Search engine optimization is undoubtedly one of the most important activities for marketers. By optimizing your web pages — including your blog posts — you are increasing your website’s visibility to people who are looking for keywords associated with you, your business, your products and service via search engines like Google, Yahoo, Baidu, and Bing.
But it can be a pretty tricky to master the ever-changing algorithm updates.
In such a state, how does one figure out what matters and what doesn’t? What are today’s SEO best practices for blogs, and what’s considered “old-school”? How on earth can you stay on track with all this mumbo-jumbo?
We understand that SEO isn’t easy for everyone and it can create confusion for marketers — and we want to help. In this guide, we will teach you how to use SEO best practices for blogs, for the keywords you care about. We have also thrown is a few other optimization tips you should always be mindful about.
Note: This list doesn’t cover each and every SEO tip under the sun. Rather, these best practices for blogs are here to get you started with improving SEO and to help you get things right if you haven’t already.
SEO Best Practices For Blogs
1) Focus on 1–2 long-tail keywords.
Keywords are super important for any blog post. However, optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about smashing in as many keywords as possible into your blog posts. Doing that will not only be useless, it’ll be counter-productive too. It would hurt your SEO immensely since search engine crawlers will identify your blog with keyword stuffing. You should instead incorporate keywords in your content in way in which they don’t feel unnatural or forced.
By making use of long-tail keywords, you’ll be optimizing your blog in a much more efficient manner. When people search on Google, they are usually searching long-tail terms, and thus, those visitors will often be more qualified. In other words, you are targeting the right keywords and bringing in the right type of traffic.
2) Include your keywords in specific areas of your post.
Once you have identified the right keywords, you need to know where to place them in your blog post. Remember, NO Keyword Stuffing.
The four essential areas of placing your keywords are: Title/ headline, headers and body, URL, and meta description.
Your blog’s title, aka headline is the search engine’s, as well as the reader’s first step in determining how relevant your content is, so including a keyword here, is of prime importance. Make sure you include the keywords within the first 65 characters of your blog post title, which is just about where Google cuts it off on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Headers & Body
The next important step is including the target keywords in your blog body/copy. Do not include the keywords for the sake of it, rather, include them in a natural, reader-friendly manner. Going overboard and stuffing your keywords is the opposite of SEO optimization for blogs; it is an act that Google will penalize you for. When you begin to write a new blog post, it’s a good idea to think about where and how you would be incorporating your keywords in the blog post, however, that should not be your primary focus.
Whenever you create content, your primary focus should be on creating content for users, not spiders. Focus on adding value to the reader’s life. They should learn or realize something from what they read. Be helpful, answer people’s doubts, and interact with your customers.
URL is the first thing web crawlers check when they come across your site. They use the URL to determine what the page is all about and how relevant it is to the keywords you are bidding for. Take this opportunity to optimize your web page or blog’s URL by adding at least 1 or 2 keywords in it.
Your blog’s meta description gives search engine crawlers, as well as readers, information about your blog post’s content. Make sure this is clear and precise and not misleading.
3) Be mobile-friendly.
The world has gone mobile, and if your blog hasn’t, we have some bad news — You’re Being An Idiot.
Most of Google’s searches are performed using smartphones. If your site is not responsive and mobile optimized, then Google’s algorithm will automatically punish you and your rankings will suffer.
(Foxynet Solutions customers: Breathe easy. All websites and applications created by us are responsive and mobile friendly. We aren’t one of the best website developers in Sydney for nothing!)
Pro tip: What Google wants is constantly changing. Subscribe to Google’s official blog to stay up to date with their latest changes.
4) Clear Meta description.
A meta description is an additional text that appears below the website URL in SERPs. Its primary function is to let users and web crawlers know what the post is about. Our SEO best practice for blogs would emphasize the importance of this mostly overlooked optimization tip. Your meta description should always include your long tail keyword you are ranking for.
By drafting easy to read content with free-flowing natural keyword inclusion, you’ll make it easier for Google to give authority to your posts in SERPs.
5) Optimize your images.
No one wants to read a blog with just plain dry text. Neither does Google (well kind of!).
Search engines can’t “see” images the way we do, however, they can read the image’s alt text, which is pretty much the same thing.
Alt text is an attribute that MUST be added to an image tag in HTML:
<img class=”wp-blog__foxy-image” src=”image.jpg” alt=”image-description” title=”best practices for blogs”>
In most online software and tools such as Word Press, you will always get an option to include Alt Text when you upload an image. Make sure you use it wisely.
This might seem trivial and minor or some of you reading this, and we know it is not going to impact your search rankings as much as other things on our foxy list would. But, it’s totally worth it.
Foxynet Solutions customers: Our search engine optimisation services in Sydney and across Australia recognize the importance of every aspect of SEO for your website. When we serve you, SEO based optimization of your website images in an important element of our process in getting you ranked #1 on Google.
6) Avoid using too many topic tags.
Topic tags help you in organizing the content you routinely create, and just like keyword stuffing, if you overuse topic tags, it can be quite harmful. Having plenty of topic tags for your post could potentially get you penalized by search engines on basis of having duplicate content. The standard thumb rule is — >Not more than 2 topics (categories) for 1 post.
If you’re worried that you’ve already committed this mistake, it’s OK!Take some time off and clear them up. This list best practices for blogs is here to help bloggers get back to their A game!
7) Do not neglect internal linking.
Back links to your content show search engines the validity or relevancy of your domain. The same could be said for internally linking several pages of your website together. You should attempt to link similar topics in your blog post that could help your readers stay engaged with your content and read more articles.
If you have read this article until here, you would surely have noticed how we have linked other internal blog posts and pages to this article. Not only will this practice help keep your visitors engaged and increase your blogs average on-page time, but it will also surface your other pages as relevant and authoritative to search engines.
8) Harness Google’s Search Console Results.
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results. You don’t have to sign up for Search Console for your site to be included in Google’s search results, but doing so can help you understand how Google views your site and optimize its performance in search results. Using this tip is one of the most important best practices for blogs.
Plenty of bloggers struggle when it comes to optimizing their blog posts for search. The fact of the matter is, your blog posts will not start to rank as soon as you put them out. It will take time to build up your site’s relevance and search authority. But you should not stop. Keep publishing blog posts frequently, and use Google’s Search Console to know what keywords are trending and what to use.