12 Simple Ways To Prepare Your Blog For SEO Success

Written by Matt Wolfe
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I’ve never been shy about my thoughts on SEO… I’ve tested some SEO strategies in the past, had some sites rank for amazing keywords, began relying on that traffic for my income, and then lost it all… I’m not the biggest fan of search engine optimization as a primary traffic strategy.

Why would someone put so much time and money in to something that Google could just change the rules on next week. It’s scary and I’m not a huge fan of it.

Saying that, I do like to take actions on all of my sites that will put me in the best position for SEO success, even if it isn’t my primary traffic strategy.

I see no harm in doing little tweaks here and there on my sites that will make my pages appealing in Google’s eyes. I’m just not putting a lot of eggs in the SEO basket. After all, Google makes its money through paid search results… If they make SEO too easy to figure out, no one would buy ads, we’d all just hire SEO guys instead.

Anyway… Here’s some quick tips that I’ve found Google likes and should help you get a little boost in the search results.

1. Pick a good domain name from the start.

If you can find a domain name that includes the keywords you want people to find you for, this will give you a jumpstart. I’ve heard that Google doesn’t put as much value on this element as they once did. However, I still seem to have a much easier time ranking domain names with my keyword than if they don’t have them.

2. Use WordPress for your websites.

WordPress sites are inherently SEO friendly sites.

3. Install WordPress SEO by Yoast.

Use it to create a sitemap and get the sitemap submitted to all the search engines.

WordPress SEO



4. Create an account with Google Webmaster Tools and use the Yoast plugin to make sure Google pays attention.

Webmaster Tools

5. When adding images to a post, make sure you use relevant keywords for the image’s name and “Alt Text”.

Google looks at this information when ranking posts. It also helps your site show up in Google’s image search….

Alt Text

6. Link out to authority sites from within your blog posts.

Google loves to see links out to big name authority sites like Wikipedia, Forbes, Huffington Post, etc… You linking to authority websites shows them that you are trying to put out great information and link to relevant content.

7. Link your existing posts together.

If you write a new blog post and it’s relevant to an older blog post, link the new one to the old one. Also, go back and edit the old post and link it to the new one. Google likes depth to websites. Google also likes to see a low bounce rate (meaning people stay on your site for a while). By linking between posts, it could lead to people staying on your site for longer.

8. Use YouTube videos on your site.

Google loves to see you linking to their properties. Linking to YouTube videos that are relevant to your site’s content looks good to Google. Google denies that YouTube videos add any value to search engine results. I’ve seen a lot of people show me results the prove otherwise, however.

9. Keep your content fresh and relevant.

Post often and don’t let your blog content go stale. Google loves to see fresh new content. Lately, Google has been ranking fresh new content over existing seasoned content as demonstrated by Glen at ViperChill in this blog post.

10. Get blog comments.

I believe that Google sees a lot of blog comments as an indicator that a post is something that people want to read and interact on. Comments also help keep your posts looking fresh in Google’s eyes. Even if a post was written months ago, a new comment today looks like a post was recently updated. (A loophole also pointed out by Glen at Viperchill.)

11. Leverage social media and ask for Likes and Shares.

SproutInsights points out that 7 out of 10 of the major SEO factors stem from social media. G+ being the most looked at factor in Google’s eyes. Sites that get shared and liked a lot rank higher than sites that don’t… This is a “chicken or the egg” scenario in my mind… Are these sites getting a lot of social interaction because they rank high or are they ranking high because they get a lot of social interaction. I’m not sure. However, no matter how you look at it, social media helps get traffic to your site. Get active and encourage the shares.

When you make a post, share it on Facebook, Google, and Twitter… Like it yourself and encourage readers to do the same. You’ll get traffic from the shares and it could help you rank better.

12. The most important factor in SEO is to create killer content. NO EXCEPTION.

This is the number one rule for modern SEO. Create amazing content that people want to read, want to share, and want to dig deeper on. If you create amazing content on your blog, most of the SEO takes care of itself… People like and share your content in social media, people link to your content on their blog (giving valuable backlinks – important for off-page SEO), people stay on your site longer (decreasing bounce rate), people comment on your blog, and people tell others about your blog. All of these things combined add up to Google loving what you do and putting it in front of readers. Create stuff that people want to read, share it, and the rest should take care of itself.

I’ll leave you with this Infographic (click for full size) that shows the importance of content marketing in SEO as well as social signals effects on SEO.



If you enjoyed this post or gained something from it, please click “Like”, Tweet it, or share it on Google+. I’d love you for it!

Also, please let me know in the comments anything I’m missing in regards to on page SEO. I love the comments and interaction!

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About the author

Matt Wolfe

Matt Wolfe is a father, a husband, an author, a speaker, a teacher and a bit of a hacker. He was one of the original founders of LearnToBlog.com and co-founded Beyond The Hype. Matt is an expert on paid traffic generation, email marketing and affiliate marketing. He's constantly developing new training courses and is currently in development of a new software platform, set to be released at the end of 2015.

  • Great post, but can I add another?! Make sure your blog has great usability. If it looks confusing then people are likely to quickly leave, and Google will know this and downgrade your ranking. Space things out and use big fonts that people can actually read!

    • Awesome tip! Thanks Jon. It’s all about bounce rate. Google watches to see if someone clicks to your site and actually stays for a while… Usability effects bounce rate which, in turn, effects your rankings.

      Thanks for the added tip! 🙂

  • Wonderful advice. I particularly like the way you put the concept of always using great content last. You would think this would be a given, but many similar lists place it first. Your piece assumes good content is a staring point, as it should be, in a sort of “Oh and of course always provide killer content” approach at the end. Well done and thanks.

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Good content should be a given… But I thought I’d mention it. 😉

  • Hi Matt… I just finished your webinar pres on the 6-figure blogging secrets. It was very good. I’ve set up a WordPress and am learning it.
    You mentioned that some people don’t like social media… I’m one of those, but I do have accounts with Facebook, Twitter, LinkdIn, Google+ etc., however I’m totally lost on how to use Facebook. It seems that all I get is a bunch of people’s faces presented to me for add-ons and I don’t know how to get rid of them. I don’t know how to maximize the efficiency of Facebook. Don’t know about the “Like” thing, etc. Twitter is easier. Google+ I’m not sure yet I’m just learning that too. It’s frustrating for non-techie like me.
    Anyway do you have a quick webinar on what the steps are with Facebook in the next 24 hours after you open the account – to get started on the right foot? Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Diane,

      I don’t have training outside of the LearnToBlog Insiders program on how to leverage social media effectively. It may be a great topic for a couple blog posts here.

      A lot of people hate social media. I’m glad that you realized that, despite not being a fan, you realize that it’s necessary to embrace it. Keep an eye on this blog for some tips from me on how to get started in social media.

  • Matt hi,

    I always enjoy your little SEO lessons and no doubt- I’ve learned plenty from you-

    I love one of your lessons where you drew a rough sketch of your proven SEO method explaining how creating links from 1st tier sites like livejournal.com and linking them back to your site helps your site’s SEO.

    I’ve always kind of wondered how backlinks from web.20 sites and social sharing sites work to boost a site’s SEO since these sites and almost every blog on the planet enforce the rel no follow rule.

    Would I be right to say that apart from “shares” and “likes” as a ranking factor, links from social networks have an indirect value on a site’s SEO- since people sometimes link back to a site after they’ve found a link on one of those social sharing sites or a web 2.0 site say like Squidoo.com?

    or am I missing something here?

    Thanks for the great share again.

  • Good work Matt, Your blog is more beneficial and helpful for me. Thanks for this informative post.

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