Essential Steps To SEO Proof Your Blog Posts

SEO is very important for businesses of any size. When you make an effort to optimise your website, including your blog posts, you are going to attract more visitors from Google who are typing in different keywords which are associated with your website.

Some estimates state that over 60% of all blog posts are not ranking well or at all in Google’s search results, although they may contain high-quality content. It is a common issue because most people don’t know how to properly optimise their blog posts. SEO is actually one of the main reasons why people blog. That makes sense because having an updated blog on your website can have a positive impact on your website’s organic ranking and traffic. In order to get that benefit, you’ll need to ensure that your blog posts are properly optimised for SEO success.

Many people fail to take advantage of the marketing potential of their blogs. Statistics show that more than half of all blog owners haven’t updated their blog in the past year. To start enjoying many benefits that blogging has to offer, you’ll need to post fresh and relevant content on a regular basis while optimising your blog posts for SEO.

You should always keep in mind that you are, in the end, writing for visitors so even though you are optimising your blog post for SEO, it should also be a user-friendly blog post. The point is to write your blog posts in a way so both users and search engines can understand them. Even though you may have optimised your blog post for SEO, it doesn’t necessarily imply that it has great content. The actual quality of the content should be your main concern. Remember that a blog post with quality content that is also well optimised has the highest chances or ranking higher in search results.

When you optimise your blog post for search engines, you are basically implementing a number of things that are known to help your blog post rank well on Google. This is better known as on-page SEO. The practice of optimising your blog posts is very similar to optimising your other website pages, but there are a few key differences that you need to pay attention to. Because on-page optimisation can be overwhelming and it is also changing frequently, we created the most up-to-date list of things that you should include when trying to optimise your blog posts.

Optimise Your Images 

People like blog posts with images because they are visual and it helps explain the content better. Statistics have shown that content with images get 94% more views and researchers found that images increase the willingness to view a content by 80%.

Google can’t actually see an image as we do, so it looks for images with alt text. Alt text basically tells them what an image is about and that helps those images to be found in an image search on Google.

images

When the image can’t be displayed or found, alt text will display inside the image container so the user can actually tell what it is about. Alt text is an attribute that you can add to any image via HTML. Here’s an example image alt tag:

<img src=”image.png” alt=”image-description” title=”image title”>

Alt text is a minor adjustment and it won’t skyrocket your search rankings as much as other things in this article, but it is definitely worth the extra 20 seconds to change the name of the image from IMG128 to something more descriptive.

You can also put a keyword in the image filename but be sure that it matches what you see on the image. Be sure to use hyphens when writing the filename, like this: cat-playing-on-bed.jpg

Keyword Optimisation For Blog Posts

The foundation of search engine optimisation lies in the keywords use. Keywords are basically words visitors use when they want to find something on Google. It is good to write naturally but if you skip keyword research before you start writing the content, you won’t actually know if what you are creating is relevant to what people are searching online. There are two main types of keywords, short and long.

Short-tail keywords are basically phrases that are 1-3 words long maximum. These phrases tend to be not very specific and are used by people who are not too sure of what they are looking for. It’s basically a query for a general information about something. The problem with short-tail keywords is that ranking for them high on the first page of Google is almost always very difficult. You will notice that there will be a lot of big websites who are competing for them in Google and trying to out-rank them is usually almost impossible.

keywords

On the other side, you have long-tail keywords. These are phrases that contain 3 or more words. These keywords are more specific and they usually have lower search volume when compared to short-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords have a lot less competition (sometimes none at all) so you’ll be able to rank for them easily with your blog posts. These long-term keywords can really add up throughout your content so you’ll notice that you can rank for multiple keywords with little effort and search volume of those will add up.

It is very important not to use as many keywords as possible in your blog posts. This can backfire and hurt your SEO because Google will think that you are keyword stuffing, meaning, you are trying to game the algorithm but using keywords as much as possible with the purpose of improving your search ranking. This also makes your blog posts unreadable and you should use keywords in posts in a way that feels natural and not forced.

