Table of Contents

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Blog SEO: Grow Audience Organically with Optimization

Table of Contents

How are you doing in podcasting as a guest, host, or both?

This is a four-part series that will provide you with a thorough guide on how to grow your blog traffic organically without having to turn to paid advertising.

Part Two: SEO Tools
Part Three: SEO Keywords
Part Four: Link Building

So, picture this: you’ve poured your heart and soul into creating what you believe is the greatest blog post ever written. You’re bursting with pride as you hit that publish button, eagerly awaiting the flood of readers it will attract. But hours later, when you check your stats, the disappointment hits you like a ton of bricks. Only a handful of people have actually read your post. Sound familiar? Trust me, I’ve been there too, and it really sucks.

But here’s the good news: I’ve discovered a powerful SEO strategy that helped me skyrocket my blog traffic by a whopping 75% in just one year, and the best part is, it doesn’t involve any advertising. Yes, you heard that right! In this blog post, I’m going to share with you the exact tactics I used to achieve this incredible growth with optimization. And the best part is, you can start implementing them right away. Trust me, it’s not as difficult as it may seem!

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Introduction: The Battle for Attention

In today’s digital landscape, it feels like everyone and their dog has a blog, right? Even if you have a super specific niche, chances are there are already others out there blogging about the same topic. In fact, did you know that there are a staggering 27 blog posts published on WordPress every single second? That’s mind-blowing! With such fierce competition, how can we stand out amidst the sea of content and grab the attention of our target audience?

Well, my friend, that’s where the power of SEO comes in. In this course, I’m going to teach you the most important SEO tactics that will help your content rank higher in search engines, leading to more organic traffic and greater visibility. And the best part is, you don’t need to be an expert or have years of experience to implement these strategies.

I’ve done all the hard work and spent countless hours and thousands of dollars figuring this out, so you don’t have to. Consider this course as a shortcut to success, where you can learn from my journey and avoid the mistakes I made along the way.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let me share a little secret with you: Google considers over 200 SEO ranking factors. Yes, you heard me right, a whopping 200! But don’t worry, I’ve distilled all that complexity down to just a few key factors that truly make a difference. These are the ones that will actually drive traffic to your website.

So, what can you expect from this blog series?

Here are the outcomes you can look forward to:

1. Spend less time worrying about the 200+ SEO ranking factors.
2. Start ranking higher in search engines.
3. Watch organic traffic to your website soar.

Let’s jump right into the first part of our 4-part formula for ranking content: optimization.

Optimization: Laying the Foundation for Success

First things first, we need to talk about your overall website optimization. If you want to be taken seriously by Google and other search engines, certain areas of your website need to be optimized. Trust me, this step is crucial if you want to make a lasting impression and climb those search engine rankings.

In this section of the course, we’ll cover the following key areas:

1. Speed: Slow-loading websites are a big no-no. People have very little patience these days, and if your site takes more than a couple of seconds to load, they’ll likely get frustrated and leave. We’ll discuss how to ensure your website loads lightning-fast.

2. Mobile: Mobile search

has surpassed desktop search, and Google now prioritizes mobile-friendly websites. So, if your site doesn’t look good or function well on mobile devices, it’s going to hurt your chances of ranking high on Google. We’ll explore how to optimize your website for mobile users.

3. SSL Certificate: Ever noticed the green lock or the “HTTPS” in the URL bar of some websites? That’s the SSL certificate at work, ensuring secure connections between web servers and browsers. Having an SSL certificate is becoming increasingly important, and we’ll discuss why you need one and how to implement it.

4. Structure: How you organize your content plays a significant role in how search engines perceive your website. We’ll touch on site structure and provide tips to ensure your website is organized in a way that makes sense and avoids confusing Google’s bots.

Alright, buckle up! We’re about to embark on an exciting journey of optimization that will set the stage for your blog’s success.

Website Speed: Need for Speed!

Let’s talk about the need for speed! In today’s fast-paced world, people have zero patience when it comes to waiting for websites to load. If your site takes more than a couple of seconds, you can bet they’ll be muttering frustrations under their breath. So, how fast should your website load to impress both your readers and search engines?

According to Google, the gold standard is a load time of 0-1 second for a fast website, 1-2.5 seconds for an average one, and anything above 2.5 seconds is considered slow.

