SEO (short for Search Engine Optimisation) is one of the most important part of building a blog, without an optimised page you will not feature in the search engines and as a result will not be found by those browsing the internet searching for information relative to your post content.
So read on for some useful tips on how to create a search engine friendly blog post to maximise your chances of ranking higher in Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines.
Keywords are the words, sentences or phrases that people type into the search engines to find the most relevant and useful results for something they are looking for. For example, the following is a keyword phrase search.
The results from this search will only show pages optimised for “best beaches in the world.
Build a list of keywords and use a selection of them in your blog posts. A nifty little tool is the Google Keyword Planner, this will help you compile the list of keywords but also gives you an indication of the most popular keyword searches, which can prove quite handy as it also tells you how competitive the keywords are (in other words how many other blogs/websites are trying to feature highly in the search engines for that particular keyword). It’s also a FREE tool which is always a bonus! To increase the number of keywords you use in your blog post remember to us Synonyms of each of your chosen keywords. Thesaurus has a handy Synonyms Checker to help you out with this. Make sure you have a good list before you start your blog post.
Using SERP Research For Your Blog Posts
SERP stands for “Search Engine Results Page” and using this research will help you see what your competition is like for keywords to see what the chances are of you ranking highly against those blog post and websites. The second reason for using this type of research is because Google Search, particularly, has starting to add rich snippets at the top of the results page. Here is an example:
Notice at the top search result is a Rich Snippet from one of the biggest and most relative websites for the search term I used. Also note that high on the search page are a list of other questions that users have asked. These two areas highlighted with the red box tells me I am fairly unlikely to rank above these results. It can be a useful little piece of research to help see what your competition is doing and how they are performing in the results page.
Using Keywords in Your Blog Post Title
One of the key elements of a blog post is the blog post title. Its the first thing searchers see on the search results page, the search engines use the title as one of the many factors in selecting the most relevant results for a search query. A well thought out Title adds great SEO value. Here’s an example:
Make your title of interest to the user, often when your blog post is shared on social media the title will be displayed, so you want to ensure it stands out and says what the blog post is about so that it catches the eye of as many people as possible. The length of your title should be around 60 characters long.
Adding A Meta Description to Your Blog Post
The meta description is a snippet of text about your blog description that features on the search engine result page, letting people know what your blog post is about. Here’s an example:
The length of your meta description should be around 150 characters long.
Building Keywords Into Your Content
Now that you have a list of keywords, focus on adding them in to your blog posts. The key to this though is to use them sparingly as if you just randomly add them over and over in a blog post the search engines may see it as something called “keyword stuffing” and can penalise your blog. Create a few phrases that include your keywords, remembering to also use the synonyms of your keywords and include them within your blog post, but ensure that the sentences make sense.
A big tip here though – quality content of your blog post is key! Search engines are very smart, as they can detect and rank high quality blog posts that are more valuable to users. The other reason to make your blog post interesting and useful to readers is that they are much more likely to share a useful well written blog post to others and other bloggers are more likely to link to it.
Don’t Forget About Long Tail Keywords
When you have compiled your list of keywords and phrase, you will probably find that most of these are the most popular terms that other blogs and websites are also trying to rank highly for. To maximise the opportunity for visitors to find you in the search engines, its really worth including some Long Tail Keywords in your lists and introduce them into your blog posts.
So what are long tail Keywords? Well, lets give you an example, if a small selection of my main keywords are petsit, america, housesitting and usa. Then an example of a Long Tail Keyword might be professional carers for your dogs in California or experienced cat sitters in Los Angeles. These more detailed, specific search terms are less competitive (meaning less of the larger blogs will be trying to optimise for these phrases) which as a result will more likely enable you to feature on the first page of the search results.
Optimising Your Images
Although at first glance it may seem a bit tedious every time you add an image to have to optimise it, let me explain why this is an important SEO tip. Search engines are unable to read images (they can only read words) so are unable to understand if images are relevant to a search result. However if you optimise the image by adding a title and alt text to each image the search engines can then read them. This is important as it also brings additional traffic to your blog post through any image searches where your images will also feature if they have been correctly optimised. This is very simple to do, every time you upload an image to your blog before you Insert the Media, head over to the right hand side and you will see the Title and Alt Text boxes, pop a few words in them about the image, you can even make them the same words in each. Here’s an example:
Just make a point of adding An Image Title and Alt Text each time you upload an image and before long it will become normal practice.
Adding Tags To Your Blog
Using Tags on your blog will help you organise your blog and help users find their way around your blog more easily, but even more importantly will allow the search engines to locate more information about your blog posts content. You can add as many Tags as you like to a blog post and those tags should be words that are related to your blog post. To find the Tags open your blog post and scroll down on the right hand side until you see the Tags section and the box labelled “Add New Tag”.
Optimise The URL Of Each Blog Post
You can further increase your search engine presence by ensuring that you have optimised your website links to make them more SEO friendly and also showing visitors to your blog what the post is all about. Here is an example of an optimised URL:
You can see from the above URL that visitors can immediately see what the blog post is about. Make sure you try and keep the URL name short and simple. Here is where to change your URL:
Linking Blog Post To Others You Have Written
A great way to get visitors to visit various posts through your Blog are to link relative blog posts to another within your content section. For instance you are reading this blog post about SEO, so you may be interested in learning about setting up a blog. You notice that I have linked another of my blogs in here to enable visitors to visit that page. If it is relevant to the blog you are writing then include a link to other posts visitors may be interested in.
Use an SEO Plugin For WordPress
As you can see from this post there are numerous things to consider and optimise to get your SEO perfect. A great plugin for WordPress used by and the most commonly used is Yoast SEO. This plugin will help you optimise every post on your blog and will also give you extra tips on how you can improve your search engine optimisation.
Network With Other Bloggers
I mentioned earlier that writing high quality and interesting content is key to ranking well in the search engines. Another big reason for ensuring your are writing well thought out articles is that you are more likely to get a “share” from some of the more influential bloggers out there and sometimes just one share or link from these massive blogs can really help your traffic levels and ranking.
Try To Feature Influencers In Your Blog Posts
Finding ways to introduce you and your blog to Influential bloggers is a great way to get your blog visited by a wider audience. Recommending them, interviewing them, linking to their posts are all ways for them to get to know about you and your blog. By featuring them you have a chance to get on their radar and are more likely that they will help you in return by sharing one of your blog posts.
Try Keep Your Old Blog Posts Up To Date
Quite often you will come across a really useful blog post but find that the information is out of date, this could be anything from SEO techniques, a great restaurant you recommended in a post that has since closed down, to a photo of a landscape in Spain changing or a hyperlink that no longer exists.
Tip: Keeping your old blog posts current will not only give the visitor a better experience but also help your page ranking by keeping your content more accurate and fresh.
Thank you for visiting our Blog, we would really appreciate your comments, your thoughts on it, or your experiences to share and if you have any questions. There is a comment box at the end of this blog page and we will be so happy to get back to you, to answer and to give any help/advice we can.
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