10 Simple Techniques To Boost Your Blog SEO
Is your blog living up to its full potential? Is your blog SEO pulling its weight?
From topic selection and gathering research to writing the post and pressing “Publish,” the process often demands hours. That’s why, if your post doesn’t earn the traffic you expected, it can be a letdown.
Which is why search engine optimization is so important! We’re always aiming to write content that will rank highly on Google and bring potential customers to our site. Unfortunately if your website is not on the first page, there’s a small chance consumers will find your website organically. *SIGH*
SEO is the bridge that’ll help you get there! So… how can you incorporate that into your blogs?
1. Create Content that is Relevant to Your Audience
Creating content that answers your customers’ questions is one of the key ways you can develop a solid SEO blogging strategy. Google is becoming increasingly sophisticated at determining searchers’ intent. Creating topics and headlines that directly address the questions and concerns of your customers will allow you to take advantage of Google’s algorithm and reap the benefits!
Easy Ways To Find Blog Post Topics
Here’s the thing: the information you need about your buyers’ questions is readily available for free. All it takes is a little effort and knowing where to look.
- Ask Your Staff What Customers Are Asking: They are the first point of contact with your customers and know their pain points, objections, and triggers. Resolve those frustrations in a blog post.
- Check Your Analytics for Keywords and Topics: What posts, emails, or downloads did the best? What topic(s) were they focused on? Build a blog series around that.
- Google is Your Friend: Google will tell you exactly what you want to know about your potential customers’ search queries. Google Trends and Google Suggest are great places to start! You can also enter just your keywords or customer pain points in a Google search and see what pops up!
- Keyword Tools: Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool, Keywordtool.io, Answer the Public, Quora, Ahrefs
- Social Listening: When actively present, social media becomes a tool you can leverage to find blog topics that will improve SEO. Join relevant groups and pages, follow hashtags related to your products and services, and engage with your current audience. Take time to see what people are saying and asking about within your industry. Then take it to the blog.
Find & Fill Content Gaps
Blogs can be a fast and easy way to create content specifically designed to fill SEO gaps. Are there high-priority SEO phrases that you are struggling to rank for? Does your website lack content related to these words? If yes, these topics are great candidates for new blog posts.
Lights, camera, action!
Blog posts also provide a great home for video content. Review your YouTube (or Vimeo) page. Do you already have video content that could enhance a blog post? Videos keep users engaged and allow marketers to provide additional educational opportunities.
2. Choose The Right Titles
A bad blog title could knock you down from the start, resulting in low performance in the SERP.
[ SERP = Search Engine Results Page ]
To title your post with SEO in mind, write something compelling that also incorporates your main keyword.
Here are a few tips:
- Incorporate numbers. E.g.: “5 Ways to Rock a Matte Lipstick.”
- Include your offer in the title. E.g.: “How to Write a Cover Letter [+ Free Template]”
- Add a teaser. E.g.: “We Tried the New [Insert App Name] App: Here’s What Happened”
3. Write For Humans, Not Search Engines
With all the guidelines, it can be easy to forget that when a user searches on Google they are just looking for an answer. The best way for you to improve your chances of ranking is by writing high-quality blog posts that answer those questions.
What does that look like? Thorough answers, scannable sections, organized sub-headers, and visual aids.
Keep your buyer personas, their motivations, challenges, and interests in mind. While some SEO tools can help on the technical side of your site, you can also opt to use content writing SEO tools to help you to write correct, concise, and human-friendly content that will rank well and engage readers.
There are also tools that measure content engagement, allowing you to see how long people are spending on a page, whether or not they’re visiting multiple pages, or how far people are scrolling down your site.
Don’t Shy Away From Longer Posts
In an age of short attention spans, you would think shorter blog posts are the way to go. But in fact, search engines like Google actually prefer longer, in-depth blog posts. Think about it: the more content on the page, the more clues search engines have to figure out what your blog is about.
A HubSpot study showed that the ideal length is between 2,100 and 2,400 words.
BUT the downside to longer blogs is that they may overwhelm your readers. One way to combat that is by breaking down your content into bite-size, scannable chunks. Turn a long-winded sentence into two and keep your paragraphs to three sentences or less. Don’t forget about bullet points – they’re great attention grabbers and easily digestible, especially on mobile devices.
4. Do Keyword Research
It’s estimated that Google processes over 99,000 search queries a second. CRAZY!
If you want to cut through SERP clutter and outrank your competitors, you need to target the specific keywords and phrases your potential customers are searching for. Otherwise, how else will they find your content and website?
