SEO checklist for blogs: what can you easily do yourself?
Sharp, correct and stimulating. You have written a beautiful blog. Then it goes into the marketing mill: placing on your website, sharing via social media and in your newsletter. And of course you expect Google to also attract new visitors. Because your blog has a lifetime of years. But then the expected search traffic does not materialize. You have not thought about search engine optimization (SEO). Logical, because in the first instance you want to create a good blog. Use this SEO checklist for posting your blogs.
It is not a technical story, but it is important to know the differences. Everything that happens on your site is called on-page seo. This is about the CMS (content management system, with which you manage the website), the technology and the content. The technology includes such things as speed, safety (https certificate), and suitability for the mobile. These are things that an online marketer or web builder arranges. Everything outside of your site is called off-page SEO and is mainly about getting relevant links. (read more about this outsource link building) In this SEO checklist we will only talk about the content and the CMS, your on-page SEO.
Do you have an SEO-friendly CMS?
If you have WordPress, you're in the right place. With the free YOAST plugin (made by Dutchman Joost de Valk) you have all the necessary options in-house. Then there is Joomla, Drupal and a cistern of home-made CMS systems. There is always a solution, but customization costs money and Searchmachine optimalisation is something that everyone with a website needs. After all, you want traffic. Choosing an open source CMS ensures that you get the SEO capabilities at home without (high) costs.
SEO checklist: 10 points for placing your blog in a Google-friendly way
- Determine keyword. Do you now offer training courses, workshops or training courses? Do you write about facebook marketing or Facebook marketing? How you name something is important. Because that is what people are looking for. Use these SEO tips to determine your keywords quickly. Do you already know them? Continue quickly.
- Title: place your keyword in the title, preferably in front. Then you get titles such as: "SEO checklist: x tips for ..." or "Rent a car? Apeldoorn and the surrounding area ”Indeed, punctuation such as colons and question marks do not matter.
- URL: That is the web address. URL stands for uniform resource locator, and consists of domain name + slug. So for example: nu.nl/mark-zuckerberg. I explain this because it differs per cms how you can set this. In WordPress you can adjust the slug separately. Words such as the, the, one are removed by default. "The way to get rich ..." then becomes "way to get rich." If you do not want that, adjust that. Pay attention! Adjusting afterwards is unwise if you have already shared the URL everywhere (Facebook, Twitter etc). That is possible again with a 301 referral. This one WordPress plugin for 301s can also be used by you, just read well.
- preface: the introductory text seduces the reader to continue reading. But Google is also paying attention to this. Make sure the keyword comes back here in the first sentence or second sentence. It is about the first 100 words.
- Cups: headers in the text make it more readable. You can start scanning the text. Make small messages out of this, so that it is quickly clear what you want to say. And don't forget the keywords. Cups are in the format H2, H3 and beyond. Only the title is H1.
- Pictures: 2% of the Dutch population is blind. For the internet, that part uses a piece of software that reads everything. Imagine an image being read out as: "Dsc_443242.jpg". That is the file name. Or the description: “….” Empty. Or the special tag that is shown if the image cannot be retrieved (or read): "...". When uploading a photo, use the keyword in the file name, description and alt image fields. Bonus tip: the alt-image tag becomes more important for Google now that they use software can read images and add that description to the photo in Google Images. Extra bonus tip: create landscape images, wide but not high, that do not take up much space but that do enhance your blog and give you additional SEO opportunities.
- Internal links: Take a look at the links in this blog, like the one above, which refers to https://bloeise.nl/seo-de-nieuwe-ogen-van-google/. This is an internal link to your own page. Google sees no difference between internal and external links. Do you have a blog or page that you want higher in Google? Place it as an external link with the desired keyword.
- external links: Linking to an external site can also be good for your blog. Especially if it is a relevant link to a page with authority, such as a news site, research or popular blog read.
- Meta description: That is the description that Google shows when your blog appears as a search result. Keywords are shown in bold, so you want to put them in as much as possible. Also end with a call to action. That is a cookbook rule such as: do this, read here, view now.
- Add video: Go to YouTube and enter your keyword. Do you like a short, interesting and not too vigorous video? Then you can add it to your blog. This ensures that readers stay on your blog or page longer. And that is something that Google records and appreciates. A long visit time indicates quality.
To put the last tip into practice. Rand Fishkin from Moz explains in this video how you can take the next step: link building. Without having to send people from those stupid begging emails.