Billions of people across the world access the internet every day whether they’re online shopping, keeping up with friends or purely for entertainment. For anyone to find your blog posts, SEO is fundamental in ranking your content higher in search engines.
If you know the basic elements of search engine optimisation, you can easily write an SEO friendly blog that search engines will love. Remember, SEO (search engine optimisation), is the process where you optimise your online content to make it easier for search engines to find and rank you.
SEO works when a user types a keyword or phrase to find what they are looking for and search engines will then display results of all the pages containing those keywords. Where your page ranks on the results will depend on how well it has been optimised.
Without using SEO correctly, no one will know that your site or blog exists. As a recap, we’ve highlighted some of the basic elements you need to keep in mind for SEO best practice.
- Content Relevancy
- HTML Tags
- Page Title and ALT Image Attribute
- Header Tags
- Meta Description
- Link Structure
- Domain Authority
Search engines and organic traffic play a major role in lead generation and business growth. Because the majority of your target audience will use a search engine to find you, implementing on-page and off-page SEO effectively will help more potential customers find you.
Writing An SEO Optimised Blog Post
We all know how important SEO is for websites and it’s no different when writing blogs. Similar to designing a good website, blogs should include SEO optimised content and this is how you do it.
Do Keyword Research
Everything revolves around specific keywords which makes keyword research an integral part of search engine optimisation. You need to master this technique if you want to get traffic directly from Google without using promotions or paid ads. The basis of any SEO friendly blog post is smart keyword research. This involves researching the types of keywords that any visitor to your blog could enter into a search engine when looking for a business like yours.
While the primary goal is to target keywords that could generate the most hits, you must first identify niche topics in your industry. Use buyer personas to help identify and categorise potential customers using data points such as age, gender, location, hobbies, interests and problems or challenges that they face.
Without target keywords, ranking high on SERPs can be very challenging. Consider these questions before you push out keywords or phrases that you think your blog post could rank for.
- Why would readers want to read this article? How does it answer their questions or solve their problems?
- How will readers find this specific blog post?
- What words or phrases would I type into search engines to find similar information?
- What will potential customers type if they are looking for more information on this topic?
These types of questions and answers are incredibly beneficial to identify specific keywords you should use throughout your blog post. When in doubt, be creative and think more along the lines of search intent rather than actual search terms. And don’t be afraid to use long-tail keywords as these are often popular search terms.
Include The Right Keywords In The Right Places
Once your keyword research is complete and you have a list of words or phrases, it’s time to identify areas in your blog post that need optimising. Start at the top and work your way down to the closing paragraph.
Your blog’s title is the first thing search engines and readers will see so including a keyword here is essential. It’s the first action readers take when doing a web search which means always optimise your headline first.
While H1 (usually the main title) is priority, you should use other subtitles as well such as H2, H3 and H4. They also have a big impact on SEO and makes the content easier to read. Although not compulsory, try to use related keywords smartly in H2 tags as it helps in content ranking. Think about questions your readers might want to ask and use those as header tags. They also double as long-tail keywords as mentioned in this article.
The Blog Post URL
A blog post is nothing more than a random page without an optimised URL. Every single blog post on the internet has a unique URL which means it is absolutely imperative to add a related keyword in the URL itself. In other words, if your blog post is about landing page design, your primary keyword is likely ‘landing page’ so the URL should include it as well.
The Meta title and description is what search engines show in the search results pages. Google will typically use your blog post headline and some of your text in the search results. Your meta description is additional text that gives readers more insight into your content. It is not anywhere in the blog content but this text is what readers will see in Google search results.
Not personalising your Meta title and description could easily lead to truncated headlines and long-winded descriptions no-one wants to click. Here are some additional tips you may want to memorise.
- Add relevant information to the Meta description that summarises the overall content and context of the article
- Use the required keywords in the Meta tags
- Keep the Meta description short but powerful in 155 characters or less
- Make sure the description is click-worthy and entices the readers to take action
- You can edit the Meta description on your blog before post it with a plugin such as YoastSEO
- Quality and Shareable Content
Writing for SEO doesn’t mean creating boring articles focusing solely on keywords as it’s always about educating the reader and adding value. Besides, the new algorithm picks the most meaningful and relevant content which means bloggers can no longer use ‘keyword stuffing’. More on the dangers of SEO keyword stuffing here.
Creating high-quality, engaging and relevant content will help encourage people to link to you and share your content across social media. Always keep your content fresh in terms of targeted keywords and also the current time of month or year. Where applicable, update your content once a month or at least one every quarter to ensure the right keywords are used in the appropriate places.
Choose The Ideal Blog Length
The absolute minimum length for a blog post is 400 words while the recommended length is more than 700 words. Longer content means search engines can crawl and index more keywords which means they get a better understanding of the blog topic. Of course, length does depend on the type of content where tutorials or in-depth articles can include up to 3000-4000 words. Various sources suggest that the ideal blog length is between 800 and 1200 words in order to maximise SEO efforts.
Optimise Blog Images
Despite advances in technology, web crawlers often ignore or devalue images, Flash files, Java applets and content within iframes. This means that search engines can’t read images which means you have to optimise all your images. Add ‘Image Alt’ tags and use your primary keyword to describe the image. You can also add a short sentence containing important keywords in the image description section.
Include Links For Additional Value
Using internal links when blogging is a powerful SEO approach that shows search engines where to find additional, relevant content. Internal links send readers to another page on the same website. You can also use external links that are still relevant and provide even further information on a specific topic. An external link is when another website links to your content and also when you link out to another website outside of your own domain. If Google values the website you are sending people to, your blog post has a higher chance of appearing higher in search engine results pages.
One last tip is to always ensure a responsive design as more people use mobile devices to find what they are looking for. When it comes to blogging, no-one wants to read an article with tiny text that requires a magnifying glass. Adhere to these important SEO tips and you are well on your way to create better content, generate more organic traffic and become a thought leader in your field.
Are you ready to take the next step toward online success with an SEO friendly blog? Give us a call on 01453 542761 or get in touch through our website. If you have anything interesting to share, please comment in the section below or find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.