You’ve published a new blog on your website. Great, you’re keeping your content fresh and your regular visitors engaged. However, if you’re hoping to use blogging as a way to grow your business, you need to expand your reach. How? By optimising your blogs so they are more visible in search.
Here are six tried-and-tested techniques to get your started.
1. Do Pre-Blog Keyword Research
Optimising a blog post shouldn’t be an afterthought. Before you even begin writing, you should be doing keyword research to understand what search queries your audience are commonly using. When you know this, you’ll know what they’re interested in and this will tell you what topics you should be covering to create relevant, engaging blogs.
Base each blog on a single keyword phrase that you want to rank highly for, and keep it focused. This will enable search engines to easily identify what your post is about. There are a number of online tools that can help you identify your keywords. Try Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest.
2. Insert Keywords into Your Post
If you’ve chosen a suitable, keyword-based blog topic, your keywords should appear naturally throughout your post. However, the best way keywords can help you optimise your blog post for SEO is to ensure they are visible in the places where they are most likely to be read and crawled.
- Headings/subheads – ensure the keyword phrase appears in the first few words
- First sentence/final paragraph
- Anchor text – the text you hyperlink to other pages
- Title tags and metadescriptions – the text that appears for your blog on search engine results pages (SERPs)
- URLs – the web address for your individual blog page
Importantly, make sure you don’t stuff keywords in so that they appear unnatural. Google will penalise you for doing so. Do it cleverly and sparingly: approximately six times throughout your body copy in addition to the above.
3. Focus on Your Formatting
Whilst relevant, quality content is paramount to blog post SEO, perhaps surprisingly, appearances also play a part. If your blog doesn’t look nice on the page or is difficult to read, which in web terms means not scannable, people will simply click away.
To create an SEO and people-friendly blog post (the two are not mutually exclusive), you should adopt the following formatting techniques:
- Use subheads
- Stick to narrow columns of text
- Use lists and bullet points
- Keep paragraphs short
In addition, ensure you are consistent in your font, heading sizes, layout etc. both within each individual blog and across your blogs. It simply looks more professional.
4. Include Relevant, Tagged Images
In every post, be sure to include high-quality images which are directly relevant to the content. This will enhance the readability for the reader. Unfortunately, what it won’t do is give search engine crawlers anything more to go on when it comes to ranking your post.
Why? Because crawlers can’t read images. What they can read, though, is text accompanying an image. Therefore, this is another effective place to focus your optimisation efforts.
As well as giving each image file a relevant title which includes a keyword phrase, you should also make use of ‘alt tags’. This is text that can be attributed to an image which describes in detail what it is. Although designed for accessibility, keyword optimised alt text can boost your SEO.
5. Include Quality Links
Links are vital to blog post SEO success. Links include internal links to your own content, relevant external links to other sites and backlinks – links back to your site from another site. Not only can they be helpful to the reader who might be seeking further information on a particular topic, but they also boost your own authority.
External and internal links enable search engines to better understand the topic you are writing about. They then reward you for adding value to your post. Backlinks, on the other hand, help demonstrate to search engine crawlers that your content is rated by other sites.
Blog post backlinks are harder to achieve but they will be more powerful.
6. Utilise the Power of Social Media
Blog posts that are popular on social media are taken by Google to be a sign of quality. Therefore, if your post receives a lot of likes and shares this will be taken into account when it is being ranked. To encourage this, you need to be promoting you blog posts on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – or whatever social media site is relevant to your audience.
The more likes and shares you get, the more exposure your blog will get and this can lead to further SEO benefits such as:
- Increased number of backlinks
- Improved author authority
- More social media followers
As well as sharing your posts on social media, include social media buttons on your blog pages so people can like and share from there.
Apply these proven blog SEO techniques to your posts and you should begin to see your words working harder. If you don’t have time to optimise or write your blog posts yourself, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.