Note that this is the ultimate guide to SEO!
SEO has become one of the major factors for ranking a post well on SERPs. So, people those who wanna rank their posts with different search queries on SERPs and get more organic traffic to their blogs or websites are curious to know everything about it.
For all these reasons, I’ve intended to write an SEO training so that all of you can learn the in-depth information about SEO. This might be the all-in-one SEO training course if you can be quite attentive in learning the post well. I hope that reading this post will be enough to learn SEO and you won’t have to be with any SEO training institute further.
So, let’s move on.
What is SEO?
The expanded form of SEO is Search Engine Optimization. Google along with other search engines ranks posts on their search results by judging many types of factors. All the search engines try to show up the best results on top of their SERPs. To do so, all the search engines use some algorithms. Some of the algorithms are known and some are unknown. Some are secret, some are disclosed.
So, SEO is a widely practiced thing to learn more and more of its secret. Good SEO determines how well your posts are optimized for search engines.
SEO is updated over time, so today’s best SEO practices might be obsolete tomorrow. For this reason, it’s important to keep an eye on the updates of SEO.
SEO experts are always trying to reveal the secrets of lesser-known SEO techniques. This needs recurring practice. Suppose that, you have ranked one of your posts by taking some of the ethical techniques. Now, these techniques will be considered as some of the proven SEO techniques for the recent time.
Why is SEO important?
From the previous discussion, I think that it’s very clear to you why SEO is important! Yes, SEO is crucial because of ranking a post on top of SERPs. Some good bloggers can’t rank their posts well on SERPs because of not being able to nail the SEO properly.
Depriving of properly optimized posts means that you’ll hardly see any organic traffic to your blog. Do you know what organic traffic is? In case you don’t know about this, I’m telling you this now. DON’T WORRY!
Organic traffic means the visitors that come from searching through the search engines. Yes, if you search a query on Google and you click on the shown results, then you’re becoming an organic visitor of the site.
Types of SEO
There are mainly two types of SEO –
- On-page SEO and
- Off-page SEO
On-page SEO is related to the optimizations involved with your posts and sites. So, you have the full control over this type of SEO. On the other hand, off-page SEO is done externally which has little control at your hand for optimizing your posts.
So, when we talk about optimizing your posts for search engines, we mainly emphasize on the on-page SEO of those posts.
Now I’ll show you how to optimize your posts with on-page and then off-page SEO.
Here are the on-page SEO techniques which you should follow in order to maintain a decent SEO in your posts and site.
Have you ever heard the term “keywords”? I guess you have! Well, to start SEO, the first thing that you’ll have to learn is keywords. In fact, to me, it took much time to understand how keywords work for SEO.
When I started my first ever blog, I used to write posts without paying heed to keywords. As a result, I saw that none of my posts was getting ranked on search results. So, it was the time when I initiated to learn about keywords well.
Keywords are nothing but your search queries that you put on different search engines. Suppose that you need to read some posts on “how to learn SEO”, then this is a keyword. A keyword can be differently worded like 1 to multiple words.
You can get a lot of keyword suggestions using several tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs etc. Learn how to use Google Keyword Planner to get suggestions for keywords.
First of all, visit Google Keyword Planner (Click Here). It will take you to the sign-in page of the tool. You’ll have to do the sign-in with your Google account (a Gmail account). To do so, hit this button.
After that, you’ll see that there are some options for dropping keywords. Use the top option which will open a box like the below image –
Now, write the main keyword in the box. Suppose that you wanna have suggestions for copywriting. Then write in in the box and then go to the option below –
It’ll also open up a box where you’ll have to write down the word (s) that you need to keep in the suggested keywords. I’ve written the same keyword “copywriting” in the box.
Now, hit the “Get ideas” button which will show the relevant suggestions.
You’ll see the suggested keywords like the image below –
As I’ve included the word “copywriting”, it’s with all the suggested keywords.
So, you can see that when we need to search anything on the internet, we need to search with some specific keywords. Our search is initiated with some keywords, so this can easily give you the impression of the importance of them.
Now, I’ll tell you how to target keywords. To do this, you’ll first have to consider your blog’s niche. Suppose that your blog is in the niche of health. Then some of the keywords might be like these –
- Health tips
- Health issues
- Healthy exercises etc
So, first of all, you’ll have to begin your on-page SEO with targeting some relevant keywords of your blog’s niche. Some bloggers make a list of their targeted keywords so that they can write on the keywords without any interruption.
But you can’t simply write on any keyword that you wish because you’ll have to consider some things in a keyword to know whether you can use it or not. The reason is that not all the keywords are good enough to write because you’ll always have to target those keywords that are easy to rank.
To understand whether a keyword is good enough to choose or not, you’ll need to check a few things in it. You can check the things yourself or use a decent tool for saving a lot of your time and effort.
I usually use SEMrush to check whether I’ll write on a keyword or not because this tool gives me a quick understanding. I can avoid a lot of time wastage on keyword research.
The first thing that I determine in a keyword is its KD which means the keyword difficulty. Yes, SEMrush shows the KD of any keyword which is a good quick view of whether you should target a keyword or not. The lower the KD of a keyword, the easier you can rank with it.
So, your main target is to choose those keywords that have low KD. If I see that a keyword is currently showing the KD of more than 70, I try to avoid those keywords. SEMrush uses several factors to score the KD of a keyword. One of the major factors of this is whether there’s any big competitor there on the first page of SERPs.
