SEO can be a headache. It has its daunting side with all the rich snippets, canonicals, sitemaps and whatnot.
Thankfully there are some easy and fun sides too.
Did you know that you can improve your SEO just with blogging?
It does help if you sprinkle a little optimisation into your blog, but great content alone can help you to rank.
This is because content is king. Don’t throttle us, we’re aware it’s an annoyingly overused statement. If you’ve ever dipped your toes into digital marketing, you will have heard it a thousand times but it’s a fact.
Content and SEO were once seen as distinct. Now they are so interwoven that you can hardly be an SEO without intricate knowledge of content marketing.
Why is content useful for SEO?
The two disciplines vastly overlap. SEO is the narrower, more technical aspect of showing algorithms what your content is about.
Content marketing is broader and nuanced to be interesting to humans and bring in shares, conversions and links.
SEO can be a reason to do something e.g. use keywords or gain links, but content is the method by which you do it.
What people think SEO and content are like:
What they’re actually like:
Blogging is a smart ways to build interesting, regular content. But how can you ensure your blogs are doing the best job possible for SEO?
5 Elements of a perfectly SEO optimised Blog Post
Keywords enable your blog to appear in search results for specific user queries. For example, if we asked Google whether Australian retailers should use Amazon or Google Shopping, the top ranking websites will have content well optimised for the keywords “Amazon” and “Google Shopping”.
Think about what your target audience would search for and use those keywords in your blog.
The trouble with keywords is we all use language differently. Instead of just slapping your best guesses into a blog, why not do keyword research with a free tool like Google’s Keyword Planner.
You can find out what keywords people are searching for and which variations have the highest search volume.
Ok, so you’ve got your keywords, now you need to actually put them in your blog.
To make sure your blogging really impacts your SEO, you should cite your core keywords in…..
- The title tag: This is the first thing Google sees when deciding what your content is about. It’s the little title in your browser tag.
- The meta description: This is one of the first things users see in search results and will help them gauge if your blog is really what they’re looking for.
- The URL: Google looks at URLs for keyword relevance too.
- The H1: Naturally you should have your keywords in your blog title and you should make sure this is an H1 tag. Most websites by default have the title of blogs as H1s but don’t insert more than one H1.
- The copy: Use your keywords throughout your copy to make it hyper relevant to user’s queries.
- The image alt tags: Give blogs a boost by ensuring images are optimised since they can rank in Google image search.
2. Regular, quality content
When content is high quality it aids your Google rankings, draws in traffic and is sharable aka it attracts links, likes and shares.
The better your content, the more it will serve your digital marketing strategy. Don’t write simplistic blogs with a view to plugging your keywords. Try to create something genuinely interesting, insightful and helpful. Provide your audience with the solution to a problem and answer their questions. This will improve SEO and brand reputation.
The most important tips for quality content are to be original, blog regularly and write longer content.
Google loves longer content, just look at how the average length of content affects SEO:
Internal links help your audience better navigate through your website and most importantly for SEO, it helps Google more easily crawl your site.
External links help Google gauge your credibility. If plenty of people link to your content it means its valuable. Of course, creating amazing blogs is the best way to gain external links.
4. Mobile optimisation
When is the last time you saw a human being without their eyes glued to a smartphone screen?
If we can’t browse a great blog on mobile, while mindlessly walking into oncoming traffic, then it doesn’t belong in the modern world.
Mobile friendly blogs are a big benefit as more people will read them and Google favours mobile friendly content.
People are consuming more time on mobile internet than desktop:
Most modern websites are mobile friendly, but consider making blogs easy to read on mobile by using:
- Decent sized font
- The right colour font for your background hue
- Big enough text on graphics
- Easy to enlarge images
- Spaced out content in small paragraphs
- Bullet points
5. Stuffing is for turkeys and no one likes watered down cocktails.
What?! Well, while you want good keyword placement you don’t want to compromise quality by being spammy.
You need to avoid keyword stuffing. See what we did there, with the turkey? Ok, but seriously keyword stuffing is bad practice, creates a terrible user experience and could get your site penalised by Google.
Another mistake is diluting SEO focus. You don’t like watered down cocktails, so why would you want your content diluted? Lots of random keywords create a poor experience and dilute the focus of your blog in Google’s eyes. Pick a specific topic and only optimise for one or two relevant keywords per blog.
Now stop wasting time already and start blogging yourself to SEO success.