Blogging SEO for Beginners: Optimize Your Posts (Part 1)
In this two-part series, I’ll cover SEO strategies that new bloggers can implement in order to increase search engine traffic to their content. The first segment will focus on techniques you can implement within your writing, while the second will concentrate on back end actions you can take to further optimize your posts and increase your ranking.
1. Conduct keyword research
When determining direction for your blog or individual posts, the best place to start is with keyword research. Finding which keywords drive the most traffic can help you start an outline and even assist you in coming up with topic ideas.
Because one of the biggest sources of traffic to your blog will be search engines, particularly Google, I would recommend using their AdWords Keyword Tool to conduct your research. Duct Tape Marketing does a good job on explaining how to use the Keyword Tool for those of you that are unfamiliar.
2. Include keywords in your content
In order to maximize the traffic that comes to your blog, focus on optimizing each of your blog posts for just one or two keywords in order to stay on target. Try to fit your selected keywords into the first 100 characters of your blog post (if you can) and then again several times throughout the post.
Note: Be careful not to keyword stuff. This is a big no no when it comes to implementing good SEO and will appear spammy to your readers. Above all, you want your writing style to be natural and genuine, not written only for the search engines.
3. Create an eye-catching title
To get a great start on your article, make your titles descriptive and eye-catching while at the same time using your keywords. By enacting all three of these tactics, your post will have an increase probability of being ranked higher in a search, and readers will be more likely to click through to your website and read your content.
A few thoughts to get you started on writing your post title:
- Titles in the form of a question have good click through rates
- Make note of the solution to a problem you’re solving
- Avoid trying to be clever over being clear. If people don’t know what you’re post is about, they won’t click through.
Writing titles can be hard but they’ll get easier the more practice you have.
4. Link to related posts
Linking to other internal pages in the text of your post, or page content, will help search engines crawl relevant articles already on your site. It can also help readers discover previous posts and related pieces that you’ve written in the past. It’s also good to link to articles outside your website one or two times in order to provide further reading for your readers.
Another bonus of interlinking is that it can help you distribute uneven link juice. In other words, popular posts can spread juice to your weaker posts and help create a stronger backlink profile.
5. Encourage interaction
The easiest way to promote active participation in your comments is to close each blog with a question by asking your readers for feedback or their opinion. Hubspot has a great article on various ways you can encourage people to participate in your blog’s comment section.
6. Find a relevant image
Last, always, always include an image that relates to your topic in the blog post. When optimized, not only do they provide another avenue for being listed in search results, but they can help attract the reader’s attention and break up long blocks of text. I will cover how to optimize your images in Part 2 of this series.
Lookout for Blogging SEO for Beginners: Optimize Your Posts (Part 2) next week where I will cover how you can further optimize your posts using the back end of your CMS.
Have you found any good in-content methods that help with search engine rank?