How to Optimise Your Blog Posts for SEO
Blogging is a hobby for many people, while for others, it’s a crucial aspect of their content marketing strategy to build trust online.
When you create excellent content which speaks directly to the reader and helps them solve a problem, they share your content.
However, that is not enough to rank your blog posts higher on search engines.
SEO is the activity of optimising your website for more traffic and visitors.
While you need to create content for your readers, it’s also important to include SEO elements that can help your website rank higher for specific keywords.
This will help your audience reach you easily, increasing visibility, website traffic, and ultimately, conversions.
This article is all about creating SEO-friendly blog posts that help you rank higher on search engines. Let’s begin!
Create an outline for your post
Before you proceed to the post’s actual writing, it’s best to create an outline that defines the content and helps you incorporate ranking keywords as headings and subheadings. This is what an outline looks like:
It breaks up the process, making the writing much more manageable and your content high in context.
The research you do while creating the outline will also tell you about competitor keywords and their content.
Using this, you can identify the gap in their content and address it in your blog post.
Ideally, it would be best to structure the outline of a blog post in 3 parts: Introduction, main body, and conclusion.
The main body is further broken up into subheadings and bullet points.
This structure allows the reader to grasp the whole meaning of the content and allows the writer to include SEO keywords, links, and headers in between – it’s a win-win situation.
Make proper use of paragraphs and headings
Having a proper structure for your blog posts is important because of three fundamental reasons:
- Helps search engine crawl your website easily for related terms
- It helps your blog rank higher because of lists and headers
- Allows readers to skim through the article and find more value in less time
As a general rule of thumb, headings should be appropriately structured to maintain the hierarchy.
There should only be one H1 tag as the title, headings as H2 and subheadings as H3, and so on.
Also, don’t forget to use your main keywords in headings for better SEO visibility.
Don’t have more than three sentences in a paragraph. Huge blocks of text are a significant turn-off for readers and reduce readability increasing the chances of bouncing visits. But don’t overdo it.
Don’t start every new line with a paragraph. Identify where the angle changes and if you should start another paragraph.
Both headings and paragraphs are crucial for readability and SEO. They help the readers understand and skim the blog post much better while allowing Google to easily crawl through and display it in search engines for a relevant search query.
It includes a combination of internal and external links to portray your website as an authority. External linking is crucial because it shows the search engine that:
- The content on your website is valuable and relevant
- It’s a credible source of information for the target keywords
- The users can benefit from the content on this website because a lot of other websites are linking to it
Ultimately, this results in ranking high on Google and boosts your visibility.
This will help you get associated with credible websites, and getting a link to your website from them will help improve your website’s SEO score.
You can link a particular blog post to other similar blog posts on your website for internal linking. This will help readers navigate to other parts of the website and reduce the bounce rate because it will keep the users on your website for longer.
This activity will also push your website high on the SEO charts because the longer a user stays on the website, the more it shows the search engine that the content is relevant and exciting.
Pro tip: Don’t overdo this strategy because too many links can reduce the user’s reading experience and make it look spammy.
Use relevant LSI keywords throughout the article
While it may seem wise to use your focus keywords in the heading and throughout the article, it’s probably not the best way to optimise your blogs for keywords. Stuffing keywords can ruin the reading experience.
Google has become smarter now; it knows that you can add keywords for the target phrases and optimise your content for them.
However, you should also find and include Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. These are primarily related phrases to your focus keywords.
They tell search engines more about the content in your blog post.
The search engine understands the context by identifying synonyms and related keywords. So, please pay attention to these and try to spread them evenly throughout the blog post to give Google a clear indication of what your blog post contains.
Optimise the title and URL
Your title is a crucial part of SEO and can amplify your website’s number of clicks from the search engine results page. A catchy title can make or break your SEO efforts.
It should be user-friendly, relate to your blog post’s topic, and still be attractive enough to appear different on the results page.
Ask yourself, if you search for something and come across five generic blog titles and find that just one is exciting and unique, wouldn’t you click on that one only?
Similarly, you need to optimise the title for more clicks. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- It should include your long-tail keyword.
- Use a number. It’s always more attractive and gives the user a reason to click on it. For example; 6 reasons why SEO is vital for your website.
- It should describe the content in your blog post.
- Include a power word in your title to make it click-worthy.
For example – 5 actionable tips to make your blog post more interesting.
For the URL, make it a custom one rather than relying on the CMS (content management system) to create an automatic URL that includes unnecessary words.
You can customise this by separating words by ‘-’ and including only those words that are descriptive of the link’s content.
Both the title and the URL play an essential role because they increase clicks and help Google understand what the blog post is about and which search query it resolves.
Writing an SEO-friendly blog post is not that difficult.
It may take a few tries to get the hang of it, but once you understand the necessary steps, it’ll become a part of your general writing process.
However, it’s imperative to boost your rankings and get found by your target audience.
So, use this article as a checklist to write your next SEO-friendly blog post and optimise your existing content to improve their chances of ranking better.