How to Effectively Optimize Your Blog Posts for SEO
There are literally millions of blogs online, and even more blog posts than that. While some of these are easily forgotten, there are a ton of blogs that are populated with numerous great posts. As for the other blogs, not all of the owners knew how to effectively optimize blog posts for SEO, and so they disappeared into obscurity.
When a blog post is properly optimized, your blog or website becomes more visible to search engines as valuable content, and therefore more visible for those consumers searching for a product or service like yours. Follow these tips to ensure that your blog posts are optimized for SEO.
Write Content People Actually Want to Find
New bloggers often have one of two problems:
- They aren’t exactly sure what they’re writing about, and so ramble all over the place, or
- They are so intent on SEO that they forget a human being actually has to want to read the article for it to be effective.
If there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be this: search engines want to show their users the best content for their search terms. Not the one with the most keywords or perfect alt text on their images – the ones that actually offers the reader what they’re looking for.
When you think of SEO, you most likely think of keywords, which are essential for becoming noticed as valuable content. However, many bloggers misuse keywords and use way too many, so that it becomes virtually unreadable. This is known as ‘keyword stuffing’. Not only will readers find it annoying, but Google will see it and won’t rank you highly. In short, don’t do it.
When it comes to keywords, you want to aim for a relatively low density but added in at the right places. Keywords have the most impact in the:
- Meta description
- Headings/Subheadings (tagged, not just bolded)
- Introduction (first paragraph, ideally)
This way, it won’t appear like the keywords are being forced upon your readers and the content will have a natural flow.
Another great way to use keywords is with long-tail keywords, as this will cater better to the way people search. Rather than shoehorning in a keyword like “how to blog post SEO”, which doesn’t make sense, use a header like “How to Do Blog Post SEO”, or phrase it as a question. Remember that a growing number of searches are voice searches, so the more natural long-tail keywords you can get into your blog post, the better, though fortunately many of these will come naturally as you write. (Answerthepublic.com is a great place for this.)
Most blog posts will include at least a few stock images, if not product images or infographics. When you insert these, you’ll see options for them like alt text and description. It’s a good idea to alter these to your main keyword to help search engines find your blog post.
Use Internal & External Links
It is good practice to link to other resources you think might be helpful to your readers as it helps to increase the relevancy of your content, and you might be lucky enough to have them link back to one of your posts or website so that you can gain more traffic.
Internal links should also be used wherever possible. If you mention something in a post that you have dedicated another post to it is important to hyperlink that page as somewhere your readers can go for more information. It keeps them on your site, rather than sending them off to someone else’s, and it indicates to search engines that your site is a resource worth recommending.
Use Social Media
It’s likely that you are making use of at least one social media platform to promote your products or services and connect with customers. You should also ensure that you share a link to every new blog post across all your social media accounts to get your post more exposure. When your blog posts are filled with valuable content your existing followers will want to read them, and you can hope that those followers will then share that content on their own accounts so that your posts reach the widest possible audience.
Be Mobile Friendly
You should also make sure that your blog is optimized for mobile users. In fact, more people use a search engine from their phones than from a computer and when they do, the mobile optimized sites are listed first. If people find a site difficult to read on their mobile phone, they will simply bounce back and not bother reading. By creating a mobile version of your blog, you are expanding your audience and allowing your site to be inclusive, no matter what device someone is using.
Every time you publish a new blog post that contains valuable, engaging content the authority of your website and brand is increased. When you use these tips to effectively optimize your blog posts for SEO you will be able to get new, high-quality traffic to your blog and work toward a higher rank in search engine results.