Keyword research is the process of finding out what words and phrases people use in search engines that may be relevant to your business, analyzing...
With the constant call to produce more and more content, business owners often find themselves turning to blogging as a way to create more, and connect with their audience. With this comes the need to make sure that this blog content is well optimized and written to rank well in the search engines. We're here to try and help you get ahead of the game when optimizing your content by providing you with some of the best SEO tips for your blog.
By the time you finish this post, you'll be well prepared to create content that ranks well, and in turn, earns more organic traffic for your site. Having a blog is excellent, but without the proper optimization, your content will be left to fend for itself on page 2, or worse.
ado, here are 12 tips that will help you produce blog content that ranks
higher, and earns more traffic.
1. Make Sure Your Posts Are Targeting The Proper Keywords
This is probably one of the most important things you can do to optimize your blog posts for strong rankings. Too many times, people lose focus when it comes to keywords. Marketers either focus on just one keyword, forgetting the magic of secondary and long-tail terms to help increase the keyword footprint of that content. Or a marketer goes too far and tries to rank for too many keywords. Trying to focus on too many keywords gets distracting, and it effectively muddles the focus of your content. Nailing your keyword strategy is one of the most critical pieces of optimizing your blog for SEO.
You have to pick your ideal primary keyword, and then stick to it. Don't try to have multiple primary keywords that you show up in a search for with a single, standard length blog post. For one, it won't work. And secondly, it will distract from your ability to focus on naturally using that keyword and all of the semantic keywords that surround it.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't use a wide range of secondary keywords for your content, though. As we mentioned, using words that are semantically aligned with your primary focus will help increase your overall keyword footprint.
More people are utilizing voice search, and long-tail keywords are closer to terms used in a voice search. Some marketers think those who come to your post from a long-tail search, stay on your page longer, and consume more content. Those are precisely the type of content consumers you are looking for!
To find the best keywords and related topics for your post, conduct SEO keyword research using SEOscout. Take care to use the keywords naturally. You don't want your content to sound awkward or forced.
2. Find Proven Content Ideas and Create Additional Content On Those Topics
This sounds almost counterproductive. Why would you want to create more content on the subject matter that is already out there? Why wouldn't you want to pick a new or lesser covered subject so you can stand out?
Conventional wisdom would make it seem like that is the better way to go. But if you are trying to boost your rankings and increase the authority of your website, you should start with material that has already been covered by your competitors, but try and do it better.
Use content explorer and analytics tools to see what content has a great deal of material on the web about it. Competitive research tools can help you dig into a competitor's top pages to see which pieces are successfully generating traffic for them. Once you know what is out there, you can let that drive your creation strategy, and work to develop content that exceeds what your competition is offering on the topic.
3. Create High Caliber, Engaging Content, and Make It Easy To Read
It should go
without saying that you should create stellar content for your blog posts. But
let's face it, that doesn't always happen. If you want to boost your SEO, this
needs to become a focus. The internet offers users thousands of options for
content. If your content doesn't hold their attention, they will leave your
page as quickly as they arrived.
Studies show that 55% of people read a post for 15 seconds before leaving the page. Make sure your intro and your title hook your visitors. The better your content is, the better chance you have of others linking to you in the future. As more people link to your content, and your authority on the topic improves, so should your rankings.
Another tip for keeping visitors on your page is making content easily readable. A phrase you might have heard to describe this is "scannable" or "bite-sized." This doesn't mean to make your content short or that the good parts are just in your headers. This is done to make things more visually appealing to your visitors. If your content looks overwhelming, long, or daunting, that is a turnoff. You want it to look engaging and easy to read. This means making sentences easy to follow and not overly complicated.
to do this is for SEO purposes. You want to break your material up into
"scannable" options with headers. Those headers are then optimized
for SEO, which in turn, helps your contact rank higher in search. Make sure
your keyword is in your title and sprinkled naturally throughout the H2s and
other headings in your blog posting.
Need help making your content more SEO friendly? Try our SEO editor tool, that makes suggestions to improve your content's depth, readability and comprehensivene
4. Make Sure Your Blog is Mobile Friendly
It's hard to believe that in 2020 this needs to be repeated—but yet it still does. Optimize your blog and your posts for mobile devices. We are in the age of mobile-first indexing, where the mobile version of your site is more important than ever.
This will mean streamlining graphics and doing away with unwieldy "click here" buttons. You will also have to make your site responsive to mobile devices and make sure that it fits the screens of these devices. When creating your blog, you have multiple options to help you test your page on all possible sizes of device screens. Keep in mind that 58% of site traffic comes from mobile devices.
