This mandatory SEO checklist is put together to help newly launched blogs to improve thier rankings and answer some of the burning questions.
My blog posts aren’t ranking as they should. What do I do now?
This is a common question, but there’s a problem with it. It shows a reactionary approach. All too often, people start a blog, publish posts, then notice they aren’t getting the traffic, engagement, or backlinks they want. That’s when they decided to address SEO.
That’s a backward approach. Instead, bloggers should be thinking about SEO before they ever publish their first post. If you’re preparing to launch a blog, you can use the following as your SEO to do list.
Create Original Content That Solves Problems And Answers Questions
Google’s business model is simple. They provide users with useful information based on their search queries. How they satisfy that objective is more complex and changes frequently. Now, with featured snippets and the Hummingbird update, Google is focused on understanding the questions people have and serving them relevant answers. Sites that rank will be ones that provide those answers, and solve those problems.
The best way to start is to create a blogging plan that involves creating original text using copywriting help, images, and videos that answer the questions that your target audience has. You can start by building a master list of those questions. Here are some sources to consider:
- Customer Support Tickets
- Social Media Conversations
- Surveys And Polls
- User Forums
- Product Review Sites
Choose an SEO Friendly Theme
Using the right theme can make a big difference in your SEO efforts right out of the gate. The theme you choose, and how you optimize it is a major part of the on-site part of SEO. Basically, that’s how your website performs and how easy it is for Google to index your site. For the best results your theme should be:
- Mobile Friendly
- Load Quickly
- Free From Errors And Coded Cleanly
Most importantly, your theme should be original. If you go out and find the trendiest theme, you’ll just have something that people have seen in dozens of other places. Instead, consider a custom theme built just for your website.
Use Google’s Search Console
Nobody can say that Google doesn’t provide bloggers with the information they need to boost SEO. They have provided Webmaster Tools to let bloggers and website owners have a full understanding of the way that the search engine sees their content.
This tool will provide you with information like search ranking, the number of clicks, impressions, etc. You will even see any errors that could prevent Google from properly indexing your site.
Get Your Own Domain And Hosting
You need to invest in getting your own domain name and managed web hosting. It’s a matter of trust, and trust is a key metric for Google and other search engines. Simply put, most people believe that if you are to be trusted that you would invest in a blog that you own, not a free one. Readers will be much more likely to visit your site and link your posts. Google will bestow you with higher rankings as a result.
A backlink is an ultimate endorsement. When someone links back to your site from theirs, that’s a backlink. Quality backlinks are like gold when it comes to SEO. What you have to do is attract quality backlinks from the very start.
Quality is the operative word. There are ways to get backlinks that aren’t so beneficial. You can buy them. Those backlinks are generally worthless, and Google is sophisticated enough to recognize, irrelevant and paid backlinks. Instead, save your money. Work on earning links from quality sources.
What’s a good source? A good source is another blog, website, or news site that has a good reputation. They are authority sites that are known for being informative, influential, and relevant. Backlinks for little-known blogs or low-reputation sites aren’t going to help you much.
To get the best backlinks, you have to be proactive. Start by reaching out to influencers in your niche and building relationships. Next, create a link outreach strategy. Make a list of websites and blogs that are well-regarded by your target audience. Link to their content in your posts.
Reach out to them on social media, or by email to let them know when you do this. Finally, when you prepare to post your own content, reach out. Let your contacts know what you’ll be publishing that may be interesting to them or their audiences. In return, many will reciprocate by linking your posts to theirs.
Don’t wait to implement an SEO strategy. This is an important element, and you have to work on it from the beginning. The list above can serve as a checklist of sorts as you prepare your blog for launch. Go down it, and ensure that you are doing all of these things. This way, SEO becomes an integral part of your blog, not an afterthought. You’ll drive better quality traffic to your blog using these methods.