• Danielle Austin

SEO Basics



If you plan on starting a blog, you need to know some SEO basics. Why? There are over a billion websites on the internet and you want your blog to show up when they're searching on Google for the best gelato in Rome.


If you only plan on being on Instagram and TikTok, chances are you won't need SEO but you never know what update might come out next 🙈.


What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization. Which is exactly how it sounds. SEO is the method in which you make your website as visible as possible on relevant internet searches. A higher visibility? A higher amount of people that will come to your site to get information or buy a product. Getting a good Google ranking can be done through work with keywords, titles, descriptions and updating your website's text.


The goal of SEO is to help search engines understand what your website is about so they can show it to relevant people. You need to optimize your text, descriptions, titles and links to make sure Google associates you to the services you provide.


Improving your SEO will improve your outreach, brand awareness and organic search.


So what are some ways to improve SEO?


Keywords, Imagery, ALT text, and Meta Descriptions

Now, obviously Google isn't a real human being.

There isn't a physical person that is going through each and every new website and analyzing what information is there, how it looks, what the customer/viewer experience will be... No. They have internet scanners that evaluate every site technically. The scanners are able to identify which elements of text are important and which are less, based on what you formatted as a "HEADLINE" or as a "PARAGRAPH". They take this information and use it to formulate an understanding of the types of service or information your site provides in order to recommend it to relevant people.


Keywords

Go through your website! Does each page have your keywords? There's no reason to repeat them several times on the same page, just make sure you give their placement importance. My keywords for example are TRAVEL, BLOGGER and LIFESTYLE. You can find them pop up around my site in prominent places.


Imagery (ALT TEXT)

Another small trick is to add ALT text to your website images. Scanners don't see images, but they can 'read' them. Add ALT text to help Google understand the type of visual content you have on your website as well.


Headlines & Meta Descriptions

Another important tool I use when improving SEO, is I use and edit the meta descriptions and headlines for all website pages and for my blog posts. On WIX BLOG it's very simple, for every blog in the settings you can go to advanced and optimize your descriptions there. For title tags and page meta descriptions, you want to keep your information short, informative and with an enticing CTA (call-to-action).


PPC Manager

I feel it's only right that I include this in a blog about SEO, but I don't think it is the right tool for most people. Especially if you're a solo blogger and not a large brand or company. PPC (pay per click) Manager is a short term answer to boosting your website's visibility on search engines. It is a promoted post that shoots your website to the top of the search page whenever someone looks up your selected keyword (it's not that simple - there can be a lot of competition for a certain topic). This is not a long-term solution and does not approve your overall SEO. My vote? Make the necessary SEO improvements and have patience. Anyone doing PPC still needs to do SEO for their website.


Backlinks

Backlinks are not what they used to be. Years ago, one could buy hundreds of backlinks for a small price. Usually, most websites were abandoned and filled with nothingness and existed just for the sole purpose of providing backlinks. (Backlinks are when your website link appears on another website - for example if Forbes wrote a blog article and linked livebydanielle.com). Now search engines are much smarter and crack down on phony backlinks. Which means, you need to collaborate with reputable sites to link back to your site. They need to be reputable, with fresh content and preferably relevant to you.


My recommendation is guest blogging. This can be done with hotels you visited, or fellow bloggers, really anyone that would have any relevance to link back to your site.


Structure of Your Content

I touched on this before, but the structure of your content places a role in how Google understands the information you provide on your site.


Google scans your site and identifies which information is important based on how you structured your content. If it's in the headline, it must be important! If it's in the body, it's probably less important. With this information, make sure that your titles give a strong understanding of what your blog is about or what's to come in the body of the text. The easier it is for your readers to read and understand, the easier it will be for Google too.


Think about how you read a blog post, maybe even this one. You opened this post because the title is relevant to something you are interested in learning more about, and then maybe you took a quick scroll and scan over the subtitles to see if this blog has relevant information to you to read about. The same goes for Google when analyzing your site! Make it easy!


Content Quality

Use the tools available to you to your disposal. Meaning, use the different headline sizes, use bold, italics, underline and colors. Obviously don't get too crazy, but use the tools that will make your information easier to read. Stay on topic and don't fluff your blog. Your reader can spot that just as well as your high school LIT teacher. And although Google scanners don't see images, that doesn't mean you shouldn't have them! Images are an awesome way to keep readers engaged and bump the quality of your piece.

Adding visual media such as images, pictures, videos and gifs tend to reduce bounce rate and increase time on site.

This is straight from the WIX SEO gurus themselves. Visual content has its place in SEO, just make sure it is relevant, has ALT text and isn't 'too heavy'. Heavy visuals can slow down your page loading and this also has an effect on your page ranking.

Internal Links

Internal links, meaning linking a page on your website on another page on your website shows Google that the linked page is important. Especially if you link it several times. On average, you should try having at least one internal link on each page of your website.


Reports

If you're not tracking your SEO efforts than did you really do anything? 😉 I use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track my SEO and website ranking. They are both really easy to set up and use. Definitely an important step to make when setting up your website SEO!

 

I hope this blog post helped you get a better understanding of SEO basics and how you can incorporate it already today to improve your website traffic.


If you have any questions, please write it in a comment below or send me an email to hello@livebydanielle.com



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