Yes, if you see that the keyword that you’re targeting has been ranked by many strong competitors, then your chance of ranking with the keyword is quite slim. So, you shouldn’t waste your time on writing high KD keywords because you can hardly hope to rank with these types of keywords.
After looking at the KD of your targeted keywords, you’ll have to consider the average monthly search volumes of those keywords. Yes, you’ll have to target those keywords that are searched a decent number of times per month.
If a keyword is searched 100 times per month, then you’ll get 2 – 3 visitors to your blog post written on the keyword if the post is ranked at the 10th position of Google. Note that the 10th ranked post typically gets 2% clicks of the total searches.
Even if you can rank the post at the 1st position, the highest number may be around 33 – 35 because the topmost ranked post gets around 33% of total hits.
So, you can see that targeting a highly searched keyword is worth it because that time all your hard work will bring a decent number of visitors to your blog. I usually target those keywords that are searched at least 5000 times per month. This is because if I can rank a post even at the 10th place of Google with a keyword, then it guarantees that my blog will receive around 100 visitors.
So, getting 100 visitors, you can agree to work hard for it, right? The same way, you should also take those keywords into consideration that are searched decently per month.
Another considerable thing of a keyword is its length. You’ll hear that most people are telling you to use long-tail keywords! Yes, long-tail keywords are usually easy to rank, so you may be advised to use them.
Long-tail keywords are those keywords that have more than 3 words in them. How to learn SEO is a long-tail keyword because it contains fours words in it.
The keyword how to learn SEO –
On the other hand, SEO training isn’t a long-tail keyword because it has only two words in it. Usually, some bloggers only target long-tail keywords which I see a wrong practice. I’ve also mentioned this point in the “SEO mistakes” article that you shouldn’t only target long-tail keywords.
Rather you should use both long-tail and its short versions. Let me clear this. Suppose that a keyword is like this – “How to learn SEO”. Then one of the short versions of the keyword is as follows –
- Learn SEO
So, you should also focus on this short form of the main long-tail keyword because then your blog will be eligible for ranking with both the long and the short keywords.
Also, you should use LSI keywords. Using LSI keywords has a great impact on ranking with multiple keywords with a single post. To show the importance of using both long and short tail keywords, I’ve already shown you the use of LSI keywords.
To clarify more about it, now I’m talking a bit about LSI keywords here.
LSI keywords are the synonymous keywords of another keyword. Suppose that you’re writing a post on a keyword named “SEO training”, then some of the synonymous keywords of this are the following –
- SEO training certification
- Google SEO training
- Free SEO training material etc
So, these are the LSI keywords of the main keyword. Now, if I use these keywords, then what will be the benefits? Well, using some LSI keywords with the main keyword has the following benefits –
- Using some LSI keywords makes your blog posts naturally written because of not stuffing them with the main keywords.
- Yoru blog posts will be expected to rank for multiple keywords because the LSI keywords are also rankable.
You can think of some of the keywords that are similar to the main keywords which will give you some LSI keywords. If you wanna get some LSI keywords using a tool, then you can do so by using one of the nice tool named LSIGraph.
Now, learn how to use LSIGraph to find out LSI keywords.
To use the tool, you’ll first have to visit LSIGraph (Click Here).
After that, you’ll see the homepage of the site. There’s a blank box on the homepage where you’ll have to type a keyword.
Under the box, there’s a security checkbox for making sure that you’re not a robot.
After checking the box, you’ll have to hit the “GENERATE” button to generate many LSI keywords of the given keyword.
As I’ve tested it with the keyword “SEO training”, the tool came up with a list of many LSI keywords like the below image –
So, this is an easy way of generating many LSI keywords within a minute.
Now, what you have learned for using keywords? Well, here are the things if you summarize it –
- Low KD keywords
- High search volume
- Both short and long-tail keywords
- LSI keywords
So, consider the above-mentioned things and you’ll be fine with using keywords for your blog posts.
So, you have learned how to choose keywords for your blog posts! Now is the time to learn the keyword prominence. Keyword prominence will teach you the positions where you’ll have to put your targeted keywords for the optimum results.
Yes, you should know that using a keyword on some of the specific places of a blog post can improve its ranking. So, keyword prominence has a great impact on ranking well on SERPs.
Here are the positions where you’ll try to use your targeted keywords –
- The title of a post is the first place where the main targeted keyword of the post must be placed. This will help search engines consider your post to be relevant to the respective keyword.
- Placing the keyword at the initial part of the title or headline of a blog post is also effective for improving its ranking.
- Then the next place where you must use the keyword is the URL or the permalink of the post. You can even use only the keyword in the URL section of your blog post.
- The first paragraph of a blog post is a crucial area for putting your targeted keyword. So, try to use the main keyword once in the first paragraph of your blog post.
- You should use some header tags (H1, H2, H3 etc) and try to inject the keyword in any of them.
- Then you should also use the main keyword a few times in the body of the post.
- The closing of a post should be ended with the main keyword or an LSI keyword.
- You should also use the main keyword and its LSI options in the tags section of your blog post which will be discussed later in this post.
- The main keyword should also be in one of the images of your post.
- Finally, use the main keyword in the meta description of the post too.
