SEO is not that hard and complicated; just has a bad reputation among bloggers, probably because at the beginning it actually was kind of tricky and grey. But as search is improving, optimization is getting more simple and accessible to everyone.
Though it sounds confusing, at its most basic level, SEO actually refers to optimization of content for the search engines, or helping people find you online. Because that’s what it does – lets Google understand what the content is about, so the engine can list it to searchers when they look up relevant queries. You’re blogging for your readers, so why wouldn’t you want more eyes on your pages?
We’ve discussed before on how search is changing in the last couple of years, so now that you know the role of keywords these days, pick a blog post that you’ve spent some time on and think is worth trying, and follow these steps to give it a catchy SEO-friendly title:
#1 Select keywords for your post.
Think about your post. What’s it about? Can you explain its main idea and points in a line or two? How about in two or three words and phrases? That’s what you actually need, first for research, and then to compose the final post title.
For example, in an older post “10 SEO Tips to Optimize Your Blog for Search” I wrote about the importance of SEO for bloggers and shared ten most basic tips to optimize their sites. So I thought the title should be about that, about those 10 SEO Tips for Bloggers. Other title ideas also included How to Optimize Your Blog, and Optimize Your Blog in 10 Steps.
#2 Research the keywords and phrases.
If you got stuck on the 1st step, jump over to a new Google incognito page and see how you can better phrase your keywords. Like in the case I took as example:
This, of course, is not the best research you can do on your keywords, but it’s a good starting point. The next thing is to use a keyword research tool like UberSuggest, or Google Analytics, the Webmaster Tools, or the Keyword Planner (more on keyword-research tools). Below is a screenshot from Keyword Planner’s suggestions on my search terms, and here’s more from Google on how to use the tool.
The competition for my search terms is low, but the average monthly searches are around those of the suggested relevant keywords with high competition. So I decided to use my terms.
#3 Edit your slug, or permalink.
This is the part of the link that comes after your domain name. For example: bloggerbabes.com/10-basic-seo-tips-for-bloggers/. In WordPress the permalink is automatically created, but you don’t want it published like that. Edit the slug url to include the keywords you researched and selected, but keep it short and to the point.
You can change the permalink later, but that will likely cause you so much trouble, – redirects and other messy stuff, – that you’ll regret you even started. So consider this well ahead.
#4 Don’t forget you’re human.
Make your title interesting for humans. It is one thing to write for SEO purposes, and most often, completely different thing to write for people. And people need to click on the link and read your blog post.
So write powerful titles, titles that will get your blogging noticed, and make sure you stand up to what you promise with the rest of the content in the blog post as well. Because only then will your readers learn to trust you, with their time and money.
In my case, I chose the title – 10 SEO Tips to Optimize Your Blog for Search, with the permalink – 10-basic-seo-tips-for-bloggers/. I got both keywords phrases covered.
#5 A step further: Title tags and meta descritions.
You already have your title and permalink, so you’re good to go. But if you want to go a step further, and improve how your post looks in Google’s search results, you can install a plugin like Yoast SEO on your WordPress blog, and edit the title tag and meta description as well (other must-know SEO terms). These are additional information for search engines about the content published on your page, and are displayed in the results for users to read. See image below:
Check what other WP plugins could be useful for your blog.
Are your titles SEO-friendly? Do you think I missed to mention something? Leave your tips in the comments…