How to Optimize Your Blog Posts For SEO in 2018
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.
THE ULTIMATE SEO CHEKLIST
Are you a complete beginner to SEO? If you are sign up here to download the ultimate checklist of all SEO activities you should carry out on your website and other online business platforms.
What is SEO?
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 8 ways
1. 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.
Recommended reading: 10 reasons why you should use long tail keywords
Now that you know that one tip on how to optimize blog posts for SEO is to use long tail keywords, the question is how do you find them?
There are several tools you can use to find long tail keywords and below is a list of the ones I use.
|Wordtracker keyword tool||Keyword Revealer|
|Keyword Eye||Long Tail Pro|
Learning how to optimize blog posts for SEO involves knowing the best locations you should place your keywords in a blog post;
a) Blog post titles and subheadings
b) Throughout the blog post while avoiding keyword stuffing
c) Links anchor text
d) In the first 100 words
e) Meta description, title tag, and URL slug
f) Image alt and title tags
2. Practice internal and external linking to related content
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.
3. Use an SEO plugin
a) It will help you edit title tags, Meta descriptions, URL slug and focus keyword for specific posts/pages.
b) It will help you to perform page, readability and keyword analysis of your pages and posts.
c) Create XML sitemaps you can manage and submit to webmaster tools.
d) Help you to manage URLs, such as create redirects, canonical URLs to prevent duplicate content and set permalink structure elements among others.
e) 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
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.
BlueHost, SiteGround and A2Hosting are some of the best web host providers who will give you fast loading servers and other tools. I use SiteGround, and you can find out ten reasons why their hosting is just fantastic.
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.
Premium/paid Theme Alternative
Divi Theme from Elegant Themes
The package costs $89 per year and it comes with the following additions.
Bloom: A free plugin you can use to create opt-in forms to collect email subscribers.
Monarch: A plugin you can use to add social media sharing and follow buttons to your blog.
Extra: A famous theme you can use to create newspapers, magazines and other multipurpose publications.
The Divi builder: A plugin you can use to build beautiful looking pages and post layouts.
Free Theme Alternative
Astra Theme from Brainstorm Store
This theme can be used alongside the following free options.
Sumo: A free plugin you can use to create opt-in forms to collect email subscribers.
Social share: A plugin you can use to add social media sharing and follow buttons to your blog.
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
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.
7. Mention influencers within the blog post
This is it, when you mention influencers, whether people or products in the market you increase your chances of earning backlinks from them.
Backlinks are powerful off page SEO signals which will improve your rankings and search traffic.
After mentioning influencers, you can go a step further to send them a pitch letting them know that you have a new blog post where you mentioned them, see template below.
8. Use the right SEO tools
SEO can be tedious and complicated, especially to new bloggers.
The good news is using the right SEO tools can make the process enjoyable and more fruitful.
Here is a list of some of the best SEO tools for bloggers.
- Google webmaster tools: Google console, Google analytics, and Google keyword planner.
- Keyword research: KW Finder, Long Tail Pro, Keyword Revealer, Jaaxy.
- Competitor analysis: SEMRush and Buzzsumo,
- SEO audit tools: Screaming Frog SEO, Woorank and SEO Site Checkup
- Influencer outreach: Buzzstream, Boomerang, and Hunter.
- SEO Chrome extensions: Keyword everywhere, Check My Links and MozBar among others.
BUILD YOUR BLOG TODAY
Subscribe to get the ultimate step by step guide to building your own blog today even in you are a complete beginner. You do not need any prior experience or technical coding skills at all!
All you have to do is marry these eight how to optimize blog posts for SEO tips and remain faithful in putting them to work for every single blog post you write.
Yes, SEO is not simple neither is it a one-time activity. Nonetheless, the sacrifice is worthwhile in the long run.
I think you may also be interested in the guides below;
- 10 of the best on-page SEO techniques for newbies
- Four beginner-friendly off page SEO techniques you should care about.
- How to start a blog and make money with it in 2018.
Feel free to leave a comment below asking a question or even better provide a suggestion of a post you would like me to write about.
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