The Best SEO Tactics For Bloggers in 2018

By Mark Zeni - 3 minute read

So, you’ve created a perfect site for your blog and enabled the best and most efficient plug-ins they have to offer. Everything is perfect and you’re ready to make your mark in the great and exciting blog-o-sphere, but now, how will you get customers to your blog? How will you make sure that web-crawlers are not only picking up your blog, but giving it a high ranking in search engines?

The answer is to build your SEO skills, and you can start right here with these fundamental tactics that will help you rank higher in search engine results in 2018.

1. MAKE STRATEGIC USE OF TITLE TAGS
Post titles are prominently displayed on search engines. Among your sites name, your post title is one of the first things customers will see. You need to make sure to use relevant keywords in your title to make sure your site will be among the top displayed for a user search, not to mention the fact that will better enable search engines to properly index your site. Generally speaking, you want to make sure each title tag uses appropriate keywords, includes a call-to-action and is approximately 50-70 characters long.

2. OPTIMIZE META DESCRIPTIONS
While title tags tell search engines what your post is about, meta descriptions tell them what the page is about. These descriptions can be longer than title tags and don’t have to be in complete sentences. We recommend around 150 characters and that however you choose to write them, that they make sense to customers. You can include whatever elements you feel are important to the reader but it is recommended that you use verbiage that calls them to action. This will be more likely to encourage them to click through to the post.

3. TAG IMAGES FOR BEST SEO
Good content is only part of the equation. Almost equally as important are accompanying images that compliment your content, and they also play a significant role in your search engine rankings. The “alt text/tag” attribute tells search engines what your images are about. Start by savings the images to your computer, before uploading to your CMS, with keyword descriptions so that they will help improve your search ranking. It wouldn’t hurt to name them with a call-to-action just like your meta descriptions. Think along the lines of “learn more about (blank)”. This not only helps you rank higher as a base search but can also help you rank in a Google image search as well.

4. MAXIMIZE SITE SPEED
One of the most frequent topics discussed by users is site speed. The speed with which your site loads can make or break your user experience, and yes, it can impact your SEO as well. If it takes Google’s search engine web crawler too long to crawl your site, it will trigger their ranking algorithm and cost you greatly. Basically, Google has what you might call a “crawl budget” and if your site takes too long to load, and Google can’t crawl as many pages in enough time, it will negatively impact your ranking opportunity. So here are a few ways you can keep your site running at the best possible speed:
Compress images. Save as a JPEG or PNG and keep the dpi at 72.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). These systems store copies of your images and site files in various locations all over the world so that they can be downloaded to your visitors’ computer much quicker than traditional methods.

Simplify your coding, if possible. Sometimes, source code files can get a little out of hand and slow down your site. You can combat this by removing any unnecessary spaces or characters.

*If you’re not sure what your site’s load time is, Google’s PageSpeed tools can help you find out.

5. MAKE SIMPLIFIED PERMALINKS
Many site’s default page URLs read something like “http://abcsite.com/blog/?p=38”
Adjusting your site’s permalinks will not only allow readers to navigate your site more efficiently but will also appear in search engine rankings to tell others what the page is about. We recommend using a simple permalink such as “/%postname%/”. Keep in mind that if you’re changing the permalinks to existing pages, you’ll need to redirect any old URLs.

6. USE INTERNAL LINKS WHEN APPROPRIATE
Take the opportunities when they arise to include internal links to other blog posts or site pages when appropriate. This step is critical because not all pages will be indexed by Google. Pages that can’t be indexed by Google include ones made visible after completing a form, those build using Javascript, or links within I-frames. So, including links to these types of pages within content will help boost your site ranking and also keep visitors engaged by suggesting other pages to visit.

7. USE HEADER TAGS PROPERLY
Within your coding, there are six types of header tags: H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H5. H1 tags are meant for the title of the page whereas H2-6 tags are for sub-headings. If multiple tags are used, they should all be related to one another and should remain within the general theme of the page. It has long been thought that the H1 tag was recommended as a best practice for proper SEO and Google’s Hummingbird algorithm shows that they focus less on specific keywords users are searching and more on their intent. Therefore, we think it’s a best practice to consider what your customer would be looking for when choosing header tags.

8. USE A RELIABLE WEB HOST
If your site is getting a lot of traffic or experiences periods of high traffic, it may be time to entrust your site to a Managed Hosting service, like Pagely if you are on WordPress. Doing this will allow you to ultimately improve site speed IF you choose a host that uses a reliable data source. Many WordPress developers opt for a shared host to save money but you may find that the risks far outweigh the savings if your site crashes. Other offerings you need to be looking for are:

Security
Speed tuning
Caching
Scalability
Ongoing updates of plugins

We hope that you benefit from these fundamental WordPress SEO tactics and see success in 2018. Search engine algorithms, as well as tactics employed by the most well-trafficked sites, are constantly evolving, so we recommend staying current on trends and using WordPress Plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast as a tool to make sure you are always getting the most out of your SEO. Thanks for reading!

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