So, these are some of the important places where you’ll have to use your targeted keywords.
Now, look at how to really use a keyword in a post from the below description –
Suppose that I’m gonna write a post on this keyword “what are LSI keywords”. Then, I may make a title like “The Ultimate Guide on What Are LSI Keywords”. The title has the keyword in it.
Then, I can make the permalink of the post like what-are-lsi-keywords. You see that there are two stop words (what and are) in the keyword which you can also remove from the previously made permalink because the stop words are likely to be avoided. So, the updated permalink can be lsi-keywords.
Also, you must keep each of your blog posts’ permalink as simple as possible. To do so, follow WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks > Choose ‘Post name’ under Common Settings.
After that, I’ll try to use the keyword in the first paragraph of my post. Then, I’ll try to write the whole post naturally and make sure that the keyword has been used a few times naturally in it.
I must drop the keyword in the tag section. Due to the great importance of LSI keywords, I won’t mind using some of them in the post and in the tag section too. The meta description should keep the keyword too. So, I’ll put the keyword in the meta description of the post.
If you can write your post this way, you could expect to rank it on search engine results.
The high amount of keyword density was a past practice to completely leverage SEO, but now it’s a declining practice. Yes, early on, most bloggers used to fill their blog posts with different keywords. Sometimes the use of keywords becomes so exaggerated that the posts written this way look unnaturally crafted.
If you look at the current trend, then you’ll see that most of the top ranked posts aren’t stuffed with keywords, rather they’re ranked for creating value to the readers. Also, there’s a high chance of getting penalized if your posts are stuffed with different keywords.
Sometimes, you may struggle to count the keywords used in your posts. So, you should use a decent SEO tool on your site so that you can check how many times you’re using the targeted keywords.
I use Yoast SEO plugin for all of my WordPress blogs. This plugin shows me the keyword usage along with many other things real-time. So, I can monitor my keyword density in any post.
So, what’s the best practice for maintaining keyword density? Well, you should write your blog posts naturally. So, after maintaining the basic keyword prominence maintenance, you should use the keywords in your posts only when you see that they’re coming naturally.
The keyword density can be between around 0.1% and 1%. So, you should use the targeted keyword at best 1 time in every 100 words. It’s never wise to exceed this percentage of keyword density because of risking your posts.
Tags are also important for ranking your posts, so you should also choose some appropriate tags to your posts. You can use some of the relevant keywords as your posts’ tags.
If you use WordPress, then adding tags to your blog posts are super easy. Follow the below steps to add tags to your blog posts –
First of all, go to the dashboard of your WordPress site. On the right side of the dashboard, there’s an option named “Tags”. Then, your work is just to choose your preferred keywords, put them in the box and then hit the “Add” button. That’s it.
You should limit the number of tags up to 3 in every blog post. Also, all the tags of a single post should be relevant. As the tags, the main and the LSI keywords are quite okay to use.
Like tags, you should also write your posts according to a relevant category. It’ll be easy to understand your posts aim if you can take each of them in a specific category.
To add a category to your posts, follow the below steps –
On the right side of any WordPress dashboard, you’ll see the “Categories” section. If you wanna include the currently written post in a previously made category, then you just check the box of that category.
On the other hand, at the time of creating a new category for your new type of post, you’ll have to hit the “+ Add New Category” button.
This will show up the creating option of new categories. Following the option, you can create a new category. So, always make sure that your posts are taken into their relevant categories.
Selecting appropriate categories is good for easy navigation and easy navigation is a must-have for ensuring top ranking on SERPs.
At the time of selecting categories, make sure that you’re not amalgamating your posts’ keywords with their categories. If your blog posts’ keywords and their categories become same, then search engines may find it difficult to rank both of them. So, make the categories supportive to your posts’ keywords.
The categories of your posts should be the mainstream of a topic and then you should expand the topic in different posts. So, a category of your blog may be SEO and then some of the keywords for different posts should be SEO course, SEO training, SEO institute, how to learn SEO etc.
Don’t create a new category for every blog post that you write on your blog. Rather, you should make a bunch of posts under a relevant category.
Use different types of multimedia
Using different types of multimedia in a post makes it more engaging, thus more valuable to its readers. So, you should always visualize different aspects of your blog posts with different kinds of relevant images, audios, videos, slides etc.
Make sure that the image that you’re using on your posts are smaller in size. Then they won’t make your blog posts slow.
In case of using videos, audios, and slides, use only those multimedia’s links because uploading them directly to your site will definitely slow it.
Using the links on your posts is also called embedding. The embedding of a video or audio or slide is very easy and you can do it just by copying the respective file’s link and then pasting it on the required post.
Suppose that you need to embed a video file from YouTube. Then, first of all, visit the video on YouTube. Then copy the URL of the video and after that, paste it in your post. It’ll show up the preview image on it. Your readers could watch the video directly from your post.
In the same way, you can embed any audio (SoundCloud) or slide (SlideShare) in your post.
Keyword for image optimization
You should know that the decently smart search engines can’t still see any kind of multimedia unless you name them properly. So, every time you use an image in your post, you’ll have to give it its right name. This is part of image optimization.
Now I’ll show you how to do the image optimization properly.
Firstly, change the name of your required image to a relevant one. If you need to use an image for showing “SEO learning”, then you should first name it like this “SEO learning”. After that upload the image on your WordPress. Once the upload is complete, now is the time to name the Alt text of the image.
