The thing all bloggers want to know and what all of us strive to perfect. SEO is key to building a strong blog and website. It is the key that helps to build it all up but that means that it can be super confusing and hard to know what you should truly focus on.
I don’t believe that you need to know every part of SEO to get started with blogging. It is an ever-changing piece of the puzzle that shouldn’t hold you back from starting.
I love to break down the blogging process so you understand it in a simple and uncomplicated way. Blogging is full of many different moving parts that you can easily become confused about and want to give up.
This SEO checklist for blogging is meant to help you get started. I am not an SEO expert and I will NEVER claim to be one. However, I can help get you started with the basics of SEO to help build up your website.
What do I mean by that?
Blogging isn’t something that you start to get instant results. You are going to need to become consistent and have patience. I get it. We all want to see results instantly but that just isn’t how it works.
Blogging is a long-term game. It isn’t something that you are going to see immediate results with. SEO is the same.
SEO is a long-term game that is going to help you build and grow your website and blog continuously. It isn’t something that is going to impact your blog or your website overnight.
It takes work.
It takes time.
It takes effort.
It takes consistency.
When you have a plan in place (You will find me saying this often), you will be able to work on building up your SEO in all of the different places that it needs to be.
Let’s break down the different types of SEO.
There are multiple types of SEO that you can work on. I am going to break down the different types so that you can understand the differences.
This is all about optimizing the parts of your website that are considered your infrastructure. Technical SEO is going to help your website be crawled and indexed by search engines.
Technical SEO includes…
This is all about the content that is on your website.
On-page SEO includes…
This is all about SEO that happens off of your website to build your domain authority and SEO.
Off-page SEO includes…
This is exactly what it sounds like. Local SEO is going to help you be found in your local area.
Local SEO includes…
White Hat SEO
This type of SEO means that you are using tactics that are approved by search engines to increase your position on a search page.
White hat SEO includes…
Black Hat SEO
This type of SEO means that you are using unethical tactics to help build your SEO.
Black Hat SEO includes…
Grey Hat SEO
This type of SEO means that you are using a combination of both white hat and black hat SEO to exploit the search engine guidelines.
This type of SEO means that you are targeting an audience that is worldwide or in different regions other than local.
Global SEO includes…
Now that you know the different types of SEO that you can work on, we are going to focus on an SEO checklist that is going to help you start today to optimize your website and your blog posts.
We are going to focus mainly on the on-page SEO type as this is going to be the easiest for you to control. Well besides the white hat SEO.
Let’s break it down into the different SEO pieces that you are going to want to ensure that you have in each and every blog post that you write. We are going to start right at the beginning of the process. That means that we are starting with the idea formation of your blog post.
Blog post keyword
When you are at the beginning of the creation of a blog post, you are going to want to make sure that you choose a main blog post keyword to focus on.
This doesn’t mean that you want to choose one word and work it into different places in your blog post. It means that this is going to be the main topic and idea that you are covering in your blog post.
You are not going to want to keyword stuff when it comes to this blog post keyword. You are going to want to write down different variations of the same keyword and use it in the language throughout your blog post. You want to sound natural to your audience and you want to make sure that it is how they are going to talk about the topic that you are blogging about.
If you need help figuring out how to choose your blog post keywords, read my blog post where I help you understand the process.
Blog post title
Now that you know the main blog post keyword that you are writing about in a blog post, you are going to want to make sure that you have a form of that keyword in your blog post title. This is a great place to start to tell everyone what you are talking about in that specific blog post.
Blog post URL
You have now made sure that you have the keyword in your blog post title, you are going to want to ensure that it is in your blog post URL. This is a great way to tell the search engines what it is that you are talking about in that blog post. Remember, for SEO to work, the search engines are reading all the different pieces of your blog post.
Blog post headings
When you write the headings for your blog post, it is important to remember that these break up your blog post but they are also telling the reader where certain information is in your blog post. Remember that most people only skim blog posts which means that they are skimming those headlines to see where the information they want is.
Using a variation of the main keyword is a great way to break up your blog post, tell your readers where your information is located, and help the search engines know what your blog post is about.
Not only is it important to have a keyword in your blog post headings, but it is also important to have your headings in order. So heading 1, heading 2, and so on.
Blog post body
You want to make sure that you are using the different variations of your keyword throughout the blog post. This is where you do not want to keyword stuff. That means that you are just stuffing a certain keyword into the blog post.
The algorithms have gotten so good at what they do that they can pick this up. You want your blog post to sound natural. You don’t want to sound like all you are trying to do is help your SEO ranking. You want to actually be helping those who are coming to your website and blog.
Your blog meta description is important to tell those who are finding your blog post on a search engine what it is about but it is also important because it is telling the search engine itself what your blog post is about.
Google likes your meta description to be about 155-160 characters long. You are going to want to put your keyword into this meta description so that search engines know what your blog post is about.
Images on your blog
There are going to be multiple ways that you can help your SEO with the graphics and images that you share.
You are going to want to ensure that you are using a file that isn’t going to slow the speed of your site as much. A JPEG is a great idea to share your graphics and images on your website. A JPEG is going to be a smaller size than a PNG file.
The second step in optimizing your images for SEO is to name the graphic with the keyword or keyword phrase of your blog. You should also put a hyphen in between the words of the name. You want to ensure that you are using clear and descriptive words to name your image.
The third step is to make sure that you are using alternative text on your images. This is sort of like giving the search engine clues as to what your image is about. You want your alternative text to be more in-depth than the file name.
Remember that SEO doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with where you are and learn as you go. The most important thing when it comes to SEO is to give your audience the content that they are searching for.
Talk to them in a way that they are going to understand and in a way that they are going to find your content.
If you want a way to help with mapping out your blog posts before you begin writing, grab my blog post creation map.