simple seo practices that work

Six months ago I decided to apply some simple SEO practices to my blog – and it worked.

Every blogger wants to get more blog traffic to either increase site income, or for author bloggers, to find more new readers and potential book buyers. I have a foot in both camps, so I can attest to the benefits that simple SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can bring in gaining organic traffic.

Like most bloggers, I had it firmly in my mind that regular writing and publishing of new blog posts was how one went about building a blog’s reputation, and with that would come lots of traffic and new site visitors. Thankfully, this worked quite well, so I have to say that there was nothing at all wrong with the plan.

My publishing schedule was three new articles per week, up until I made the decision to concentrate more of my time on learning and applying SEO practices six months ago. With that decision made, I reduced my writing schedule to only one new article per week, and it sometimes extended to ten days.

But I had things to learn, and once I started to understand how SEO worked and how and what I could apply to my blog, my focus moved from writing articles to wanting to know more about SEO practices. Now six months down the track, was it all worth it?

Can I now say that SEO works?

You bet I can. In the graph below, arrow one is at the time that I made the decision to implement SEO and started to reduce my posting frequency, so that slowdown of articles produced a plateau. Arrow two is when my simple SEO practices started to take effect, after waiting for Google an Bing to index my changed pages.

after applying simple seo practices

What is SEO and what exactly did I do?

After boiling down all the SEO ideas I found from my research, I decided on applying only 6 SEO practices that I knew I could apply quite easily to new as well as all my existing 350+ blog posts. Here is my list:

1. Decide on a keyword or keyword phrase for a post. For this post, I chose Simple SEO Practices
2. Use the keyword or keyword phrase in my title, subtitle, description and at least four times in my text.
3. Add an Image Title Attribute to every image, and include the post keyword. For the image above it is after applying simple seo practices
4. Use a subtitle marked as Heading 2 (H2), and paragraph headings marked as Heading 3 (H3).
5. Add internal links whenever possible.
6. Add external links when relevant.

To check my SEO on each new page, I used a free online SEO analyser to make sure I had done everything correctly.

The benefits of SEO started to roll in

Gaining new readers is what blogging is all about, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result, as the traffic I gained from SEO was almost all new users, or more precisely, new blog readers.

new users after applying simple SEO practices
New Users

Another huge benefit of applying my basic SEO was that my search queries and ranked keywords jumped up enormously. As you can see from the graph below, my ranked keywords really took off after I implemented my six SEO changes. It is hard to see in the image, but the arrow points to a total of 5,094 search keyword queries, with an average appearance on Google Search at position 17. When I last checked, I had over 500 keyword queries in position 10 or better.

search queries after simple SEO practices
Search Queries

One of the main reasons I wanted to get serious about SEO was that I sensed a drop off in social media activity, and especially on Twitter. Over the same period, this is what happened to my blog traffic gained from social media. A little flatter, but still delivering reasonable traffic and new readers.

social media blog traffic
Social Media Traffic

What’s my conclusion about my 6 simple SEO practices?

They have worked exceptionally well and delivered a huge jump in traffic volume to my blog, but it has been a lot of hard work. The six changes I made had to be applied to over 350 existing blog posts, so it has taken me months and months to work my way through (almost) all of my existing posts.

Now that I have updated almost all of my blog posts, perhaps I can get back to writing new articles more often, which of course is far more enjoyable. But they will all now contain my 6 simple SEO practices.

This page was last updated on December 16th, 2016

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