In the past, many businesses paid serious attention to website optimization neglecting the marketing potential of their blogs, but that has changed as blog SEO has proven to consistently generate more traffic to websites. Recently, this was verified through a survey conducted by Orbit Media which shows that SEO (search engine optimization) and social media are the two biggest sources of traffic for bloggers.
If writing a great blog is all that is needed in creating content that engages and converts potential customers then the need to make a blog search engine friendly would be pointless. But there is more, a captivating and share-worthy blog is just a fraction of what could boost your visibility on Google.
Different techniques have been adopted to optimize blogs but there are but a few that have proven to be more search engine friendly. Here are the top 10 tips that have been tested and are worth trusting.
- Carry out a thorough keyword research
Keyword research has been an effective technique used by SEO experts and content creators and should never be overlooked especially by beginners. It gives you direct access to what search engine users are looking for and what largely interests them. Creating a blog post on blind guesses is like putting a car on the road without a particular destination.
When you plan your content alongside comprehensive keyword research, you get to know what searchers are looking for, what triggered their search? What questions do they want answers to when they land on your blog? Once you can understand the “why” behind their query, the easier it is to deliver an experience that resonates with their intent, plus it’s such an incredible way to gain more ideas for a new blog post. Still, the most obvious keyword might not be necessarily the best choice because popular keywords tend to be competitive, which makes ranking well in search engines even harder.
However, with the availability of keyword research tools such as SEMRush, Google Adwords, and many more. You’ve got an in-depth look at keyword data, keyword position tracking, competition analysis, LSI and related keyword, average article length, and a host of other helpful features. Interestingly, you can even spy on your competitors and get to know what phrases and words they are targeting to bring traffic to their sites.
- Qualify all your keyword research for intent
There is nothing more frustrating than to find out that your blog post could not make it to the first 5 pages of search engine results, considering the hours you spent researching, writing and publishing the blog post. You might as well be missing the point. Before writing on a topic, ensure that you have done your findings to see if what you plan to create as a blog post shows up in the result. If you observe that all the results you get are Transactional or Navigational in nature, it’s such a great way to know that your topic wouldn’t make a great blog post. But if the results are informational, then you can go ahead with the chosen topic.
For instance, a blog post with the topic ‘wristwatch’ wouldn’t make it far in a blog format. This is because search engines established that people searching for wristwatches are not trying to get information about what a wristwatch looks like but to make a purchase or shop for it.
In other words, be certain that what you are presenting meets the needs of the searchers and more importantly, should be in the most useful format.
- Be creative with your headline/title
The first element a reader gets to see when they come across your article is your headline or what is commonly known as ‘blog title’, whether the reader will click or just keep scrolling depends heavily on it. In fact, if you do not have the exact title there is no point trying to write a blog post.
Basically, 8 out of 10 people would read your headline but 2 out of 10 would click to read through the whole content. This tells you that, if you need a click on that article you had better come up with a catchy title. It doesn’t matter how incredible your article is, if your title does not carry what it takes to arrest readers’ curiosity no one will read the rest of your post.
A catchy headline should ask questions and be able to inform readers that the article has an authoritative point of view, this helps to pique readers’ interest. In addition, titles should include elements such as emotion, power and be specific.
- Give a quick overview of what you want to talk about
Hook readers in immediately with a bold statement by getting straight to the point of your title. For instance, if your blog title is ‘How to burn belly fat in 30 days, they don’t expect 3 paragraphs about the fat lady you met at the grocery store. While it’s okay to talk more about ‘belly fat’, answer the ‘How’ part first.
And for the technical SEO details, the answer comes immediately after keyword-packed H2. The header 2s gives a clearer picture about the specific information your content wants to give. SEO experts believe that Header 1 and Header 2 text used to have a larger impact on search ranking. So, answering the question upfront increases the chances of your blog being read more, making readers leave a comment, getting a featured snippet or even being featured in the ‘people also ask’.
- Incorporate visuals into your blog post
Adding images, infographics and video is an incredible way to enrich blog posts for ranking on search engines. Video content alone is worth the effort for any new blog post, this is because global online viewing is on the rise in recent times.
Search engines like Google often rank a high-quality blog higher in SERPs, because it takes more than great writing to make high quality and engaging content.
You can make amazing videos using TikTok and create beautiful images using your original photographs or better still, use websites like canva to create graphics.
- Add image alt text
Search engines do not look for images, rather they place relevance to images with image alt text. The way humans can see images, google cannot. But an image alt text informs it of what an image is all about. This also helps the image to rank in SERPs.
Image alt text description should be in such a way that it provides search engines with context to index if it’s in a blog post related to a similar topic. Basically, an image alt text should be specified in the description, shouldn’t be more than 125 characters and you should make use of your keyword in your description.
- Insert internal links within your blog post
Linking your blog post to other pages on your blog encourages readers to explore other related blog posts. Internal linking helps search engines find other related authority pages on your blog.
The trustworthiness of your content depends on backlinking and this is based on how many other relevant sites link back to you. This influences how well your blog ranks on search engines.
- Generate a custom URL structure
A user-friendly URL structure helps Google to understand what a page is all about. A well-structured URL is an important ranking factor because it acts as a categorization system for readers, also allowing them to know where they are and how to navigate their way to new site pages.
Be informed that once your URL changes, you will have to make amendments to all internal links. This is why you’ve got to get this right the very first time.
- Make your article readable
SEO experts know that readers’ experience is the most important part of any blog post, search engines consider user-friendly articles more for higher ranking.
Findings say that it takes less than a second for users to decide whether they will stay on a blog page or leave. Since you’ve got such a short time to convince readers, there is no need for jargon, just write the way your readers would speak. Tools like answerthepublic.com and alsoasked.com can help you identify what phrases readers use on google.
How can you improve article readability? Use images that make text look easier on the eyes, adopt smaller paragraphs, shorter sentences, headings, punctuation and bulleted lists.
- Review old blog posts
Another way to optimize old blog posts is to review them. Review blog posts by comparing high-ranking competitors’ content, and investigate why their content is ranking higher. As soon as you know why, apply changes to your articles by making them even more thorough and in-depth.
For every outdated content that has lost its relevance to your audience, there is no point in keeping them. Remove them while you keep the recent ones.
It’s important to adopt the most effective SEO technique to get desired results on your blog post and website. We hope you find these tips helpful.