Search engine optimization is the new hottest thing in the marketing world, and for good reason. It’s believed to have an even higher return on investment than traditional ads. The best part is that you don’t need to buy anything to get started!
So, what is SEO for blogs and how do I use it for my marketing strategy? Well, there are some simple steps you can take now to get started. Let’s talk about how to optimize blog posts for SEO in 2021!
Why Blog Posts Matter For SEO
First and foremost, if you don’t have a blog, you’re not even competing in the SEO game. When you start a website for your business, you want to build organic traffic. That’s a no-brainer. If you own a very niche store in a smaller town, then it’s easy. If you look up the small town and “clock repair” on Google, then the store is bound to show up.
However, that doesn’t maximize the amount of ways people will find your shop on Google, and if your shop isn’t that niche, you’re simply going to have competition. If you have any competition at all, not having a blog is a guaranteed way to fall behind. If a clock repair shop has it easy, imagine an eCommerce store!
The reason is that if you have 5 pages on your website, that’s 5 possible chances of one of your pages ranking highly on a Google search. A blog gives you endless opportunities that are a lot broader.
Sticking to that last example, if the clock repair shop has dozens of blog articles about “Why Is My Grandfather Clock Falling Behind?”, “How Often Do I Need To Pull The Weights On My Clock?”, or “Do I Need To Oil The Gears On My Clock?”
See what they did there? Now, they not only have the top rank for “clock repair shop near me”, but they can now rank for all of those questions, bring traffic to their sites, and direct readers to their services after providing an informative article. Don’t miss these opportunities.
How To Optimize Blog Posts For SEO
SEO for blogs is a relatively new art but it’s being mastered more and more every day. It may sound like a lot of complicated tech noise, but it’s actually fairly simple once you get the hang of it, and it can prove to have enormous benefits to your business. If you’re looking to get into the game, it’s not a moment too soon, so here’s what you need to know to get started!
When people think of SEO, two words usually come to mind; keywords and backlinks.
Well, backlinks have nothing to do with your articles, so keywords are the most important tool you can use on your actual website. Keywords are completely within your control and easy to start using. They can be broken into two categories, and you will need to do market research into what’s most effective, as keywords will change in almost every industry over time.
Your primary keyword is the one you’re hoping will get people to your site. This is the word or phrase that most people in your target audience will be likely to search for to lead them to your site.
A primary keyword for a random article could be “preventing sports injuries” (or something relevant to your services), as that’s something anybody in the sports industry could be searching.
You always want your primary keyword in the title, one other header, your intro, and your conclusion. You can add it into the body if it fits organically, but those are the essentials. Your title and header could be something like “Your Ultimate Guide To Preventing Sports Injuries”, and your intro could end with “let’s talk about some simple ways for preventing sports injuries”.
Your secondary keywords are other words or phrases you’ll want to incorporate into the article, as they may also appear in a search. You don’t want to stuff these into the article too much, so try to sprinkle somewhere between 4 and 10 of them into each blog post.
Sticking with the previous example, if your primary keyword is “preventing sports injuries”, your secondary keywords could be “sports injury prevention”, “how to prevent sports injuries”, “preventing softball injuries”, “does stretching prevent injury”, and more.
You could also add your town into the secondary keywords if you’re a local business. “Sports injuries in Grafton” as a secondary keyword could be a good way to boost your local SEO.
Provide Relevant Information
By this, we mean you shouldn’t sacrifice quality. Google’s algorithm looks for the informative quality of each post before ranking it, and consistently producing quality information will build trust with Google.
This is also a great way to start building up organic backlinks. If you’re not familiar with the term, backlinks are the links from other websites to yours, and they are Google’s primary criteria for ranking your site off-page. They build the foundation for how trustworthy your website is.
The New York Times will be linked to hundreds of times a day by CNN, ABC, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and more, giving them an enormous foundation of backlinks that shows Google they are a trustworthy resource.
While your business may not have the resources of the Times, your best bet to building organic backlinks is to keep posting relevant and informative content until other blogs start picking it up.
