SEO for Starters

SEO for Starters
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How to Optimize Your Blog/Website for Ranking Higher in Searches

SEO for starters

You started a new blog and want to grow it fast. You have created your blog with your users in mind and want to see your viewership climbing fast.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind to grow your website’s organic traffic from Google and other search engines. These things mainly fall under the category of SEO or search engine optimization. It is called SEO because one of the visitors of your website is the search crawler which crawls your website to show search results. You will need to optimize your blog/website so that the crawlers can crawl it easily and show the results in searches.

If you are using a CMS like Wordpress to manage your blog, some parts of SEO might be easier for you. However, you cannot leave everything to the SEO plugins. There are some basic things that apply to any website and business. You must take care of these things when creating your website and publishing content since both content and user experience will affect your search rankings.

SEO or search engine optimization helps the search crawlers understand your website and crawl it. The visitors will be able to find your website in search results. SEO is about working on your website to improve its presence in search results and there is much more to SEO than only the meta tags and schema.

There are a few essential things you must work upon to improve your search presence.

It is not essential that Google will automatically rank your content higher in the search results. However, the chances of ranking higher can grow if you follow some best practices.

We are going to list the SEO best practices in this article that will help you improve your content’s visibility.

Your content will not start ranking instantly. It takes Google some time to crawl the pages on your website and understand the website structure and index the pages. Google depends on its crawlers to find new content and index it. It generally takes these crawlers some time to crawl and index your content.

So, the changes you make to your website may take some time before they reflect at Google’s end. However, you can find and understand how things are progressing with the help of Google search console which includes detailed reports regarding the crawling and indexation status of your website.

How to find if your content has been indexed - Improve Discoverability

First of all, you need to make sure that Google can easily discover your content and not just Google but other search engines like Bing also. To find out if your site content is already in Google’s index, you will need to conduct a search.

You can easily find out if your content has made it to Google’s index. To know, go to Google search and in the search box type “site:”. If your content is there in the Google index, your website links will appear in search results. Otherwise,your content has not been indexed and you will need to generate more content regularly.

You will need to make sure that Google can find your content and there is nothing blocking Google from accessing your website. For example, a wrong entry in the robots.txt file or a wrong noindex tag can prevent your site content from getting indexed by Google. Google can index your content only if it can crawl the pages. So, your robots.txt file must not disallow Google from crawling important pages.

Google also finds your content from other websites. If other websites are linking to your inner pages, that will also help Google discover your content. You must publish good quality content regularly so that more sites link to it. Promoting your content can also help get links from other blogs. There are several promotional tools including the social media channels and republication sites like Medium to help you improve the discoverability of your content by promoting it.

A few other things you can do to make it easier for Google to find your website is to generate a sitemap. The sitemap tells Google crawlers about all the important pages on the website that require crawling. You must also create a Google search console account and then add your website. Submit a sitemap in Google search console to make sure that the urls are indexed by Google.

All these things will help your content get discovered and indexed, which is important for ranking higher.

Do not block the crawler from crawling js and css

Sometimes people make the mistake of blocking Google from crawling technical pages thinking it is not essential for Google to visit those pages. However, that’s not the right practice since Google needs to see every page like a common human does.

To understand your website structure and measure user experience, Google will need to check out those css and js pages also so that it can know how your website will appear to a human visitor.

Let’s see it this way. If Google does not get to check out the css and js of your website, it fails to understand your website structure and content which means that your content might not get indexed.

If you want to check out how Google sees your pages, you must use the url inspection tool in the Google search console. Go to url inspection and enter a url from your website, you will be able to see the html as well as a screenshot of how that page appears to humans.

Properly organize your site

Proper organization of your site is essential for both SEO and user experience. It helps your human visitors find your content easily and also lets crawlers discover important content faster.

Use descriptive urls for webpages and properly organize content into various categories so users can easily understand which content may be useful for them. Google also shows breadcrumbs in the search results and therefore proper organization of your content can be helpful for ranking higher and getting a better click through rate.

Include words in the url of your webpage that describe what your content is about. Google can automatically discover breadcrumbs but adding structured data to your web pages can be even helpful. Make sure the structured data on your website is valid. If you are using the Wordpress CMS, you can use plugins like Yoast, RankMath, AIOSEO or SEO Framework to output valid structured data.

