Blogging SEO: A Step-by-Step Guide to Rank Higher in Google

f you think doing SEO for a blog is easy, think again. With Google’s algorithm constantly evolving, blogging SEO has been getting more challenging than it has ever been.

But there’s a way of simplifying it to an extent where it doesn’t feel challenging anymore. You just need a couple of great SEO tools and getting familiar with them, as well as to educate yourself about blogging SEO by absorbing the wealth of knowledge we have shared in this ultimate guide to blogging SEO and through away some SEO tips that are useless.

1. Doing Keyword Research the Right Way

Keyword research is the heart and soul of blogging SEO. One of the biggest reasons most blogs fail is that they just don’t manage to find and target the right keywords.

They either do no keyword research at all or end up going for the wrong type of keywords that are too competitive or just not profitable enough. You need to make sure that you can rank in the top ten results for the keywords you’re targeting, preferably among the top 3 results for those keywords.

Needless to say, not targeting any keywords and just writing content may get you nowhere. This is unless you’re in a very good niche with little to no competition, where simply writing about things that the audience in that particular niche may find useful – might work out pretty well too.

However, the problem is, even for such niches, you may not be aware of what exactly to write about. If you write about a whole lot of topics, but not many people are searching for anything related to those topics, then who is going to read all the content you have written?

Simply put, keyword research is crucial for any blogging project. But if you’re new to it, how exactly do you go about doing it the right way?

Well, this is something that you need to understand in a very detailed way, so we have already have an in-depth keyword research guide here, which would help you understand everything you need to know about keyword research.

2. Choosing the Best WordPress Settings for Bloggers

Most bloggers use WordPress, so we are going to talk about how to do on-page SEO optimization for your site using WordPress.

One of the biggest advantages of using WordPress is that it makes it super easy to optimize a site for SEO; but on the flip side, if you aren’t careful with the way you optimize your site, then you may end up over-optimizing your site.

So, go through all the WordPress settings and find out how to optimize the settings for SEO without messing anything up.

3. Going with the Best Plugin for WordPress SEO

Well, what we discussed so far was really about the basics of blogging SEO. If you want to rank your blog in a more competitive and profitable niche, chances are you will need something much more than the basics.

And this is where a WordPress SEO plugin comes in. It’s very difficult to take care of the entire on-page SEO manually, as there’s a lot to it, much of it being something most bloggers may not really be able to handle on their own.

A WordPress SEO plugin can take a lot of challenge out of your on-page SEO process, making it very simple and straightforward. Then you will need to do is focus on your off-page SEO to rank your site.

But unfortunately, there are only a few SEO plugins that are good and safe enough to be used for the on-page SEO of your blog. While Yoast SEO is one of them, we are sure many users may be interested in trying out something that offers some new and exciting features and eliminates the need of multiple plugins for on-page SEO.

The thing is, it’s fairly limited in terms of its functionality, so while it can help you set up the basic on-page SEO settings pretty well, it wouldn’t turn out to be very useful when it comes to the more advanced aspects of the process.

So is there a way around it? Is there something that can optimize your site for pretty much everything a blog can be optimized for?

What about having control over the process? Can an SEO plugin also let you customize the on-page SEO process in a way that makes it a tailor-made SEO plugin for your site?

The answer is a resounding Yes. And that’s because MyThemeShop has developed the most complete, most sophisticated, and the fastest WordPress SEO plugin the blogging community has ever been introduced to.

This beast is known as Rank Math, and we will now discuss in detail how it can be an integral part of blogging SEO, regardless of the type of blog you’re running or plan to run.

4. Setting Up the Rank Math WordPress SEO Plugin

First things first, here’s a detailed tutorial on setting up the Rank Math plugin. As you can see there, you don’t worry about having to set everything up right from scratch if you’re switching to Rank Math from the Yoast SEO plugin. It allows you to import settings from the Yoast SEO plugin or other SEO plugins right on the first step when you’re getting started with it, as you can see in the image below.

On the second step, you will be able to choose what type of blog you’re installing it on. For most bloggers, it’s going to be a personal blog. This includes those that blog about different types of products or post product reviews, as well as the ones talking about their travel experiences, financial tips and a lot more.

Hitting the Continue button will take you to the third step, where you can integrate the Google Search Console with Rank Math. You need to click on the Get Authorization Code as you can see in the image, and then log in to the Google account associated with the website you’re installing Rank Math on.

The page with the code would look exactly like how it does in the image below. You simply need to copy and paste it into the Search Console box.

However, this won’t work if you haven’t verified your site with the Google Search Console. In that case, you would see a message and a link at the bottom of the Rank Math Google Search Console page that you can click on to get your site verified.

On this page, you will see the option to verify your site with the Search Console verification page. Click on the link that we have pointed out in the image below.

This will take you to the Google site verification page where you will be able to grab the verification code and paste it inside Google Search Console field of Rank Math (as seen in above screenshot).

That’s all there is to it, and you then need to just click on the Update button, and go back to the Google site verification page and click on the Verify button at the end of the page.

If you did everything we outlined above correctly, you will see something like this:

However, if you want to verify your site without having to make any changes to the code yourself, you can simply put the code into the Google Search Console box in Rank Math’s Webmaster Tools page.

When you go back after verifying your site with Google Search Console, you will be able to see your site in the drop-down menu in Rank Math’s Search Console page when setting it up.

On the next step, you will be asked whether you want to create a sitemap for your site. If you haven’t done it already, it’s recommended that you do it at this step.

Generally speaking, you would only want to select posts and pages, and for most bloggers, the categories in the sitemap. It’s usually a good idea to avoid including the media and the tags in the sitemap.

It’s worth noting that to be able to make the kind of customized sitemaps Rank Math can create for you, you will likely need to use a very good sitemap plugin separately.

The next page is titled Optimization, and that’s exactly what it would help you do; optimize your site in custom but highly effective way. Let’s take a look at all the things you can use under this option and optimize your site.

Pretty much everything you see above is self-explanatory. For those that are complete beginners to blogging, the nofollow image links mean that your site won’t pass any SEO link juice to other sites or sources if you link to external images.

As for the Strip Category Base option, it’s just another form of URL optimization. For most bloggers, going with the options we selected in the image below would be a recommended approach. However, some bloggers prefer to set the Nofollow External Links option to On, meaning that all the external links on their site will become no-follow links.

Once you click on the Save and Continue button on this page, you will be good to go. However, if you want to set up some advanced on-page SEO stuff right off the bat, you can click on the Setup Advanced Options button, which will take you to the screen as shown below.

Rank Math has automatically selected the best settings for bloggers here, so they simply need to hit Save and Continue to save these settings and move to the second advanced step.

Although it’s technically the “miscellaneous” step, there are some very useful settings here. It allows you to have rich snippets for your site, which are now a highlighting feature of Google search, which means they can help you get significantly more traffic.

The only different setting here is the Add missing ALT attributes, which is recommended to be kept On for all types of blogs; it would help you save a lot of time manually putting ALT tags for hundreds or perhaps thousands of images.

Rank Math also has a bulk editor for the ALT attributes, in case the user wants to add them manually but without wasting a ton of time.

Finally, hit the Save and Continue button and your blog will instantly be better than 90% or more of all the blogs out there on the web, as far as the on-page SEO is concerned.

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