There are two aspects where most blogs stumble and those are a consistent posting schedule and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). To succeed, you need to publish new content often and make sure that readers can find it through search engines.
SEO is so crucial for website growth that there’s a healthy industry around providing consultancy services. You hire an agency or an expert, they take a look and make the necessary changes for you to rank higher. The problem is, promising results when it comes to SEO is tricky.
In this article, we’ll talk about what ‘SEO services’ can offer you and whether they’re a good fit or not for your blog. We’ll also talk about what to do if you want to tackle blog SEO on your own. Let’s get to it!
What Do SEO Agencies Do?
Most SEO agencies focus either on consulting, running campaigns, or both. By a campaign, we mean planning a strategy for improving your blog’s SEO and executing it, often over a long period of time.
If you don’t know a lot about SEO, that may sound like a great deal. The thing is, the vast majority of SEO agencies charge a hell of a premium:
Take that example above, which comes from one of the most popular SEO agencies in the world. They charge thousands of dollars a month. Since SEO isn’t the kind of field where you see immediate results, you’d be paying that for a while.
I say “a while” because there aren’t fast results when it comes to SEO. As a rule of thumb, if someone promises you a quick turnaround in traffic, they either don’t know what they’re talking about or they’re trying to rip you off.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are also a lot of cheap, shady SEO services you can hire, on platforms such as Fiverr or forums around the web:
In my experience, there are a lot of SEO agencies that do amazing work, even if they’re not cheap. However, paying for SEO services isn’t the only way to get excellent results, particularly if you have a bit of DIY spirit.
Why You Don’t Need to Pay for SEO Services
To put it simply, if you’re just starting a blog right now, paying for SEO services is a massive waste of money. New blogs often don’t start seeing regular traffic for months. That’s even if you do everything right and publish great content regularly.
Quick note: We’ve talked about this phenomenon before and why it takes a while for new blogs to gain traction.
Paying for expensive SEO services only makes sense if you’re running a well-established blog – preferably, one that’s earning you a consistent income. In that scenario, you can re-invest some of the hard-earned money into SEO, to grow your traffic and income even further.
Even in that case, paying thousands of dollars each month for an agency or consultant to run an SEO campaign can be excessive. If you have a more limited budget, another option is to pay for what’s known as an SEO audit.
With an audit, someone comes in an assesses your entire blog’s SEO strategy. They tell you what your weak spots are (i.e. targeting the wrong keywords, poor meta descriptions or titles, etc.) and what you can do to improve that.
In either case, if you’re serious about running a blog, it’s vital that you at least understand SEO basics. That way, you won’t be lost if you need to hire someone to help you.
How to Get Started With Basic SEO for Blogs
SEO is a complex topic not only because it involves juggling a lot of elements, but because it’s constantly changing. Search engines regularly update their algorithms to provide better results and discourage people from exploiting them (such as by purchasing cheap backlinks).
In any case, every successful SEO campaign for a blog requires you to understand some basic factors, including:
- How to research keywords and identify which ones are worth targeting
- Writing content that targets those keywords
- Optimizing the metadata for your blog’s pages and posts (i.e. titles, meta descriptions, tags, and alt text)
Those are the fundamentals of SEO for any blog. However, SEO is a deep rabbit hole. There’s always more you can do to get better results. For example, Google penalizes slow websites, which means you also need to worry about optimizing your blog for speed.
On top of that, you need to be able to write engaging blog posts that people will actually want to read. It’s a difficult balancing act, but one that becomes easier with the more work you put into your blog.
We’ve covered a lot of these SEO fundamentals in the past, so those articles I linked you to before are a great place to start if you’re new to the field.
When you’re starting a new blog, it’s important you don’t get discouraged if you don’t see positive results or traffic from search engines right away. That’s par for the course and it’s very rare for someone to start a blog that gets attention overnight, unless you have a massive presence on social media.
Instead of getting discouraged, use these first months in your blog’s life to get a handle on the basics of SEO and think about how you want to monetize your content down the line.
Paid marketing is usually not an option for small blogs. That means for new websites, SEO is the best option you have when it comes to driving growth. The problem is, learning how to implement a successful SEO campaign takes time.
There’s no way to skip to the results when it comes to SEO. However, if you put in the work to make search engines pay attention to your blog, you can reap the rewards for a long time to come (especially if you monetize your content).
Do you have any questions about how to tackle SEO for blogs? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.