You can't get away with ignoring SEO for your blog - BUT, and this is a really important one - you can't LEAD with "old-skool SEO" for your brand.
OK, so what's the difference?
Well, if you google SEO for bloggers you're going to get approximately a gazillion hits about OLD strategies which worked back in 2008 - AND those which are targeted towards TRAFFIC to your blog - without ever stopping to consider quality, brand awareness or actually y'know building a following.
The majority of the advice out there stems from 10+ years ago - and, written by men who "sell shit" sat by their pool in Bali claiming to be a "location-independent blogger". 🙄🤮
If you were online pre-2010 then you'll remember the annoyance of googling something and ending up on some crappy aggregate site which didn't actually contain the information you were looking for anyway. Then... around page 5 or 6 of Google you'd get the juice. Obviously Google wised up and adjusted their algorithm.
So let me put this to you straight. They are selling a tool which NO LONGER WORKS - that is, these were strategies which worked back in 2008 when it was possible to "game" Google with keyword stuffing and creating as many backlinks as possible. Now, the people over at Google aren't stupid - these are some of the smartest brains on the planet and the algorithms are written and designed to look for HUMAN design, not cheap, dodgy keyword stuffing tactics.
*Keyword stuffing is where you repeat the same phrase over and over and over in the vain hope you'll rise to number 1 in a Google search.
But Google have told us all along that they'll rank writing for PEOPLE over writing for machines.
Because - when you write a blog that you THINK is going to rank well over at Google - I'll bet you $100 it's boring to read. 100 visitors landing on your site and then immediately hitting the back button is NOT the same as 20 visitors landing on your site, staying and reading for 12 minutes AND opting in to your lead magnet.
Huge, huge, HUGE difference!
Quality is going to win each and every time.
Industry average suggests that a GOOD blog will have a bounce rate around the 50% mark - that means one in two people are heading off because they don't like what they've found.
Mine is around 10% - on some days zero. Yep, you read that right - ZERO!
That means that when people arrive here, I hope I'm educating AND entertaining them - and my blogs aren't filled with bouncing ads in the vain hope I'll earn 1 paltry cent from an Amazon affiliate link from you.
... And that's the trap.
Most have forgotten they're writing for people, not machines.
Yes, you absolutely MUST theme your blog content, divide it in to categories and use simple tricks to pass as much SEO juice to Google as possible - but never, ever at the expense of actually writing informative and interesting articles.
And G-d help me if I see one more boring as fuck list of "things". Sure, you may rank "better" - but unless your demographic is in fact those who can't think for themselves and the terminally boring... well, it's no way to build a business - or a BRAND!
When you're blogging to elevate your PERSONAL BRAND then you need story-telling MORE than ever - because you need to connect to people on a personal level with an emotional hook - and share the side of you which sets you apart from everyone else.
You can use words and phrases you know people will be searching for - but these have to be woven in to your writing in a natural manner - and if you repeat the same phrase over and over... it shows - and it detracts from the story.
Use a plugin to help you gain the technical SEO scores - but don't hold too much faith in the percentage scores these churn out - remember, this is software designed to talk to software NOT PEOPLE!
To give you an example, I was teaching this week and as part of a lesson created a new blog post to demonstrate something. I gave it a title and literally ONE sentence - something about fashion for French women. The SEO plugin told me this was 60% great.
WTF? It was a big pile of shite and not worth of a blog in ANY shape or form.
You need to be writing so that people can engage, follow your train of thought and get a win from this - it's not all about you.
When you make it all about you - or worse still, your rankings - you'll bore the pants off them and it doesn't matter how "high" you rank in Google when they're not sticking around and actually becoming your clients. And it's a double-win if you do get people sticking around - because not only are you directly building your brand with THEM - but Google learns that people are staying a long time at your site - and so elevate your rankings - ABOVE those using old "black-hat" tactics.
Drop the tags - Google Does. Not. Care. about your silly tags. Save them for the 'gram.