This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can find my full disclosure page here.
Note from Lisa: I’m so excited to share this guest post from Sarah Nderi with you today. If you’re trying to grow your blog, and don’t quite understand keywords, here are three free SEO tools you can use.
Take it away Sarah…
When I first started blogging in 2016, I came across the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It seemed so difficult and technical that I did not bother understanding or pursuing it.
It wasn’t until I self-hosted my site that I realized I needed traffic. There’s nothing that springs a blogger into action faster than zero traffic
SEO gives you consistent traffic that increases with time and traffic that’s not dependent on social media algorithms.
What Is SEO?
According to Moz.com, Search Engine Optimization is:
the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results.Moz.com
For example, I wrote an article on how to apply for a Hungarian Scholarship through the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship program. The article has gotten a lot of organic views since publishing but I want to draw your attention to something else.
On my dashboard, I can see what people are searching for. Notice there is ‘stipendium hungaricum’ from organic traffic. These are students who are interested in the scholarship program and my detailed step-by-step article shows them how to do it.
Then there is ‘sarah nderi hungarian scholarship.’ These are students who have been on my site before, liked the content as it was helpful and now want to reread the article. Searching ‘sarah nderi stipendium hungaricum’ shows that one, they want to read about the application process, and two, they want to read about it on nderisarah.com.
This then sends a message to Google that my site has authority on that topic which leads to more traffic on this post.
This is what you want for your site too.
Importance Of SEO
SEO is a great way to build your blog traffic. Here are three reasons why that matters.
1. SEO is One Way To Diversify Your Traffic
If you’re relying on traffic from social media, start thinking about SEO. Pinterest traffic is nice to have but Google traffic is a must-have. Social media platforms are changing their algorithms frequently, so you can’t rely on them for traffic 100%.
2. Traffic from SEO is More Likely to Convert Than Traffic From Social Media.
Only the best of the best sites show up on the first pages of Google. Based on a user’s search intent, Google will show them the best content in terms of quality. Which means they’re more likely to convert into buyers or click on your affiliate links.
3. SEO Traffic is Consistent.
SEO traffic increases month on month if you keep your content relevant and update your site. I have been trying to grow my Pinterest traffic for quite some time. I’m now getting a 100 users a month on my site on a good month.
This number is dependent on Tailwind, the virality of a pin and manual pinning. However, most of my traffic is from Google and it’s because I focused on SEO first, before Pinterest and social media.
3 Free SEO Tools
If you’re ready to improve your blog’s SEO, here are three free tools you can use.
Yoast is a popular WordPress Plugin available for self-hosted WordPress sites. With Yoast, you can add a focus keyword for your article, edit the SEO title, and the meta-descriptions. The title of your article and the SEO title can be different, especially if yours is an eCommerce shop.
You want to make sure that the title and the meta-descriptions will make people click on your article when it comes to the search results. I use Yoast in combination with SEOpress which is also free so as to maximize the chances of my article performing well on search engines.
SEOpress shows you the maximum number of characters you need for the Title (60) and the Meta description (160) while showing you how your article will look on Google
This article on moz.com shows you the various ways you can use Yoast to optimize your site for search engines.
Here’s another article from Yoast that show you, step by step how to create amazing SEO titles that compel people into action
2. Ubersuggest by Neil Patel
Ubersuggest is a free platform by Neil Patel which helps you create content and keyword ideas, and shows you how simple or difficult it is to rank for that specific keyword. In addition to this, you can do a site SEO audit with Ubbersuggest and fix all the loopholes.
Say for example I want to write an article on book reviews, I can hop on Ubersuggest and search for book reviews.
Pay attention to the search volume, the SEO and the paid difficulty while choosing keywords for your articles. You want keywords with high search volume and low SEO difficulty so that you rank for that content and get traffic. If you can’t seem to strike a balance between search volume and SEO difficulty, use KWfinder.
KWfinder will give you alternative book review keywords that are easier to rank for and still get traffic.
Note from Lisa: This used to be a free SEO tool that I loved. However, it is now a paid SEO tool. There is a free 10-day trial, so you could sign up for that and knock out some keyword research during that time.
If you’re fairly new to SEO, you want to target keywords that are low hanging fruits. These are low competition keywords that are very easy to rank for and easy to target. For example, a keyword like ‘blouse’ might be a bit harder to compete for than ‘stylish blouses.’
If I type blouse on KWfinder, it will then give me keywords that are less competitive which is what I’m aiming for. I can choose between women’s blouses, white blouse, blouses online etc as keywords.
3. LSI Graph
Latent Semantic Indexing is a method used by search engines to find the relationship between keywords and articles. They do not replace keywords but supplement them and should be used wisely to avoid keyword stuffing.
LSIGraph allows you to find suitable shoulder keywords. I think you’re allowed 3 searches a day on the free version, but I’m not sure.
Going with our blouse example, here are suitable shoulder keywords:
Use the shoulder keyword in your content, meta descriptions and in one of the headings to make the most out of them. I don’t recommend using the shoulder keyword more than once in your content.
Diversify Your Traffic with These Free SEO Tools
Diversifying your traffic means starting with Pinterest for that quick traffic then SEO. You don’t have to be an SEO guru to start.
Make it a goal to optimize for SEO and learn as much as you can from sites like ahrefs, moz, and stupid simple SEO. Use these free SEO tools to help generate keywords and watch your traffic grow.
Note from Lisa: For even more help improving your blog’s traffic, I highly recommend this course from Elna Cain. She has great tips that are simple to implement that really do make a difference!
Pin it for later
Hello! My name is Sarah Nderi and I am Kenyan Digital Content Specialist and Data Analyst. I am passionate about writing, spirituality, reading books, traveling and love to help college graduates and bloggers find their footing, as I do mine.