10 Tips to Maximize Search Engine Optimize For Your Blog Content
If you are somewhat familiar with search engine optimization, you might already know that blogging helps you get ranked by positioning your website as a relevant answer to the needs of your consumers. But while most companies see blogging as an SEO tool, many fail to realize that you should actively be using SEO within these blogs as well. So today, we’re here to show you how using a variety of different SEO tactics for your blog posts can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and increase site visitation.
1. Use a couple of long-tail keywords that appeal to your ideal reader's interest.
Remember, optimizing your blog posts for keywords does NOT mean flooding them with as many keywords as you can cram into a post. The act of "keyword cramming" is detrimental to your SEO because search engines mark and block this. They do this because it's essentially spamming keywords to try and rank highly for any search.
Not only will it hurt you, but it will also negatively impact your customers. Specifically, it will hurt your reader experience, which is a ranking factor that Google uses to determine which content it places at the forefront of consumer searches. Stuffing keywords makes any interaction you have with customers forced and not genuine, which means they likely did not find what they came to find. Never forget, It's about quality, not quantity.
Therefore, a heuristic to use is to narrow your content down to one or two long-tail keywords per blog post. Just because you have the option of using more than one keyword in a single post, it's more strategic to make your post content topical and have focus. This will allow you to spend time actually optimizing for just one or two keywords.
2. Include these 1–2 keywords in specific parts of your post.
The next step after you've acquired the keywords that you feel would fit best is to integrate them within your blog post. You should ask yourself: Where are the most optimal parts of your posts to include these terms, so you rank high?"
The fundamental building blocks of SEO lie within the four areas to include your keywords: title tag, headers & body, URL, and meta description.
The title (i.e., headline) of your blog post will be a search engine's and reader's first step in determining the relevancy of your content, making this a vital component of your post. Google calls this the "title tag" in a search result.
Be sure to include your keyword within the first 60 characters of your title, which is just about where Google cuts titles off on search engine results pages (SERPs). Technically, Google measures by pixel width, not character count, and it recently increased the pixel width for organic search results from approximately 500 pixels to 600 pixels, which translates to around 60 characters.
Long title tag? When you have a lengthy headline, it's a good idea to get your keyword in the beginning since it might get cut off in SERPs toward the end, which can take a toll on your post's perceived relevancy. In the example below, we had a long title that went over 65 characters, so we front-loaded it with the keyword for which we were trying to rank: "on-page SEO."
Headers & Body
Mention your keyword at a regular cadence throughout the body of your post and in the headers. That means including your keywords in your copy, but only in a natural, reader-friendly way. Don't go overboard at the risk of being penalized for keyword stuffing. Before you start writing a new blog post, you'll probably think about how to incorporate your keywords into your post. That's a smart idea, but it shouldn't be your only focus, nor even your primary focus.
Whenever you create content, your primary focus should be on what matters to your audience, not how many times you can include a keyword or keyword phrase in that content. Focus on being helpful and answering whatever question your customer might've asked to arrive on your post. Do that, and you'll usually find you naturally optimize for relevant keywords, anyway.
Search engines also look to your URL to figure out what your post is about, and it's one of the first things it'll crawl on a page. You have a tremendous opportunity to optimize your URLs on every post you publish, as every blog lives on its own unique URL -- so make sure you include your one to two keywords in it.
In the example below, we created the URL using the long-tail keyword for which we were trying to rank: "email marketing examples."
Later in this post, we'll dive into meta descriptions a bit more. Your meta description is meant to give search engines and readers information about your blog post's content -- so be sure to use your long-tail term, so Google and your audience are clear on your post's content.
At the same time, keep in mind the copy matters a great deal for click-through rates because it satisfies certain readers' intent. The more engaging, the better.
3. Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly.
Did you know more people use a search engine from their mobile phones than from a computer?
And for all those valuable search queries being made on mobile, Google displays the mobile-friendly results first. This is yet another example of Google heavily favoring mobile-friendly websites -- which has been true ever since the company updated its Penguin algorithm in April 2015.
So, how do you make your blog mobile-friendly? By using "responsive design." Websites that are responsive to mobile allow blog pages to have just one URL instead of two -- one for desktop and one for mobile, respectively. This helps your post's SEO because any inbound links that come back to your site won't be divided between the separate URLs.
As a result, you'll centralize the SEO power you gain from these links, helping Google more easily recognize your post's value and rank it accordingly.
Pro tip: What search engines value is constantly changing. Be sure you're keeping on top of these changes by subscribing to Google's official blog.