Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a godsend to a lot of online marketers. It evens the playing field, allowing small and startup brands and organizations to contend against the bigger and more established names and get their slice of the pie in the highly-competitive world of the internet. There are countless ways to do it, and one of the best and tested-and-proven ways to optimize for SEO is through the blog.
Blogging is quite unique in SEO, in the sense that it doesn’t only address the needs of the search engines. It also allows you to establish your name and brand as an authority in your niche and topic. It provides people valuable information, all while increasing traffic and engagement, and reaching potential customers. But how do you really write an optimized blog? How do you make sure you reach the right audience? Here are some tips to get the most out of your blog for SEO.
Use the right keywords, plan your contents
Content is king. You may have heard of this phrase already, and it may sound cliché now as it has been floating around for the past couple of decades. But that is the truth, and it will remain that way as search engines, especially Google, look to provide searches for the best answers to questions and information to various queries. So how do you write good content? Easy, start with the right keywords.
When using keywords, you can’t just rely on blind guesses and hope to hit the right ones for the topics you feel users/visitors would be interested in. You have to do keyword research.
Keyword research allows you to target your audience and help them find your blog. Moreover, it allows you to plan your content and build a good following even more. There are a bunch of good keyword tools online both for free and for pay. These things offer in-depth keyword data, along with keyword analysis, position tracking, and other useful features and tools.
Look for semantic keywords to work with your focus/main keywords. You can use All-in-One SEO to help you with this, it’s basically a plugin for your WordPress, and it can make a world of difference for your content.
Optimize the URLs
When writing content, make sure you help the search engine know what your content is all about right from the start – with an optimized URL.
A common mistake most people do is to use the title of their blog post as a URL. That can be too long, and most of the time, it contains stop words that search engines don’t really want.
So how do you do it?
- Include the target keyword/keyword phrases in URL
- Avoid using stop words (to, a, the, for, etc.)
- Never use underscored (_), use hyphens instead (-)
- Use lowercase letters
- Keep it short and concise
Optimize the Meta Descriptions
Like the URL, search engines also crawl for meta descriptions to understand what the blog post is about. In searches, the meta is displayed right under the title of the web page. Think of it as a quick ad that “sells” the post. How do you write good meta descriptions?
- Keep it short (160 characters max, otherwise it will get cut off in search results)
- Include the targeted keywords or phrases
- Include Call-to-Action (CTA) phrases like “shop now” or “learn more” if possible
- Make sure it adds value to the blog content
- Entice readers by including benefits or solutions to their queries
Write a Killer Title
The title is another extremely important aspect of your blog post, both for search rankings and actual human readers.
Your title must not only include the keywords or phrases, but it should also be relevant to the content itself and to the potential query it tries to hit. It should be enticing and stir interest for people to click.
Back it Up with A Catchy Headline
Back the title with an outstanding headline to focus on both the keywords and the content in the blog post. This will help your organic click-through rate, which is another important factor for SEO.
All-in-One SEO comes with a headline analyzer tool; you can check it out to make your headlines click-worthy and engaging for the readers.
Alt Text the Images
People love visuals; this is why billboards and LED screens in Times Square are so popular. In blogging’s case, Images and photos make the posts more interesting and easier to read. It provides a visual for readers to associate with while reading the blog. However, simply uploading photos won’t cut it, you need to maximize the images by using Alt Texts.
Alt text provides better context and description for your images for the search engines to crawl and analyze. This helps them index your post properly for the search results, giving you better chances to show up in search queries.
When writing alt text, make sure it describes the image sufficiently. You can include keywords, but make sure to avoid spamming the alt text with it. Be descriptive and creative.
Check the word count
While there are no hard and fast rules for this, it is important that your word count is not too long or not too short. Some people say a 1000-word post is sufficient, while others suggest going for 2000 words or more. Well, this should depend on the topic you want to talk about and the purpose of your blog. If it’s a short feature, you can go with 300 to 500 words. Anywhere shorter than that you will get flagged by Google for low word count.
If you are sharing an in-depth review of a particular product/service, sharing comprehensive guides, walkthroughs, or anything that requires a detailed step-by-step description of the process, you can never go wrong with a longer word count. Again, the content will speak for itself and people who need that particular blog post of yours will find it.
There you have it, the only tips you need to hit both search engines and real human readers. Next time you write a post, make sure to implement these tips!