If you're already a blogger, you'll already be familiar with SEO (search engine optimisation). Or maybe you've clicked onto this post to learn more or learn from scratch as you plan to start a blog. Truth is, if you want to take your blog seriously and push it to be the best it can be, then you will need to know your stuff. Blogging isn't just about writing and hitting publish... although, I wish it was!

Click Consult are a SEO and PPC Search Marketing company that are a great example of a company you can hire to do all of the below for you. Something I would probably do if I ran my own brand or big business. However, running a blog and educating myself on SEO over the years means that I am able to keep up with ensuring my blog is running smoothly. 

Here are 5 things you should be doing to make your blog or website SEO friendly.

1) Purchase your own domain and look after it properly

It always looks much more professional when you click onto a website or blog and you can clearly see it has its own domain and branding. Google tends to trust websites that have their own domains, compared to website names that are have a free blog name attached to the URL. So, if you can essentially start off small and gain the trust of the world's biggest search engine, then you're already off to a great start.

I purchased and have always renewed my domain through 123-Reg and have never had any problems. I think it costs me around £30 to renew my domain every year which is super cheap compared to some domain hosts. There's also the opportunity to purchase hosting if you want to own your whole blog 100%. 

Looking after your domain is so important. There's lots to keep up with when owning your own domain. Firstly, you need to naturally build your DA (Domain Authority) scoring. This can be done by ensuring your SEO is 100% top notch (pretty much just reading all of these tips and following them really!). 

I highly suggest scanning your blog regularly for broken links and fixing or removing them.  A broken link is literally what it says. For example, if I linked to a Topshop dress in a fashion post, chances are it will no longer be available in a years's time, so the link you used will need to be removed or changed as the link is now broken. A broken link does nothing for your blog and just makes it look messy and untrustworthy. Remove or change them!

2) Get a clean cut, SEO friendly blog theme 

The next thing I would highly suggest is spending a day or two working on the look of your blog and ensuring it's as SEO friendly as possible. A clean cut theme/blog layout is essential for this, with clean coding and ensuring it responds fast when loading pages, jumping from page to page etc. Ensure you test all your links too as sometimes they can work slower if they are coded incorrectly or use un-necessary added coding. Little things like making sure your blog is mobile responsive does massive things for your blog too. 

I highly recommend sourcing blog themes from Etsy, as the majority of the sellers on there are web designers. I have purchased many different themes on there over the years and have never had any problems. They have a wide range of different Blogger and Wordpress themes and there's some designers who offers custom blog themes if you have a higher budget.

If you are unsure on how to do something that involves design or coding, then Google really is your best friend. I have taught myself so much over the years simply from reading an online tutorial.

3) Gain natural backlinks to your blog

This is one of them confusing terms that you probably won't understand unless you are familiar with blogging or SEO itself. A backlink is when another website links to your website from their website. It generates natural click throughs from one website to yours and therefore looks natural and not fake. Backlinks are essential to gain the trust of Google and help you to climb the ladder of pages on search engines. You could guest post on another website for example and get them to link back to your site. 

You can pretty much cheat yourself through this industry these days, but I suggest sourcing backlinks naturally and not purchasing a bunch of fake ones. Google is quite a clever tool and is well onto those websites that are cheating their way onto the ladder. 

Making sure your anchor texts and keywords match up nicely will help Google recognise your website as natural. For example, if you're writing a post about dog beds for labradors then you might want to use the anchor text 'dog beds for large breed dogs' and use keywords such as 'pets', 'dog beds' and 'large breed dogs'.

4) Create original and engaging content

This one is a pretty big tip of mine and one that can be difficult for content creators. Blogging and the social media industries have become over saturated and nowadays, everyone wants to be a blogger. It can be tricky to think of original and engaging ideas for your blog when chances are, it's been done before. 

However, if you're able to think outside of the box, then you will do well with your posts. If I have an idea for a certain post, I will often have a Google around for bloggers who have written the same or similar posts. That way, I know what to avoid (or completely avoid!) so that I can ensure my blog doesn't look like spam to Google. 

5) Add captions and title/ALT text captions to images

Firstly, it already looks so much more original if you are taking and using your own photography for your blog. It can be easy to source stock images (which we are all guilty of using from time to time), but if you make the effort to use your own photographs majority of the time, your blog already looks so much more original and appealing to look around. 

It is important to add title and ALT text captions to your images (again - search for a tutorial online to learn how, although it's an added feature here that you can use on Blogger). This ensures your images are essentially traced and makes it difficult for them to lose their credit. Also, when people search for certain images, it will help Google link the image to your website and hopefully you will gain some new readers out of it.!

There we have it! 5 things you can start doing to improve the SEO on your blog or website. I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Just leave them below! :-)

Disclaimer: In collaboration with Click. All words are my own.

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