It is important to conduct Blog SEO to improve your ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Optimising your blog content will attract more readers, which is recognised by Google as a high quality and relevant webpage. This Blog SEO Guide will focus on the best practices to follow to optimise your blog content, rank higher on SERPs and improve traffic to your overall website. When a blog is SEO-friendly, search engines can interpret its content more effectively and rank the blog pages in accordance with its relevance to the user’s search intent.
To assist you in ranking higher on the search engine results page, I have outlined 10 SEO best practices to follow to improve your overall blog SEO.
1. Keyword Research
Conduct keyword research and focus on 1-2 long-tail keywords that will match your reader’s intent. These should be the main keywords that you want to rank for. Utilise different SEO tools to view the keyword difficulty score of the keywords to discover the level of competition under the keyword. If you have a new blog and are just beginning, aim for long-tail keywords in the 200-2,000 searches per month range with difficulty score under 0.2.
2. Include these targeted keywords in specific areas of your blog post:
a. Title Tag: This will appear in the SERPs and will be the first thing the SERP uses to determine how relevant your content is. Include your target keywords in the first 60 characters of the title and ensure they are at the beginning, so that they do not get cut off (Optimal title length = 50-60 characters).
b. The URL: Search engines utilise your URL to discover what your blog post is about. Ensure you are optimising your URLs on every post you publish by including a targeted keyword in the URL. It is important to know that each blog post will live on its own unique URL.
c. Headers and Body Copy: Include your target keywords throughout the blog posts headers and body content. Ensure you mention the target keyword in the first 100 words of your content. Mention the target keywords up to 3 times per blog, do not keyword stuff as this will degrade your SEO score.
d. Meta Description: Ensure that you include the target keyword within the meta description. This is the description that appears under your page title on the SERPs and is very important for click-through-rates.
3. High Quality Content is now King
Google has altered its algorithm to rank rich content higher within the search engine. Back linking is becoming a less dominant factor in SEO ranking. Long-form content that includes aspects such as videos, images and infographics will be ranked higher in the SERP. The average first-page blog results contain 1,890 words, so it is time to create rich quality content that applies to your users.
4. Optimise Your Images with Alt Tags
Search engines cannot see images, so Alt Text is extremely important to enable Google to understand the context of the images or videos you include within your blogs. Therefore, whenever you upload a photo to your blog, include keywords in the filename and fill out the alternate text field with a brief, keyword-rich description of the photo.
5. Reduce Bounce Rates
A high bounce rate on your blog posts shows to search engines that users dislike your content, which will consequentially downgrade your website and SEO. It is important to improve the readability of your blog post, you can achieve this by making it easy to read with lots of bullet points and using subheadings throughout.
6. Delete Zombie Pages
Zombie pages are webpages on your website that do not bring in any traffic. Google recently stated that they prefer “one stronger page versus many smaller ones”. Therefore, although you may not want to delete pages, it will positively affect your website overall. Google does not want to rank sites that are bloated with thin, low-quality content. Focus on pages with rich, high quality and relevant long form content.
7. Add Related Keywords Throughout Your Blog Post
To rank in Google today, you also need to add synonyms of your target keywords and other related keywords to your content. This is because of Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm. Google’s Hummingbird update allows Google to go beyond simple keywords. Instead, they try to understand the overall topic of your page.
Therefore, include variations of your main keyword in your content. A good way to do this is to search for your target keyword in Google and scroll down to the bottom of the search results. Add a few “Searches related to…” terms to your content where appropriate.
8. Update Old Blog Post Pages
As I already mentioned, Google does not like inactive pages. It is important to update your old blog post pages to ensure Google recognises your website as a relevant and active website. You can keep your web pages active by rewriting your titles and meta descriptions or including new keywords within the body of your blog.
9. Add “What is X” Definitions to Blog Content
A great way to optimise your blog SEO is to include definitions in blog content. When someone searches for a high-level term (such as social media marketing), they are usually seeking a definition. Bloggers can leverage this by targeting this long-tail keyword in the search engines.
10. Create ‘Evergreen’ Content
Evergreen content is search-optimized content that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers over a long period of time. For example, stay away from time framed blog posts, such as ‘Marketing tips for 2022’, instead create sustainable blog posts such as ‘Marketing Tips to Help You Achieve Growth’.
Incorporating blog SEO is such an important aspect of your overall SEO strategy. It will assist you in achieving a higher ranking on SERPs and driving organic traffic to your website. Good luck creating SEO friendly content on your blogs!
I hope these short tips help you get on your way to successful Blog SEO.
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