This is the text that search engines read. So, write the appropriate text giving text between the words used in it.
Here you see the keyword “image optimization for web” which is a keyword for one of my posts. Like this way, you’ll have to name each of the Alt texts properly.
Different types of links
Before starting the topic of linking, I wanna let you have a clear idea about all types of links. There are mainly three types of links such as internal links, outbound (external) links and backlinks. Depending on the link juice value, links can be further divided into two categories – do follow and no follow.
If two posts of a same blog or website link one another, then this type of link is called internal link. So, when you link to another post of your blog, then you’re generating an internal link.
On the other hand, if two posts of two different blogs or websites are connected to one another, then this kind of link is called an outbound link. So, at the time of linking to a post on another site generates an outbound link.
Backlinks are just opposite to outbound links. Yes, whenever you’re building an outbound link, that time you’re also building a backlink for the other site’s blog post. Suppose that, a blogger has built a link to one of your posts. This time, your post has got a backlink from the other blog.
I’ll talk more about backlinks later in this blog post.
Now, learn about do follow and no follow links. Search engines count do follow links with high value, whereas no follow links aren’t given much value even though they’re helpful in improving a post’s ranking.
So, if you see that you need to add an external link that’s not good enough, then you can make it no follow as to let search engines know that you’re willing to count the link.
In the next part, I’ll show you the exact way of linking. Many of you don’t follow the right way at the time of linking, so I’m showing you this.
Anchor text is the clickable text. So, all the texts that are clickable in this post are called anchor texts. To build links, we need to create anchor text. As I’ve already told that many bloggers don’t follow the exact way of writing the anchor text, I’m gonna show you the right way of doing this now.
The most common way of writing the anchor text is “here” or “click here”. This was an earlier practice and now you should write the anchor text properly. Every anchor text is clickable and for this, it points to another post or page.
So, you’ll have to write the linked post’s name exactly to make it clear where you’re pointing your readers to visit. If you just write that visit here or click here, then nobody can know where exactly you’re sending us to visit.
So, write down the anchor text clearly. As for example, if I need to write an anchor text for this post “How to make money online without PayPal in any country”, then I’ll have to write the text exactly the same as the name of the post.
So, the anchor text of the link will be – How to make money online without PayPal in any country?
Now, anybody will understand what will s/he will get by clicking the link.
Exact anchor text write-up is important because when search engines crawl any post or page, they want to know what links they’re indexing. By writing clear anchor texts, you can let search engines know where you’re pointing your readers.
Here or click here doesn’t make any sense. So, from now on, try to write the anchor text properly. Note that it’s also okay if you just wanna write down the keyword as an anchor text.
The internet is called the web. So, it’s connected with so many links like the nets of the spiders. So, your posts should also be linked to one another because of so many reasons.
The first reason is that it has great SEO value. This also proves that your posts are relevant because they are related to with links. You’ll see that your readers are visiting from one link to another only because you have allowed them by linking different relevant posts.
So, when you write any post, link to those posts that are relevant to the currently written post. This way, you’re condensing the internal link building process very well.
Stats show that the top-ranked posts are internally linked with other relevant posts many times. So, to rank a post on top of SERPs, you should go for relevant internal linking.
Like internal links, outbound links also suggest that a post is referring other quality posts. So, you’ll have to link to some quality and relevant outbound posts so that your readers can get all the required information on a topic.
Suppose that you’re writing a post on how to learn SEO. There’s a topic related to the post that has been written by another blogger. Now, to strengthen your blog post, you should add the link to the post. This will give your readers the room for having everything from your post.
I’ve already ranked a post of mine just by adding some relevant and quality posts to it. From then, I could realize the power of adding outbound links. So, you should also harness the power of this type of link.
It’s widely experienced that a long post can easily beat its short competitors when it comes to ranking on top of SERPs. Google along with all the major search engines want to show the best results on top and long posts mean that they’re in-depth enough to read nicely.
So, any long post usually gets more preference for ranking it because this is likely to be the best than other shorter ones. This is the point of writing long and in-depth posts, but never just fill your posts with filler words in the name of making them long.
Write in-depth posts by adding different relevant points in them. Never just beat around the bush in order to stretch a short post to make it a long one.
Layout means the look of your post which matters a lot at the time of ranking any post. So, your blog posts’ layout should be neat and clean. If your posts are messy with so many things, then your readers will likely to reject them.
But how will you make your blog posts neat and clean? Well, there are some specific rules that you should follow to make your blog posts neat and clean! What are they?
Don’t worry! Here are the rules –
- Write short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. This will make your posts very clean.
- Set the font a nice looking one.
- Use as fewer widgets as possible on your blog posts.
These are some of the important rules that will make your posts clearly written ones.
Blog post structure
Structuring your blog and each of the blog posts is quite important for getting the highest value of SEO. I’ve suffered a lot at the time of ranking some of my posts because of not structuring them well.
After a thorough study, I came to know the blog post’s appropriate structure.
First of all, you should do the structure of your blog long before you start it. Yes, every blog should start with a niche in mind so that the blogger can be stick to one specific niche.
After that, you should diversify the topic into many categories. But makes sure that you’re not making so many categories. It’s okay to have 3 – 10 categories in your whole blog. So, this is the site structure and now, I’ll talk about individual post structure.
To structure a post well, you’ll need to use header tags properly. There are some common myths that you shouldn’t use H2 multiple times in your posts. It’s right that you shouldn’t use any H1 in your posts because the title of a post written on WordPress is H1 itself.
You’ll have to use the header tags hierarchically. This means that you should make same header tags for all the similar level of points.
Suppose that you’re writing a blog post, then the main topic is its title which is automatically the H1.
Warning: Note that some WordPress themes don’t make the title H1, so you should check it yourself whether your used theme does H1 for titles! Once I installed a theme on my site, but I detected that the theme didn’t make H1.
Making the title H1 has great ranking value, so you should be aware of that.
By the way, you shouldn’t use H1 for anywhere in your post. Then, the second main topic should be with H2. If you write a couple of several topics of similar importance or level, you should make all of them H2 without any confusion.
After that, if those H2 sub-headings have further points, then you should start using H3 for all of them.
For better understanding of how header tags should be written, you had better see this presentation –
I hope that the above slide presentation will clear everything about writing header tags properly.
Speed matters a lot for anything, so does for ranking a post on SERPs. You can’t leverage the other factors of SEO without making your web pages speedy enough. So, you can never deny the speeding factor for utilizing SEO well.
Now, in this part, I’ll briefly discuss this matter.
So, are your web pages speedy enough? To know that, you should first check the speed of your blog and individual blog posts.
How to check speed?
To check the speed of any web page, the first reliable tool is Google’s PageSpeedInsight. So, first of all, visit PageSpeedInsight (Click Here).
It’ll open up the homepage of the site where you’ll see a blank box for leaving URL.
This is the box where you’ll have to drop any web page link to analyze that page’s speed. I’ve tested with several links that I’ll show now.
So, you can see that I’ve dropped the above link and after that, there’s a button named.
You’ll have to hit the button which will start analyzing the speed of the given web page. After a while, it will come up with a speed score along with several reports.
The tool shows both the desktop and the mobile site speed and my web page had the speed scores like these –
So, here you can see that the web page was different on different platforms. The desktop score above 80 is fine, so I can be happy with the score while the mobile score should be improved (I’ll show you how to speed up a web page after a while).
The above speed test was done with an individual web page and now, you should also check the whole website’s speed. To do that, you’ll have to copy your blog’s main URL and then paste that in the box of the tool like this –
Wow! It showed me the whopping 91/100!
So, this is the common way of testing the speed of your blog and individual blog posts. You can also use other tools like Pingdom Website Speed Test, Uptrends, WEBPAGETEST, GTmetrix etc for analyzing the speed of any web page.
If the speed of your sire is okay, then you can be fine, but you should take some necessary actions when the speed isn’t good enough.
The next part will teach you how to speed up a web page so that you can speed up your site in case it’s not loading fast.
How to speed up?
Now is the time to show you how to speed up your blog if it’s running slowly.
Here are the proven ways of speeding up any website –
Check your web hosting
You may not be aware of your blog’s web hosting, but a bad web hosting can kill your blog’s speed to a great extent. I’ve observed this thing in one of my blogs as the hosting was very poor. The server response time was huge. So, ultimately that blog of mine was loading very slowly.
When I figured out the problem and changed my hosting, my blog started giving good speed.
So, check your web hosting whether it’s giving the service properly or not. Take necessary actions if the hosting of your blog doesn’t work well.
Choose a cleanly coded theme
This is quite proven that many themes don’t load fast. So, when you choose and install any theme in your blog, you should check whether it’s loading fast or not.
Always, use a cleanly coded, light theme because light themes are likely to load faster. Also, clean code is necessary because of loading smoothly.
Limit the number of widgets
Widgets are great to customize your blog as per your wish, so many bloggers tend to keep more and more widgets on their blogs. Using so many widgets in a blog actually slows it down. So, you should use only those widgets that are quite necessary.
Limit the number of plugins
Like widgets, using so many plugins are also guilty of making your blog slower. Moreover, using more and more plugins are risky for your blog.
Even though plugins provide special attributes to a blog, you should limit its number. Otherwise, your blog will be slower. So, the same rule to be applied at the time of using plugins. Use only the necessary plugins.
Show excerpts instead of full text
If you show full text instead of excerpts of your posts on the homepage of your blog, then it may affect the speed of it. So, always show 40 – 50 words of excerpts so that your readers can get some ideas about your blog posts. They will surely click on the posts if they like the excerpts.
So, always show 40 – 50 words of excerpts so that your readers can get some ideas about your blog posts. They will surely click on the posts if they like the excerpts.
Keep fewer blog posts per page
Usually, most bloggers keep 5 to 10 blog posts per page. So, you shouldn’t keep more and more posts per page. Typically, 5 posts per page are quite standard. If your blog posts’ featured images are small, then you can set more posts per page.
If the featured images are too much big and weighty, then you can even keep 3 posts per page.
Compress and optimize images
Your blog posts’ images should be compressed and optimized well otherwise they’ll take much space, thus slow your blog.
You can use an image optimization plugin if you use WordPress. WP Smush is a nice plugin for doing the optimization and compression of images well. So, you can install this plugin for optimizing your blog posts’ images.
Use a caching plugin
Caching plugin does a great job for any WordPress blog. I use W3 Total Cache which you can also use on your WP blog.
