I’ve learned from experience that starting a blog is really easy (and cheap) and writing the first few posts are fairly easy as well.
What does it take to go from being just another blog to becoming a successful blog?
You Need to Learn Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing your blog for search engines and humans alike. By altering elements of your website, you can make it easier for search engines to crawl your site and index the pages, as well as create a better user experience for humans.
Consistent Content + SEO Strategy
Taking the time to write really good content that humans want to read goes without saying, but there’s a lot more that goes into a blog’s SEO.
Fix Technical SEO Issues and Improve blog loading times
Some of the easiest things you can do to improve SEO are the things that your visitors don’t see. They’re the items that can be corrected quickly and easily, but you need to know what they are.
Using a technical SEO analysis tool like WooRank can really help speed things up. WooRank is a complete on-page SEO Analysis tool that can help you improve web traffic, boost conversions.
You’ll be able to see things about your website from an SEO perspective that you might not have considered.
After you put in your web address, Woorank will go and check your blog. This usually takes about a minute.
When the audit is complete, you’ll see the dashboard with your overview at the top.
You immediately see a score on the right. My blog happens to be 56/100 where the top score is 100, although I never, EVER have seen a site that can score 100. Best I’ve ever seen was a 96.
As you can see, there’s some work to be done.
Scrolling down the audit report, we find that my Title and Meta Descriptions aren’t really optimized. The tool doesn’t have intuition, and any real SEO specialist would understand that this is a personal blog and the main keyword is my name, which appears in both. My secondary keyword is “personal blog,” so I’ve actually hit all the marks.
You do have to take these audits with a grain of salt and use your intuition.
Interestingly enough, Woorank gave me a green check even though my site is missing an H1 tag on the homepage. I just realized that too. UGH!
My H2 tags aren’t really optimized either. I have work to do in this area.
Image ALT tags
Here we see that my site is missing 6 image ALT tags. Again here, if you look at the image URLs, you realize that these are fed by Amazon.com. I know exactly what this is, and it’s the advertisements on the sidebar of the site.
This shows you how many links on your page are going out (external links) to other sites, and how many links to other pages on your site (Internal Links).
Technical SEO Issues
Broken links are links that are supposed to link to another page on your site or another, but for some reason, they reach an “Error 404” page. This means that there is no page at the URL. It’s important to fix any broken links as soon as you can.
I just found out that my WWW resolve isn’t working. Basically what this means is that https://sonkoral.com doesn’t redirect to https://www.sonkoral.com. I need to fix that too.
Robots.txt and XML sitemaps
The robots.txt file is a file that tells robots what to do. The XML sitemap tells the robots where all the pages are at. Both should be on your blog and updated with each blog post. Plug-ins such as All In One SEO and YOAST SEO will handle this for you automatically.
You really don’t need to worry about this if YOAST or AIO is handling your sitemap generation.
One thing you want to do is use a human-readable URL structure. You can do this by going to Settings > Permalinks and setting the URL parameter as any one of the choices shown below in the green box.
I’m not going to go through the whole audit because this is something that you just really need to try for yourself on a website you know everything about. It’s really eye-opening to see what’s going on with your blog and that it’s not as neat and polished as you thought it was.
The rabbit hole goes a lot deeper than this. You can tweak the web server that your site is hosted on, you can add caching to speed up the site and many other things.
Most companies don’t bother with doing SEO in-house. There are tons of SEO and Digital Marketing agencies that can be hired to take care of all this work (and a lot more) for you if your time is better spent elsewhere.
It really doesn’t matter if you learn how to do it on your own or have a SEO agency take care of it for you, it still needs to be done to provide a solid foundation for other online marketing efforts.
Finally, let me stress that these Automated SEO tools aren’t perfect because they don’t always get it correct, so make sure to run a few different reports to get a better sense of what’s really going on, and also use your own powers of reasoning and deduction.