Basic SEO tips for your blog, whether you are self hosted or not

Basic SEO tips

Here are my basic SEO tips. They may help to improve your Search Engine Optimisation, whether your blog is self hosted or not. Making improvements to your SEO can help boost your webpage so that more people see it, without the need for paid advertising, and therefore bring you more traffic.

I am a self hosted newbie

Let me tell you, honestly, the best thing about going self hosted is having greater control over your SEO. The excellent plugin from Yoast guides you through writing each blog post with ease. This does mean that a quick post from the phone app is going to become a thing of the past, as you cannot get to the Yoast settings on the mobile app.

It has been less than two weeks since I started going it alone in the blogging world. Meaning I cut my ties with WordPress dot com and said hello dot org. WOW! I’m so glad I did.

Instant feedback from Yoast

Using Yoast does feel a bit like having your English teacher mark your work though. It gives your post a readability score, and for me, this goes against my usual writing style. I like to write quite long sentences, whereas Yoast suggests that people would rather read shorter sentences. So, you have to make the choice between carrying on in your usual style, or adopting something more readable. I am trying to find a balance. My blog is about me finding and forging my identity. What’s the point in me doing that, only to then become some generic blogger?

Related : blogger face


What to do to improve your SEO if you are not self hosted

Don’t despair if you’re not self hosted yet. There are still some things you can do to improve your SEO.

Think of a key phrase and use it in your title and throughout your body text. Make sure it is relevant and not misleading. Try to define the message of your blog post in a few words. Imagine what you would type into a search engine if you were looking for your blog post. For this post I have chosen basic SEO tips as my key phrase.

If you have images in your blog make sure you use the “alt text” section. This is what is displayed if the image cannot be loaded, or if it is slow to load. If your key phrase fits with your image then put it in the alt text and the description.

Use your categories and tags effectively

Try not to use too many, but make sure to include your key phrase at least once.

Use both internal and external links

External links are even better if you collab with other bloggers. So you link to them and they link back to you.

Edit your slug

This is the URL for your blog post. I always thought it had to be the same as the title, but it doesn’t. You can remove the unnecessary words to make it shorter and more memorable.

Know your audience

Schedule your post for a time when you know people are online. You can use apps like Hootsuite to post at various times and see what works best.

Don’t be afraid to return to old posts

I update my blog several times a week but I still share older posts in-between. There will always be someone who hasn’t read it first time round, especially if you are growing your social media.

Be proud of your blog

Not everyone will agree with this tip, but, do tell your friends and family about your blog. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Unless you are deliberately staying incognito, in which case obviously don’t give the game away! The way life works is that, for the most part, friends and family won’t be your biggest fans, but occasionally you will do something so spectacular that they will want to be part of it.

Find your niche

My biggest supporters come from within the blogging community itself. If you have a niche then promote your blog within that community. Find a Facebook group, Pinterest community, or follow other similar accounts on Instagram or Twitter.

Engagement is key!

Don’t just post and run. Comment on other blogs and respond to comments on your own blog. Try to end your post with a call to action. Ask a question or invite people to subscribe to your blog.

Don’t give up!

Keep publishing and keep sharing, because the more content you have, the better your blog will be. Maybe your stats will be rubbish one day, but don’t be put off. Everyone starts from nothing. Nothing is gained from not trying. Use these basic SEO tips every time, and they will soon become a good habit.

What are your experiences?

Do you have any SEO tips to share, or maybe you have recently gone self hosted and have something to say about that. You can leave me your feedback in the comments. All my comments are moderated so I don’t miss anything, and I appreciate every visit to my blog, thank you!

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23 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this. I’m working towards being self-hosted but I’m still a student so baby steps I guess. I’m also hoping to get a lot more traffic before actually investing in the blog so this is such a help. Thank you again!

  2. Lauren says:

    Love and really appreciate these tips! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Amber says:

    These are so useful! I love your little graphic at the bottom! x

  4. Ali Larsen says:

    Thank you for sharing you advice! I see a lot of posts by bloggers talking about SEO, but most of them make it sound so complicated. You’ve made it simple and ready to understand!

  5. Chloe Chats says:

    Great tips! I also believe interaction is a big one, I doubt my blog would be where it is today without interacting with others and also it’s fun getting to know other bloggers! šŸ˜€

    Chloe xx

    • Marie-Celine says:

      Thanks Chloe šŸ˜Š
      I think it’s good to get to know other bloggers too. It’s a nice community to be part of xx

  6. Geraldine says:

    Great tips Marie! I try my best to find the best keywords for my posts as well as paying attention to my slug, although I failed to do that this recent blog post haha. Thank you for sharing šŸ˜›

  7. Sarah Winton says:

    I find SEO so hard to figure out but this post breaks it down nicely! Thank you!

  8. Mum says:

    I think you write very well and you do not need to shorten your sentences. It’s not meant to be a telegramme.

  9. Great tips! I’m a self hosted newbie, too and Yoast has become my best friend!

    • Marie-Celine says:

      Thanks so much Michelle. How are you enjoying self-hosted?

      • Alison says:

        Great tips and do you know I’d never thought of shortening the slug! Going to start doing that. One other tip I’d give with keywords is to try and do a bit of research to see if people are actually searching for them and what the competition for a good google ranking is. I’m finding this a little bit of a challenge to do for free mind you as most of the free tools have restrictions, but it’s possible!

      • Marie-Celine says:

        Do you search for keywords before you write your post Alison? I write first and then take my keywords from what I have written. Maybe it would be worth trying it the other way round.

  1. 2nd March 2019

    […] I posted some basic SEO tips and had some lovely feedback. Now Iā€™m going to say […]

  2. 1st May 2019

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