If you’re writing blog posts, it’s because you want to share your content with the world. But what if you’re doing all that work for nothing? I hate to burst your bubble, but if you aren’t optimizing your blog correctly for SEO, you’re wasting your time and energy because it won’t be seen by the right people.
New content is one of the most important factors of SEO and increasing your ranking. Time after time, I have clients come to me asking why their blog isn’t getting the traffic they thought it would or rightly deserves. It’s one thing to create great content, but in order to optimize your blog posts for SEO, you need to implement important, must-do optimization basics throughout your work.
When you optimize your content correctly, you are increasing readability and setting your content up for better ranking. I’ve broken down this formula into 12 tangible points you can master today.
Each of these topics will help you craft an optimized blog post:
It’s no shock that your post’s title should give insight about the content and urge people to look at your content. When users are looking at your title through a Google search, only 69 characters will appear before it’s cut off with an ellipse (…). So try to keep your titles under that character count and if space allows, you can boost brand visibility by adding a divider (|) followed by your business name or domain name (i.e. 8 Things To Consider For Your DIY Website Audit | abigaildyerdesign.com).
The Slug is the part of your URL that follows your domain name and pertains to the post. Your slug is often the title of your content and should give readers quick insight about the content.
In a Google search, the meta description appears below the title and slug as the 1-3 sentence summary of your content. Meta Descriptions should be around 155 characters, be descriptive, and further entice readers to click on your content to read it.
Keywords (Or keyphrases) are topics/ideas that describe or give an overview of what your content is about. As keywords relate to SEO, searchers use keywords to find related topics in search engines. Without using keywords, you’re limiting your content from being seen by these searchers.
In saying this, your keyword or phrase should correlate to your post’s unique content. And when you write your blog post, you should weave your keyword or phrase throughout your content.
To learn more about keywords, refer to this blog post: How To Master Keywords For SEO.
The length of your content matters to Google! Make sure your posts have at least 500 words. However, you should note that content found on the first page of Google results typically have at least 2,000 words.
Google crawls for images too. And because it can’t “see” the visual content, you’ve got to let Google know through text. Image file names should be descriptive and unique. Their written descriptions include the image title and alt tag. For the image title, I suggest using keywords along with your business name or domain name. And for the alt tag, you should give a brief description of the image.
When you are creating new content via a blog post, it’s great to have some links that are outbound, meaning they link to another website. Google appreciates that you are further educating your readers.
If you can’t add a related outbound link, then encourage users to follow you on social media and link to your own social media account. That’s better than nothing!
Just like it’s great to have outbound links for your blog posts, it’s great to have internal links too. Internal links go to another page or post of your own website.
If you don’t have a way of linking to another page or post of your website, end your post by naturally directing viewers to your services page, contact page, or another relevant page of your website.
Usability of your website is becoming a significant part of SEO, and your website’s layout is a massive part of usability. You want your website’s design and layout to be engaging and easy to use. It’s no secret that poor or boring designs decrease user experience. When your website is engaging with your audience, they will stick around longer, your session rate will skyrocket, and therefore your SEO.
Another aspect of usability is load speed, which refers to how quickly your posts load to be viewed. It’s said that searchers will wait on average just a few seconds to view the content they are looking for. When they can’t see it quick enough, they will click back to the search results and go somewhere else.
Use Google’s free Page Speed Insights tool to test your own pages and posts speed.
It should be obvious that our content needs to be easy to read or understand. Google can understand how well-written your content is, so it’s very imporatant that you use good English and great grammar.
Headings are another way to point out the important parts of your content and increase your readability. You should use headings for different sections of your content to inform search engines of the important content and the overall structure of your content. Think of Headings like a hierarchical system, where H1 is the most important or highest ranking tag:
H1: titles or main headings.
H2 : less important headings.
P: paragraph text.
Now that you’ve uncovered the perfect blog post formula for SEO, you need one final tool to help you master it completely: the Yoast SEO plugin. Yoast SEO is a must-have plugin for your WordPress blog. This powerful plugin takes the guessing-game out of SEO by walking you through a “checklist” of things you should improve on to properly optimize your post. So once you’ve created your content, Yoast SEO acts as a proofreader to make sure your content is optimized correctly.
Yoast SEO has two main features: rating and readability. The plugin will rate your content in regards to SEO. And as for readability, it will “read” – or rather calculate – the quality of your content. When both the rating and readability turn green for approval, you know your content and keywords have been properly optimized.
For a thorough Yoast SEO tutorial, refer to this post: How To Use Yoast SEO To Explode Your Website’s Visibility.
Don’t write content that won’t be seen by the world. Take the time to understand and implement this perfect blog post formula so you can reap the SEO rewards. This 12-point formula will increase your readability and set your content up for better ranking. Once you’ve mastered the perfect blog posts, use Yoast SEO to “check your work” to make sure your content is properly optimized for SEO.
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