Writing for the web is a different process than for print. On the internet, users never…
What is SEO?
If you’ve read our previous SEO posts, you’ll know that SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial or natural search results on search engines.
How Can I Use SEO to Optimize My Blog Posts?
SEO can be confusing, but in the digital marketing world it’s important to make sure that your content is visible to others. In order to get your web pages and blog posts higher up in organic search results, you must implement basic SEO tactics while making sure that your content is still readable.
Today’s best SEO practices focus on intent and relevancy. You can Search Engine Optimize your blog content in a few easy steps. Keep reading to see how you can implement these tips into your SEO strategy!
1. Create a clear structure for your content.
Organizing a clear structure for your content in the beginning will not only help you stay focused on what you’re writing, but also allows the reader to easily understand what they’re reading. Typically, most blog posts begin with a brief introduction, a body section broken up by headings and a conclusion summarizing your ideas. A final SEO tip that we recommend is to add a CTA (Call to Action) at the end of your post to keep readers engaged and remaining on your site. Examples of CTAs include linking to previous posts, a list of your services, or asking a question that can be answered in the comments.
2. Add headings and bucket brigades.
Do you know the difference between headings and bucket brigades? The goal of headings is to organize content, while the goal of bucket brigades is to allow users to easily find the content they’re searching for. Bucket brigades are also used to intrigue users even after they find what they were originally looking for, often causing them to continue reading, which increases your session duration time.
Read more about how to utilize bucket brigades.
3. Optimize the length of your article.
According to SEO standards, every article should have a minimum of 300 words. The Google algorithm favors longer articles, however, if your post is too long it might scare away users. A good rule of thumb is to aim for around 700 words and use search terms in about 1-2% of your text. For example, for an article with 300 words, you should mention your search term three to six times.
4. Utilize keywords throughout your post.
One major SEO misconception is that you should try to incorporate as many keywords as possible. In reality, this actually hurts your Search Engine Optimization because search engines consider this keyword stuffing (including as many keywords as possible with the intention to rank highly in organic search results). Instead, choose one or two long-tail keywords that match the intent of your ideal reader. You can use more than one keyword in a post, but you should keep the focus narrow enough to optimize just one or two keywords.
What are Long-Tail Keywords?
Long-tail keywords are three and four keyword phrases that are very, very specific to what you are writing about. When you use longer, often question-based keywords, it helps ensure that you’re answering the intent of your visitors and keeps your post focused on the goals of your audience. This helps to achieve your ultimate goal of generating the right type of traffic — visitors who convert.
Where Should I Include Keywords?
The four places where you should include your keywords in a blog post are: title tag, headers and body, URL and meta description.
Title Tag – Including a keyword in your title (aka headline) is critical, because the title of your post is both a search engine’s and reader’s first step in deciding the relevancy of your content. Include your keyword within the first 60 characters of your title.
Headers and Body – Use your keyword naturally, in a reader-friendly way, throughout the body of your post and in the headers — your focus is on what matters to your audience, not how many times you’re using a keyword.
URL – Make sure that you’re optimizing your URLs on every blog post that you publish to include your keywords, as every post lives in its unique URL. We recommend customizing your URL to be different than your title tag, only including the most important key words.
Meta Description – Your meta description gives search engines and readers information about your article’s content. It’s located underneath your Title Tag and URL in search results, and can also easily be customized with the Yoast SEO plugin.
5. Incorporate internal AND external links.
Quality links help pages rank higher in search engine page results. Throughout your blog post, you should include links to both outside articles AND previous related articles on your site. If you’ve already written content about the topic of your current post, linking these posts will make your post stronger and show that you are the authority on the subject. It will also help users find similar topics they’re interested in, while increasing their session duration time. Google also increases your ranking when other sites link back to your pages, which goes back to the importance of having helpful, relevant content.
6. Adjust each image’s alt text.
Blog posts should include images that help you explain your content. However, search engines don’t just look for images — they look for images with alt text. Your alt text should be an accurate description of the photo. This way, the images can be correctly ranked in Google Images results.
7. The bottom line: quality vs. quantity?
Now that you’ve learned how to search engine optimize your blog content, it’s time to talk about the most important part of a blog post: content. Which is more important — quality or quantity? The answer is you need both, but quality is VERY important. If your content is weak, chances are that users will quickly leave your site. This results in a high bounce rate, which will cause search engines to begin dropping your ranking in results.
No matter how many SEO tips you implement, the bottom line is that you need to have content that resonates with your visitors. Good content leads to more shares, likes and users returning to your site. So, make sure that you are writing both relevant and interesting posts for your audience! What search engines value is constantly changing, so subscribe to Google’s official blog to stay updated!
Want to learn more about Search Engine Optimization? Check out our previous SEO posts.