You have probably heard about SEO from your blogger friends or from your readings as you try to learn as much as you can about blogging and web publishing. One thing I can tell you, don’t be intimidated. Even new bloggers can apply SEO or search engine optimization on their sites.
SEO is a very lucrative industry on its own, you can google and find companies and individuals offering their services to SEO your website. Check their rates, real expensive. Yet the result is not always guaranteed.
Do you need to hire someone to do SEO for your website? It is up to you. If yours is a business website that could potentially earn high from dramatic increase in website traffic, I would suggest go for it, hire the best SEO team.
But if you are just starting to blog or blogging more on the personal side, I tell you this, you can learn on your own about SEO from tutorials and guides like what you are reading now on iSensey.
Disclaimer: I am not an SEO expert, but I have learned some things after 6 years of web publishing. Please do not rely only on this guide, read as many how to seo tips out there, learn from the more reputable web publishers. If you have friends who are bloggers, approach them and ask them what they do for on-site and off-site SEO. Do not be shy to ask for help.
What is SEO?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. The aim is to put your website or posts on the first pages of search engine results for certain keywords.
To rank your site and articles in such a way that when someone query a keyword that is optimized on your site, your website will be the first on the results page or at least on the first page.
There are different search engines but perhaps the most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo Search, Mozilla Search.
Along your readings, you might also hear about ‘serps’. SERPS is simply ‘search engine result page’. This is the page that displays a list of web pages that potentially answers or match what a user entered on the search engine. So if someone says ‘My website is first on the serps for keyword ‘dog allergy’”. You now know what he is talking about. 🙂
Let’s check which website made it to the first page of serps for kw “dog allergy”.
Why is it important to rank high on serps? It is important because a user would NORMALLY click or open the first website they can see on the result page. The higher you rank, the better your chances of getting organic traffic.
Now, we go to Organic Traffic. What is it? Organic traffic are website visits that comes direct from search engines. The other types of web traffic are “direct traffic” and ‘referral traffic”.
Direct traffic are web visits made when someone directly type your website domain name or your site articles exact link in the browser.
Now, if someone visits your website by clicking your post through a sharing in social media like in Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram, or through links of your posts in forums, other websites, and directories, the traffic you got is called ‘referral traffic”.
What is the better type of traffic? In general, I would have to say organic traffic. Why? Because this means your website and post standing are ranking well in the serps. Also, I believe that clicks coming from a user who visited your website via search engines are worth more in terms of earnings compared to referral traffic. I could be wrong, but based on experience this appears to be true.
Although I have to say this too, for viral and entertainment niche sites – the more important traffic for them is referral traffic from social media.
Finally, we go to my simple and basic tips on how to SEO your website.
SEO 101 TIPS – Simple and Basic Strategy
Again, I reiterate, I am not an expert but I’ll be brave enough to share here in iSensey what we believe the SEO strategies that works for the websites in our portfolio.
Use Heading 3 and Heading 4 within your article.
If you are using WordPress, you can see Heading 3 and Heading 4 from the dropdown menu like this:
I do not use Heading 1 because this is reserve for the website title or name. So for this site, Heading 1 or H1 is “iSensey”.
I also do not use Heading 2 because this is reserve for the post title. For this post, H2 is “SEO – How to Do Basic Search Engine Optimization for New Bloggers”
I use Heading 3 for Section headings. Check out the words “SEO 101 TIPS – Simple and Basic Strategy”, I have formatted this as H3.
I use Heading 4 or H4 for sub-sections. Check out “1. Use Heading 3 and Heading 4 within your article.” It’s formatted as H4.
Headings format gives your post and section proper “weigh” and focus structure. I’m sorry, I couldn’t articulate exactly what headings meant, but that on SEO standpoint, it is important.
Use SEO Plugin for wordpress site or utilize the theme SEO setting (if applicable)
I don’t know its equivalent for websites on Blogger.com. There is a manual way of optimizing your site settings but for us who don’t know coding or are not very techie, we can rely on SEO plugins or themes with ready-to-use SEO settings.
My favorite WordPress plugin for SEO is All in One SEO. Others prefer Yoast SEO premium or free version.
*Some themes have in-built SEO settings like Genesis. iSensey uses Genesis Theme, so I don’t need to add a plugin for SEO.
So how do you use this plugin or the theme SEO settings? If you are using a plugin, activate it first so that you can fill-in the settings.
Check out the Genesis SEO Settings: you need to fill-in the Document Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords. Make sure your meta description and meta keywords are reflective of what your site is about, the post topics that you will write about. Click picture to enlarged.
It is similar on SEO plugin All in One SEO you need to fill-in the Home Page Setting this is usually the name of the site, Home Description – what your site is about, Home Keywords – the major keywords that will be the focus of your website articles. Example below, click to enlarge pic.
Fill-up post SEO settings
When you have entered your SEO settings in No. 2 above, every time you create a new article you will see the SEO settings section for the article. This section is located below the post content. Make sure that you also fill-in the SEO settings for that article. Check this out for demo:
Title field – I use the same post title; others input a different title.
Summary or description – Enter a snippet about the article or aim to describe what the post is about in 160 characters. You can go over 160 characters but search engines usually will only use the first 160 characters in the SEO summary / description.
Keyword or meta tags – enter the keywords or keyword strings focus for this article, separate each keyword with a comma.
Example post seo settings for this article you are reading right now:
Tip: On the field “meta keywords” or “keywords” in SEO Settings under each article when you are writing a post, after you input all the relevant keywords for the article, COPY + PASTE them into the “Tags” field on the sidebar. This saves retyping of keywords on the Tags field.
