by Jessica Amey

When I first started my blog, over seven years ago now, I had no idea about the technical side of things. I signed up with WordPress.com to start with and just started writing. Then after a few months when I knew I was really serious about it and wanted to take things further I decided to buy my domain and go self-hosted.

Around this time I started going to blog conferences and learning about how to run a successful blog and discovered something called SEO, or search engine optimization. This is essentially what will lead new visitors to your blog, so when someone is typing something into a search engine you ideally want to come up as high in the search results as possible because they are the links that people will click on the most. I know I rarely go to the bottom of the first page or results and never click to page two so the higher, the better.

There are some things you can do to help this process though and I will share a few of them below..

Be consistent.
I would say this and posting regular, well written content is the number one thing you can do to build a successful website that does well in search engine results. A website needs to become established and that isn’t really something you can rush.

Have a niche.
I run a few blogs and the ones which have a clear focus do a lot better in search results because search engines know what your website is about, so whether it is food, crafts, travel etc. If you are a lifestyle blogger and writing about completely different things then it becomes harder for search engines to know what your blog is about.

Use an SEO optimized blog theme.
When choosing a blog theme, look for one that is SEO optimized.

Change your permalink structure.
You can do this in the settings section, if you’re using WordPress. Changing it to the post title instead of the date means that you can use your keywords and they will be picked up.

Write posts about things that will help people.
I used some henna hair dye once and blogged about the experience, I still get hits on that post every day because people search about henna a lot. Posts about what you did at the weekend are unlikely to come up in search results because people won’t be looking for that content.

Use a plugin.
I use Yoast and it allows you to enter your chosen keyword and gives you tips on how to optimize your blog post. Things like adding alt text to images, using the keyword in the first paragraph etc. Also making sure the post has a certain number of words.

Think about using an expert.
If you are starting a business or just really can’t be bothered with the hassle of thinking about the technical side of things yourself then you could always look at using an SEO agency.

‘Collaborative Post’

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