Today I have a little bit of a different post, but one I’m sure other bloggers out there will appreciate. Since creating my own blog, I’ve done so much research about how to best drive traffic to it and I have acquired a few SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics that I do regularly now. Some of these tricks only take a couple extra minutes, so it’s definitely worth it to give your new post you’ve worked so hard on an extra push!
1. create relevant image titles and alt texts for all images
This is something that most people completely overlook. The image title is actually something that Google “scans” through when determining how to rank your site. So if your file names are “IMG3045.jpg”, that’s not going to help your blog. Create a naming convention like “your blog’s name-post title(-01,-02…).jpg” and use that for all the photos. Having your blog’s name in there will help Google rank your post higher.
While you are in there renaming your photos (which you can do before uploading them or after in WordPress) you should also add “alt text” to them. Alternate text in photos allows search engines to understand what your image is. When images cannot load properly on a page, the alt text appears. Alt text is also used by visually impaired people to understand what is in the image.
For my photos, I use a more descriptive alt text than I do for image titles. I still include my blog’s name but I’ll had more description of the photo itself. For example, “Bellezza Corner Fashion Post Walking Outside”. Also the alt text does not need to be separated by hyphens and can be written more like a sentence.
2. utilize all the features of the *amazing* Yoast plugin
For those using WordPress.org, you can use the game-changing Yoast plugin for SEO. There is so much information to get out of it, and it appears at the bottom of every post. After writing up your post, scroll down and read through all the points it suggests to correct, and which it says are good. Often times, Yoast brings to your attention that you don’t have certain image titles/alt text in place, your post title is too long or short, or that your links are broken. It is an awesome tool for optimizing your post, and it’s even free.
3. check your word count
Search engines scan for word count so make sure your post has at least 300 words in it. 500 words is better, but anything below 300 will be detected and ranked lower. The Yoast plugin brings this to your attention as well, which is very convenient.
4. add subheadings
Make sure that your post has some use of subheadings. This is another quality that Google and other search engines look for in your post. They want to see the structure of a proper post. Now, sometimes I don’t even necessarily need subheadings. But just since I know this information, I try to incorporate them in some way. I like to use H4 headings because they are smaller and more subtle in my posts than H1-H3 ones.
5. create a relevant meta description
Another huge help that only takes about a minute to add. Again this is something you can do with Yoast. At the bottom of your post, the Yoast plugin area shows a little Google snippet preview with your post title and a little description below it. This is called a meta description. The meta description should be 155-160 characters and you should try and use all the space possible. If you don’t set a meta description, it is pulled automatically using the first lines of your post. For most blog posts, this is not helpful.
In this case of this post, the meta description would read, “Ciao tutti! Today I have a little bit of a different post, but one I’m sure other bloggers out there will appreciate. Since creating my own blog, I’ve done…” Not so useful for describing what my post is even about. So I take the extra couple minutes to make a great sentence or two explaining why you should click on this link.
6. throw some links out there!
Getting your link out there is the best thing you can do for your SEO ranking and for traffic. One of the easiest ways to get your links out is with Pinterest. You can upload all your photos from your blog post to Pinterest and have them shoot back to the corresponding post. Search engines take into account how many links you have out there on the world wide web, so get linking!
Do you guys already optimize your posts? What other techniques do you incorporate?