Some would say entering tags is not useful since Google doesn’t use tags to rank anyway. This is what I have to say, Google is not the only search engine around. Other search engine uses your post tags to rank pages. So it won’t hurt if you will input tags for every article.
Use related terms to your main keywords within the article –target LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing.
What is LSI? It is used by search engines like Google to group together closely similar terms, identifying these as the post or page main keywords. In a way, each well-thought-of keyword will support each other or boost each other with the aim of ranking higher on the serps.
You can optimize your article by injecting related words to your focus keywords. Back on our sample ‘dog allergy’ as the main keyword for the post, you can use other related terms within the post like diseases of dogs, canine allergy, symptoms of allergy, dog remedy allergy, pet, dog care, dog sickness, illness of pet dogs, pet care, pet allergy care, etc.
Another sample would be “car”, related keywords that you can use within the post could be vehicle, engine, gas, wheel, auto, road, fuel, automobile, transportation, etc.
Use formatting properly for maximum impact.
You can use “bold”, “underline”, “italics” in writing your article. These will serve as highlights of your post, aside from the H3 and H4 keywords.
Highlighting the important keywords is important but you have to make sure that you will strike a good balance. A post peppered with bolds or italics does not look nice, plus, bolding or italicizing too many terms will lessen the formatting’s impact. Use with caution.
For every article, it is good to have at least 1 picture which will serve as the article’s featured image.
Readers shares website posts on social media. Check your Facebook page right now, notice that shares of website articles are accompanied by a picture. This picture is usually the “featured image” of the post. Attractive pics can entice more readers to click the link, and in turn you will get new views on your website.
Aim for at least 350 words per article.
Long quality articles tend to perform better in search engine ranking versus short posts. iSensey posts are generally more than 500 words per article. But one thing you have to be careful though, adding “fluff” on your post to make it longer or just to hit the target number of words can hurt your post ranking more than boost it.
Aim for quality output always. Quality content is king.
Choosing the right keyword can spell the difference in ranking.
How do you choose the right keywords to rank for your post? There is no clear rule on this, or at least I am not aware of one. But you can certainly apply strategies to help you get good keywords for what you are writing about.
Example on our ‘dog allergy’ main keyword, what other keywords can we use to optimize the article?
Aim to use keywords that users are already searching for.
Where do we get the keywords that users are actually searching for? There are available special softwares for just this – keyword generation. But unfortunately, most of them are paid. Some vendors do offer trial period to test out their service or software.
I don’t use paid keyword generating software for iSensey and all my other sites. I use what is readily available, the search engine themselves and intuition.
For search engine – Go to Google Chrome now and type in slowly the words dog allergies, what are the suggested terms that show-up?
You can weave-in the suggested terms within your article, since you know other users have entered these as their query strings when they use the search engines to look for an answer. Sometimes Google and other search engines will show up first on serps the webpages or websites that has the exact words in the same sequence.
For intuition or ‘gut-feel’– before I write an article or at least while I am writing, I try to put myself in the shoes of my potential readers. And ask these questions – If I am a reader, how will I search for info on search engine so I get the answer I want? What could my target readers be searching with regards to the topic I am writing about? What could be their train of thoughts as they type in their query? How can I match their possible questions that will be entered in a search engine?
At the end of reflection, I will try my best to write out potential question or search term in the same arrangement and sequence as what I think my readers will type-in. Sometimes grammar will be sacrifice in writing the SEO way. But it doesn’t always have to be like that. Remember that a reader would want to read articles that use simple words and use good sentences constructions and most of all, useful info.
For this iSensey SEO post, perhaps a new blogger will query how to do basic seo or how to implement seo on website or ways to SEO. Did you catch what I just did there? If you didn’t, I entered a sentence or group of words that I believe a potential reader will type-in the search engine, that hopefully will end up reading this post. 😀
Is it effective? I will only know for sure if I can spot the keywords being use via the keyword tracking program I use (Google Analytics or Statcounter).
Wish me luck, hehe.
*Strategies and recommendations discussed on this post are for On-site SEO. “Off-site SEO” is a different method.
Wow! This is perhaps the longest article I’ve written for iSensey. Lol. I sincerely hope you found a gem or two in this sharing about SEO tips and strategies. If you are a new blogger or web admin, I hope this can start you in writing SEO optimized post.
This is by the way the ALL TIME TRAFFIC snapshot of this website as tracked by WordPress Jetpack. I started iSensey January 29 this year but January to March, I was only able to published 12 articles lol. I started publishing more on this website starting April 2016. Main traffic contributors are search engines; organic traffic coming mostly from Google. I also had a good showing for Facebook referral, but I attribute it again to writing useful post that are seo optimized since if you go and check my Facebook FB page for iSensey, I only have 33 followers, and no shares or like activities on my FB sharings. Lol.
I am weak in social media engagement. :/ This is my target room for improvement.
A year and a half after, this is now the ALL TIME TRAFFIC stats of this website. 98% of traffic comes from search engine. The way the articles are written – seo optimized – really helps!
Again, I am no expert, so please revalidate my recommendations and strategies by visiting other websites and learning from the more seasoned SEO experts. I am also very open to suggestions of other web admins on additional SEO tips, if you know of more ways to optimize a site, do share!
I do hope that you will give this post a vote of confidence by SHARING this post. That’ll be totally cool! Thank you!
See you again in iSensey! Cheers to our blogging success! Follow iSensey on Facebook.