CDN means Content Delivery Network. So, if you wanna deliver your content blazingly fast using a CDN platform, then you can do so by using MaxCDN.
MaxCDN can speed up your blog to a great extent, so why not try this.
Limit the banner ads
I see that many bloggers use so many banner ads on their blogs. Even I was one of these types of bloggers a few years back. But this practice is neither good for your blog’s speed nor for the visibility.
You’ll do it for getting more clicks, thus sale, but you’ll ultimately see the opposite result. So, use only a few banner ads if you extremely need them to show up on your blog.
Never use unnecessary multimedia
Using so many types of multimedia such as images, videos, audios, slides etc will eventually slow your blog. So, you should always make sure that you’re not using any of them unnecessarily.
Optimize WordPress database
Everything becomes dirty after using it for a period of time. The same thing happens to WordPress database. Yes, you read it right.
So, you should clean all the unnecessary files from your WP blog’s database and here’s a plugin named WP-Optimize that can do the job perfectly.
Cleaning the database means that your blog will be much faster than before.
Keep everything updated
You should always update your blog’s theme, CMS, and plugins. This will help you run your blog perfectly. So, always keep an eye on the message of new versions of the theme, CMS or any plugin. Once you’re notified to update anything, update that without making any delay.
Responsiveness is a key factor to rank a post. Why responsiveness matters so much? Well, with the advent of technological advancement, we now see a lot of devices that have different screens (in terms of size and type).
So, any web page is now needed to be adapted to different screen sizes and types. That’s why your site needs to have the capability to fit in almost all the sizes of screens.
To make your blog responsive, you don’t have to do a lot of things. Yes, there are tons of responsive free and paid themes available for all the CMS like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc. So, the only task is to find out a responsive theme for your site and then install it there.
That’s all. One thing that I wanna emphasize is that you shouldn’t solely rely on the claim of a theme that it’s responsive, rather you should check it yourself whether a theme is responsive or not.
To do so, after installing a theme on your site, you should visit your site from different devices. Browse different posts of your site and make sure that everything is working perfectly. Once you’re sure that your site is loading well without any problem, then you can use the theme.
Responsiveness is also measured on different mobile devices too. So, keep an eye on the matter too. All the way, you can never let your site go with an unresponsive theme.
How easy a text is to read can be measured by following many standards. Flesch introduced a nice standard called the Flesch Reading Ease which can let you know whether your writing is easy to read or not.
I use Yoast SEO plugin on my WordPress blogs which shows me the real-time readability score at the time of writing any post or page. You can also use the plugin as to know your readability score.
There are so many ways you can increase the readability score of your writing. Here are the techniques to do so –
- You shouldn’t make your sub-heading very long.
- Try to write most of the sentences in active voice. Write passive voice only when it’s required. The readability suggests that you shouldn’t use passive voice in more than 10% of your sentences.
- Keep the paragraphs short.
- Write short sentences too.
- Use transition words to make a great sequence in different sentences.
So, the main aim of your writing is to spread your words easily among your readers. If they find your writing difficult to read, then what’s the point of writing to them? So, be careful about it and start writing simple text.
Always try to craft near about flawless content. Content having so many flaws is quite distracting and often times, most readers avoid those writings that have different types of flaws in them.
There are mainly two types of errors that you should check carefully. They are spelling and grammatical mistakes. So, check your writing for grammatical and spelling mistakes. You can use Grammarly (read Grammarly review) for checking your text because this tool provides a real-time solution for detecting and correcting all sorts of flaws.
Use an SEO plugin
Using an SEO plugin will make the job of your SEO maintenance handy. Yoast SEO plugin is the leader of all other plugins of the same category. I also use this plugin for maintaining some of the SEO related things.
Yoast SEO plugin shows up some measurable things such as keyword density, keyword prominence, the uniqueness of next keywords etc which really help to maintain SEO properly.
So, you should also use this kind of any SEO plugin for taking care of your SEO practice.
Update old content
There are many reasons why you should update the old content of your blog. Here are some of the great reasons for doing so –
Search engines love to rank recently updated content. They think that if a content is currently updated, that means it will be fresh enough to contain more valuable thing in it.
Also, you can inject new ideas into the old content if you update it. Suppose that you have got some killer ideas for one of your old contents that you didn’t have when you first wrote it.
The same thing can be true because you may need to change your views now because of having updated ideas. Updating old content can also correct your grammatical and spelling flaws.
You can also use new affiliate links if you update an old content. Not only is that, you can replace old links with new ones. In addition, you can possibly remove broken or unfruitful links just by updating your old blog posts.
Regular writing has great SEO value and I’ve found it very much effective in case of my blogging. I see that updating your blog with fresh content does the process of crawling, indexing, and ranking different keywords.
Also, writing more means you’re keeping more content on your blog which will surely help you rank with more keywords on SERPs. So, write and update things regularly for your blog.
Update Vs publishing date
As I’ve let you know that search engines give more preference to updated content, you should replace the exact publishing date of your blog posts with update option.
This will show your blog posts updated when you do so. Your readers will find them relevant to the present time if you just update them.
SSL certificate (HTTPS)
SSL certificates make websites more secured and for this, this is a ranking factor in recent years too. Making your blog HTTPS will make your readers feel that it’s now completely secured to leave their valuable information.