You should also keep similar content under similar categories or directories. A good url structure is very important. Do not use vague urls. Descriptive urls get your content discovered easily and can also help drive click through rates higher.

Especially, if you are running an ecommerce site, it is even important to follow the right url structure and group urls the right way. Using a proper navigational structure is also important for ecommerce sites.

Remove duplicate content

Duplicate content can be very problematic in terms of SEO and can cause deindexation as well as loss of rankings. You must not show the same content under different urls and if you do, you must use url canonicalization. Google will select the canonical url to show in search results.

While duplicate content may not violate spam policies, it can still lead to poor user experience and therefore may hurt website rankings. Therefore, you must add a rel=canonical tag to your urls. You can add a link like the following in your website head:

<link rel="canonical" href="" />

If you are using Wordpress, the seo plugins can automatically add rel=canonical tags to the webpages and you can also edit or change them for specific pages. In case there are multiple pages that have the same information, you can redirect them to the right page or use the rel=“canonical” link element.

Publish useful and interesting content

The search rankings of your pages primarily depends on the quality of your content. Publishing high quality and useful content will influence the search rankings of your website more than any other thing.

Publish unique content and make sure that your content is easy to read as well as well organized. Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes because that indicates poor quality content. Google’s algorithms are trained to identify such content.

It is also important to create original and compelling content that engages users. Properly organizing the content means breaking long paragraphs into smaller ones and using meaningful headings to help readers understand the topic.

Make sure that the content you publish is well researched and up to date. It means apart from regularly publishing content, it is important to update content regularly and clean outdated content. Make sure that the content you create is written for human readers and not for search engines. Google has been targeting such content for the last several years. In its most recent update, Google has updated its algorithm to ensure that such content does not go unnoticed by search engines.

It is a good practice to link to relevant content from your web pages. Wherever necessary link to relevant content using anchor text. You can also direct readers to other relevant pages on your website using anchor text. A large number of pages on your website can be found through links on the other pages.

It is also important to use good anchor text which tells the search engines something about the page you are linking to. When you use appropriate anchor text, users and search engines can understand what the page that is linked from your page is about.

When you link to external pages, it helps you provide more content to the topic you are writing about, However when you are linking to external resources, make sure that they are reliable sources. Do not link to spammy websites. In case you are unable to verify the reliability of the resource you are linking to, you can add a no follow attribute to the link.

Even if you are running a forum site that must have no follow attribute for external links. If you are accepting guest articles on your website, you can add sponsored content attribute to it. It is important to add nofollow to such content that you do ot want to be associated with your site. There are also some important practices to follow when accepting user generated content on your website.

You must not accept any content and make sure that content by external authors follows all the relevant quality guidelines and does not include any spammy links. Otherwise, your site might get penalized for harboring poor quality or spammy links.

Optimize your images and videos

Adding images wherever relevant makes your content attractive and it also has some SEO value. Position the images appropriately near relevant text. It is also important to add alt text which will help search engines know what the image is about. It is easy to add alt text if you are using a CMS. Otherwise, you can add the alt text in the html of your website. Writing good alt text is one of the best practices related to image SEO and helps your content get discovered easily.

Check how your content appears in search results

Page titles or headlines also have an important role in terms of SEO and affect how your content appears in search results. Write clear and concise titles that accurately describe the content of the page. It affects the search results as well as click through rates,

The title in the search results can include the page title and the blog name. However, it is important to optimize your titles since that’s what users will see in the search results.

A search snippet which is sourced from the page also appears in the search results and has an important impact on click through rate. Google can also source the snippet from the meta description of your page and therefore, it is also crucial to write good meta descriptions.

Promote your website

There are several methods to promote your website and promoting your website and content can help it be found by both search engines and users. Of the varius methods commonly used to promote your website are social media promotion, online and offline promotion as well as guest posting and other methods. Sometimes promoting a website offline can also be highly rewarding. However, social media promotions (paid and free) can also help grow your reach and find more new users easily.


These are the main factors that you must keep in mind when starting a blog. The quality of your content matters above anything else. However, you must also keep in mind other important things like canonical urls, alt tags, meta descriptions, headings and title optimization. There are two things you must have a special focus on – website quality and user experience. If you are starting a blog, you must focus on content quality. If you have an ecommerce website, make sure everything including the navigation is properly organized. If you are writing content, do not write for search engines. Create content with humans first in mind. Publish high quality content regularly keeping your audience in mind.