SEO Tips for Hive Content Creators
A selection of SEO tips for formatting your content to try to rank Hive content higher on Google search results.
Although I glad we escaped to pastures new in March, one thing next door has over us at present is a lot more content. More content, however you choose to rate it, will mean more links for the likes of Google to find and index, and more chance folks visiting from the outside world.
In the week commencing 5th May 2018, there were 3837 posts created across the road which contained 'Heading 1' (h1) html. I'll move onto Headings shortly but as a comparison, (moving the date forward two years) on Hive there were just 541 posts created with the same html.
It is worth noting the the total number of top level posts for the week commencing 5th May 2018 were 261,487 and 27,149 for the week commencing 5th May 2020, and so the percentages are better than they were two years ago at 1.5% and 2% respectfully.
However, that % is still pretty low in my opinion and I think we can and should do better. If 20% of next weeks posts had a 'Heading 1' included, this would be a better effort than that week in May 2020 where over a quarter of a million posts hit the blockchain.
I first have to point out that I'm not an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) expert, I've just been digging around the source code of Hive blockchain content and looking on Google for tips from the people who seem to know what they are talking about. If you know your stuff and can improve on the below, please let me know.
The plan is to detail some of the basic formatting concepts (there is much more SEO that can be done in the text), and then provide a template that you can use.
As somewhat of an aside, I'll be using hive.blog in the examples as this site currently seems to be preferred by Google over peakd. If you check the source of a post hosted by peakd, there is not much to see - check the same post hosted by hive.blog and you will be able to view your content within. I'm not 100% sure, but I have a feeling that due to this page rendering, it's unlikely that there will be many links on Google to peakd content. Searching peakd brings back the site homepage, and then links to hive.blog, stateofthedapps, and s...com, in that order. And to test the above, I searched for 'How often do you backup your passwords', part of the title of yesterday's post which was authored on peakd, and it is the 2nd result on Google at present, with the URL beginning with hive.blog.
Basic SEO Formatting
I'll be looking at the following html/tags used for formatting web content:
- Images - location/name/alt tags
Fortunately, it is impossible not to include a title when posting to Hive. However, the title also forms the URL and according to Neil Patel, URLs should be between 2 - 4 words. Personally I think this is a bit short, my title yesterday was much longer, and I know that Hive folk like to play with longer titles. Just something to consider - a shorter URL, clearly stating the likely content, could well be better for the indexers.
Edit: As per a comment below, a tip could be to use a short title to begin with (which will form the URL), and then edit the post to expand it if you want it to be longer for readability.
Headings (1, 2, etc)
I am very guilty of rarely using 'Heading 1' html at the start, or anywhere else in a post - it just looks a clunky, especially right under the post title - which is apparently where it should be.
According to Neil, again, 'H1s have always been a major ranking factor.', and from the same link, '80% of the first-page search results in Google use an h1'.
With the hive.blog (and other editors), it is possible to use Markdown which means you can use a 'hash' for heading 1 html, and two hashes next to each other for a heading 2 tag. In the example below, I'll be sticking with html.
Also in the link above, it is suggested that there should only be one 'h1' tag (or two if you include the closing tag) in a document. 'h2', h3', etc, can be used multiples times, but all should try to use keywords relating to the piece.
The image itself may well be important for attracting and keeping attention once the page is loaded, but there are other features which will help the page ranking - location, size, image name, and the 'alt' - alternative, text of the image.
An image at the top of the page could influence the search results negatively and the URL of the image will show up as the contents description - not good for the eyes or the indexers.
Large images will slow page load time, another factor in search engine rankings. png files are usually small, gifs can be quite large.
The image name is another opportunity to boost keywords on the page. If the image is sourced from elsewhere, you wont get to choose the name, but if it is your own work, then why not give it an appropriate name relating to the content as a whole.
The alternative to the image text (alt text) is another place where keywords can be added. I've included the html to do this in the example below.
As mentioned at the start of the post, Hive has far fewer inbound, outbound, and internal (to same domain) links than the space we once occupied.
Outbound links are not such a big deal, and inbound links we can help by for example, Tweeting each post (using #posh if you wish), but internal links are also important. If there are many links to the same place, this will boost that page in search rankings. I've included and example which I think we should link to often in our posts, but I think any internal links to yours or others previous content would be useful.
As far as uploading images, I would use hive.blog at present as peakd (or other locations) are less known to the search engines. If you prefer peakd in the main, you could upload the images anywhere on hive.blog and copy the URL for your peakd post.
Again, I've not been great with tags overall in the past, and usually try to stick a few funny (debatable) ones in. I think that is OK as we do have multiple tags available, but the majority should probably be more keywords relating to the content. Like the title, we have a box in the editor for these and so there will at least be one for the crawler to look at.
So that's my SEO basics guide, and I hope it is of use - I don't think it can't hurt to try to format our posts to try to boost the search engine rankings. But before you get too stressed out about page formatting, one final word from Neil that I found in the comments section of his blog:
The template is pretty basic, but who knows, it could help raise your content in search results. The final link will boost https://signup.hive.io/ and gives new people a place to go when they have found Hive via your content 😃
<h1>Heading 1</h1> <p>Short description of post contents</p> <center> <img src="Insert main image here starting with https://" alt="Image alt text"> </center> <h2>Heading 2</h2> <p>More body text</p> <center> <img src="Insert image here starting with https://" alt="Image alt text"> </center> etc...... --------------------- <center> <p> <img src="https://images.hive.blog/DQmaYZ4QZ9QtQ1SvkqX59EKC7AHbTc7MhjwDyNGD4jb6iGQ/create_hive_blockchain_account.png" alt="create hive blockchain account"></p> <p>Not got an account yet? <a href="https://signup.hive.io/">Sign up to Hive!</a></p> </center>
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