The Ultimate Guide To Search Engine Optimization For Bloggers (2018 SEO Guide)

An ultimate SEO guide for bloggers and content creators. How relevant is keyword research? What are the factors Google looks at? How exactly do we go about attracting organic traffic from the world’s most popular search engine? This guide covers it all.

  • Harry says:

    Hey David –

    If you’re anywhere in northern VA – ping me and I’ll buy you a coffee before you head to PA…

    Good post.

    Back in 2008 I was the unofficial spokesman for the Network Solutions SEO program. I wrote a blog post titled “There’s No Such Thing as Advanced SEO.” That post made many of the same points you make here. But….that post landed me in HR, having to explain how someone charged with advocating for SEO services could write such a post. Ahhhh, memories….


  • David,

    This post is a true example of everything it just talked about. I happened to be search for SEO topics, found this post, read the whole thing because it’s extremely useful (lots of resources), shared it on all of my social networks along with all of my staff. Oh and look, I’m now commenting because of how good the article was. Perfect example of how everything you mentioned is so true.

    Thanks David!

  • Bil Gaines says:

    Hi David,

    If I may be a level-headed voice of dissent here, I must partially disagree.

    It’s not that old-school SEO is dead and new-school non-SEO is alive.

    It’s that black hat SEO is dead and white hat SEO is alive. And yes, white hat SEO is pretty much all about user experience, but it’s primarily about bringing in targeted traffic that would find value in your site — and therefore would stay engaged, or reach out to a site owner, or purchase a product or download a whitepaper or whatever the goal is.

    SEO and UX can be friends.

    For any website, user experience is top priority. But if nobody gets to the site, there is no experience at all, and that does nobody any good.

    Updated old-school things are still considered SEO, like reaching out to relevant sites, forming a useful relationship and generating a quality do-follow backlink to your site. This not only improves (legitimate) referral traffic, it strengthens search rankings for whatever keyword strategy may be in place. It’s not about keyword stuffing or building a large quantity of links, but the concept of link building is not dead, it’s just evolved.

    I am an SEO professional myself, and I can attest to the value of building quality backlinks to a user-friendly site with a smart keyword strategy. I can also speak with plenty of authority on the dismal lack of engaged traffic when your site does NOT have any keyword consistency and no backlinks.

    I’m a big fan of your analogy that organic traffic is like growing your farm whereas PPC is like going to the store and buying what you need. And I certainly agree that user experience is the number one priority.

    But I think it does a disservice to your readers to tell them to disregard SEO.

    I’m happy to talk more about this with anyone, just hit me up — is the best way.


    • Josue Valles says:

      Hey Bil, I agree with you.

      UX is the most important thing to focus on, but we can’t ignore SEO. Most people think SEO is dead because of those spammers who tried to manipulate search engines and didn’t see any result.

      But I truly believe that if you combine a good UX with the right SEO and link building techniques you can build a stronger brand.


    • David Risley says:

      Thanks so much or your comment, Bill. I don’t believe I said to disregard SEO, however. Seems to me that my post laid out the exact point you just said.

  • Gerry says:

    Thanks David, very helpful post. I often marvel at how people try and trick the system when all they really need is solid, engaging content that causes people to stay and share it!

    Shared this one for sure!

  • Ruth Attwood says:

    I couldn’t agree with the sentiment more, although I think I’d challenge the “SEO is dead” side with more of an “SEO has evolved.” Certainly ye olde SEO (tons of keyword laced backlinks, and/or keyword stuffing onsite) is dead as a doornail, but I think it is fair to argue that GOOD SEO (as opposed to majority SEO) is really UXO by another name.

    It is all about optimising the experience of a user from first touch onwards (and certainly doesn’t end at conversion or contact or “insert goal here” as so many people seem to think), and while this can and does include some considerations like markup and commonsense “optimisation” a lot of that also boils down to good, accessible web builds and just plain old common sense.

    The problem in my view is that too many people think of SEO in a silo as something you do separately – whereas actually, if you’re doing it right, SEO is something that you’ll do naturally as you go along with business as usual for your website. It should be thought of less as a “marketing” activity and more as a “hygiene” one, like spell checking!

    That’s why so many bloggers are highly organically visible – not because they “do SEO well” but just because they write with excellence and passion about their chosen subject. While technical markups associated with SEO can be helpful to some verticals, at the end of the day it is absolutely all about just what you do – and how well you do it.

  • Robert S says:

    Great article for me as a newbie to blogging. You are a natural teacher. Thanks!

  • Bastiaan says:

    Thanks David, this is a great post. For the part about securing your website was really helpful. I didn’t know Google took this into account. I just found out that my website is not secured and will make sure it will be in a few days from now :). I’m very curious to see whether it will impact my ranking..

    • David Risley says:

      I wouldn’t expect a miracle from it. I think going SSL on your site is turning into standard practice, so I think rather than getting a big SEO bump out of it, it is more about avoiding a slap. 🙂

  • Naveen Sharma says:

    Hi David,

    This article gives us all we need to know about the SEO in todays terms. Changing algorithms have made certain practices useless. We now need to consider all factors that the new algorithms are considering.

    As you say, the New SEO Is UXO. Also, everything should fall into place if we focus on serving the end user as google is doing with its recent changes. At the same time some old practices are not going to be dead, they just need a modification.

    Thanks for this useful article and for sharing these valuable tips with us. Have a great day!


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