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9 Essential Tips for Optimizing Your Blog Posts

  • Gerard D’Onofrio
  • 6 min read
9 Essential Tips for Optimizing Your Blog Posts

Intro

Your blog is awesome.

You know it, I know it, and your readers know it. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into it, and you’re proud of what you’ve created. As you should be.

But do you ever wonder whether there’s more you could be doing to grow your audience? In this article, we’ll look at how to optimize your blog for SEO with a few simple techniques. I’ll also give you a few extra tips for increasing your site’s organic traffic.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Choose the right keywords

Rather than just choosing something that sounds vaguely appropriate, it’s vital to do proper keyword research. Using search engine data, a keyword research tool can suggest alternative keywords based on what people are actually looking for.

Say you’re writing a post about business VoIP services. You can plug the phrase “VoIP services” into the keyword research tool to find what other related terms are being searched for. Typically, you’ll find it comes up with phrases like “VoIP services provider”, “VoIP services for small business” and so on. You can check through the suggestions to see whether any would be particularly relevant to your topic.

The golden tickets here are the so-called long-tail keywords. These are typically up to five words long and are quite specific. For example, they may include the name of a city or a particular color and model of product.

By the very nature of these keywords, not many people are searching on them, so there’s not much competition for their use. But the people who are typing these long-tailed keywords into search are much more likely to click on your page if you include them.

Be SERP-aware

Making a good impression on the SERP – the Search Engine Results Page – is critical. Ideally, of course, you want to aim to rank as high as possible. There are no guarantees, but you can give your chances a boost by paying attention to your choice of page title, URL and meta description.

Be SERP-aware (Image source: Unsplash)

The meta description is a quick summary of the content of your page. Its purpose is to attract attention, so it’s important to avoid the common meta descriptions mistakes people make when starting out. Make it informative, make it snappy, and include a tempting call to action. Find out how to give your meta descriptions a boost and take your blogging to the next level today!

(See what I did there?)

No less important are your page titles and URLs. These should include your focus keywords, but don’t let them run on too long. They should be concise and relevant, both of which please the search engines.

Use internal linking

Internal links – that’s to say, links on your blog to other pages on your blog – make an enormous difference. Once you’ve built up a stash of content, using internal links is a terrific way of revitalizing older posts. This helps get fresh pairs of eyes on those posts, keeping them relevant for SEO.

That post from two years ago on car dealership marketing you were really proud of? Don’t let it go to waste. Keep it in the loop by giving it some linking love on your latest post.

And don’t forget to go back to older posts and add links to your newer content on those pages as well. It works both ways and keeps the search engine crawlers happy.

Sharpen up your content headings

It doesn’t hurt to drop a few keywords into your content headings. Don’t overdo it, though: if you’re peppering your headings and text with so many keywords that it begins to read unnaturally, that’s counterproductive. It’s known as keyword stuffing, and the search algorithms will actually penalize your site for it.

Sharpen up your content headings (Image source: [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/photos/tMI2-r5Nfo))_

In fact, if you’re organizing your writing in a logical way, quite often you’ll find that keywords fit easily into headings. That’s because a well-structured post will flow smoothly from section to section, being broken up by relevant headings that will be all about your topic.

So in that post about VoIP services, for example, you might find it useful to give extra information about alternatives. Your post might quite reasonably have sections on UCaaS tools or PBX systems as well, and it would make sense for those terms to be secondary keywords in an article on this subject.

Don’t forget images and videos

Did you know that 82% of marketers say using video increases the amount of time users spend on a page? If you’re not using videos on your blog already, you should be thinking about it.

And when it comes to the images on your page, optimize them. That means give them a file name that includes a keyword. Additionally, you should be in the habit of writing alt text for your images not only for user accessibility, but also because keywords can go in there too. It all helps.

You might even want to consider putting some interactive content on your site. This could take the form of a video where the user selects which part of the video to see next. Something like this can take a lot of preparation, but it really does boost engagement into the stratosphere.

Consider using categories and tags

Categories and tags, while not essential, can help you organize your blog posts and create a more cohesive site.

Use categories to group together posts on a similar major topic, and tags to mark minor topics within the posts themselves.

Consider using categories and tags (Image source: Unsplash)

Write detailed content

They used to say that content is king. Well, it still is, because if you’re not providing engaging reading material, why would people stick around?

First thing’s first. No matter what your target audience is, you need to prove that you know your stuff. Whether you’re writing about app engine instance types for highly technically savvy readers, or reaching out to children with fairy tales, go into detail on your subject. The search engines love detailed posts and will rank you higher for it.

But make sure the writing is easy to read!

Never forget that writing a blog post isn’t the same as writing a book. People landing on your page will spend a few moments scanning the content first to decide whether to read it.

If they’re assailed by huge imageless blocks of text, they’re unlikely to want to stay. So divide your text into short paragraphs and break them up with images to please the eye. For SEO purposes, try to keep the length of most of your sentences under 20 words.

Using bullet lists, white space around text and suitable punctuation can also contribute to a much more reader-friendly experience.

Optimize for mobile

Since 2019, Google has used mobile-first indexing – in other words, it considers the mobile version of a site first when ranking pages.

This is just one of the ways your website design can affect SEO, but it’s a big one. So when you’re creating your content, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t put clickable links too close together. If you do, it can be difficult for a user on a mobile device to click on the one they want, which will be frustrating.
  • Choose mobile-friendly fonts.
  • Don’t use content that’s wider than a mobile screen (e.g. tables can be a problem here).

Optimize for mobile (Image source: Unsplash)

A few extra tips for boosting organic traffic

Aside from optimizing your blog for SEO, there are a few other things you can try to attract more readers.

Guest blogging

This is a kind of cross-promotion technique. You write a blog post and put it on someone else’s blog and/or vice versa. It’s great because it opens up the possibility of reaching new readers you may never have found otherwise. Meanwhile, the other site benefits from some free, high-quality content.

It works best if there’s an overlap between the two sites’ audiences. For example, if you write a tech review blog, you could offer to review a virtual receptionist service on a local business site. Or if you’re all about cooking, you could look for someone who produces artisan food products and offer to write a recipe using one of them for publication on their site.

Promote your site on social media

It might seem obvious, but don’t overlook this. It’s a fantastic way of reaching out to large numbers of people quickly. The most important thing to remember here is to choose the right social media platform.

Instagram is a primarily visual medium, for example, so is good for promoting anything that can be explained in images e.g. arts and crafts, food, make-up tutorials, cute puppies. But it might not be suitable for something more abstract like a blog focusing on the history of philosophy.

Don’t neglect older blog posts

We mentioned this in the section on internal linking, but it bears repeating. Just because you wrote an article a while ago doesn’t mean it’s over. That killer post you wrote a while back on the first ever computer bug? Feel free to share it again (it actually is a fun story, that one). You’ll reach a fresh audience and may find a few new followers among them.

Over to you!

Hopefully, you’ve picked up a few new tips here on how to really nail SEO for your blog. It can be tricky getting momentum behind your site at first, but by making a few small changes, you can make a substantial difference. Good luck!

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