If there’s anything we’ve learned by now in digital marketing, it’s that SEO can bring a huge volume of traffic to your site. Never underestimate the power of Google when it comes to sending people your way!
Now, we’ve talked about why blogs are important content marketing tools for businesses.
To put things short, they offer an excellent way to grow authority as well as grab a place in the search engine results pages or SERPs.
Today, we’ll talk about how you can optimise your blog for SEO. There are several fundamental principles here that can guide your own blog-building efforts.
1. Focus on one main keyword in each blog post.
Obviously, you need to do keyword research to find your options first.
Luckily, we’ve already tackled how to do that in our previous articles on how to do content marketing.
In any case, the rule is to organise each piece of content so that it tackles one main keyword.
Ideally, this should be a long-tail keyword so that it’s more targeted audience-wise and also likely to have lower competition.
So you get what we mean, let’s take some examples.
An example of a keyword is “gaming monitors”. An example of a long-tail version of this is “4K 32-inch gaming monitors under $900”.
As you can see, the long-tail version introduces specificity that can narrow down the competition.
There are far more people writing about “gaming monitors” than there are people writing specifically about 4K gaming monitors that are 32” and priced under $900.
Hence, picking the long-tail one means you will have fewer rivals for the top rankings in the SERPs.
Focusing on this will not only help you keep your content on point, by the way. It also prevents you from trying to stuff too many other keywords into the post, especially unrelated or barely related ones.
Remember: Google frowns on keyword stuffing now, as well it should given that it does nothing to enhance the reader’s experience.
2. Be smart about where you place keywords.
Adopting the organic approach to keyword placement - put them where they feel right, based on the content - is good, of course.
But it never hurts to supplement it with a few strategic choices.
For example, it only makes sense to put the keyword in your title tag and meta description.
People will see those in the SERPs and seeing the keyword in them reinforces the idea that your content is relevant to a searcher’s needs. Google uses them to figure out what your content is about too.
In the same vein, it’s good practice to put the keyword in your URL. Again it just adds more signals to both people and Google that your content is about that keyword.
However, you don’t need to include the whole keyword (assuming it’s a long-tail one) in the URL if that would make the URL too unwieldy. Just trim it a little in that case.
It’s also strongly advised to use the keyword in your H1 (or in at least one of them if you use multiple H1s).
Again, this is a prominent piece of text that both people and Google use to figure out what content is about.
3. Don’t forget to optimise your images.
A lot of people new to blogging focus so much on optimising their text that they forget the other type of content they usually have on their blog pages: images!
Images can be optimised for SEO too. The very first thing you can do for them is to add alt text.
Alt text basically describes the image to people who can’t see it for some reason or to search engines.
As far as the latter are concerned, they use the alt text to understand what’s in an image. After all, they can’t view and understand it the way we do.
Adding alt text to an image thus helps search engines confirm just how relevant your blog is to a particular topic.
It tells the search engine that the blog post is truly about Topic X, as it clearly has images (as labelled by alt text) related to Topic X.
You can also optimise your images by compressing them to reduce their sizes - at least, if the reduction in quality wouldn’t be too noticeable and they’re very large.
This helps SEO because Page Load Speed - how quickly every element on a single page loads for a visitor - is now a ranking factor. The faster your blog pages load, the better for your SERP placement!
4. Ensure your blog’s design is mobile-friendly.
This should be a given now. A lot of people access sites on mobile, so it only makes sense to optimise a site’s design for that.
Furthermore, Google itself displays mobile-friendly search results first.
Our advice here is to ensure that your blog has responsive design. This means that it will accommodate both desktop and mobile visitors by adjusting to their screens.
5. Use SEO plugins to make your job easier.
There are a lot of plugins on different platforms now that aim to help people optimise their blog posts.
On WordPress, for instance, there’s the hugely popular Yoast SEO plugin. It has a plethora of features that can help even beginners square away their blog SEO.
Most of these plugins are free or have very strong free versions. We advise trying one of them to help you get your SEO basics in order.
6. Do internal linking.
This is actually a tried-and-tested strategy in the SEO world.
Internal links help Google and other search engines better understand your site, you see. They indicate which pages and topics are most important in it and what it’s really about.
So, it doesn’t hurt to build a strong internal link structure in your blogs.
Just make sure that you link to relevant pages, of course. Inorganic linking - even of the internal type - is generally a poor strategy for SEO.
Try to link to articles that the target audience for a page or post would consider interesting or useful instead.
Want more advice on optimising your blog?
The advice we’ve provided here should help you get started with your blog’s SEO. That said, it only covers the basics - there’s so much more to learn about the topic!
If you want to learn more or think you need someone with experience to help, contact us. We’ve built up and optimised dozens of blogs for various organisations and businesses.
If you reach out to us and let us know what you need, we can do the same for you!