Before delving into tips to optimize your post for search engines, it’s worth emphasizing the importance of always writing with the human reader in mind. No matter how much search engine optimization you do, if humans can’t read it – or if they just don’t like the blog post – the content will never be as successful as it could be. Now, let’s take a look at how we can take your excellent article and make it easier to be found.
Blog Post SEO Friendly
Creating a blog post starts with keyword research. Preferably, you should find niche keywords that are specific to your post topic before you start writing but you can optimize for keywords after (it just requires a little more editing and time). I believe the Google Keyword Tool is the easiest way to do keyword research. It also helps you find other words and phrases that are similar to your query. Choosing good/relevant keywords is essential to the rest of the SEO strategy so make sure you don’t rush this part as it should be thorough.
Research and experience have identified that the title is probably the single most important part of the SEO process when it comes to the content of your blog. Not only does it need to draw readers in, it must use a keyword you’re focusing on. Google assigns the most value to the title of your blog post. Therefore, by including the keyword in the title, you’re assigning the most value possible to your chosen keyword term. Effective keyword targeting is essential because the term you wish your content to be associated with should be represented in the title of the post and be supported by the content that follows.
Use HTML header tags (i.e. h1, h2, etc). Header tags give your content a hierarchy and lets the Google spider know which elements are the most important. You should also use your keyword – or related keyword phrases – in your header tags. It isn’t necessary to use the keywords in every header tag. Only use it where it makes the most sense as it relates to the content below it.
Image Alt Tags
HTML Alt tags on images seem to be the forgotten step for many years. This includes an image description in the alt tag is important because Google doesn’t “see” the image, it relies on you to tell it what is in the image. This means the image description should let me know what I’m looking at with a blog post relevant description.
Bolded text is important because it calls attention to certain words or phrases. But don’t go overboard or else it begins to fade into the background. Bolding also tells Google about the structure of the site, just as header tags do. Don’t indiscriminately bold text. Make sure it’s targeted to the words and phrases you want to rank for and emphasize to the reader.
Paragraph text will constitute a majority of your blog post. Make it readable, informative and entertaining, with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Does Google punish your site if you misspell a word? No, but your readers might notice. Ultimately great content is the best way to perform well in search engines. Take the time to proofread your article before hitting the publish button.
If you use a content management system like WordPress, there are dozens of plugins that will make adding meta information easy. Meta titles and descriptions are the results that you see when you make a Google search. If someone searches for something using the keyword in your title, you are likely to appear higher in the search results than if you don’t.
This is a 130 character summary of your post. This shows up underneath the meta title in search results. When a search term is entered into Google, the words used will be bolded in the meta description (and the meta title, as well). Include an accurate description that touches on the keyword/phrase you’ve chosen, and you will perform better in search rankings for that keyword/phrase.
Example of meta title and description:
This has more to do with the setup of your blog URL structure as a whole. You want to make sure the permalinks are using your keyword targeted title. If your title is a little on the long side, you can modify the permalink to be shorter, just be sure that the shorter version includes the keyword you’ve targeted.
Tips For Helping You Optimize
Use a screen reader. These are often used by the visually impaired to help navigate a website. It reads the content on the screen out loud to the user. You can use this to help get a better feel for what search engines see, it’s different from what you see with your eyes. Here is a free screen reader for Windows, and a free screen reader for Mac.