Should you optimize your personal blog for SEO in 2024?

4 min read

This morning I read a piece by The Verge that outlined how the modern web is being shaped almost entirely around SEO, even when authors don’t want it to be. I took a quick look at my Google Search Console, and to my surprise I was actually getting impressions for some search terms other than my name. I’ve never actually tried to engineer the SEO for this blog in any way, as I don’t have any need to. This site doesn’t generate any revenue, and reader numbers only serve as feedback to me that I am writing something worth reading.

So what would happen if I actually tried to optimize a post to rank highly in Google’s algorithm? Well, for starters I would throw a title on the blog post that closely matched something commonly searched for, as I have done here. Next, as the verge mentions, I would probably sprinkle in some subheadings that are way more inquisitive than appropriate.

Should you include subheadings to increase the seo of your website?

I have gravitated towards including many subheadings in my blog before reading the seo piece this morning, mostly because it makes a post easier to skim for readers. However, rather than questions, they usually represent steps in a process, as a lot of what I write pertains to setting something up, or describing my views on a matter. I don’t think that I would ever switch to phrasing subheadings as questions unless the prose called for it.

I have a similar view on the recommendation to include a table of contents. Most of my posts are short enough that you could do a quick scroll, and the colour scheme makes the headings stand out quite a bit. Having a bulky table at the top would just add unnecessary weight.

Based on the results in my search console, not really, however oddly enough people seem to search for my name quite a bit (not really sure why, I am quite curious who these people are!). The domain name for the site likely leads them to my blog more than anything, and the fact that my name is the most prominent heading on the site. The blog posts expressing personal viewpoints, such as Security has become too complex, don’t see as much traffic as posts like Habitica will change your life. Really because the ‘Habitica’ keyword gets picked up.

Another thing that I have noticed is that more niche content gets picked up a lot better (which may throw a wet blanket on the theory that this post, with a very competitive headline will get picked up). My post about learning vim gets picked up by queries for “learning vim”, which I did not expect. In some ways, I feel bad, that post is about my experience picking up new software, and probably won’t be very helpful for someone looking to setup the software for themselves.

Honestly, I don’t have any evidence for this question, as I have never run any ads. More generally around the topic of page technicals, I did like the bit in the verge piece that talked about alt text, as this was a good reminder to put an alt-text review as a todo item in Habitica. This is something that I am intrinsically motivated by (making the web accessible to everyone), but for those that might need an extra nudge, having that as a criteria in seo will only help reach that objective.


I can imagine the stress that would come with running a small business and being dependent on traffic to make a living. In my case, I do this entirely for fun, and hopefully to be helpful (or enjoyable) to at least one reader. More than the numbers, I care about the feeling that you come away with after reading something that I have written. Was it worth your time? If so, then you could be the only reader I ever have, and I would consider it a win.