What exactly is “blog SEO,” and how can it increase my online visibility?
Search engine optimisation gets a bad rap among bloggers. And, we can admit, it’s pretty obvious why. On the face of things, blogging is a personal online space for people to share their most intimate thoughts and experiences. There’s a false belief that “Blog SEO” means stuffing keywords in every other sentence resulting in barely readable content. However, done right, you can benefit from optimising your blog. You will notice a boost in organic rankings for all posts leading to more readers, site visitors and ultimately a positive user experience.
Blogging for SEO is all about showing search engines that your website is an authority and should be positioned above all others for popular search queries. New SEO tips are popping up on the internet all the time for bloggers looking to increase their online visibility. This makes it even trickier to negotiate the world of online marketing. Use keywords, but not too many. Point links at your posts, but make sure they are relevant, natural and powerful. Who has time to retain all that information, like honestly? Writing should be exciting, not a chore. If you master these skills, you can enjoy writing exceptional content and bring in some new readers in the process.
Here are five practical ways to optimise your blog posts for great results (we use them and can confirm, they actually work):
1) Write for your audience
Over the years SEO’s have become fixated on writing for Google’s robots. They have forgotten the real reason for producing content, and that’s great user experience. Your audience should come first every time. Luckily, the situation has improved in recent years, especially after the Hummingbird update which penalised websites for over optimised content. Read the most influential Google algorithm updates that will impact how you optimise your blog for SEO.
2) Prioritise on-page optimisation basics
The best approach to blog SEO is to do your keyword research before writing a post. Don’t wait until you finish the post to stuff keywords into your content. It looks unnatural and will put you in danger of a Google penalty. See what people are searching for in your industry and use those words or phrases in your posts.
At Bigfoot Digital, we use industry-leading tools such as Ahrefs and Majestic SEO to research popular industry keywords that will put you ahead of the competition. The great thing about optimisation for your blog is that you have complete control over the results. If you have the opportunity to use keywords to attract more readers, why not take full advantage. There’s so much that goes into on-page SEO, but to get started you only need to know the basics:
SEO-friendly URL: As it stands, the URL is the most important on-page ranking factor, but it’s so often neglected in favour of written content. Let’s say you wrote a blog post about best Italian restaurants in London. Instead of www.yoursite.com/page-2, it should be www.yoursite.com/best-italian-restaurants-london. Keep your URL limited to include your keywords.
Meta Title: Your meta title gives Google a clear understanding of what your post is all about. It’s what shows up at the top of that page, and also in the search results. For landing pages, include your target keyword at the very start of the meta title, followed by a secondary keyword and then your brand name. You can get creative with your blog titles so long as the focus keyword remains.
Use images, with alt text: The average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 words so having quality, optimised content is so important. On the other hand, you don’t want readers to lose interest faced with so many words. Adding multimedia to your blog posts breaks up the written content and boost engagement. What’s more, you can optimise those images with relevant keywords.
Usability: It may sound super simple, but so many bloggers overlook the importance of a site that functions correctly. Do you have optimised blog content? Are there broken links? While these factors affect user experience, they also influence SEO significantly. Fix these problems, and you’re onto a winner.
3) Invest in SEO tools
You may think it’s all sounding complicated at this point. Well, it’s about to get a whole lot easier. Just like with social media marketing, blogging is a process that can be handled manually, but it’s more efficient to use tools. There are thousands of SEO tools at your disposal but here are the most important to get you started:
Keyword Research: Keyword research is arguably one of the most important aspects of SEO. You want to make sure that your content is optimised for the right keywords and set realistic expectations. The best tools for this are ProRankTracker and Google’s Keyword Planner.
Link Building: Getting other sites to link back to yours is one of the top search engine ranking factors. You shouldn’t just link to anyone; make sure they operate in a similar market, have a +30 domain authority and great SEO metrics. Use the Moz toolbar to check these for yourself.
Another great way to build links to your website is through relationships with other bloggers. Presumably, you have a Twitter account? If not, start tweeting. We reached out to bloggers looking for content collaboration opportunities – and look at that response! Writing content for others can prove a great way to acquire links, fast.
4) Create linkable content
A linkable asset is a great piece of content that is so interesting your readers can’t resist linking to it. These are often longer, informational posts, guides or infographics. Before creating a linkable asset for your blog, take a look at other examples in your industry. The goal is to create something even better. Following publication, the next step is to spread the word. Social media and email marketing are your best friends here.
5) Build your authority
Your content should reflect your industry expertise. Don’t just churn out the same material as everyone else – that’s not exciting. The prospect for unique, creative content never seen before in your network is going to see your traffic shoot up. For instance, if you are a fashion blogger who writes about the foundation that is new to the market, that’s OK. Publish a post comparing the UK and US-based foundation brands, now that’s interesting. Don’t forget to ask your readers to comment with any suggestions for new content. After all, your readers come first.
Blogging for SEO doesn’t have to be complicated.
Finally, don’t spend hours Googling “Blog SEO” for advice. It will blow your mind, honestly. Hopefully, these tips have given you an insight into how blogging for SEO can generate more traffic to your site. You don’t have to be a Content Writer with years of experience in SEO copywriting to optimise your blog. It just takes skill and an understanding of the best practices.
The next time you start to write a blog post, keep these tips in mind and you’ll be surprised at the results. If you’ve got any questions about how to optimise your blog posts, please do get in touch on 01226 720 755.