Page speed is important to Google’s algorithm because it knows that the average person will only wait 3 seconds for a page to load before exiting. This isn’t just good for SEO, but customer retention. Make sure that your website speeds are up to date and that you’ve removed as much junk code as possible from your website.
You will also want to check out your plug-ins and see which ones are necessary for your blog to function and which ones are junk. Any unnecessary data should be eliminated. If you’re using any of the online DIY website builders, that may be why. They have a lot of useless code attached with their products, so switching to a different platform may prove to be valuable.
56% of all traffic on the web is now on a mobile device, and Google knows this well. Their algorithm places a lot of stock into the responsiveness of your website on mobile devices.
User-friendliness as a whole is important to your website. Think about where people spend most of their time online. Facebook, YouTube, and Google all have vast resources and expert teams to make the most professional websites possible, so that’s the standard that’s been set.
Overall, you want to have a fast website that’s easy to use on any device since it helps bring more traffic to your site, increases conversion rates, and even helps with customer experience. While this isn’t specific to your blog, you should get your entire website audited for SEO quality to see where you can improve.
Google’s algorithm loves pictures and videos, so add more visual content to your posts. When it comes to getting more blog views, think about what customers like rather than the algorithm, because that’s what the algorithm is designed to do. They want to bring the most valuable, relevant, and interesting content to their users. You should be doing the same!
Visuals are a great way to start. They’re easy to add to your blog posts, they add character, they break up your text, and you can make your posts more entertaining, informative, and captivating!
You want to use both internal and external links within each blog post. Internal links are links within your site, and these should be easy! At the end of your article, link to your services or contact page with an enticing call-to-action (CTA). Something like: “Stay up to date with our latest news and reach out for help if you need it!” You could use the “reach out for help” as your anchor text to your contact information. Get creative!
Throughout your articles, you have opportunities to link to other pages on your site, including previous blog posts. This is a great way to keep a few people on your site and familiarize them with your brand, so make it a habit!
Be sure not to link to your competitors for your external links, as that’s just a waste of a blog post. Find neutral sources for the information you’re trying to use.
If you’re adding business statistics, use The Wall Street Journal or Entrepreneur rather than someone who offers your services. Adding statistics or information with links shows credibility as you’re citing your sources.
Don’t just add useless links to get them in there. Make them as relevant as possible, and don’t go overboard. If your post is around 1,000 words, aim to get between 2 and 3 of each type of link. If it’s around 2,000, aim for at least 4.
Make Your Posts Easier To Read
Make sure that you’re not using too many run-on sentences or long paragraphs. It’s okay to have a few longer sentences or paragraphs but don’t make it consistent throughout the article.
Long walls of text look intimidating to some readers, so break them up into smaller, easy-to-read pieces. Also, break up your text with more headers or visual images to avoid the cluttered look!
Be sure to proofread before every post to make sure things are grammatically correct, that they make sense, and that people won’t have a tough time reading it. You can also copy+paste your articles into tools like Hemingway App to check your readability, use of passive voice, and hard-to-read sentences. Once you use it enough, it becomes second nature.
Add A Meta Description
This is easy enough to do. With every post, you can add an HTML meta tag to your page. You can add a brief description of each post here to entice potential readers to click, but it’s also for search engines and other crawlers to look at, so don’t forget to add these!
Add a brief description of what’s in your post and try your best to make it catchy and enticing. Use this on any platform that allows it, as it can only help with bringing more traffic into your blog. Most social media sites have an option for a meta description, so try to make them uniform.
Remodel Your Website
We mentioned the importance of mobile-friendliness and page speed, but it’s important to keep your entire website up to date. Google prefers modern websites, and so does your target audience. Responsive web design services really are the best way to ensuring you have easy navigation tools, up-to-date code, and an overall user-friendly site.
Your website is the number one place you’re trying to bring people with your SEO strategy, and it’s also the number one factor in your SEO performance, so keeping up to date with remodels and the latest web design trends is always best practice.
Build Your Traffic
Now that you know how to optimize blog posts for SEO, the time to get started is now. Make sure you keep the algorithm and user-friendliness in mind with everything you do on your blog and make that website shine in the top spot! Stay up to date on the latest SEO trends and contact the professionals to get you the right blog help!