Start with a keyword research tool mentioned above. These will give specific details on what users are searching for and how popular those queries are.
Google Trends can give you a feel for what keywords are popular at any given time. If you see searches are steadily declining over time for a specific keyword, you know that’s probably not the right keyword to target for your marketing.
If you’re ever running low on keyword ideas, get inspiration from your competition. Use competitive intelligence tools to see what keywords their domains currently rank for. If these keywords are relevant to your business, consider using them too. However, keep in mind that the most obvious keywords don’t always align with your strategy.
Additionally, your focus keywords will evolve over time as trends shift, terminology changes or your product/service line grows. Be sure to conduct keyword research periodically to ensure you’re still focusing on the right keywords for your target audience and not missing out on vital ranking opportunities.
5. No Keyword Stuffing
The goal is to make your page fully optimized, not overbearing. Find natural fits for keyword additions, but don’t force them to the point where your content is illegible.
For example, if your keywords are “account-based marketing,” “startups,” and “sales,” avoid a meta description like this: “Sales for account-based marketing startups.” Instead, try focusing on one or two keywords to make the description more natural: “Are you looking for killer strategies to boost your account-based marketing game? Discover our research-backed techniques in this post.”
With this approach, you’re still using keywords, but you’re not over-saturating the post. Remember, your goal is to solve for your audience. If your users have a poor reading experience, that will signal to Google that your post may not be meeting their needs.
6. Continually Optimize Blog Content
Recycling is not just good for the environment; it’s also good for SEO! Leveraging existing blog content can save precious time and resources.
SEO improvements do not always require new website content. Look for additional opportunities to optimize existing blog posts. Review current content and identify opportunities for additional on-page SEO. Here are some possible optimization techniques for existing blog content:
- Add internal links to other relevant pages on the website
- Add optimized images (or optimize existing images)
- Link one post to another related post
- Review title tags and meta descriptions to ensure new targeted keywords are included
7. Add External Links
As you build out your blog post, don’t be afraid to link externally. Linking to reputable websites not only offers blog readers additional reading material to expand their knowledge, but it also shows search engines that you’ve done your research. Nothing strengthens a blog post like research-backed statistics from influential websites. Compelling stats help you build a more convincing and concrete argument that will help you gain trust from your readers.
8. Include Internal Links
Linking to other pages or blog posts on your website helps search engines create an accurate sitemap. It also helps your audience discover more of your content and get to know you as a trustworthy, credible source of information.
On the user side, internal links keep readers on your site longer, reducing bounce rate and increasing your potential for a conversion. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
When linking to any pages on your website, or even outside sources, use natural language for your anchor text. Avoid using spammy or generic calls to action, such as “top-rated cheap laptops” or “click here.” Instead, use descriptive keywords that give readers a sense of what they will find when they click on the hyperlink, like “Download your SEO guide.”
Never force-feed links to your top webpages, featured products, or discounted items. Include links that enhance the points made in your posts and naturally tie in with the subject matter.
Are you adding meta descriptions to your post? If your answer is “no,” then you’re probably not giving your post the most exposure possible.
Let’s get into why they’re important.
By now, we’ve talked about a couple of the ways a blog post can communicate with Google: sub-headers, keywords, and links. However, that’s not an exhaustive list. Meta descriptions are another area Google crawls to determine search rankings. Meta descriptions are the one- to three-sentence descriptions, you’ll find underneath the title of a Google result.
Use meta descriptions to sum up what your post is about, and remember to:
- Keep it short.
- Use one to two keywords.
- Make it compelling.
Most content management systems (WordPress, Joomla, Squarespace, etc.) have meta description boxes built-in, so you likely won’t have to look far to do the most.
10. Add Optimized Images
Images help to create a positive experience and can increase visitor engagement. They also provide incremental SEO value. Remember to include images in your blog post and optimize them with descriptive alt tags (including high-priority keyword phrases where appropriate).
With any image you add to your post – featured or body images – you’ll want to add alt text. Alt text describes what’s happening in the photo and it helps Google understand why the photo is in your post – and provides accessibility for those who are visually impaired.
Let’s Start Writing
Optimizing your blog for SEO doesn’t have to be complicated.
You know how to write content audiences will love. Now, it’s time to include elements that Google will love too. It can sound tricky at first, with these SEO tips, you’ll be on the first page of Google in no time.
Our content team is here to help make sure that you are reaching full SEO potential on your blogs. From research to writing to publishing and sharing on social, we take your content to the next level!