So, all the search engines will definitely give your blog preference at the time of ranking than other blogs that lack SSL certificates.
Plagiarism free content
Plagiarism is always a hated thing to anybody. So, you should avoid this harmful thing at any cost. Write off your own. You can take ideas from other blog posts, but never try to copy them.
Copy-paste work won’t rank on search engine result pages and you may get penalized for practicing plagiarism. So, you must produce plagiarism-free content every time you write.
CTR (Click Through Rate)
To improve the ranking of your blog posts, it’s very important to have high CTR of them. CTR or click through rate determines the likeability of a post, so it’s a great ranking factor.
Suppose that one of your blog posts has ranked at the 10th place of Google search with a specific keyword. Within a few hours, if your post is clicked more than some of the better-ranked posts, then your post will go up in the ranking position.
This is because search engines are likely to show the most relevant and liked posts on top the search queries. As your blog is getting more clicks than its competitors, then surely your post is worthy enough of improving its ranking.
So, you should always work on improving the CTR of your blog posts. Then you’ll see that your blog posts are ranking better than before.
There are many ways you can increase the CTR of your blog posts. The first way is to create killer headlines of your posts. Many readers will likely to click your posts only if the headlines are irresistible.
So, always create unique and irresistible titles for your blog posts. This will increase the CTR of them for sure.
The meta description is not so important for SEO, but an appropriate one can engage your readers to click your post. Sometimes, after reading the headline of a post, we tend to read its meta description to clarify what the post is gonna be.
An eye-catching featured image can also help get more clicks from social media channels.
Bounce rate can tell you whether a post is engaging or not. If your post can engage your readers, then they’ll likely to visit other pages of your blog.
So, you should make the bounce rate of your blog as low as possible. There are several things that you can do to lower the bounce rate of your blog posts.
Here are some of the ways of reducing bounce rate –
Nice navigation of your blog can persuade many readers of your blog to visit from one page to another. So, make the navigation super easy and simple. Then you’ll see that many of your readers are going to other pages while reading a post of yours.
Average session duration
Using eye-catching multimedia such as eye-catching images, gif, relevant videos, audios, slides etc are quite helpful in keeping your readers engaged with your posts.
You can also use bold and italic to show some variations in your text as to grab the attention of your readers.
Backlinko’s Brian Dean also suggests that you can use some bucket brigades to keep your readers’ attention.
Also, try to write short paragraphs which will help your readers read your posts easily.
More and more social shares prove that your blog posts are very popular, so they’re being shared many times on different timelines.
So, you should promote your blog posts well so that many people start sharing them on a regular basis. You can request your friends and family members to share your posts too.
Sharing by different people is helpful in ranking a post, but you shouldn’t share your posts again and again alone because this will reveal that you’re practicing wrongfully.
Grow social media (profiles, pages, and groups)
Interacting with your posts on social media gives a positive signal about them to search engines. So, you should grow your social media presence day by day. Keep an eye on your profiles, pages, and groups on different social media platforms.
The more people you can engage with your content, the better this is for its ranking.
Having more comments on your blog posts also means that they’re very engaging that’s why people are interacting with them.
So, try to get more and more comments on your blog posts. Like sharing, you can also request your near and dear ones to leave their valuable comments on your blog posts.
Repeat visitors will also help your blog rank better because it’ll prove that your blog is super that’s why the same visitors are visiting your blog regularly.
So, you should bring your readers to your blog on a regular basis. You can capture their email addresses and let them know new insights on your blog. Always try to keep suspense in your writing so that your readers feel that they’ll obviously get something valuable at the time of next reading.
So, writing more and more content on a daily basis is also important in getting repeat visitors to your blog.
Off-page SEO is involved with building backlinks. Getting backlinks from authority sites has great value in ranking your posts. So, most off-page techniques will teach you how to gain many quality and relevant backlinks for your blog.
So, learn the techniques right now.
If you write guest posts, then you can build backlinks for your blog. This is an old practice of building backlinks. So, you can also leverage guest posting for creating quality backlinks.
There are some quality question-answer platforms which you can target for generating backlinks for your blog.
Some of the popular QA platforms are Quora, Yahoo answer, Warrior Forum etc where you can participate to answer some questions and when you see some relevant posts of yours to support those answers, you can link to them. This way, you can generate tons of backlinks, but never spam on these types of sites.
Commenting on other blog posts is a great way of building backlinks. Though the backlinks that are generated through blog commenting are no-follow, search engines count them. So, whether the backlinks are do-follow or no-follow, that doesn’t matter a lot.
Exchanging links between your blog and another blog might be a good way of cross-linking, so both of you’ll generate backlinks for each other.
But you shouldn’t practice this again and again because that time it might be detected by search engines.
Search engine submission
After creating a blog, one of the initial things to do is to submit on all the major search engines. So, you should also submit your blog to all the popular search engines.
Directory submission is a declining factor for SEO because many bloggers tend to spam with this. So, I don’t personally recommend this part even though you can still submit only some safe directories to generate backlinks for your blog.
There are many platforms where you can submit your articles to generate backlinks.
Sharing different types of photos, videos, PDF, slides etc can actually make tons of backlinks for your blog. So, you should do it on a regular basis.
