Blogging is one of the best ways to grow your website’s search traffic. When you provide relevant and meaningful content, Google is more likely to rank your website higher and send more traffic your way. To keep your blog growing consistently, you need to ensure it's optimized for SEO. In this blog post, you’ll learn some tips and tricks on how you can successfully optimize your blog for search engines. This post focuses on the technical aspects of blogging and not the written.
Optimizing your metadata is the first step you should take with your blog. You need to keep your page title between 55 and 60 characters. If your page title is longer than this, Google tends to cut it off. When writing your page title, make sure to keep it highly relevant to what the post is about and include at least one keyword in it. This helps Google and the readers to know what kind of information you’re providing.
Your meta description is just as important as the page title. This description is a short snippet of text that tells search engines what your page is about. When people are searching online and see your page in the organic search results, the meta description will appear beneath the page title. While not many people actually take the time to read the meta description, it’s still an important part of your page’s SEO. Google uses both the page title and meta description to rank your page’s relevancy.
There is one theme you want to maintain as you blog and that is to use your keywords in as many ways as possible. When evaluating a blog’s content, Google looks at the headers and body to understand what it’s about. By using your keywords and their synonyms, you’re helping the search engine to rank your blog for more relevant searches. As a standard rule, every page should have at least one H1 tag. This is usually saved for the blog title. For the headers, use H2 and even H3 tags.
As you write, be sure to keep your primary focus on the quality of the content and not how many keywords you use. If you overdo the keywords, this could hurt your rankings as Google considers it keyword stuffing. A good way to think about it is to step into the shoes of your reader. What questions are going through their minds and how can you best answer them? If you’re having problems finding different words to use, you can use a thesaurus or even Google’s own search results to see related terms.
If you want people to stay longer on your blog posts, add images and videos. Pictures not only help to capture your audience’s attention but break up large chunks of content too. Nobody wants to read big blocks of text. It’s hard on the eyes and is boring. From blogs we’ve created and maintained for our clients’, we’ve seen people spend longer on the post when it has images. If you’re writing technical content, it’s helpful to include some infographics. These help to provide visual context for the reader. Videos are another great way to keep people engaged.
If you’re going to use images on your blog, you need to make sure they are properly optimized. Every image should have an alt tag. Alt tags are attributes of an image that says what’s on the image and what its function is. The alt tag is used by screen readers, which are browsers for the blind and visually impaired. Screen readers tell the person what’s on the image. In much the same way, alt tags help search engines to understand and categorize your content. If you’re writing blog content and adding images, it’s a good idea to include alt tags.
As you continue blogging, your content library will grow over time. When you have enough content accumulated, you should start internal linking. Basically, internal linking are links that go from one page on your website to another. If you’re writing about on-page SEO tips and have an older blog post with more SEO tips, you could link to that page. Internal linking is great because it helps users to navigate to other parts of your website but more importantly it assists with SEO. Internal links create a hierarchy of information on your site and spread linking power around your website. This provides search engines with a better understanding of which pages are more important on your website.
If you’re thinking about blogging or already have a blog, you need to think about your SEO. Every time you publish a blog post, you need to make it a habit to go through an SEO checklist. Is your metadata optimized? Do your headers have H1 tags? Are your images tagged? By consistently optimizing your blog content, you’re setting yourself up for success later down the road. It can be hard to rank in Google’s organic search results. As anyone familiar with SEO knows, it can take months to a year to even show up. With blogging, you can help speed that process up.