5 Easy SEO Tips to Increase Traffic to Your Blog

Getting found on Google is like the elusive golden ring in the “Lord of the Rings” (who am I kidding, I slept through all 3 movies). A good SEO strategy means that the Google spiders will find your content and index it on their search engine. SEO can be pretty intimidating and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve broken down 5 easy SEO tips to increase traffic to your blog posts.

a screen shot of a Yoast SEO analysis

Before you get started…I strongly recommend installing an SEO plugin because it will offer tips on how to improve your post’s SEO ranking. I always use Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress, although there are several to choose from. It is by far the most popular and it is very easy to use. Yoast uses a stop-light ranking to show how your post’s SEO status  – red for there’s some issues, orange for needs improvement, and green for good. It lists specific actions you can do to move from red to green.

Here is the Yoast ranking of one of my recent blog posts that didn’t do so well! Orange light for SEO. Yoast offered me 4 red light suggestions and 5 orange list suggestions.

Don’t stress about getting every suggestion to green light, but do a few to get the overall analysis to green. If you follow up suggestions below, your post should turn to green.

Before we start, you need to understand the terms “keyword phrase.”

What’s your keyword phrase?

Your keyword phrase is the most important piece of your SEO strategy. Your keyword phrase is a group of words that describe your content. They are the group of words that someone might type into the google search bar and find your amazing content!

Your keyword phrase needs to be relevant and specific to your blog copy. You want to use words that are commonly searched but also specific so that you are not competing with so many other blog posts. Confused yet?

Let me explain…if you wrote an article about snacks and wanted to use the term ‘healthy snacks’, there would be lots of website traffic searching for those terms HOWEVER, you are competing with so many other posts using the same key phrase. You probably wouldn’t show up on the first page. However, if you used the term ‘healthy snacks for kids,’ there is less traffic searching for those words BUT you are competing with less posts. That means you would be more likely to appear.

The easiest way to find keywords is to Google it!

When I am looking for keywords, I often type my preferred phrase into google and see what posts come up in the search bar or scroll to the bottom of the page for Google’s suggestions.

Here is an example using the search term ‘healthy snacks’:

What am I looking for:

  • Looking at the words that are used in the titles and meta descriptions
  • How relevant are they to my blog post
  • What are the variations of key words used – write them down and use them in your own post

Before you hit publish on your next post, here are 5 Easy SEO Tips to Increase Traffic to Your Blog:

  1. Use the keyword phrase in your post title

The first place to start is with your post title. This is what will appear when someone is searching for your topic. So make it obvious so that they can find you! The purpose of your title is to make people click on it.

Here are some tips on writing a good title:

  • Make it brief but specific to your blog post
  • Make it enticing by telling people how they will benefit (what they will learn or how it will help them)
  • If you are using a plugin like Yoast, it will suggest the length and show you how your title will appear in search engines.

2. Write a meta description

Your meta description is the short snippet that describes your content. In search engines, it will usually appear under the post title and gives you another opportunity to entice readers to click on it.  Unfortunately, you can’t completely control what or how many characters Google will display, but it’s a good idea to not leave it to chance. If you are using Yoast, there is a text field where you can input a description.

A good meta description is:

  • Approximately 120 to 156 characters. So keep it short and specific. Keyword phrase (use in the post title, and first paragraph, and throughout blog post)
  • Be sure to use your keywords in the meta description
  • Be creative and write something that will make your reader want to click on your link
a screen shot of a good meta description and one easy SEO tip to get more traffic to your blog post
Here are some of the queries that appear for the key phrase “healthy snacks.” The meta description for Jamie Oliver’s site is short, but tells me exactly what I am going to get if I click on the link.

3. Include ALT descriptions on all your photos

Alt descriptions (or alt tags) are the text that appears in place of an image if your image fails to load. It helps the Google spiders understand what your image is and allows the visually impaired to understand what the image is.

A good alt description is:

– relatively short. Aim to keep it under 125 characters

– specific – try to describe the image as specifically as possible

– includes your key words – this is another opportunity to include your keywords and signal to a search engine that your post is relevant to a particular search query

4. Link to other content on your site

An internal link is any link on your webpage to another page on your site. Why are internal links helpful? – helps Google understand the structure of your website

– helps Google find other relevant content on your site

Including 1-3 internal links in your post is a super-easy way to increase your SEO ranking  AND guide your reader to other relevant content on your site.

So somewhere on your post, include a link to other content that might be of interest to your reader.

So hey, here’s my internal link…Building your own site? Here are 6 essentials you’ll need to create the perfect money-making home page.

5. Link to another website

Linking to an outside website is called Outbound Links. At first you might think that sending someone away from your site is counterintuitive. However, outbounds links can be very helpful for your SEO ranking. Outbound links help build trust, authority and authenticity to your overall page. Ultimately you want other sites to link to you, so by linking to other websites helps build relationships with other businesses. If you are linking to someone’s site, send them a heads up and they may help promote your post, thereby bringing more traffic to your site.

Just make sure that when you include the url link, to have it open in a new window.

Outbound links should be relevant to your post topic. They are a great way to show an example of something, reference a fact or give credit to an idea or topic.

If you want to dive deeper into SEO tactics or just need to understand more SEO terms, check out Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO or Hubspot’s SEO blog posts.

If you are working on your website SEO or still not sure where to start, don’t hesitate to connect with me.