Can you believe that? Our attention spans are getting shorter by the day!

To assess your website’s speed, I recommend using two reliable and free tools.

The first one is Pingdom’s website speed test, which provides valuable insights into your overall website speed.

The second tool, PageSpeed Insights specifically focuses on mobile website speed, given the increasing importance of mobile optimization.

Now, let’s take a moment to evaluate the results. For instance, let’s look at my example website, DailyPS.com. It’s a multi-author Christian blog I started eight years ago, with over 100 authors contributing their valuable insights. The website loaded in just under half a second, and we have a ton of images and content.

Remember, when running speed tests, you can disregard the performance grade. It often suggests fixing minor issues that won’t make a significant impact. Stay focused on what truly matters!

Mobile Friendliness: Keeping Up with the Mobile Revolution

Here’s a mind-blowing fact: mobile search overtook desktop search at the end of 2016. That means more people are searching for information on their mobile devices than on their desktop computers. And guess what? Google has taken notice and switched to a mobile-first indexing approach.

What does this mean for you?

It means that Google places greater emphasis on the mobile version of your website when determining its ranking. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it won’t rank as high on Google’s search results. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure your website shines on mobile devices.

To check if your website is mobile-friendly, Google provides a handy tool called Mobile-Friendly Test. It’s super easy to use and will provide you with valuable insights.

For instance, let’s take a look at DailyPS.com, my example website. We put a lot of time and effort into making it mobile-friendly, and the positive responses from our readers and Google confirm our success.

Now it’s your turn to find out if your website passes the mobile-friendly test. If your results indicate otherwise, don’t worry! I’m here to help. Please leave a comment below, and I’ll provide you with simple and free solutions to ensure your website runs smoothly on mobile devices.

SSL Certificate: Securing Your Website

SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, is the industry-standard security technology for establishing an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. When a website has an SSL certificate, you’ll notice a green lock icon or “HTTPS” in the URL bar. It’s an indication that the connection is secure and the data transmitted between the web server and browsers remains private.

Now, I know SSL can sound a bit technical, but it’s actually quite simple. If your website is secure, it’s HTTPS. If it’s not, it’s HTTP. Many modern browsers make it easy to identify secure websites.

To determine if your website has an SSL certificate, simply ask your web hosting provider or check the URL bar in your browser. If you discover that your website is not secure, don’t panic! Get in touch with your host and request the implementation of an SSL certificate.

And here’s a pro tip:

A good host will provide this service free of charge. If yours tries to charge you, it might be time to consider switching to another hosting provider.

Site Structure: Organize for Success

How you organize your website’s content plays a crucial role in SEO. A solid site structure not only helps search engines understand your site but also enhances the user experience. While site structure can get complex, especially for non-technical folks, I’ll keep it simple and focus on the key points.

If you’re using WordPress, you’re in luck because it’s already designed with good site structure in mind. However, it’s essential to ensure that your content is logically organized. For example, use blog categories instead of pages to list your different topics.

Don’t overcomplicate things—use your website platform as intended and provide clear paths for users and search engines to navigate your site.

Breadcrumbs

One useful technique to implement, if possible, is enabling breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are a navigational aid that shows users and search engines the hierarchical structure of your website. They appear as a series of links, representing the path from the homepage to the specific page the user is on. You can enable breadcrumbs through the Yoast SEO plugin, even if it’s not part of your theme’s default settings.

Remember, you don’t want your website to have any dead-ends—pages with no links or way for users (and search engines) to explore further. Ensure your navigation menu is accessible from every page and post, providing clear pathways for users to find what they’re looking for.

If you want a deeper understanding of site structure, I recommend checking out a video by my friend Bobby Kircher titled “Optimal Site Structure for SEO” on WordPress.tv. It offers a comprehensive explanation of site structure and its impact on SEO.

Now, take a moment to assess your site structure. Does it make sense? Are your categories and subcategories well-organized? Do you have any dead-ends? If you need further clarification or have questions, feel free to watch Bobby’s video and leave a comment below.

Congratulations! You’ve completed the first section of our four-part guide, where we discussed optimizing your website for better search engine rankings. By focusing on speed, mobile-friendliness, SSL certificates, and site structure, you’re setting a solid foundation for success. In the next section, we’ll dive into the exciting world of SEO tools and how they can supercharge your blog’s visibility.

Part Two