Have you ever read content around SEO planning and thought, “I don’t need that, I just have a little blog”?
Well it’s time to think again.
Whether you run a ‘little blog’, an online magazine, or a multi-million pound ecommerce website, you should think about SEO planning.
As the old saying goes, fail to plan and plan to fail.
That sounds a bit harsh, I realise. Your blog will not fail, but it might not be as successful at driving traffic through search engines as it could be.
The strength of search engine optimisation for your blog relies on a well thought through strategy focussing on both on- and off-page SEO.
Read on to find out about SEO planning in a *hopefully* non-techie way that’ll make your eyes bleed…
Steps to laying your SEO planning
- Determine your goals
Before you start to write any posts, think about what you are trying to achieve. Perhaps you want to attract a new audience, or change someone’s opinion on a particular point. Even if your post is to attract more brands and paid work, it’s worth keeping this in mind in advance so that your content is relevant to that goal.
- Work out who you are trying to attract
Loyal readers, new readers, influencers, fellow bloggers, brands. Whatever your goal was, think about who you are writing for.
- Identify your priority keywords
Keywords or key phrases relate to the queries people type into search engines. Whilst you should never keyword stuff, keywords should be at the heart of your SEO strategy. All the keywords that you target should try to accomplish the same or very similar goals. Optimise your blogs around the most relevant keywords.
TIP! Scroll to the bottom of this post for some tips on picking your keywords.
- Know what your competitors are ranking on
Conduct a bit of research and ask yourself:
- Who else is ranking on the keyword? Read other blogs and articles
- How could your content provide something different or unique? Don’t copy what they are doing, but look at how and what they have written about
- Answer a question
Search engines exist to provide users with results to their search queries. It makes sense that if your blog answers a specific question not only will it have a better chance of being indexed, but it will also add more value to readers. The more it provides to the audience, the more it will be shared.
Helping you pick your priority keywords
Action – Pick around 10 top keywords most relevant to your content, product or service.
Use Google’s Keyword Tool to understand competition for those keywords, but also identify variations of the key phrases that are most relevant.
TIP! This is a tool for people that spend money on PPC ads. My tip is to sign up for an Adwords account and start a campaign (you’ll need to add a credit card), but you can immediately pause it and never spend a penny. You still get access to the tools.
Be as specific as possible with long tail keywords e.g. rather than ‘mummy blogger’ go for ‘mummy blogger in south london’, and focus on those with lower competition.
The tool will display search volume and competition for each keyword so that you can spot the obvious opportunities, but also where optimisation will be more difficult.
Go for quality rather than quantity keeping your list to 10-15 keywords, but continuously review this set as your blog grows and changes.
Remember – optimising around less keywords well is better than optimising around too many badly.