SEO & Search Marketing

SEO Tips to Optimize Your Blog Content

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SEO Tips to Optimize Your Blog Content

Your business has a blog but it isn’t attracting many visitors. If you are going to spend time writing valuable content, you would hope that it will get some notice. But are you optimizing your blog content so that the search engines can rank it properly? If not, here are some basic on-page SEO tips to help you create SEO friendly content and make your blog more visible.

Identify your target audience

Like all marketing activities, you need to understand your target audience before you can successfully attract them to your business.

  • What problems are they trying to solve?
  • Are they advanced or beginners in your niche?
  • What type of content are they looking for?

Be sure that your blog posts satisfy the search intent of your site visitors. Educate your audience and make them want to hear more from you. This way it will encourage them to subscribe to your mailing list.

Conduct keyword research

Keyword research is a process where you identify the best keywords for your business and marketing campaign. You must know what words or phrases your audience is using to find your products or services.

Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are good resources to see what phrases your website comes up for in the search results. In the GSC, you can see the number of impressions and how many clicks you got. If there are phrases you should rank for, add it to your list and be ready to write content for that topic.

Blog SEO - Google Search Console
Google Search Console

Make sure your website is verified in GSC and Bing Webmaster Tools. It provides a lot of great information on the health of your website in addition to the search information. You can link GSC to your Google Analytics property as well.

Blog SEO - Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools

There are also several free tools that can help you determine whether you should include a phrase into your plan or not.

  • Keyword Surfer – Keyword Surfer is a 100% free Chrome extension that allows you to see search volumes directly in Google search results.
  • Keywords Everywhere – Chrome and Firefox extension that lets you find long-tail phrases with their accurate search volume, CPC and competition data. To get the data displayed, you need to purchase credits, but it is very inexpensive to do so.

The point of doing this research is to help you identify where your blog is lacking, giving you more ideas that you can include in your content plan. This can help you develop your content strategy and provide more and better content for your audience.

Craft an ideal post title

Your post title needs to attract the reader with information that helps them know what they will get if they read your post. In most cases, your blog post title will also be the SEO title so it needs to stand out in a sea of search results.

Unfortunately, most of us spend more time on the post content and very little on the title. But the title is what will help people find your post and click through the search results to learn more. Your title should be simple, grab attention and provide some help in meeting a need. Keep the title short and to-the-point and include the keyword that you want the post to rank for.

Stay away from titles that are click-bait. Nothing is more frustrating that clicking on a title and the post doesn’t fulfill the need. Tell readers what to expect and deliver on those expectations.

Here are some tips to help you write post titles that encourage quality clicks.

Write quality educational content

The most important aspect of your content is that it provides value to your audience. Writing thin, short content or long, confusing content is not going to help you. Don’t waste your time trying to implement SEO on this type of blog content. Instead, write something that is easy to consume but provides the answers to the reader’s questions.

Create a targeted post that helps your audience find the answers they need. Write as many words as you need to completely cover the particular aspect of your topic. And then add the right media – images, video or podcast recording – to enhance the experience.

Choose the right format for your post. Is your post a how to guide, a comprehensive list, a tutorial, case study or a review? Here are some popular blog post types and formats to help you determine which one is right for your topic and audience.

Focus on the readability of the content. Content structure is important both to readers and to search engines. Focus on structuring the content so that it is easy to skim. Use headings, lists and short paragraphs. The easier you make it to digest your content, the better your audience will enjoy what you wrote and the search engine can rank it for your chosen topic.

Optimize images

Images are the most overlooked items on your website. Most people get lazy and upload images without thinking about their impact to the user experience. This is important for the entire website, but for a blog post, you want the page to load quickly so the reader can get the information they seek faster.

  • Size the images for the web. Find a tool that you can use to resize images and set them at 12×9 (864px by 648px) or 12×8 (864px by 576px). Save as a jpg at 50% quality or on Photoshop at jpg medium. Here is a list of free tools that are alternatives to Photoshop.
  • Name the images using the keyword phrase. Uploading images from your phone have names that don’t help identify what they are. Filenames like 20220920_091321.jpg does nothing for your SEO.
  • Add your metadata to your images. These include the alt and title tags. The alt tag text is a major factor in whether your image appears in the search results. It is displayed in place of the image if the image can not be shown or is taking too long to load. Plus if someone has a visual disability, screen readers read the alt tags to help describe the image. Title tag provides a tool tip when you hover your cursor over a link when the image is linked.

Link to relevant posts

Many topics are complex so your posts should break down the topic into consumable chunks. Link your posts to others you have written to help complete the big picture. Internal linking helps you increase the time people spend on your website while providing more quality information. Plus these links provide a roadmap to help search engines better index your website.

Internal links can be to other posts or relevant web pages. Don’t forget to link the main page in your topic cluster to all the relevant posts.

Add meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are short descriptions summarizing the content in the post for both the search engines and the readers. They are the first thing people see when your post appears in the search results. You should include the primary keyword in the meta description, but you should write the description to convince your readers to click and read your article.

Even though that there is no guarantee that Google will display the meta description that you’ve written, it is still worth the effort to add it to your post. Google uses several different sources to determine the best meta description snippet. And although they may show something different, they will use the meta description if it provides a more accurate description than can be taken directly from the page content.

Optimize your URL

Remember that WordPress creates post URLs based on the titles used. The blog post URL can also be helpful in SEO as it is one of the elements that appear on a search results page.

Sometimes your post title is great for the human, but may be too long for the post URL. In some cases it may be good to shorten your URLs by using the most relevant words, focusing on the keywords in the title. It helps the search engines to identify the topic of your post quickly.

For example, my post Cornerstone Content: A Foundation for Content Marketing, I shortened the URL to https://masterful-marketing.com/cornerstone-content/ as that was the relevant keyword.

Increase your post visibility

Search engine optimization is a continuous process. And although there are many technical SEO factors that incorporate mobile and local SEO strategies, focusing on ensuring your blog posts get indexed for search can help make your content marketing efforts more successful.

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