How To Optimize a Blog For SEO: The Basics

Starting a blog is a very interesting journey, especially in Kenya. With the majority of the bloggers, myself included, being self-taught, I decided to write a guide on the basics of optimizing a blog.

What Is Blog Optimisation and How Does It Help?

Put simply, optimizing a blog is the process where a blogger formats their website in a way that makes it easier for readers to explore and enjoy.

A good by-product of optimizing your blog for readers is that Google takes note of this effort and rewards your site accordingly.

I called that a by-product because most people have optimization the other way round. Instead of optimizing the websites for users, they optimize them for Google and this almost always never works.

Not to worry though! By the time you’re done reading this article, you will have all the basics of website optimization done and dusted.

How To Optimize A Blog

There are many ways one can optimize a blog. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Always Do Research

The one thing that kills a blog even before you get your first 10 followers is not doing research. When you write a blog post simply based on your opinion, it stops being authoritative and becomes just that- an opinion.

Blogs that make it to the top results on Google have days if not weeks of research put behind them. If you want your blog to actually get noticed, stop writing without doing some research first.

  1. Write Good Content

This may sound like a given but it is a point that most Kenyan bloggers overlook. I have scrutinized many Kenyan blog posts and boy do they leave much to be desired.

Ranging from having issues such as writing about obsolete topics, not having evergreen content to having high levels of plagiarism, Kenyan bloggers have a lot to learn from their international counterparts.

If you want to optimize your blog and make it rank easily, always write good content. Use short sentences, short paragraphs, and break your posts using subheadings.

For more tips on how to write good content, subscribe to the newsletter on my blog-

  1. Use Media

Having too much text in a blog post is boring and can be strenuous to read. Always break up your blog posts using media such as videos, images, and GIFs.

Using media in your posts helps to break the monotony of having texts running all through.

Don’t forget to add alt text for all the media you use!

  1. Have Both Internal and External Links in Your Content

Having both internal and external links in blog posts helps your users find more information on the topic you are writing about. Furthermore, Google loves seeing links in your content.

When you have links in your content, it helps Google’s crawlers determine the context of the article. Couple with the proper use and distribution of keywords, having a sound linking structure will make it easier for Google to rank your content for relevant searches.

  1. Enable Comments On All Your Posts

Enabling comments brings a lot to the table in terms of SEO. Comments show other users that your blog post is relevant enough to warrant a response.

You should always reply to the comments people leave on your blog posts. This shows your readers that you care about their opinion and that you actually listen to them.

From an SEO point of view, comments count as an update to an article. This means that the more frequently you get comments on a post, the more Google crawls your post and updates its search results.

This gives you a higher chance to rank well on Google.

  1. Have Social Share Buttons 

Social share buttons should be a given on all your blog posts. Making it easy for readers to share your blog post is very good for you as Google takes social signals into account when ranking search results.

The more shares you have, the higher you’ll rank.

  1. Categorize Your Posts

This falls under the category I like to call ‘a million and one things. I use this phrase to categorize the million and one small SEO steps that may look inconsequential when they are alone but can really mess you up if you keep on ignoring them.

The other entries in the million and one things club include alt texts, meta descriptions, snippets, using short URLs, and so on.

Honestly, it would take a whole article just to explain them all and how they can affect your blog. Basically, always categorize your blog posts, always write alt text on media, always write optimized meta descriptions and snippets, always have the main keyword in the title of your blog post and URL, and so on. 

A good example of this is my article on how to make money without capital in Kenya. Do a quick search on it, note its position in the results, check the meta description and finally check its URL. Tell me what you see.

  1. Maintain Your Website

I really wanted to start with this point but I saved it for last because I’m giving it as a gift to those who made it this far.

To be blunt, the state of many Kenyan blogs is just horrendous. Either they have a terrible layout, terrible theme, laden with too many ads and pop-ups, and so on.

Always maintain your website. The aesthetic state of your website means a lot when it comes to UX (user experience). If people don’t like how your site looks, they leave. This leads to a higher bounce rate which tells Google that your site is not relevant for the keyword it was ranked for.

At the end of the day, failing to maintain your website leads to a loss in ranking.

That’s It!

That brings us to the end of today’s article on the basics of optimizing your blog for SEO. I hope these tips will prove to be useful to you.

Have any questions? Comment below and I’ll make sure to answer them.

Until next time, happy blogging!

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