6 Steps to Optimise Your Blog Posts For SEO
You submit new posts to your blog every week.
No doubt that you work hard on each before hitting the publish button.
But after seven months there is only a slight uptick in traffic.
Likely due to poor optimisation.
Blogging is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness and establish credibility with your audience. But to attract targeted traffic from the search engines, your blog posts need to be optimised. Otherwise the exact scenario as described above will play out with your blogging efforts.
Here we look at the six steps you need to follow to optimise your blog posts for SEO.
1. Start With Keyword Research
The best blog posts are those that not only delve deep into a topic, but also considers keyword research. This means finding the keywords that your target market is searching for. Start by using Google’s Keyword Planner tool, then enter in keywords that are relevant to your business.
With this tool you can discover additional keywords and see estimated traffic.
One mistake that many business owners make is going too broad with their keywords. A keyword such as “laptops” is simply too competitive and your site stands little chance of ranking for it unless you have a sizable marketing budget. Targeting long tail keywords is a better approach as these tend to convert better and have less competition.
2. Optimise Each Blog Post
Google looks at how relevant your content is relative to a search query.
Optimising your posts helps search engines crawl and index them. Include your target keywords in the following pages:
- Title tags: These are perhaps the most important on-page factor. Titles are also the first thing that visitors see in the search results. Include your keywords here and make it enticing to increase click through rates. Keep your titles under 70 characters.
- Meta descriptions: These are short snippets of text that give potential visitors more information about what your content is about. Include your target keywords here as well as a call to action to get more visitors to click through. Keep your descriptions under 160 characters.
- Headers: Headers are particularly useful as they break up blocks of content and improve readability. Instead of your target keywords, include secondary keywords so as not to overly spam your content with keywords.
- Body: Mention your keywords several times throughout the post. Remember to always focus on providing value to your visitors. Over-optimising your content and spamming with keywords will more than likely result in a ranking penalty.
If you already have content on your blog, go back and revise it to be more search engine friendly.
3. Optimise Your Images
Add images to your content to break up blocks of content and increase engagement with your visitors. Just as you can optimise your posts to improve their visibility you can also optimise your images.
Search engines typically look for images with ALT text. You can find the ALT text of an image by hovering over it. A small box will then appear with a short description of the image. Google uses this information to determine what an image means.
Optimise each of your images with a relevant ALT text.
4. Link Internally
Linking internally is useful both from a user and search engine standpoint.
If you link to another topic from your blog post, visitors can follow the link and still remain on your site. Internal links also help search engines determine the relevance of your content. So make it a habit to link to other pages on your site.
External links are also beneficial. If you make a reference or quote another source, be sure to include a link. If the site you link to is using WordPress, they get a trackback and they may even link back to your site.
5. Make it Easy to Share
Social media can increase the reach of your content.
Visitors can share your content with their own followers through Facebook, Twitter or their preferred channel. But you need to give viewers the ability to easily share or they will be less likely to do so. If you use WordPress, there are a number of plugins available that have floating bars with links to different social media platforms.
These buttons make it easy for visitors to share your content on their favourite platform.
Blogging is an excellent way to reach more of your target audience.
But your content needs to be properly optimised for it to be found in the search results. Start with keyword research and optimise all on-page factors of your site. Remember to include an ALT tag for your images and link internally to other pages. Finally, make it easy for visitors to share your content on social media.