So, you’ve got a blog. You post regularly or plan to, but you’re confused about how to optimise your blog posts for SEO?
I’m going to show you how to optimise your articles from the ground up so you rank higher on search engines which, in turn, can drive loads of lovely traffic your way.
Why SEO is important.
Okay, before I jump in, I’m here to tell you something you’ve already heard a thousand times.
SEO is important.
Sure, you’ll get someone telling you it isn’t. That they’ve been in business six months, they get thousands of visitors a day, they’re top of the Google rankings and they’ve never advertised, optimised, blogged, tweeted or shared their business website ever.
Ignore ’em, they’re talking out of their arse.
SEO is what gets you onto page one of Google.
Sure, getting onto page two is fine, but hardly anyone searches that far.
No, if you’re not on page one, or at the very least, the top half of page two, you’re wasting your time.
How to optimise your blog posts for SEO.
When starting any blog post, say the following out loud, preferably in an office full of people so they all look at you gone out:
“What’s the point?”
Or more precisely:
“What’s the point of this blog post?”
If the answer includes:
- It solves my customers’ problems
You’re onto a winner.
And, once you’ve got the idea for your post, you’re ready to go:
One. Make the title what customers are searching for.
I named this post: HOW TO OPTIMISE YOUR BLOG POSTS FOR SEO.
It does what it says on the tin.
It’s what people want to know. It’s what they’ll search for on Google, so that’s what I called it.
Sometimes you’ll find a post, like yours, with the title you want to use. Try doing a bit of keyword research via Moz or Keywords Everywhere to see if there are variants you could use.
Whatever keyword or phrase you pick, make sure it’s relevant to what your post is about and include it in the title.
Two. Include the keyword/phrase in the opening paragraph and throughout the body copy
Google loves it when you use your keyword in the opening paragraph, and why wouldn’t you?
That’s what you’re talking about, so don’t beat around the bush – stick it in straight away.
Use it throughout the copy, as well as in:
- Sub-headers, and
- The final paragraph
Google loves all that shiz.
Warning: Don’t stuff your article with keywords unnecessarily, Google will punish you. If it fits, use it, but don’t crowbar it into every sentence and paragraph – that’s just insane.
Three. Include it in the page URL
When you start a blog post, it’s automatically given a name.
If you’re lucky, it’ll use the title of your post as the link name.
When I started this post, the link was:
Not bad, Google would still crawl it – but I removed the date, so as not to date the link.
It now reads:
However, this isn’t always the case.
If you start a post without a title, it could give it something random like:
Check yours before you publish, if it doesn’t include the keyword/phrase you’re looking to rank for – add it!
Four. Include it when naming your images
You can include the name in the title – and including your business name won’t do any harm either.
For example, my header image:
Right-click and ‘Save Image As…’ if you don’t believe me.
And, once you’ve uploaded your image, make sure to use the keyword in the ‘Alt+txt’ area too:
Five. Include internal and external links
Search engines love social proof, so if you’re mentioning research done by somebody else, link to their website. Don’t pass off that 10-year study as your own.
Or, if there’s a great post by somebody else which is relevant to yours, why not share backlinks?
For more on how backlinks help your visibility, read How To Get Backlinks: 9 Most Effective Strategies by T-Ranks.
And link to relevant pages of your own too.
When search engines see you linking to internal pages, it helps them work out the structure of your website faster, establishes a hierarchy and gives more visibility to your most valuable pages.
Six. Use your keyword or phrase in the ‘Tag’ section
When you write a blog post, you’re also able to add a ‘tag’ to the post.
Yep, you guessed it, make it a tag too:
Seven. Don’t forget your Meta Data
The bit you read on Google that explains what’s on your page?
That’s your Meta Data, here’s mine for this post:
Plonk your word or phrase in there and you’re done!
How to know if your post is fully optimised?
If you use WordPress, simply install Yoast.
It’ll tell you if you’ve underused your keyword (which will depend on the length of your article) and any other improvements you can make, like:
- Shortening the length of your Meta title (if it’s too long)
- Using more ‘transition’ words
- Duplicate sentence beginnings
- Keyword density
And a load of other useful stuff.
If you use something else, well, you can follow all of the examples shown above – and there are loads of free third-party SEO tools, like Sitechecker, to check your new page.
How to help search engines find you faster?
I won’t go into all of them, but a quick way to help Google find you is to set up a Google Search Console account.
I’m sure I’ll do a guide on that one day but until then, check out this in-depth guide by Databox.
No worries, I’ll wait…
When you want Google to crawl and index your page:
- Select ‘URL Inspection’
- Fill in the link to your page in the search bar at the top, and
- Hit ‘Request Indexing’
But don’t stop there because Google loves popular content, so make sure you share it on:
- Medium, and
Create an image announcing your new post on Instagram and push users to click the link in your bio.
If it’s quality stuff, your readers will like and share it everywhere, so make sure everything you post serves a purpose and solves the problems of your target audience.
Quality content wins you customers.
And there you have it, a fully optimised article.
However, having great SEO is only the start. If your content is a load of self-indulgent cobblers, it won’t matter how good your SEO is, people won’t care.
Make sure every piece of content you post is quality content – and post regularly.
- Builds trust
- Establishes you as a voice of authority, and
- Makes your target audience look to you when they need their problems solving
So, before you hit the ‘Publish’ button, shout:
“What’s the point?”
And if the answer includes:
- It solves my customers’ problems
Then you’re on the right track.
Starting a fresh blog post is always exciting, but working out how to optimise it for SEO can be a real headache, but not anymore.
Follow my tips and you’ll be an SEO wizard – and to make sure people read your posts, check out my article 7 Tips That’ll Get Customers Reading Your Blog Posts.
However, if writing blog posts and optimising them really isn’t your thing, or you don’t have time to fit it into your busy schedule, get in touch and let’s have a chat about me doing it for you.
Until next time,