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Effective SEO Tips for Bloggers to Boost Your Traffic

Effective SEO Tips for Bloggers to Boost Your Traffic

The world of blogging is very beautiful, but without proper SEO, your audience is not going to expand with the speed you need to make a profit. Your website is not going to rank high in Google, even if your content is top quality. Search engine optimization is within reach of any blogger, but depending on your current level and your expertise, the time needed to optimize your blog differs.

Having the right tools and knowing the ropes of the trade is definitely going to speed things up and make your path smoother, so here are the most effective SEO tips a blogger needs to know.

Link Your Blog with Your Social Media Page

Having a static website is no longer enough for building an online presence. This is why blogging is so amazing, as it attracts the Google crawlers with fresh content on regular basis. But, if you search for a brand or another keyword you will first see their social media page. This is because Google now knows that we are using social accounts to post the latest news and our audience are spreading the posts with their network, which helps your local SEO strategy.

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Having a blog linked to your social accounts is going to attract the crawlers, which will notice the high level of activity under your brand or name, lifting you in the ranks. Linking your blog with the social networks is going to make it more noticeable for both the crawlers and your audience, which is beneficial for your brand name and your blog traffic.

However, there is a fine line between boosting the ranking and lowering them: if you create profiles on social media and don’t use them, your blog will be penalized for this, so make sure you do use these accounts.

Name Your Images

Images are very important for blogging, as they help you to communicate the message to the reader. But the images can’t be “read” by the crawlers, unless you name them. If you are serious about SEO, you are going to name your images, giving objective descriptions and tags, relevant for your blog content. For example, an image with the title IMG.jpg is not relevant for your content, while an image with the title seo-tips-bloggers.jpg is going to be relevant and will help your SEO ranking.

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Think of Your Titles

The title of the article is very important, as Google first reads the titles, then the content, just like your audience. This means you have to work on your titles. The best way to find a great title is think about a question – how would you question Google search engine when you are looking for a certain information. The answer will become your strong post title.

The title tag of your entire blog is another big thing for SEO, so make sure you have a relevant title for your blog. The title tag is among the first details “noticed” by the Google crawlers, which makes it very important for your blog. Use pipe symbols to separate phrases in your blog’s title and use keywords relevant for the entire blog. Between the pipe lines put phrases like “Remote Work” or “Healthy Living”, which are phrases likely to be searched online by your target audience.

Keep Your Content Easy to Read

Bloggers can and should write long posts – it’s in our nature, because sometimes we tackle important topics, which need space to be properly discussed. But there is a big difference between long posts that can boost your SEO ranking and those which lower it: the length of the sentences.

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When you write a longer post, which is appreciated by Google, you need to keep the text easy to read by using short sentences. A valuable post for your readers and search engines is one that has a long, interesting text, which comes with something new, it has images, and maybe couple of links. Throwing in a list and short descriptions won’t work; posting long sentences won’t work either, as your audience is going to have troubles reading the content and will give up. If you only have to say something short, post it on social media, leaving the blog posts for longer articles.

To be sure, you can also check your posts with free SEO tools.

Adjust The Permalinks of Your Posts

The shorter the permalinks, the more traffic your blog will get, but for this you need to adjust the permalinks. This can be made in two main ways: you can adjust the general form of the permalinks from the blog’s settings or you can choose to adjust each permalink manually, before publishing. When you do this, keep the link short and relevant and try to include the main keywords in it.

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Use H’s to Structure The Content

For your readers you use paragraphs and punctuation to structure the content and make it easier to read. But the crawlers need H tags to know the structure of an article. From H1 to H5 or more, you have a lot of options to pick from. H1 is the first element read by the crawlers and the most important, so it’s usually the title of the article. H2 is the second in the hierarchy, so you should use it for subtitles. Make sure you have at least couple of H2s in the article, which will signal Google that your piece is well structured and ordered.

Lastly, make sure you do take advantage of the free SEO plugins for bloggers, such as Yoast and All in One SEO pack, which can elevate your blogging game. Especially for beginners, these plugins allow you to adjust your articles with ease, making them ready to impress Google.

Featured photo credit: Kaboompics via kaboompics.com

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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