 

Finding Keyword Ideas

Next step would be to figure out which keywords you’d like to use in your blog post. To find keywords for your blog posts, head over to Google Keyword Planner. This tool is free and it is the only one that you need for this.

Google Keyword Planner

When you are logged in, the first thing that you need to do is to find some keywords. Click on the first option “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”. When you do, you’ll need to enter a few keywords but don’t worry too much about what you put in because it’ll generate a lot of new keywords to look through. You should try to figure out what keywords would describe your article best and what people would search for on Google in order to find your article.

google keyword planner advanced options

You can also toggle the advanced options if you like. Here you can change a location if you live outside the US, change the language and also the localisation of Google. On the right side you can also specify a number of average monthly searches that you’d like (for example, only keywords above 1000 monthly searches) and you can also select if you want to see broadly related ideas or specific ones. Once that’s done, hit the “Get Ideas” button and the keyword tool will show you new keyword ideas and the number of monthly searches for each keyword.

Don’t look at the competition tab of the results, that has nothing to do with how difficult it is to rank for this keyword in Google. That information is for Google AdWords and people who buy ads on Google, it has nothing to do with SEO and the competition in the organic search results.

How To Optimise The Post

 

Optimise The Title

The title is the first thing that Google will look at when it’s determining the relevancy of the blog post. Google cuts off the headline at 65 characters so be sure to include your headline before that.

The first thing that you have to keep in mind when you write the headline is that there are two types of headlines and they are viral and SEO headlines. If you are writing a viral headline, then you don’t need to worry about SEO since the purpose of it is to get a quick attention from people and to spread through social media channels and because of this it doesn’t rely on Google.

For SEO headlines, you’ll need to make sure that you use the keywords that you found in the keyword tool exactly as they are written. This is because when you break it up and change the arrangement of words then it’s not the same keyword and it defeats the purpose of the keyword research. Check out the slight variation in the phrase and how big of a difference it can make:

title

Another trick that you can implement is to use the keyword at the beginning of the headline. This will help you to boost your rank because Google favourably looks headlines with a keyword at the beginning.

 

The URL

Google also looks at your URL in order to understand what your page is about. This is a perfect opportunity for you to include some of the keywords in there.

If you are using WordPress, then the URL of your blog post is auto-generated from the title that you put. Usually, URL’s look ugly and are too long but you can customise them to your liking. Don’t try to over-optimise them and don’t stuff them with unnecessary keywords. Note that if you want to change your URL after you publish a post, you’ll need to use a 301 redirect in order to preserve its ranking.

 

Meta Description

The meta description is a snippet of text that appears below your title in the search results.  It is a simple summary of your blog post that attracts a person to click-through and read your blog post. Don’t let your content platform automatically generate a meta description for you but instead write your own.

meta description

When a person performs a search on Google, the words they searched get highlighted in the meta description. Since meta description’s purpose is to give the context to the page and also to draw people in and get them to click, be sure to write yours properly and entice people to click.

Add Internal and External Links

Look for opportunities to link to your other pages from your blog posts. This is called an internal link and it is an important aspect of SEO and it also gives your visitors a chance to browse your website even further. It is not possible to include all of the information in a single blog post so linking to other pages that may contain more information on a specific subject is a great way to keep people on your website for longer. Interlinking is important from an SEO standpoint because search engine bots will crawl your blog post and when they find other links, they will induct that content too.

The other type of links are external links and it is when you link to other websites within your blog post. This comes off as very genuine to your readers and it shows them that you want to provide them with real information from other credible sources so this builds trust and credibility. For bonus points, you can try to link to a well-known and authority website on the topic and Google links to see those types of external links in the content.

CONCLUSION

Since creating a valuable piece of content takes time and effort, it is important to make sure you’ve done all you can to give it the attention it deserves. Before you even start writing a new blog post, spend some time researching the topics and have a clear goal in mind on what you want to write about and how you’ll optimise it along the way.

If you have existing blog posts that are not optimised, you can simply go through our checklist and make the necessary changes. If you are just starting to work on your SEO, don’t lose your hope, results will start to gradually come over the first few months, just keep publishing quality content and the traffic will keep coming in.