This week Moz updated again and I thought, as both my blogs, this one and CookStyle, have a Domain Authority of over 30 for a few months now, that I should make a post with 8 tips on How to improve the SEO for your blog.
First of all, let’s start with Domain Authority (DA). It’s a score from 1 to 100 given to an website by MOZ. Even if it’s not related to Google, I think it’s a good indicator if a website is likely to appear up in google searches or not. In my case, when I got to high 20 and over 30, I saw a significant increase in traffic coming from google. This means that a post I wrote last year or two years ago still brings me traffic.
No matter how much you want to optimize SEO, don’t forget that you are writing for people, so their experience on the blog should be paramount. I read posts on my blog that I wrote years ago, as my blog is like a dairy for me and I wouldn’t want to read something that’s filled with keywords. It’s also why I don’t have pop-ups on my blog.
1. Internal links
I think every SEO guide mentions the internal links. For us bloggers this should be something natural. When I write a post about a topic that is related to another post on my blog , I would add a link. Using internal links helps readers, it adds value for them. For example, they can have an idea what can be visited in that area if I link to museums and castles or, on my food blog, what other similar recipe is there. It’s something that helps me too, as I can remember when I’m going to see the post again in 3-4 years (when it’s unlikely I will remember which castle was near which museum).
This month I used internal links in three posts so far: on The Bowes Museum post to Barnard Castle that was nearby, in Marvel Giveaway to the Paladone Quiz Night when I won the items and in My July to the books I’ve read that month.
If you don’t use them, please reconsider, it’s not only about SEO. The blog will have a nice flow and it’s more user friendly.
2. External links
Some people have the misconception that adding external links it’s not beneficial for SEO. It can’t be further from the truth. Having external links, related to the subject you are talking about is helpful. As far as I know, linking to websites that have a higher DA than yours is best. But, it depends on the subject. So, if you are going to a pub/restaurant, to a museum or using a cream, add a link to their website.
Again, think of your readers, if they want to see where the restaurant is, a link to the website saves them from searching on google. It gives them a better experience. It might sound like common sense, but it’s not. I’ve been on blogs where the copy function was disabled (to keep others from copying their blog) and they didn’t have a link to the website they mentioned. I actually unfollowed a blog due to that. If it doesn’t make my life easier as a reader, I will look for information on another website.
When you add external links think about them. Are they really beneficial? Don’t add an external link just to have it there though. Be careful with emails offering guest posts with a “meaningful link”. I saw more or less the same post on two blogs. I remembered it because it was a topic that annoyed me. If you post something that is already posted on another blog/website, it means that is duplicate content and it will work against you.
3. Do-follow vs no-follow
Most blogger are asked for do-follow links from SEO firms that try to make it look like it’s a good thing, when it’s a good thing for them. The sites they were asking for links are newer and with a lower DA. So, some bloggers think that do-follow links are bad. They are not. In fact, having too many no-follow links will lead to a higher Spam score, it’s all about ratio. I think the reasoning behind this is that if your links are all (or most) no-follow means you are having only paid-for posts.
So, add do-follow links if it’s something you like. You’ve been using a makeup you like that you bought with your own money, link naturally to the company’s website. You had a drink with a couple of bloggers, add a link to their blogs if you are going to talk about it on your blog. There are so many opportunities to add links, no matter what you blog about.
No-follow links are necessary if you link to an website you have a paid collaboration with (including samples). If you don’t use no-follow when you get money or products for your post, you might be penalized by Google. Know the risks and make an informed decision.
4. Broken links
Every blog has broken links. The older your blog is, the more broken links you might have. I use brokenlinkcheck to see what links have problems. I use this every other month or monthly, it depends on how much time I have.
If the broken link is only in the comments, then it only matters for SEO. But, it’s likely you’ll have broken links in your posts. Even big companies that sell £40 shirts have issues with redirect when the item is no longer available (it happened to me). So, if you share your post on social media and your readers want to see the shirt, they will not be able as the link is no longer working. In this situation, I linked to the main page of that website.
Fixing broken links can take time, but if you are doing it regularly it will take less as there will not be many links.
Choosing the keywords for your posts can be tricky. For this blog I don’t have a lot of choices, as if I visit a museum/restaurant, the keyword will be the name of that place, eventually with the name of the town/city is in. It’s the same with reviews for items.
For my food blog it’s a different story. I can chose how I name my dishes and I have more flexibility. I would sometimes write the name of the dish in French, like I did for Foret Noire Cake instead of Black Forest. There are less recipes in english for Foret Noire, so it’s more likely my recipe will score better and come higher in google searches. Another example is Vegetarian Panna cotta. If I would have tried to use as keyword “panna cotta” then I would have had to battle 20,300,000 results. For Vegetarian Panna cotta there are only 667,000 results and mine is the second one on the first page. My post is before Dr. Oetker’s website. I’m so happy with that.
Don’t overuse the keywords in the post. It’s enough to have it in the title, in the url, as alt tag in the picture and a couple of times in the post. Remember your readers, it should be a lovely experience to read your posts.
Add pictures. It helps with SEO, it’s a more pleasant experience for the reader too. Consider splitting the text with images, if appropriate. I have only one picture in this post, but I usually have lots of pictures. I like posts with a lot of pictures, as long as they are different. Having more than 2-3 pictures with an outfit seems a bit much, but if you are talking about a restaurant, I would love to see more pictures and Google would love them too.
Don’t forget to use the alt tag to describe the photo and include the keyword.
7. Update regularly
Have a schedule in mind for your blog. It doesn’t have to be every Monday and Thursday, or something like that. My aim is to blog every other day on this blog and twice a week on CookStyle. It’s much better like this instead of blogging everyday for a month and then every other week. Don’t force writing a post if you don’t feel inspired, it’s better to aim for a once a week instead of once a day if that works for you. The only thing is to keep the consistency.
8. Long posts.
Having long posts also helps with SEO. Writing a long post on How to improve the SEO for your blog will, hopefully, improve my SEO. I’m just joking. But longer posts can be interesting for readers too. I remember a review I saw on a blog where the blogger talked about every single aspect of the hotel, how child friendly was the room, the breakfast, what adults could do, what activities were suitable for children, how far it was from the tourist attractions. That is the perfect way to write a post, it takes time, but it gives value to the readers and, if they are considering that hotel or city, it’s incredible helpful to them.
These are my tips. I hope you enjoyed my post on SEO.