You might run a blog that provides readers with thought-provoking topics, informative content, and compelling visuals but you still aren’t getting the attention you expected. Even if you are doing everything right when it comes to blog content, all your efforts can pass unnoticed if you don’t optimize the posts. Considering that 95% of users never look further than the first page of Google’s search results page, your rank status is very important for the blog’s success.
Making your posts SEO friendly means that you take certain actions that will help search engines recognize their value to the users. If search engines find them relevant, your posts will rank higher on the search results list. In order to signal search engines that your posts are worth a good rank, you need to take some measures.
The following ways of content optimization will help you create SEO-friendly blog posts that the search engines will love!
1. Add Long-Tail Keywords
Hubspot reports that 50% of search queries are four words or longer. That means over half of the search queries are for something specific. The keywords you use in your posts will determine which posts are relevant to which query.
You’ve probably already heard of the importance of keywords but what you might not know is how valuable are long-tail keywords. These keywords contain three and four words which makes them more distinct.
Long-tail keywords actually account for 70% of all web searches. The reason why is because of those specific search queries.
To clarify, let’s say that a user is searching for tips for exciting traveling and you’ve used the same keyword or a similar one (e.g. exciting traveling tips). The search engines will match that search with your post rather than with the competitor’s post who just used a single keyword such as traveling.
You can still use Google Keyword Planner to surface the main keyword that will serve as a base and then build it up by doing some research around that phrase.
One or two long-tail keywords are enough for optimizing your post.
2. Publish Posts Regularly
According to statistics, the increase in traffic is proportional to an increase in publishing blog posts. Once you publish 21-54 blog posts, your traffic can increase by as much as 30%.
This shows that publishing posts regularly is crucial for ranking.
Maintaining some consistency in posting content will provide readers with a dose of fresh information. It also builds the credibility of your blog since it shows that you are an active blogger.
Since regular posting demands lots of new content, you can team up with writing services such as TopEssayWriting and Subjecto. When it comes to coming up with new topics, use HubSpot’s Blog Idea Generator or WebFX’s Blog Post Idea Generator to give you some ideas.
In the process of sourcing topics, try to focus on evergreen content. Such content will stay relevant even after time passes and help you have a better rank that lasts.
3. Structure of the Content
The structure makes the blog post scannable and therefore more appealing to readers.
Due to social media and overall digital entertainment, people’s attention span has become much shorter. This has led to readers’ preference to first skim the post and only then decide whether they’ll read it.
The bounce rate of your posts and the time the reader spends on it also influence the SEO-friendliness of your blog, so make sure to provide users with well-structured content.
Structured content should have:
- Introduction, body, and conclusion
- Bold text
- Bulleted or numbered listings
- Short paragraphs
This basic content organization will make the content more attractive and encourage website visitors to stick around.
4. Add Relevant Links
Adding links to your blog post provides readers with additional information that rounds up the story. Links should only be added to clarify some terms or add more information. Linking just for SEO purposes is frown upon by search engines and easily recognizable.
There are two types of links you can use:
- External links
- Internal links
External links lead users to a page outside of your website. When you use external links, make sure that the pages you link to are credible and of high-quality.
On the other hand, internal links will lead the readers to a different page or post on your website.
Andy Willis, a digital marketer at BeGraded recently spoke about the matter of internal links. “Internal links are very valuable but they need to be used carefully,” said Andy. “Search engines will only account for those pages who are relevant to the post. When you use internal linking appropriately, you can increase the number of loyal users and get search engines to see your blog as an authoritative source of information,” he concludes.
5. Use Meta-Description
Meta-descriptions give readers and search engines a first peek of what your post is about.
These descriptions are seen in the search results below the title. They are a short explanation of what the reader can find in that post.
Meta-descriptions are relevant for SEO because based on them the search engines determine whether the post is relevant to the user’s search. Also, they help users decide whether they’ll enter the post or not.
Optimization tip: Use your long-tail keyword in meta-description to attract the users to that post and clarify to search engines your post’s content.
6. Optimize Images with Alt Text
Images make blog posts more interesting, entertaining, and clear. They provide users with a context and enrich the content.
Besides ensuring that the images are relevant to your post and that they support the content you should also add alt text.
What you should do to help search engines read your images is to rename them. For example, instead of keeping the name AH48305.jpg change the name to SEOstatistics.jpg. Try to keep the name under 125 characters, be as descriptive as you can, and if applicable use your keywords.
7. Make It Mobile-Friendly
While the popularity of using computers for search queries is decreasing, more and more people are turning to mobile phones when browsing the internet.
The statistic shows that 52% of global internet traffic comes from mobile devices. This makes it quite obvious that having a responsive website is essential to satisfy the needs of users.
When users want to read your post on their mobile phones they should have a nice overview of the page as if they are looking at it from their computer. This is what responsive design will get you so make sure that you have it.
Some Final Thoughts
Making both the users and search engines happy with your blog posts isn’t an easy task. That is why you need to form an SEO strategy based on these tips that will keep your blog posts optimized, relevant, informative, and valuable. Since search engines can be unpredictable and change their criteria, you can keep track of any changes on Google’s official blog.