We write our blog posts for people, not for search engines. However, if you do not consider SEO optimization, are you sure that people will find your useful content? That is why our comprehensive guide on starting a successful blog would be incomplete without mentioning the blog post SEO.
We have already discussed how to create a blog, as well as the best web design tips to make it original and impressive. Moreover, you have found out how to promote your blog effectively and secrets of increasing blog traffic. One more article was about resources that you may use if you need free images for the blog. Now it is time to pay attention to the SEO tips that will increase your blog post SEO.
Some bloggers may think that it is enough to publish useful content regularly. The more you write, the more visitors you attract to your website. It does not work this way, as your posts may simply be invisible to people. The good news is that it is possible to make things right. Do you want to know how? Follow these tips to attract users and drive more traffic to your website.
10 Top Tips to Increase Your Blog Post SEO
Define Your Target Audience and Their Search Intent
Knowing who you are writing for is one of the most important issues to take into account. According to statistics, more than half of the world’s population searches for something on the Internet every day. It is impossible to create a compelling post trying to satisfy the requirements of all the people at once. Thus, it is advisable to focus on the needs of a particular group of people.
One should take into consideration their preferences and problems they want to solve. How to find out about them? Analyze what your target audience is searching for.
The search intent also determines the length of your post. Do people ask Google simple questions? Thus, they will not spend half an hour or more reading the guide, even the most comprehensive one.
Conduct Keyword Research
While analyzing the search intent of your target audience, you have obtained some results and ideas. Now it is time to check them with special tools.
There are different resources that you may use to cope with this task. One of the most straightforward tools is Google Suggest or Autocomplete.
With this instrument, you will find phrases that people used before while looking for something.
Besides, there are other tools to make your keyword search effective. Google Keyword Planner is a powerful instrument to find keywords if you know how to use it properly:
One more tool is the Keyword Tool that generates keywords using the Google Suggest feature.
However, it has more platforms to take advantage of, such as YouTube, Amazon, eBay, Instagram, etc.
There are also other powerful instruments to find proper keyword phrases, such as Keywords Explorer, SEMrush, and others. All of them provide you with a lot of variations you may use. The main issue is to select the right keywords to apply them to the blog post SEO:
Use keywords Wisely
Compiling a list of proper keyword phrases is only a part of the work done. It is essential to distribute them properly in the post. These are the main parts of the article to include keywords:
- title and subheadings;
- the first paragraph, as well as other sections across the post;
- page title;
- meta description;
- image alt tag;
- URL when it is possible;
However, it is not advisable to overload your post with keywords. In this case, your blog runs the risk of being penalized by Google rather than promoted to the top search results. There should be one primary keyword phrase and up to four secondary ones.
Learn From Your Competitors
It is not worth underestimating your competitors. On the contrary, it is advisable to use their knowledge to your advantage. You have a list of keywords for your blog post SEO. Type them in Google and spend time analyzing the search engine results page (SERP). If Google thinks that the results you see deserve to be shown on the first page, they contain useful information.
Read the top posts to find out their peculiarities. Pay attention to everything: structure, format, length, the content itself, as all the details matter in this case.
Think of an Engaging Title
The blog post title is the first thing readers see on the Google page. It should motivate them to click on it to find out what solution you offer to them. Moreover, it is necessary to add a primary keyword to the title to make it more SEO-optimized.
There is a useful instrument you may use to analyze the blog post headline. This tool will show you whether the title is good enough to become a click-worthy one.
Take Care of Readability
Do you want people to read your blog posts and become steady visitors? Take the readability factor into consideration. Blog posts should be easy enough to read and get the key message. In this case, readers will spend more time on the website and continue coming again and again.
There are some points to pay attention to while writing a readable post:
- clear structure;
- subheadings for creating a better user experience;
- spacing and bullet points in the paragraphs;
- relevant images;
- appropriate background;
- correct grammar and spelling;
- proper formatting.
Use Yoast SEO plugin to check your blog post readability and improve it if something goes wrong.
Keep in mind that readability is particularly crucial for mobile users. It is vital to catch their attention from the very first paragraph. If they understand that they will get a clear answer to their request right away, they will stay with you for a longer time.
Getting the mobile user experience right is more and more critical for search engine rankings. Learn why and how here:
Create a Meta Title and Description
Meta titles and descriptions are essential components of SEO data. They have a significant impact on the click-through-rate of a particular blog post, as well as the website in general.
Meta titles are not the same as blog post titles. Of course, both of them contain keywords. The main difference is the length. There are no limits for a blog post title. Still, meta titles should be unique and short, up to 60 characters.
The meta description is one more meta tag that provides search engines with clear information about your post. While writing this description, it is necessary to focus on the value that your post contains. It is even possible to add a specific call to action to make it more user-oriented.
One may think that meta tag creation is a challenging task. It is so. Still, it is vital for increasing your blog post SEO.
Work on Image Optimization
Have you ever seen a blog post without images? It does not matter whether it is a stock photo, a diagram, or an illustration. Pictures make any piece of writing more appealing to readers if they are correctly displayed. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to optimize them for search engines. The primary tactics include:
- selecting the proper file name;
- opting for the appropriate format;
- resizing the image according to the requirements;
- adding a caption;
- writing ALT text;
- choosing an original URL for an image.
Add Useful Links
It refers to both internal and external links. Internal links to other posts on your website prove that you write valuable content. Moreover, users will spend more time reading other materials, as well. Thus, it will increase not only your page views but also SEO ranking.
External linking will have a positive impact on your status as a blogger among experts of a particular industry. However, when you include external links to the blog post, it is worth opting for trustworthy websites you provide links to.
Encourage People to Comment
I have already mentioned that you write posts for people to read them. You give answers to their questions, provide exciting stuff. Why not ask them to leave their feedback in the comments? It will help you find out whether you are going the right way or need to change the route.
Another interesting thing about blog commenting is that it might help your blog post SEO because Google will see the comments included at the end of your post when they index your site. However, the verdict on whether or not this counts for how much search engine optimization benefit is still up in the air. Read more on the debate here.
As you can see, there is a variety of methods and instruments to increase blog post SEO. The main task is to determine your target audience and their search intent. These factors will help you develop the whole SEO-optimization strategy, from selecting appropriate keywords to writing readable content.
I have focused on the top tips that are worth paying attention to. What do you implement in your blogging? Are there any other SEO secrets that work well? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.
Hero photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash