How to Get Your SubStack Articles to Rank Higher on Google

How to set up on-page SEO for your SubStack Articles - FREE and EASY

If you implement just a few of these SEO techniques, your newsletter will rank higher in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) than if you didn't. So here is what I'll show you today:

Optimize your SubStack or any other Newsletter (Medium, Ghost, WordPress...) for Google with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by:

Why do I want to optimize my Newsletter articles?

First of all - It's Easy to do while you are writing your articles.

It will help get your posts to show up in a top Google search result for everyone to find, organically (naturally - without paying anybody to do this for you.) If the article is good, has a few links to it from other peoples blogs, and you have done a couple other Search Engine Optimization Techniques (SEO) - you will get new subscribers and readers for free!

Try: Do a Google search for deplatformable (the name of my newsletter). Also click images from the google search page result for 'deplatformable'.

SEO often takes 2-6 months to get your articles on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). It will be worth the wait when it finally kicks in. Especially if the content is good. Suggested: Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing.

See about tracking your visitors with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Tag Manager.

Get a Unique Domain Name

Why? Google favours Unique Domain Names over https://xxxx.substack.com ones. It makes your site name memorable. Because of Domain Name hierarchy, Google indexes a unique domain name faster, and higher in their ranking system, rather than the millions that all end in dot substack.com

SubStack has some easy instructions: How do I set up my custom domain?

Some tips for choosing a unique domain name for your Substack newsletter, from one of the foremost SEO specialists in the world. Rand Fishkin:

Rand Fishkin SEO

I host my own websites and highly recommend Green Geeks. They even include domain registration with their $3/month packages!

This is how to set it up.

Search Google for "Does GoDaddy buy searched domains?" It's called "Domain name front running". Terrible practice.

Include Keywords

Include keywords in your article. Also in your article title. Also in your paragraph headings. Find Free Keywords:

The Google search bar will auto fill the most searched terms for you as you type. Save the suggested words and phrases (called long tail search terms) and use those keywords in your article. At the bottom of the first page of Google results you will find more suggested terms. Like this:

Bottom of Page 1 Search results page

Also free: AHREFs Free Keyword Generator, Answer the Public, Uber Suggest, Keywordtool, Keyword Surfer Chrome Extension, The Reddit Keyword Research Tool, Google Ads Keyword Planner, Google Trends.

Valuable (but Not Free): but one of the best for newsletters/blogs: RankIQ (just $49/mo)

Alt Tags:

Alt text (alternative text), also known as "alt attributes," "alt descriptions," or technically incorrectly as "alt tags," are used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page.

How to choose Alt Text (from this article on Moz.com):

The best format for alt text is sufficiently descriptive but doesn't contain any spammy attempts at keyword stuffing. If you can close your eyes, have someone read the alt text to you, and imagine a reasonably accurate version of the image, you're on the right track.

Let's look at a few examples of alt text for this image of a delicious-looking stack of blueberry pancakes:

stack of bluberry pancakes with powdered sugar

This alt text is a is descriptive of what's in the image. This isn't just a stack of "pancakes" - it's a stack of blueberry pancakes with a dusting of powdered sugar!

(...more)

How to Add Alt Text in SubStack?

You probably know how already, if you've ever posted a picture or photo on Substack.

It's easy. As you are in edit mode click the picture that you have dropped into your article. Click the 3 horizontal dots in the right top corner. > Click 'Edit alt Text'. Add alt text. Done:

how to add alt text in Substack Tip: Resize the picture with the bottom right arrow.

Heading 1 tag:

Use the most important keyword in the main title (Heading 1 tag) of an article/post.

header tag best practices for SEO

Here's how to use the Heading tags in your SubStack Editor Toolbar: Select the type to make the main Heading. Then go to Style > Heading 1. Easy!

heading tags in Substack Editor

Get others to Link to your articles

Link building is getting other people to link to your article from their website. This shows Google that your website has relevance, and some authority with others on the internet.

Googles job is to serve searchers with the best, most relevant and highest quality information on a particular search term (or long tail keyword).

The consensus says that high-quality links with a high authority rating, and real good content will boost your article and help it to get found on search.

You can reach out to other newsletter writers and exchange links to their popular articles.

It used to be that the more backlinks to your article, the higher the article would rank on Google. Today search engines focus more on quality of the links to your site rather than the quantity.

I recommend you explore this high quality article by backlink expert Brian Dean. It will answer any and all questions about building links to help you rank higher on Google.

You should also link to your own articles which are relevant to the subject matter of the new article you're writing. Like this one also about Marketing.


I have done SEO for my own websites for decades, so I thought I would put together this Guide to help us all get New Subscribers without paying for the extra traffic!