your website should naturally look good on both platforms.
For my site, I created the mobile design first. Again, many Wordpress themes make it easy to tackle the mobile design issue. To help though, make sure you consider the mobile version of your theme before you commit to it.
Install Google Analytics
In the words of Nike and Shia LaBoeouf, Just Do It! It’s super simple and it will help you see who is coming to your site, what is working on your site, and how you are acquiring new traffic. If you want to grow your site or blog, Google Analytics will be your best friend to help you create a strategy to do so.
Okay, now you have six actionable things you can do today to make your blog more searchable. Now, it’s time to buckle down and get SEO savvy. I’m excited for you to start. While you’re working on your six steps to become a more search friendly blog, I’m going to leave you with two things.
The first is your content editorial calendar. The second is the first chapter of the Blogger’s Guide to SEO Basics - an eBook I’ll be launching next week. This first chapter will cover some more in-depth SEO principles so that you can start making your blog the very best it can be. It will help you prioritize your SEO efforts and will go over how search engines begin to rank sites. I hope you enjoy!