LinkedIn, Medium, Quora etc platforms are too good to write articles on them. In your articles written on these platforms, you can link to your own blog or blog posts if they seem relevant.
So, this practice is effective in generating backlinks.
Remove broken links
Building backlinks isn’t the only thing that you’ll need to do. Yes, you should also check whether there’s any broken link or not. Broken links affect a blog negatively when it comes to ranking. So, you should remove broken links from your blog time to time.
Disavow poor links
You should also check which blog posts are linking to your blog or blog posts. If you see that some spammy sites have linked to your blog, then you should disavow them without doing any delay.
Poor backlinks can harm your blog’s ranking severely, so you should take care of this matter well.
Avoid the following Black HAT SEO practices
You should go for SEO best practices most of which have been discussed before. Now is the time to make aware of Black Hat SEO which should be avoided at any cost.
So, why should you learn this type of SEO as this is unethical? Well, if you don’t know the Black Hat SEO techniques well, you may mistakenly go for that. So, learning them will eventually help you avoid them.
Here are the major Black Hat SEO techniques –
Stuffing with keywords
In the name of maintaining a certain level of keyword density, you can never fill your content with the targeted keywords again and again. I’ve already told you that you should use your targeted keywords naturally.
Beating around the bush
Another bad SEO practice is writing on off-topic issues. Suppose that you’re writing a post on SEO, but you’re emphasizing more on another topic. This is a stupid practice, so you shouldn’t do this. Stick to the main topic of your blog post and try to discuss that broadly.
Plagiarism is also a bad practice that I’ve already discussed in another part of this post. So, say no to plagiarism from right now.
Spinning is also a bad practice. Spun content doesn’t grammatically flow and most of the time; this type of content can’t reveal its original meaning.
In addition, to spin a content to make it completely plagiarism-free, you need to spend much time and effort. So, why not utilize that time and effort for creating content of your own?
Creating two sets of the same content – one is for the readers and the other one is for search engines is another name of Black Hat SEO. So, you must be aware of this thing.
Sometimes, people first create one type of content to rank it and then after ranking, they change the whole content to cheat on their readers. This is named as page swapping which should be avoided at all time.
Some people do business selling links which are called paid links. You should never touch these types of links because they’ll do more bad than good. So, never buy backlinks, rather do ethical things to generate them for your blog.
Hidden links or text
This isn’t uncommon to see that there is some hidden text in content. This is done due to increasing the keyword density and by making the text the same color as the background.
So, you should always keep the text color different from its background color.
Similarly, hidden links point out to irrelevant web pages which is a great illegal action.
First of all, I wanna thank Akismet plugin for taking care of so many spam comments in every hour. Yes, many people are so bad that they irritate other people just by submitting spam comments on their blogs.
I get hundreds of spam comments daily on my blog and then clear them out (Oh! disgusting).
Another bad SEO practice is submitting the same comment on different posts in order to get more and more backlinks just by creating one comment. This is very bad to see this type of thing.
Once a blogger was caught red-handed by me doing this thing. I saw that the blogger wrote exactly the same comment in two of my blogs. At first, I couldn’t figure out the issue, but later on, I did it and then banned him from commenting on my blog.
Doorway page creating
This practice isn’t also uncommon. Some people rank their blog for some valuable topics and then when people visit the blog, they try to point to irrelevant web pages. This is totally a waste of time for the visitors of this type of site.
Be aware of misleading URL because you may be trapped with this type of thing. Once I received an email from …….@gnail.com
You can see that the email was sent from gnail instead of gmail. Initially, I didn’t catch then, so I thought that it was from another Gmail address. Later on, I could read then and then, found that it was from a spammer.
So, never try to mislead another popular URL. Problogger.net is a popular blog, so you shouldn’t create a blog similar to this name like Probloggger.net. This will surely mislead people.
Social media spamming
It’s not uncommon to see loads of spamming on social media platforms. People are so crazy to promote their content wrongfully on different social media channels.
You shouldn’t do this too which is one type of bad SEO practice.
Age of the content matters
I’ve just read an article of Ahrefs (How long does it take to rank in Google?) and found that only a few of the recently published posts can rank in top 10 in Google SERPs.
They have analyzed 2 million different keywords and showed the result which explored a lot of things regarding the age of posts.
Most of the top ranked posts are more than 2 years old. 1-year old posts are also good in ranking, but the posts that are merely a few months old do really struggle to rank within SERPs top 10 positions.
So, what should you do now? Are you disappointed thinking that your posts are too young to rank? Don’t worry as if your posts are in-depth enough to get much popularity, then you won’t have to worry about it. They’ll surely rank today or tomorrow.
Final Words: Content is King
Yes, you should agree with the phrase – content is king. You should focus on writing quality content, and then everything will ultimately follow.
Search engines will always want to show the top posts on top of search results. So, you need to craft quality content consistently on a regular basis.
All the ethical SEO techniques will surely help you rank your posts, but if your content lacks quality, then you’ll fail to hold your posts’ ranking over time. Why is that? Because Google along with all the major search engines takes feedback from real human beings.
If many people tell that a piece of content is superb, then the lack of any of the SEO techniques can’t downgrade its position.
On the other hand, if your content is really poor, then you can’t take it to the top by maintaining all the SEO factors.
So, user-friendly content is the first thing that you should go for. Then follow the SEO techniques so that you can rank your posts way too faster.