14 Useful Tips for Awesome SEO Optimized Blog Posts
Most SEO optimization for blog posts is the same as it is for web pages. Here we will look at the tips as they specifically pertain to search engine optimize (SEO) blog posts, and let the websites fend for themselves.
Blogs are pieces of art, in my opinion. Our writing is creative so that makes it art. If we collected all our blogs together and published them old-school, then they would be literature.
Well, maybe not quite literature in my case, but still, not a technical thing like programming.
We need to add the tech stuff into the blogs to maximize readership by allowing potential readers to find us.
Sort of like putting a paper book on the right shelf in the bookstore, or the library.
Even if they are looking, they will not find us if we are not in the right place. That’s SEO optimization for our posted blogs, in a nutshell.
How do we do that? Here’s an outline of some helpful tips to make sure readers can find you and your blog, far more often.
Tip # 1) Research your Keywords
Search for your keywords, before writing anything. Do a Google search and see what your competition is doing.
See if anyone is writing anything and see if anyone is reading anything on the topic.
See if there is so much out there that you can’t offer a fresh perspective or any new information.
It is much easier to choose a long-tailed keyword with less competition.
You can use Google autocomplete longtail tool to search for the best keywords for the subject of your blog.
You can see the traffic for a search term and check out the competition.
Tip #2) Use Keywords
Maybe you’ve heard that before. I certainly have. We were going to use the keywords anyway, but we need to know how to best use them.
Where Can You Use Keywords?
You must always have your keywords in your title and Meta Description.
Then your keyword should be in the first paragraph of your introduction.
Write like you talk. Well, mostly. Fluent, natural conversation on any topic generates keywords about that topic in the conversation.
Just because we are writing, and we know they are keywords, doesn’t mean it should sound odd.
Once your blog is formatted properly, is search engine friendly, and is optimized for SEO, your audience will be able to find your well-written, informative blog.
That means using those keywords in the title, headings, subheadings, in the body of the text, in the URL, in the meta description, and in the image file descriptions. Be careful, of course, not to overuse them.
Tip #3) Use Keywords in the Body of the Text
Experts today will tell you there is no magic keyword density. No percentage or formula. Just a natural flow of words that best serve the reader.
Use LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords
These are words that have a similar meaning or homonyms. You can find good LSI keyword tool here:
Use Long-Tail Keywords
That’s the process of using a phrase of 3 or more words instead of individual words. The idea is that fewer other search results use the exact same 3 words. If someone does search for your 3 words, you are much higher on the results page. When your 3 words match their 3 words for marketing it is assumed that they make better prospects. They are closer to the end of the buying process. They could be more likely to make a purchase because they know exactly what they want. Good for readers and bloggers.
Use the Keywords Early
If you can use the long tail keywords in the first paragraph. Sometimes it sounds ridiculous since the title had the same phrase in it, but if it sounds good, do it.
Tip #4) Use The Title
The title you choose will show up on the browser tab for your non-mobile readers. It’s important if only because of that. Search engines recognize it, too. Titles must combine the needs of readers and search engines, like good SEO content anywhere in your blog.
- Only 20% of readers are said to bother reading anything even after a pretty compelling headline. The success of any blog post is going to depend on your headline.
- Short, catchy titles work.
Kinds of Titles to Use
There are several types of titles that use the formulas for successful attention-getting used in marketing and sales for decades. Updated of course, they fall into these basic categories:
- Startling Statement
- Ask a Question
- How To
- Identify Problems (and Solve them)
I remember the list as SAM CHIL so when I am writing a title I can refer to the list. I try to write a title using each category on the list, before I decide finally on the title I will use.
Some blog posts have natural titles and there is not even a moment of thought required.
Tip #5) Use the URL
Your URL needs to be reader and SEO friendly, too. Make sure human eyes can read it and see real words. Also be sure those real words are exactly the ones you meant for them to be.
- The URL should be no more than 80 characters including the long tail keyword phrase. Even that huge one of David’s above is about 80. You’ll be fine.
- Start with the permalink which is right under the title box on Word Press. This will show you what terms are going to be included in the URL. If you don’t change it every word in your title will be used. That’s not usually best, so fix it.
- The dashes in the URL make it readable for people and do not negatively affect the SEO.
- Have each layer of the domain name make sense. For example, if you have a page that is in a subcategory, that should show in the URL. Like domain.com/kitchen/gadgets and www.domain.com/kitchen/small-appliances.
Tip #6) Internal Links
Internal linking is when you put a link in each blog post to another one of your own blog posts. Since we tend to have a general theme on a blog this makes sense.
- For example, on a post about a recipe for hamburgers, you would link your previous recipes for other things to do with ground beef.
- Use 3 or 4 links to other previous posts.
