How to do SEO on blogs without knowledge of HTML? Search engine optimization on Wordpress and Blogger blogs needs no knowledge of coding.
Post updated in July 2020
This post is written keeping in mind blogger friends who are not technology-minded and have been brainwashed into believing that getting search traffic to the blog needs big-time HTML tweaking and SEO.
SEO ‘experts’ often advise bloggers and website owners to necessarily put meta tags in the HTML of their blog, or put ALT attribute on images. So as to impress the blogger, they talk about robots.txt and sitemap.xml, rich cards and such other jargon. The blogger starts feeling that he must try HTML tweaks suggested by SEO experts or to hire an expert so as to bring the blog among the first few results on search pages of popular search engines, e.g. Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
In this post, allow me to debunk one big myth: “You must know HTML to optimise your blog properly for search engines. If you do not know it, you should hire an SEO expert.” The reality is that you need not know any HTML for fairly good part of search engine optimization! In fact, playing with HTML without knowing how various codes behave might hurt your blog rather than make it SEO-friendly.
If you are a small blogger with presence on Wordpress or Blogger, the simple tweaks that I am giving below will do SEO wonderfully well. However, if you are into professional blogging – and you have to compete with established websites for traffic and advertisements – you will need the knowledge of HTML and SEO techniques.
Let me share that we do not do HTML tweaking or SEO beyond bare basics on this blog, IndianTopBlogs. It keeps us confident that search engines would not suspect us for undesirable or unnatural SEO. It saves us from future algorithm changes to be made by search engines, which might in take too strong SEO practices as undesirable. It also gives us time to devote on content.
SEO on free Wordpress or Blogger platforms can be done without touching HTML
Let me show main SEO techniques that you can do on your blog and its posts without adding or modifying even a single HTML code, if your blog is on the most popular free blogging platforms, Wordpress.com and Blogger.com:
1. Give the blog a fine title. Let it be relevant to the blog and possibly have the keywords for which you want your blog to be searched. On WordPress and Blogger, this feature is in their Settings menu on blog dashboard.
2. Give the blog a relevant description. Make it to tell the visitors what the blog is about and how it is useful for them. Put at least but not more than two relevant keywords in the description. This feature is also available in Settings on WordPress and Blogger, both.
3. When giving sub-headings inside posts and pages, use the heading styles rather than coloring the text or making it bold. On Wordpress as well as Blogger, these styles are available in the tool menu on the post/ page editor.
4. Give relevant external and internal link inside posts/ pages and give them proper anchor. Anchor is the clickable text that takes you to another web page. Both these blogging platforms have link menu on the toolbar and you need not type out the link HTML.
5. You have the facility to give ‘ALT attribute’ to images through image tools on both Wordpress and Blogger. This option comes when you click on the image in the post/ page editor. If you don’t know, ALT is an image property in HTML, which tells the subject of the image to the search software. Give a relevant ALT description to each major image.
6. When you want to give link to a website that is not good (e.g. to refer to a spammy site), you should put rel=“nofollow” property into the link HTML. But you can do that without knowing HTML; click on the link and edit its property in the link tool in the post/ page editor.
7. When quoting from some other web page, it may look like copy-pasting or stealing others’ content. Obviously, search engines do not like it. So, there is quotation (" ") tool in the page/ post editor. Using this tool tells the search engines that the content has been put on the blog to serve as quotation.
8. Give a relevant description to each post. This description will override the blog description, and search engines will know about the exact content of the post. Put a highly relevant keyword in this description. Both Wordpress and Blogger have this option alongside the post editor. On Blogger, you have to enable this feature by going to Settings.
9. Spammy contents and those with bad links can hurt the blog’s SEO. So, either moderate comments or delete comments with spam content.
10. On Wordpress, apply one of the free plugins on the blog through the blog dashboard. The plugin tells you about general optimization status of the post/page. You can take the necessary action as advised, and these actions do not need any HTML tweaking.
These are the main SEO tweaks on free blogs on Blogger or Wordpress platform. I am not saying that these will bring your blog on top of search pages, especially if the blog is in such a subject (=niche) that is highly competitive. However, if your content is of high quality and useful, you write regularly and you share your posts on social media, your blog will start coming up and up on search pages. At the same time, you can start learning how more advanced SEO techniques can be used. On ITB itself, I have a number of posts relating to SEO.