5. Improve Page Load Time of Your Blog
Google doesn't often tip their hand, but one thing they have told us is that page load time has a direct impact on rankings. If your page doesn't load as quickly as your competitors, you're going to have a tough time achieving the rankings that you want. There are so many things that are out of your control that can impact your ranking. Don't let something that is in your control have a negative impact on your site.
To get your page to load faster, take an inventory of what you have on your page, and then remove anything that is slowing you down. Limit the number of plugins that you use and optimize your images. Utliize tools like the Google Pagespeed Insights tool to examine where your site speed is now, vs. where you want it to be.
6. Host Your Own Blog
If your blog is a standalone entity (meaning it isn't part of an eCommerce or other type of services site), don't host your content on another platform. To get better SEO results, go ahead and host it yourself. Hosting and creating a site isn't as difficult as it used to be for bloggers. Multiple companies can help you craft a gorgeous site that can be optimized for SEO. Wordpress is one of the best-known website platforms, and you can find both paid and free template options that are ideal for blogging, as well as plenty of great SEO plugins to help optimize your Wordpress blog.
Your first step will be to purchase your custom domain name. You have multiple options on where you can purchase these. Purchasing a domain from a service like GoDaddy or Namecheap is an easy process. To host your website, companies like Bluehost can help you bring all the pieces of your site together. It is easy to do and an affordable option.
While it may seem like a good idea to use free options on Wix or Squarespace, those come with a downside. The free versions of those sites do not allow you to use a custom web address. Web addresses with wordpress.com or blogspot.com in the URL are pushed down in Google's SEO algorithm, so you are already at a disadvantage when it comes to traffic. And if you are going to purchase a domain and pay to host, you should go ahead and invest in a premium theme. These themes will allow you to customize your site further and use additional plugins to boost your SEO.
7. Use Analytics Tools To Monitor Your Blog Performance
Once you have
taken all the time and effort to set up your own site, you will want to make
sure you are getting the ROI from your efforts. There are multiple analytics
suites available, but Google Analytics is free and does everything you will
need. You can use Google Analytics to check traffic, referring sources, and
multiple other metrics that will indicate how your site and content is
performing. You can also see how Google indexes your blog.
Console is another fantastic tool that you can use for free to study your
blog's performance, but the reports can seem inflexible. At SEO Scout we generate reports highlighting keyword opportunities and changes in your organic rankings using Search Console data
These tools are valuable and will give you the insight that you need to make any required changes. Not everything you do will work the first time you try it. That's why it's essential to use SEO tools that can help you correct course if needed. These tools can help you see what content and keywords work the best for drawing traffic.
8. Connect Your Blog With Your Social Media Accounts
Social media is a part of the daily life of almost everyone. It is difficult to find a person that doesn't have at least one social media account. Some networks like Facebook have over one billion visitors per day. Now, your social media posts won't be seen by that many people in one day. But even if your content is seen by a fraction of that, that is still a lot of people clicking on your post and going to your website. Beyond just having the ability to be seen by your network, your profiles can provide valuable authority signals in the form of backlinks to your website.
Every post you create for your blog should be shared on your social media channels. It doesn't matter if you tweet, share a link on Facebook, etc.
You want to drive awareness of the newest content you have created. In addition to this, always have share buttons on your blog content. This way, a person can easily share your content to their own social media channels. Marketers and bloggers can use all the SEO tips and tricks in the book. Word of mouth and organic shares that generate traffic are still one of the best ways to grow an audience. Another great option is to automate the process. There are multiple tools on the market to automate social sharing from your blog to social media.
9. Don't Be Afraid To Refresh and Repurpose Content When Needed
Some people think once a topic or a form of content has been used; it's gone forever. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just like in fashion, everything comes back into style. The same is also true for content. And each time you bring this content back to life with a new refresh is a chance to build on the SEO success you had previously. Repurposed content helps your page rank on SERP (search engine results page) faster than new content.
It is possible to take a post or topic that you have written about before and repurpose it for a new time and place. Depending upon the subject, there may be further information that you can add. Or, your original content may no longer be correct, and this is a chance to update this content with new, corrected information. Regardless of why you are bringing this topic back to the forefront, repurposing content for another time is perfectly ok.
With this being said, if you find content on your blog that is extremely outdated, incorrect, and there is no hope of repurposing it, don't be afraid to get rid of it. Just because something once brought you traffic and success doesn't mean you should be afraid to delete it when it doesn't meet your needs any longer.
