I get asked about SEO for blogs all the time. My knowledge of search engine optimisation is limited so a lot of the time I have to shrug and tell them that SEO is not my speciality. As regular listeners to the Blogcentric podcast will know, search engine optimisation is a priority this year.
I managed to persuade an SEO specialist to join me on the show this week, Sandra Hennessy from BeDynamic. She gives me the answers to some of the questions I get asked most frequently as well as sharing a few tips of her own.
Listen to her SEO for Blogging tips below:
Sandra is a big advocate of writing valuable content for your users first and then looking at optimisation. Small business bloggers can be good at the content but not so great at the technical side.
Examples of things we tend to overlook
- Speed of our websites. You can check this on ‘Page Speed Insights’. Sandra says we should aim for 85/100 it should be attainable with a bit of work.
- Keep an eye on your server response times – you can find this in Google analytics
- Resize images before uploading them as these can effect your site speed.
Duplicate content is bad and it occurs more frequently than we may think. Sandra sites an example of a site that had the category in the page URL. When they added posts to two categories that’s two different links to the same content. This can easily happen on WordPress sites too, if Google indexes you category page and individual post it can look like duplicate content.
But why does that matter?
The problem with duplicate content is that you have two versions of your article with two URL’s. This means you are splitting the ranking of the page between the two versions.
Should you republish content on LinkedIn and Medium?
This is a question I’m asked all the time. Sandra gives this a big no. This is content duplication and you’ll have the same issues we’ve mentioned above. Of course lots of people do it but it’s not a practice Sandra endorses.
‘Ideally you create unique content where possible as you’ll get far more traction’
Instead she recommends looking at the networks you are posting to. Can you take the same topic and write about it from a different aspect that will suit the LinkedIn, Medium or Facebook audience better?
When will Google penalise us for not having a ‘no follow’ link?
Last week a lot of bloggers got hit with a penalty for not including ‘no follow’ links in product reviews, even if they weren’t paid for the review.
This is something all bloggers need to be aware of, I know I’ve reviewed many social media tools over the years, I didn’t get paid but I’m going to have to re-visit those posts and change the links to ‘no follow’.
You will have to go through your content and add no-follow links to those older posts to be safe.
Here’s a video that shows you how to add ‘no-follow’ links on WordPress
How to find keywords or key phrases to optimise your post for
Google Keyword planner – Get an idea of what ‘search strings’ people are typing into Google
Sandra’s advice it to think about search strings rather than words. Ask yourself what people will type in, is it a question?
Google Search Console (previously webmaster tools) – Register and verify your site with this and it will give you ‘search data’. This shows you what keywords and search strings are bringing traffic to your site from Google.
Google Autocomplete – Suggestions that Google offers when you start searching for a topic. This is based on what is popular. You can cross-reference this with data from Keyword planner.
Sandra’s top tips:
Make sure you resize your images before you upload them as large images can slow down your site.
Make sure you have compression enabled (you’ll need to talk to your web person about this).
Look at the new Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) from Google – Like Instant articles from Facebook. Optimised pages for Google that will work within the architecture of Google.
Get ‘Structured data’ on your site – you can mark up your articles for this in ’Search Console’. This is the rich web listings you see on Google. Visit Schema or Googles page about structured data for more information on this.
Find out more about the workshops Sandra is running including the SEO Bootcamp and my Snapchat/Instagram course here.
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