How to Optimize Blog Posts: 8 SEO Tips for Bloggers
A client of ours asked us how they should go about optimizing his blog posts to help drive more traffic to his site, so we figured we would answer their question with a blog post so they and others like you can use it for reference.
Getting web pages to rank on the first page of Google takes work. A lot of work. If it were easy then you probably wouldn’t be reading this, and we most certainly wouldn’t be offering SEO services
here at SteadyRain.
Below we will discuss 8 SEO tips that can (and will) help increase relevant, targeted traffic to your website.
Let’s dive in.
There are many bloggers that pump out tons of content on a daily basis without having any goals in mind. We call these people three-step bloggers. They think of a topic, write the content, publish it, and then repeat. If your goal is to simply make sure your blog has a pulse then by all means use the three-step process.
However, if your goal is to bring more relevant, targeted traffic to your site then we strongly recommend starting with some good old fashioned keyword research.
In order to get people to read your content you need to be writing about things that people are actually searching for. You should utilize Google’s Keyword Planner tool to discover search volume for keywords and keyword phrases that are relevant to your website’s existing content.
The title tag is the most important element when it comes to on-page SEO. Title tags are located at the top of your web page’s code, and are the very first thing that search engine crawlers scan. Title tags are also the blue clickable text that appear in SERPS (search engine results pages), and thus the importance of them extends beyond SEO; if your title tag isn’t alluring then your CTR (click through rate) will suffer.
When writing title tags make sure you stick the most important keyword at the front. Search engines give more weight to keywords located at the beginning of your title tag. Also, make sure your title tags are no more than 65 characters long. Use this character count tool to check your title tag length.
Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, h4) are one of the many important factors Google uses to determine what your web page is all about. Each of your blog posts should have one (and only one) h1 tag. Reputable content management systems, like WordPress, use the blog post title as the h1 tag.
The h1 tag specifies the main topic of your blog post, and is typically the first visible element that readers see.Heading tags break up content so readers can swiftly scan your content, and also help search engine crawlers understand the progression of your content. Use keywords in your heading tags in a natural manner. Do not stuff keywords in your heading tags as that could get you in trouble.
It’s important that you make use of clear, search engine-friendly URL slugs. Your blog post URLs should be easy to read by humans and search engines. For example, take a look at the two URLs below:
The first URL doesn’t give humans or search engines any clue as to what the page is all about. The second URL is descriptive and is clearly a page about blue widgets.
Here are some best practices for writing seo-friendly URLs:
- Descriptive and keyword-rich
- Easy to read by humans and search engines
- Words separated by hyphens or dashes (not underscores)
- Under 100 characters in lengthUse lowercase letters (uppercase should redirect to lowercase to prevent duplicate content)
Meta descriptions do not help with search engine rankings, but they can have an impact on click-through rate and thus it’s still important to make sure they’re optimized for users. Meta descriptions appear in search results right below the title tags and URLs, and thus you should write persuasive, detailed meta descriptions that entice users to click on your search result.
You also want to make sure that all of your meta descriptions are unique and no more than 156 characters in length. Meta descriptions that are longer than 156 characters will get cut off in the search results.
The clickable text inside a hyperlink is called anchor text. Search engines use anchor text to help determine the subject matter of the linked-to page. Internal links, which are links that go from one page on a website to a different page on the same website, are extremely beneficial when it comes to SEO. Make sure that you interlink your website’s pages using descriptive, keyword-rich anchor text. This will help Google and other search engines get a better understanding of your website’s content.
Don’t forget about your images. Search engines use the alt attribute to understand what images are all about. Make sure your alt attributes are descriptive and try to naturally include keywords.
Be sure to write descriptive filenames too. Using descriptive filenames is just another way to tell search engines what your image is about. For example, a picture of chicken being grilled on a gas grill should use a filename like this:
Page speed is becoming more and more important in the SEO world. One way to ensure your blog posts load quickly for users is by compressing your images. Take advantage of Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see if your images need to be compressed.
Mobile Responsive Design
Have you ever landed on a website that wasn’t mobile-friendly? Well, we have and It’s extremely frustrating. With mobile usage continuing to grow it’s absolutely crucial that your website is mobile-responsive.
As you can see, blogging is not just about writing content and publishing it. There are a bunch of optimizations you should be making to your blog posts to help search engines understand your content better and rank your content higher in search results. Keep these SEO tips in mind next time your blogging.