There is now a push for bloggers to create what is called "evergreen content." This means that as the tree, your content is forever "green" or relevant. This is an excellent goal for bloggers and other content creators to have. But even evergreen content can find a new purpose. You can take these blog posts and convert them into other forms of media like ebooks or podcasts.
10. Optimize Your Metadata and Content From a Technical Perspective
All of these seem like such small details, but can be overlooked by some marketers. These items are all a huge part of the overall SEO picture. Here are some SEO tips for these smaller aspects that tend to get overlooked.
- Use keyword-rich anchors to your most important content in your main navigation.
- Use the footer area on your blog's template to include additional internal links
- Have minimal ads on your home page. While it is great to attempt to earn revenue via ads, or save money and use an ads-included version of a web service, this could hurt you in terms of SEO. Google could view this poorly and push your site down in the search results.
- Optimize your URL for SEO. Keep it short and keyword-rich
- While not important in the ranking metrics, focus on creating compelling meta descriptions with your keyword included. If you don't write one, Google will create one for you which can lower your organic clickthrough rate.
- Don't be scared to write longer blog posts. Google likes a mix a content length, so one 2000 word post per month can help elevate your profile.
- Don't upload an image without an alt tag. While a search crawler can't technically crawl a picture, they can crawl your alt text.
- Video is a growing medium, and Google boosts pages that include video. You don't have to create your own videos, but you can embed ones relevant to your topic. Google will reward you in the SERPs.
These are just a handful of smaller tasks that can drive tremendous results for your traffic. Run a review on your blog posts to make sure you have these items covered.
11. Use Internal Linking and Link To Authoritative Sources
Backlinks are still a core component of ranking well in Google and other search engines. When you create content, try to link to previous posts you have written that discuss the same type of subject matter. Utilize that same strategy with external links as well. Use varied, keyword-rich anchor text if possible, and place your links using that text. Google views links as a sign of authority, so you want to incorporate them as best as possible. Don't overdo it on links—Google also likes things in moderation.
Linking internally to content is a great way to get readers to stay on your site and engage with more of your content. Depending upon your niche, this could generate additional sales or other types of positive metrics for your brand.
You also want to link out from your posts to other authoritative resources. It's ok to link to a competitor! You want both inbound and outbound quality relevant links to help build your credibility.
12. Correct Any Broken Links or Redirects On Your Pages
There are some SEO marketers out there who will take your broken links and turn them into an opportunity to drive content to their own sites. Don't let yourself fall prey to those kinds of tricks. Fix any links you have on your site that lead to nowhere and have them lead to somewhere current. These broken links can happen for a variety of reasons, including a blog post being deleted or a website switching URLs. It's not a big deal that these links no longer lead to the original destinations. But to make sure you maintain your authority and that competitors don't swoop in and capitalize on your mistakes, take some time to send these links to current content.
While it is best to minimize the number of redirects you use, at times they are unavoidable. If you dramatically reorganize your site, merge content or move domains it is vital you use the correct 301 redirect response to ensure users are taken to the most relevant page rather than a 404. Most of the time this isn't your homepage!
By matching and redirecting old content to relevant, new posts you can ensure you retain the relevance Google is looking for - and any old links to your site still make sense for the visitor. You should test your redirects periodically to ensure that they remain in place, or you will lose the benefit of any links poiting to your old URLs.
SEO is equal parts art and science. There is absolutely a science to learning all the ins and outs of Google and its ranking factors. Once you can crack that code, you can reach new heights with your content and rankings. But even with all that information, without the artistry that is a part of SEO, your content will fall flat. A blogger needs to know how to take all this science, combine it with their posts, and craft captivating content that people will keep coming back.
There has been a lot of material covered in this post. We've talked about optimizing your content for keywords, how to select that content, and that it needs to be of the highest caliber. We've also reviewed SEO tips on how to optimize your site for mobile, page load time, the SEO benefits of hosting your own blog, and the importance of social media in boosting traffic to your blog.
In addition, there have been tips on how to track your blog results via analytics, how to repurpose content, tips on alt tags and other tiny but mighty parts of an SEO strategy, and the importance of linking and fixing broken links.
If you bring all these tips together, you can maximize traffic to your blog and raise your online presence. Blogging can be a challenge. It's difficult to promote your work and draw traffic to it as well. But when you employ these SEO tips, you can rest assured you will see growth in your traffic and your SEO ranking.
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