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SEO Tips for Bloggers

Ever since I moved to blogging full time, I’ve been trying to up my game on all fronts- Better content, more content, actually sending my weekly newsletters, and a lot of things behind the scenes that you probably would never notice. Those are the things that make the biggest difference in traffic to my site and make it easier to navigate for you guys.

One of the best decisions I’ve made this year was to hire chloedigital to manage the backend of Lemon Stripes, advise me on important design changes, and, most importantly, clean up my SEO. Because SEO optimization is complicated and a concept that I can never seem to fully grasp, I asked them if they would share their top five tips on this topic for a post that is helpful for both bloggers and any entrepreneurs with a website (similar to the way this post on accounting tips did).

I’ll let them take it from here!

SEO is always a trending topic at the chloedigital headquarters. Improving your fashion blog’s search engine ranking is one of the top goals of every style publisher, but despite understanding the importance of search optimization, many are still caught in doubts. Even though there’s plenty of literature on how to optimise websites, there are very few fashion and lifestyle related examples – so at Julia’s requests we’re sharing with you the top five chloedigital tips to help you make your blog as buttoned up as possible!

1. Write the right meta description
Meta Descriptions should contain brief and clear descriptions of your post and pages. You should think of them as the online shopping window to your site, and as such it’s really important that you fill them in to make your display impeccable. Make sure that meta descriptions tell your readers what your post or page is about as this is what will drive them to click your link.

If left blank, Google will pull random phrases from your post and display them in the search results, giving your potential audience a confusing idea of what your content is actually about.

2. Optimize your images
Images can many times be the wow-factor that brings a post to life, making it more vivid and eye-grabbing. What if you have the perfect image to complement your copy – but it’s a very large file size? Then your post will take longer to load, potentially drive readers away, and it will be less likely to rank highly in Google’s search results – aka, not the perfect picture after all! Yet.

When you source or the the most amazing high res picture and you don’t want to affect its quality by resizing it, the answer is clear: optimize it!

Optimized images have the smallest file size whilst retaining their quality to a human eye. Make sure that your readers experience a speedy site while your pictures look crisp and gorgeous. Winner!

3. If you like it then put an alt tag on it
Alt text is a great way to tell Google what your images are exactly about. Since Google’s algorithm can’t actually see your image, all it will know about what it contains is the info you provide about it in written form.

The best way to go about writing alt tags is being brief and concise, avoiding too lengthy descriptions as your text will lose impact, not be indexed efficiently in Google. You also need to make sure that your alt text is relevant to your picture and that you’re not repeating the same tags over and over again, which can actually get you penalised! Get creative and mix up your alt text in images within the same post :)

4. Include external links (correctly!)
Linking to external reputable sources, retailers or bloggers within your network is a great way of providing extra value to your readers. But don’t let external linking be an excuse for your audience to leave your site!

Do your external links open in a new window? The answer should be YES!

You should always be looking for ways to keep your readers on your site, so why give them an easy way out with links that open in the same window?

When external links open in a new window you give your readers the opportunity to still look up the useful information of the content you linked to and reap SEO benefits – all while keeping a healthy bounce rate on your site :)

5. No-follow is the trend to follow

The ‘nofollow’ attribute is a fundamental practice you need to adopt if you want to do your SEO right.

No-follow is essential as it ensures that your blog’s linking structure is perceived as ‘natural’ by the search engines. In fact, as of this year you can actually be penalised by Google if you use take payment in return for featuring a ‘Do-Follow’ link to another website, as you will be violating their Best Practice guidelines. Aka say no to “do-follow”, especially for sponsored posts!

Optimizing your blog for search engines is a winning strategy, but also a long race. Good SEO optimization begins (and is sometimes overlooked) by defining your personal brand. Figure out first who your audience is and how they’d like to find you, and how you would like to be seen and perceived through search engine results.

Remember to work consistently on applying tools that can benefit your search performance while maintaining the best user experience on site. Your blog is an extension of your personal brand, so as much as optimization is an important practice, make sure to not get over-stressed about it and run the risk to make your content sound unnatural!

From there on, the digital world is your SEO oyster!

Original Content Provided by Lemon Stripes

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15 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this! Super helpful for someone who’s just starting out!

    http://www.jossbecause.com

  2. Such a useful article for someone like me who is kind of a new blogger on the block. Thanks for this post Julia and for sharing your tips and tricks. Lots of other successful bloggers like you aren’t so opened about sharing useful info. Julie xx

    http://www.jafinthebox.wordpress.com

  3. Thanks for sharing these tips! I just updated my blog so my external links open in a different window, something I definitely needed to do!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

  4. Great tips! I’m so bad at SEO, it’s definitely something I need to be working on.

    champagneandcitylights.com

  5. Julia Dzafic

    Great question! I asked my friends at chloedigital and they said this:
    A Follow/No Follow link is a coding setting, so you will have to look at the way your external links are set up.

    When you add an external link manually (to your written copy), this is by default set to Follow unless you change these settings. However, if you’re referring to affiliate widgets and boutiques, the affiliate network already takes this into consideration and integrates No Follow into the coding of these functionalities. So you won’t be penalized for using them!

  6. Thanks for sharing these great tips! They were really easy to understand. Great reminder.

    xoxo, Lisa-Marie
    http://www.ecoastblonde.com

  7. Kristien Kellens

    Thanks for the great tips! I’ve been trying to get my SEO on point but it’s a tricky thing to learn.
    Kristien – http://www.forthecreativeheart.com

  8. CelebratingthisLife

    Good to know! These tips are gold! xx

  9. Julia Dzafic

    Alt tags are also great when people are pinning your images because then they don’t necessarily need to change the caption!

  10. Cassandra Ann

    Can you give us an example of what a follow VS nofollow link would look like? For example, I use ShopStyle to link my product images — how can this penalize me?

    Thanks!
    CassandraAnn.com

  11. CelebratingthisLife

    I’ve read a few tips on SEO and find them so confusing, but this article breaks it down into some easy to follow steps! I’ve never used alt tags before but you can be sure I will be using them on my blog from now on! xx Rox-Anne, Celebratingthislife.ca

  12. These are great tips! I never knew anything about optimizing images and I can’t wait to try it out for my next post. Thanks for sharing!

    xo Heather
    sweetteajubileeblog.com

  13. Great tips, this is so helpful for me!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  14. Love this post! SEO can be so confusing at times and I never know if I’m doing all that I should be.

    Angela

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