Blogging is fantastic for SEO. SEO is also fantastic for bloggers. However, it’s only good if it’s done well. This SEO for blog writing guide is all the best practices for on-page optimisation. If you follow these 9 steps, you will be well prepared to be found online. (What is SEO? See here.)
Do your keyword research
How you phrase things could translate to far more or less traffic. Use tools like Google’s keyword tool, Google trends or SEO book to get an idea of the most valuable keywords for you. The ideal keyword will have a high volume of search traffic, with low competition.
You can use the Mozbar extension for Google Chrome to judge how strong the competition is for the for your keyword search result.
Think of the searcher and their intent. Are you answering a question?
Use heading tags (and use them effectively)
Each post should have one <h1> tag, this is the main title of the post. The h1 tag on WordPress is most often the post title. It is very important for SEO. Be sure that it has a keyword in the front part of it, but also be sure that it makes sense – furthermore that it makes you want to click it!
You should then break it down with sub-headings, these are <h2> tags. On WordPres, you can use the ‘visual’ editor to simply highlight the heading and select ‘heading 2’. If you need a sub-heading – within those heading – then you should use the h3 tag (heading 3), if you need further sub-heading types, you can have up to <h6>
MAIN HEADING (h1)
Be sure to have an engaging meta title and meta description filled out. Be sure it’s optimised using the keywords and phrases you’ve researched. If your website is built on WordPress, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to fill these out.
Get the title right! If you want to get ranked for your keyword/phrase watch the Yoast score, if you want it to get clicked then use the Coschedule analyzer tool to make it an engaging title – it’s hard to get that balance between the two right, but ranking is no good without clicks, but on the flipside, there’ll be no clicks without rankings.
Use rich media
Adding images, video or audio is a good idea. Images not only help to make your content easier to consume, but they offer several extra opportunities get the post to be found. Optimised images can help you get found on Google images or Pinterest for example. Infographics are fantastic for earning links to your website. Audio and video improve the user experience and dwell time on your pages. Embedding YouTube videos is also a good idea since this is a Google company.
- Be sure the file size is reduced to improve page-load speed. Make the dimensions as big as they need to be, before uploading. O WordPress you can then use an image compressing plugin, such as WP Smush to further reduce the file size.
- Name the image file before uploading, using your keywords.
- Use your keyword in the ALT tag and never ever leave the ALT tag empty.
- Write image titles and captions using the keywords.
Link out to reputable sources
Linking out to great keyword-relevant sources, as references or for further reading is a great thing. Because when Google see’s you’re recommending the same sources they would likely recommend, it gives you some trust. Adversely, linking to spammy sites is bad news for you.
You can use the Mozbar Chrome extension to see other websites authority score.
You should try to keep the reader engaged with your website, so linking to other posts or pages is a must! For example, you could link to relevant posts or to your product/service page.
Make Social sharing easy
Add buttons to make it easy for readers to share the posts. For WordPress sites, I can recommend the Social Warfare or Sumo Me plugins.
Share on social media
If you mention or reference somebody, try tagging them. You never know, they might share it with their audience or even link to it!
Be sure to add your post to Ping-O-Mattic and Social Marker to be sure it’s crawled and indexed very quickly by search engines.