8 Simple Tips For Improving Your Blog’s SEO
Blogging is the cornerstone of success for many influencers. It’s also very time consuming. Between brainstorming ideas, performing keyword research, writing the content, taking photos (or searching for images), and sharing the content on social media, it’s difficult to find time for improvement.
The good news is there’s a few simple things you can do to improve your blog’s SEO, and attract more traffic to your site, without taking precious time away from content creation. We’re going to cover these in more detail below, but first, keep in mind that you’re creating content for humans and not for search engines.
If the page seems too “SEO-fied” search engines will penalize its ranking. Search engines, after all, are meant to help us find the most useful content relevant to our keyword search.
8 Simple Blog SEO Tips
1. Identify Your Keyword(s)
We use keywords to find content on search engines like Google and Bing. So, it makes sense that if we want our blog posts to be discovered by our intended audience, we need to be mindful of keywords when creating our content.
Core keywords should be included in your blog post title, meta description, blog post url (slug), and mentioned often in your content. If it seems like you’re trying to force the keyword into your blog post you might want to reconsider your keyword.
Less searched keywords are easier to rank highly for on a search engine than popular ones. Remember you’re also competing for ranking with every other website and blog post that uses that keyword.
To increase your blog’s SEO use a tool like Google Keyword Planner. It will give you estimates for how often people are searching for that keyword each month, and if that keyword is highly competitive or not.
2. Make Your Blog Post Titles Actionable (50-65 Characters)
Great blog post titles are simple, concise, and tell the reader what the content will be about before they click to read it. Unlike quippy news article titles, blog titles should be actionable.
Lists (like this blog post you’re reading right now!), “How To” explainer posts, or educational content that have titles starting with “What, Why, Where”.
Make sure to keep your blog post titles below 65 characters so it won’t be truncated in search engines.
3. Include Meta Descriptions (120 – 156 Characters)
Descriptions should be relevant to the content, include your keyword, and be short without being vague. These descriptions will also appear in search engine results, helping your readers decide whether it’s what they are searching to read.
Your description will appear in social media when you post a link to the content. If you’re using WordPress there’s a social media section where you can add the description for Facebook, or Twitter. (Also great way to ensure your images are the right size for each social network.)
4. Shorten Your Blog URL (Less than 110 Characters)
Your blog post URL is usually automatically generated from your H1 tag (your blog post title). Sometimes that title can include lots of words, creating a very long URL. Shorten it so only keywords are included. For example instead of:
5. Use Title Tags For Subheadings
Title tags, like paragraphs, and images, help us visually navigate content. The most popularly used title tags include the following:
H1 – This should only be used once on a page. It is the title of your blog post.
H2 – The next most important sub-heading. It can be used more than once, but think of it like the title of chapters, it should only be used for high categorization of your blog post content.
H3 – A common sub-heading to further categorize content beneath your H2 headings.
H4 – Minor titles.
6. Add Titles & Descriptions To Images
Including a title and Alt description for your images will help search engines scan images, and include them in image keyword searches. Alt descriptions are also used when your image, for some reason, doesn’t load on the page, it will be displayed in its place.
It’s important to accurately describe the image, because search engines cannot “see” the image, they rely on the descriptions to tell them what it is.
*Make sure your image hyperlinked to the original source if it was legally taken from elsewhere.
7. Embed Internal & External Links
Including links in your content helps boost traffic to other pages, and in return to your page. You always want to be helpful to your reader, so ensure you’re including links to referenced websites, or sources. Here’s a short checklist:
- Have you linked back to relevant pages from your website? (Internal links)
- Do you have quality external links? (Highly relevant sites that are contextually relevant)
- Check to see if you have too many links. (Less than 10 is ideal)
- Does the anchor link contain a keyword?
- Only have one link to the same page. (Don’t put the same link multiple times in one page)
- Check to see if any of your links are broken.
8. Reach A 450 Word Count Minimum
Search engines want content to be informative and valuable. The more content, the more valuable a blog post usually is, which means it will be highly ranked on the search engine. Try not to write just to meet a word count, but just be aware that if your word count is less than 450 words you might need to think of new angles from which to write your post.