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Don't be baffled by the dark art of SEO! This step-by-step guide, written by a professional SEO, will teach you everything you need to know to get as much search engine traffic as possible to your blog.

The Simple Guide to Optimizing Your Blog for SEO

This entry is part 8 of 14 in the series How to Start a Profitable Blog

Welcome to lesson #8 of the profitable blogging course.

I can’t believe how far we’ve come already!

Hopefully by now you’ve got your blog all set up and you might have even written a blog post or two, based on the research that we carried out earlier.

Today we’re therefore going to start moving gently into promoting your articles, and so getting as many visitors as possible to your site.

As a brief note, if you missed the last lesson you can download the checklist here.

Today’s lesson can be downloaded here.

Getting your blog to rank in the search engines can take time, but it’s one of the most beneficial skills you can learn.

There are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly, search engine visitors are actively searching for the information you cover on your blog. That means they’re in the right “frame of mind”, and are likely to interact with your blog and/or click on adverts.

Secondly, in my experience search engine visitors tend to be worth more to you than visitors from other sources. Ad networks, which we’ll cover in a few days, tend to pay more for search engine visitors than other sorts.

Lastly, of course, once you rank well in the search engines you’ll keep on receiving visitors for a long time to come. This is in stark contrast to many other traffic-generation techniques where the visitors soon tail off if you don’t keep working at it.

Fortunately, while SEO is quite a complicated process as a rule, for bloggers things can be quite a bit simpler. This is because you only need to learn a few basic techniques, and these are a number of tools which will make life easier for you.

At its simplest, SEO consists of two main elements. Firstly, we need to optimize your blog posts to make sure they stand the very best chance of ranking, and then we need to build links to your blog. The more links you have, and the better-optimized your posts, the more traffic you’ll get. Easy.

We’re going to talk about link building in a future lesson, so today we’re just going to talk about the basics of optimizing your blog post.

How to Use Yoast

Here’s some good news to start this lesson off; you already have the main tool that you need to make your articles “search engine friendly”. It’s called “Yoast SEO” and we installed it in a previous lesson.

Today we’re going to actually start using it to make your blog posts stand the best possible chance of ranking.

Let’s assume for a moment that you’ve written your first blog post on your home computer. Now we need to upload it to WordPress and optimize it for the search engines.

How to Upload a Blog Post

Adding a post to your blog couldn’t be much simpler.

Start off by logging into your WordPress control panel. Then select “Posts” and “Add New”.

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This will bring up a simple screen where you can paste your blog post in. You’ll find a box for the article title, and a box for the main body of the article.

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Also note the icons at the top of the main article box. By clicking on the one on the right you’ll open up all the formatting options, where you can add bold text, italics, links to other pages and more.

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When you’re happy with your article you can simply click on the “Publish” button and it’ll then appear on your blog.

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How to Optimize Your Blog Posts

So we know how to publish an article on your blog, but how do we stand the best possible chance of it ranking in the search engines?

Here there are a number of elements you’ll want to address…

Keyword in Headline

If you followed our earlier lesson and found some keyword phrases to write about using SEMRush then this is where the magic starts. Firstly, you’ll want to make sure that the article title includes this keyword phrase.

So if our chosen keyword phrase was “cheap wedding dresses” our article title might be “Where to Find Cheap Wedding Dresses”. Simple.

Additionally, try to include related phrases in any article subheads.

Keywords & Synonyms in Content

Next you’ll want to make sure that the keyword phrase you’re targeting – and different versions of it – appear a few times within your article. So read it through, just to make sure.

Title Tag & META Description

The title tag is the bit that appears at the top of the page when you visit a website. You’ll want to be certain that the title tag contains your keyword phrase too.

This is easy to do. If you’ve activated Yoast SEO then just scan down to the end of your article and you’ll see the Yoast SEO area.

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Here you’ll want to check both the title tag and META description to ensure that they have your target keyword phrase in.

Add Focus Keyword

Finally scroll down to the “Focus Keyword” area and type in the keyword phrase you’re targeting.

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Then click save.

What will happen now is that the Yoast tool will check your blog post for you, and recommend a range of changes to your article to make it more SEO-friendly.

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Just follow the advice, making changes as necessary until you get a “green” light, which tells you that your post is properly optimized.

That’s it!

Like with anything else, the first time that you optimize a blog post it’ll probably take you a good long time.

However once you’ve done it the first time you’ll find that you get quicker and quicker. Before you know it you’ll be churning out optimized blog posts in your sleep 🙂

Today’s task is therefore to write your first blog post (if you haven’t already). Upload it to WordPress, use Yoast to make sure it’s properly optimized, and then publish it. You might even want to add a picture or two.

Then sit back and admire your hard work – before telling all your friends know about your first ever blog post!

Next time we have possibly the most exciting lesson of all. In lesson #9 we’ll start to promote your blog using my top resource.

Get ready: it’s a real hum-dinger.

Don't be baffled by the dark art of SEO! This step-by-step guide, written by a professional SEO, will teach you everything you need to know to get as much search engine traffic as possible to your blog.

Richard

Tarantula-keeper, sun-worshipper and obsessive frugality blogger. For loads more money-saving advice come and join us on Facebook.

1 comment

  • Thank you for taking the time to create this guide. I am a neophyte when it comes to blogging but am definitely trying to learn as much as possible. I plan to go through each of your articles and learn as much as possible. Thanks again for sharing!!!

Hi, I'm Richard, a UK personal finance blogger on a journey to financial freedom.

I've paid off my consumer debt thanks to a frugal lifestyle and now I'm saving hard for the future.

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