- Use the links fairly early in the text. You can add a P.S at the end but you will get more response to an internal link earlier on. Not the first paragraph likely, but not the last, either.
Tip #7) Use External Links
External linking is when you use links to other blogs or other websites. Make sure the authority is well accepted and relevant.
It may be hard to quantify how well it works but Neil Patel says: “Did you know that an external link going out to these high authority sites can boost your SEO?
When search engines crawl your site and see a link and follow it to CNN or Huffington Post, they weight it as a positive.”
Go with Neil’s advice. Link to high authority sites. You could end up with a friendship with another blogger who writes on a complementary subject.
You each link to other blogs and maybe increase readership.
They may not be high authority, but if you have similar readership it could be a good thing. Learn More From Neil Patel
Tip #8) Using a Featured Picture
A correctly formatted, relevant, captivating image is worth at least 1,000 words. People are more likely to click on pictures.
- Remember to have the image resized to fit your width
- Rename all images. The title, the caption and the ALT text should have that keyword phrase in them, yet again. Yes, the same ones.
- Those with vision impairments “see” the pictures through your description only. Add a description so they can enjoy the pictures, too.
- Use legal media. Really. Legal is important.
Tip #9) Using Videos
Videos make a blog more complete. Everyone likes watching a video. It’s not that reading is too much work or anything, but videos are catching on. Okay, they have done more than caught on.
Now we have to call our blog readers “visitors” because they might not read much of anything except a headline and then watch the video.
If you are really serious about blogging, it is time to make your own videos and use them. At least start linking to other people’s videos in the meantime. Remember about the “legal” thing though.
Check on that before you use anything. If Google isn’t boosting the results of a blog post with a video, they will soon enough.
Tip # 10) Responsiveness
It has come to pass that people access most digital content on mobile devices. It doesn’t just seem like everyone is on their phones all the time, it’s actually true.
- If your content is slow, clumsy or unattractive in any way on a mobile device you will lose a lot of opportunities.
- Reduced image size is really important for mobile viewing.
- Test how your pages look on several different browsers and mobile devices.
- Let Google test.
Tip #11) Content
Generally, content needs to be readable and either informative, inspirational, or motivational, which depends on the topic and the audience.
For example, a list of Year End Tax Tips needs to be readable and informative.
A “How to” blog post on Baking a Cake from Scratch needs to provide some inspiration, not just information.
Everything about Yoga or exercise or weight loss must be motivational.
That’s what they mean when they say “speak to your audience”. It’s about words and tone and pitch, and we are back to the art of writing, again. For this part, don’t worry so much about the SEO and just focus on the message and the audience.
Tip #12) Use Catalog Topic Layers
Catalog Topic Layers is my term for it so don’t be surprised you haven’t heard it before. We’ll both be excited when it catches on though. Here’s what I mean.
- Organize the topics on your pages according to their general theme, subtopic, and the even more specific subtopic. Like: kitchen – appliances – small appliances – coffee makers. Catalogs use this system but it is new for blogs. That’s why I call them Catalog Topic Layers.
- Most blogs are organized with individual posts ranking for particular keywords. This creates a competition within your own blog for rankings when you write about topics on your theme.
- This makes it much easier for search engines and readers alike to find your content.
- Lindsay explains this in a lot of detail as #10 on her list.
Tip #13) Don’t Duplicate Content
There’s a lot of ways to inadvertently duplicate content.
- Overuse of topic tags. Don’t make them all alike. Use the smallest part of a word you can and leave the rest. Use “blog”. Forget “blogging” and “blog post”.
- Use only one domain. Www or not www. But not both. If you use both the search engines will see your content duplicated and ignore all of it.
- Don’t reuse content. It might be a great cookie recipe but if you are going to use it again next year you have to find a way to rewrite it so it doesn’t look at all the same. Especially the name of the recipe has to be different. Grandma’s Cookie Recipe can only be used once. Next year it has to be someone else’s recipe.
Tip #14) Call to Action
The last part of a blog is the call-to-action. We ask our readers to do something at the end.
There are several options for an action, but it depends on what your blog is about and what this particular post is designed to do.
It could be your point to get the reader to make a purchase. If that’s the case, make sure the information that is required for them to do so is readily available.
You may have a free eBook that the blog post is designed to promote. This is how you ask your readers directly to do so.
Make sure there is some way to subscribe to your mailing list. You have one, right?
If you want them to make a phone call they need the number, and a reason.
Ask them to comment directly or end with a question that provokes comments.
Ask them to share. Make sure you have several social media options. Pin it or tweet it or share it on Facebook. Whatever your audience does.
Take Your Advice
If you offered advice, the call-to-action is where you ask your readers to take that advice.
These 14 tips can help blogs increase rankings and readers. Take the tips one at a time and see what works best for you.