A study conducted by Search Engine Watch found out that results on the first position of search engine result page (SERP) get 33% clicks and search traffic, number two gets 17% and three at least 11%.
Would you not want your blog post to rank in the first position of SERP? If it did your blog traffic and click-through rates (CTR) would increase by 33%.
I know you want such free organic traffic, but you have to do something-optimize blog posts for SEO and learn how to write SEO friendly blog posts.
Most bloggers, especially beginners ignore SEO because they assume it is complicated or most times it can be discouraging because it takes sometime before you begin to see SEO benefits.
Nevertheless, if you remain consistent in using these 8 tips on how to optimize your blog posts for SEO search engines will reward you in the long run with free organic traffic.
Follow this link and learn how to start a money-making blog today, if you do not have one yet.
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What is Blog SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of polishing and perfecting several elements on your website/blog to make it more crawlable by search engines and user-friendly.
On page SEO: All activities you will perform internally on your pages and posts to make them more search engine friendly, such as the use of keywords and producing great content among others.
Off page SEO: Are those external factors which search engines use to measure the worthiness of your blog, such as trust, authority, backlinks and social signals among others.
How to optimize blog posts for SEO in 6 ways
1. Use long tail keywords
Recommended reading: 10 reasons why you should use long tail keywords
Keywords are word, phrases or terms which people enter in search engines to find information.
For example, someone using Google to find information on weight loss is likely to use the following search terms; weight loss tips, weight loss diet and weight loss exercises among others.
Thus, keywords can be broad topics/subjects, such as health or specific search phrases, such as fitness for pregnant women. This explains why keywords can be classified into three categories: head, body and long tail.
|1. Length||One-word generic terms||2-3 words phrases||3+ words search queries|
|2. Search volume||High||Medium||Low|
|3. Competition||High||High to Medium||Low|
|4. CTR and conversion||Low||Low to Medium||High|
|5. Example||“Business”||“Online business.”||“Online business ideas for beginners.”|
Important: As a blogger, especially if your blog is relatively new, you should focus on using long tail keywords because they have low competition, high CTR and represent searchers intent.
Therefore, learning how to write SEO friendly blog posts begins with knowing how to find and use long tail keywords the right way in your posts.
Read this Keyword Targeting Guide to understand where to use keywords in a blog post for the best results.
2. Practice internal and external linking to related content
Internal links: These are hyperlinks pointing back to relevant content within the same domain. For instance, if I am writing a new blog post on keyword research, I can link to a related article on keyword research tools written earlier.
External/outbound links: These are links which you receive from other domains who refer back to content on your blog. For example, if another blogger adds a link to this post in their content, then that will be an external link pointing back to my domain.
This is a must-do tip on how to optimize blog posts for SEO because of the following reasons;
Internal linking helps search engines and users to navigate through your blog. Organized and easy site architecture makes your blog user-friendly and crawlable.
Internal linking spreads SEO benefits to all pages/posts in your blog.
External links, especially those from domains with high page and domain authority helps you to build credibility and trust.
External links from other sites encourage their audience to participate and engage with your content.
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3. Use an SEO plugin
How I Use Yoast
It will help you edit title tags, Meta descriptions, URL slug and focus keyword for specific posts/pages
b) Create XML sitemaps you can manage and submit to webmaster tools.
c) Help you to manage URLs, such as create redirects, canonical URLs to prevent duplicate content and set permalink structure elements among others.
d) Manage how your posts will be displayed on social media. See an example below of how you can use this plugin to claim your website on Pinterest.
4. Write SEO friendly content
Serious bloggers who want to learn how to optimize blog posts for SEO do not ignore this familiar phrase, “content is king.”
You do not expect search engines to rank your content if it lacks the following characteristics.
- Keyword rich
- Should be Long form-your blog post should be at least 1000 or more.
- Useful and relevant-meaning that it should be timely, informative and solves a problem.
- Readable-use of right font, grammar, line spacing, subheading and other typography and content organization factors.
- Original and not copied anywhere else.
- Fresh-you should frequently publish, such as at least three blog posts per week.
- Has different content formats, such as text, images, video, and audio among others to drive more engagement.
5. Have an SEO/ user-friendly blog
No matter how much you optimize individual blog posts, as long as they exist in a poor site, all that is in vain.
There are many ways your blog can lack the elements of an SEO friendly site;
a) Slow page speed
Slow page speed can be caused by several factors, such as poor web hosting, large images, and code density among others.
Studies show that a web page bounce rate increases by 106% if it loads for more than 5 seconds. Thus, slow page speed discourages readers
Therefore, to be on the safer side, your blog should load at a speed of below 30 seconds, if not use this speed optimization guide to improve it.
Note: Use the right hosting to keep your blog speed fast.
b) Not responsive
Does your blog layout adjust well to different devices, desktop, mobile, tablets and laptops among others?
Remember that all your blog post readers will use different devices to visit your blog post and this is why this tip on how to optimize blog posts is very important.
The responsiveness of your theme largely depends on the theme you use. Below are two theme recommendations for WordPress bloggers.
Use the right blog theme to keep your blog responsive and user-friendly.
c) Not mobile friendly
80% of your blog readers will access your post through mobile devices.
Moreover, Google and other search engines have rolled out the mobile first index campaign, which prioritizes sites that are mobile friendly.
Therefore, you must take care of mobile SEO to boost your blog SEO.
d) Lacks structured architecture
A structured site is suitable for usability and crawlability by search engines because it is easy to find information.
For example, as a blogger, you should practice excellent uses of post categories and tags in your blog posts.
Also, your pages, posts, menus, and widgets should be grouped into related elements and not any random pages.
6. Perform image optimization
Did you know that blog posts with images get 94% engagement than those without?
That is how this tip on how to optimize blog posts for SEO is powerful and vital.
Your images must be the right file size and well optimized to load faster.
Also, the images must be clear and named title and alt tags.
Suggested reading: The complete bloggers guide for optimizing images for the web.
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