Blogs is the perfect platform to share your knowledge with the online community, it gives you opportunities to target a large number of long-tail keywords, thereby keeping people on your website longer. So when it comes to SEO, blogging is pretty much a no brainer.
Producing fresh content on your blog and making it rank is extremely important. But by taking a few extra steps to optimize your blog posts, you can actually half your SEO efforts.
While your prime focus should be on your audience, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t make your posts scale a wider audience on search engines. Take note from some key measures as mentioned below:
1. Do Keyword Research:
Keyword research should be the foremost step as it helps to figure out the types of topics your audience is interested in. Before you write each blog, it’s smart to have a primary keyword or two in mind. Keep in mind not to force a keyword where it doesn’t work –the search engines detest it and could even penalize you. With Google’s use of latent semantic indexing (LSI), it’s not that important to use exact keywords in place of similar terms. However, keeping the keywords in mind while you write is still worth it.
2. Check for Rich Results in the SERP:
Once you have your target keywords in mind, head to Google and do some searches for them. Several types of searches now include rich results on the search engine results page (SERP).If a search for your target keyword produces of organic results, or if many of the organic results include images, video thumbnails, or other rich information, then make sure you’re optimizing your content to compete for those things. This means adding schema mark-up to your webpage. Alternatively, it can mean changing the way you structure your content to try to “compete for the featured snippet”. Its imperative to know what you’re competing for and against in order to create the right kind of content.
3. Post title should be meaningful:
The part where the search engines pay attention to, in trying to understand what the page is about is the title. That gives you a golden opportunity to communicate your topic by using your primary target keyword. Make sure you include it in a way that makes sense; else it will leave your human readers confused. But since your post will be covering the topic of your keyword, finding a natural way to include it won’t be too tough.
4. Include the Keyword in Your URL:
The page URL is an important part of the page search engines look at, where you can insert your target keyword. These engines try to understand what the page is about and that is an important ranking factor. Therefore, it becomes imperative to customize the URL before publishing.
For instance, a blog post on how to find good winter boots should thus have a URL like www.shoewebsite.com/blog/winter-boots.
5. Optimize Your Headings:
You might have guessed the pattern now. The search engines figure out what your page is about through your page headings as well. This implies that, once again, you want to look for opportunities to include your keywords in the page heading. Headings are often a good place for those secondary keywords you have in mind, since it doesn’t makes sense to use primary keyword in every heading on the page.
6. Use Your Image Text:
One more page element that search engines observe is the text behind your images. The name of your image (e.g. keyword.jpg) and the alt text you can fill in are two more places where you can include your primary keyword. .
7. Use Relevant Internal Links:
Links are definitely one of the most important ranking signals for the search engine algorithms. Getting other websites to link to yours is a challenge, but you surely can do relevant internal linking on your own site. While writing a new post, think about any blog posts you’ve already published that are relevant to what you’re working on currently? If yes, add in those links and use anchor text relating to your target keyword for the older post you’re linking to.
8. Write a Meta Description:
While Meta descriptions don’t affect your website rankings, they surely influence what people see when they’re surfing their options on the search engine results page. If they’re trying to choose between a few links, a strong description which incorporates the keywords they want (which show up in bold on the SERP) could make all the difference in their decision.
Google displays around 225-250 characters in the description field. So figure out how to describe what’s on your page (using your target keyword) in short.
9. Link Your New Post to Old Posts:
You should make a habit of periodically reviewing your old posts, so as to look for opportunities to link to the more recent posts. One way to go about it is that you can do a search of your own site for the target keyword of each new post you create. When you find usage of that keyword or similar terms in your old posts, you can positively add in a link to the newer one.
10. Link Your New Post to Old Posts:
Blogs allow you to create tags and categories to help you keep your related posts together. This is extremely useful as a navigational aid for people browsing and can be used strategically for SEO. Every category or tag you use creates a new page which includes the name of the same in the URL, along with several related content and links on the page.
As with keyword stuffing, you should think carefully about which keywords and tags will be the most valuable to readers and for your SEO strategy and only include those. Prepare a list of important keywords you want to rank for, but make sure each represents different topics (e.g. no categories for synonyms or slight variations on terms) and use them effectively whenever they seem relevant.
Your blog is an indispensable and powerful SEO tool. With every blog post you publish, you present yourself a number of opportunities to solidify your website’s search authority. Therefore, you should not waste any opportunity to use your blog posts to their fullest SEO potential.
A Digital Marketing Coach and Consultant, having 9+ years of experience in User Experience Design, Web & Mobile Product Management.