Search engine optimization is incredibly important for marketers. When you optimize your web pages, including your blog posts, you’re making your website more visible to people who enter specific keywords into search engines like Google. But Google keeps updating their SEO algorithms, so staying up-to-date with the latest SEO best practices can be tricky.
Here are 6 Ways to Search Engine Optimize your Blog Content:
1. Do Keyword Research and Focus on 1-2 Long-Tail Keywords that Match your Reader’s Intent
Optimizing your blog posts is not about stuffing as many relevant keywords into the article as you can (that can actually hurt your SEO now). It’s about writing for humans first, and search engines second. Including 1-2 long-tail keywords that you’d like to rank for helps create solid content that doesn’t feel unnatural or forced. You should also focus on these long-tail keywords because they are longer, offer more user intent, and are usually less competitive.
Make sure to check different SEO tools to view the keyword “difficulty” score to see how much competition is out there for that keyword. If you have a new blog and are just starting out, aim for long-tail keywords in the 200-2,000 searches per month range with difficulty score under 0.2.
2. Include These 1-2 Target Keywords into Specific Areas of your Post
Now that you’ve completed your keyword research and chosen 1-2 good keywords you’d like your blog post to rank for, it’s time to place them in your article. Where are the best places to add these keywords so that your SEO rankings are as high as possible? There are four main places, outlined below:
Title Tag - The title (headline) of your blog posts will appear on the search engine results page (SERP) and will be the first thing search engine’s use to determine the relevancy of your content. You’ll want to include your target keywords in the first 60 characters of the title, and make sure they’re at the beginning so they don’t get cut off (optimal title length is 50-60 characters.
URL - Search engines still look to your URL to figure out what your blog post is about. It is a good idea to optimize your URLs on every post you publish, as each blog post will live on their own unique URL.
Headers and Body Copy - Mention your target keywords throughout your blog post’s headers and body content. You should stick with a natural cadence and not overdo it. Whenever you’re writing a post, you should first focus on what matters most to your audience, not how many times a keyword is on the page. Also, make sure your H1 tag includes the target keywords.
Meta Description - This is the description that appears under your page title on the SERPs and is very important for click-through-rates. The keywords inside of the Meta Description as not as important as the title tag, but a clear description that matches your readers’ intent is a good place to start.
3. Quality Content is King
Google’s latest algorithms are rewarding content-rich, long form articles that include things like videos, images and infographics. Aim for 2,000+ words, as the average first page result contains 1,890 words. Just remember that content quality and relevance play a huge role in page rankings. Solely creating a long blog post won’t help your rankings if the content isn’t relevant to the user’s query.
4. Link Building and Off-Site SEO
Link building is one of the most important and toughest parts of SEO. Google see links to your blog as an indication of your site’s authority. Each link is a signal to the search engine that you have a quality, authoritative website, and ranks you higher in turn. Remember that the first key to receiving more inbound links is to create content that others will actually want to share. Link building efforts can also be aided by affiliate marketing.
Here are four more link building ideas for your blog:
1. Write guest posts - A guest post is a post you write for someone else’s blog that is valuable to their audience. You can reach out to similar bloggers in your niche. One easy way to do this is through email or simply Facebook. Just ask them if they accept guest posts on their blog, create an outline for them, and write the content. Make sure to include 1-2 relevant links to your site, only mention your brand when it makes sense to do so so that you don’t come across as spammy. Writing guest posts take a lot of work, but is a great way to build links to your site.
2. Create a statistics infographic - Blog writers love statistics. If you can bring a large number of statistics into an easily accessible format, you’re providing value to writers who are looking for that information. If you give this content away for free, many users will either put it on their site, or simply link to your site as the original source of the content.
3. Don’t forget internal links - Linking to other pieces of content on your site helps assist users with site navigation, and can also contribute to SEO success. Make sure to identify the most important pages on your site, be strategic with your anchor text, and link to relevant content only.
4. Build relationships with other bloggers - Real relationships are a huge part of link building. People are much more likely to help someone they know and trust than a stranger they’ve never interacted with before. Always think about the goals of other bloggers and make sure to share their content, comment on their posts, re-tweet them, and find other ways to collaborate.
5. Give Readers the Opportunity to Subscribe
Include prominent links to that offer readers the ability to subscribe to your email list. This allows you to regularly engage with your audience and maximizes your blog’s impact. Also make sure to include social sharing options so that readers can post to Facebook, Twitter, and other networks.
6. Optimize your Images with Alt Tags
Whenever you upload a photo to your blog, make sure to include keywords in the file name and fill out the alternate text field with a brief, keyword-rich description of the photo. Since search engines cannot “see” images, they need to be told what they are with alternative text. Adding this alt text to your images will improve your blog post’s SEO.
I don't expect you to incorporate each of these SEO best practices into your blogging strategy right away. But as your website develops, you should look to these SEO tips to help you rank higher organically and get more traffic to your blog.
If you found this article on SEO for Bloggers helpful, please subscribe to my newsletter. AdamEnfroy.com lives at the cross roads of online entrepreneurship and personal development, as it takes both the right digital marketing tools, as well as the right mindset to accomplish big things.