According to 71% of bloggers, SEO is the most important traffic source. At the same time, it’s also the most demanding aspect of creating a blog that search engines and visitors alike will love.
We took one for the team and prepared a list of the top 10 SEO tips for blogs. These will help you master your SEO performance and drive an influx of readers where you most need them.
1. Rely on Keyword Research to Plan Your Content
When it comes to blog SEO, keyword research is a step you can’t afford to skip. It helps you understand what people are searching for and how keywords can be used to strategically target your audience. You also get to plan your content in a way that will be more likely to rank in the SERPs.
There are many tools for SEO keyword research, such as Google Trends, AnswerThePublic and Ahrefs. Some of them come at a price but the free Google SEO tools are just as effective at identifying keywords.
We already talked about several actionable tips for keyword research and this is where you can apply them. Try to look for keywords relevant to your topic that have relatively low competition levels.
Once you have identified relevant keywords, use them strategically throughout your blog post. Don’t forget to incorporate them into titles, headings and meta descriptions. However, make sure not to overuse them or stuff too many into one post—this could have negative effects on rankings due to spam penalties from search engines.
Consider using long-tail variations as these may be easier targets because of their lower search volume per month. They’re usually less saturated than the average single-term keyword phrases. And according to WebTribunal, with over 600 million blogs out there, you better do everything in your power to stand out.
Encouragingly enough, only 50% of bloggers perform keyword research and 17% never research keywords, giving you just the advantage you need.
Leveraging keyword research when planning blog posts ensure your content has a higher chance of ranking in the SERPs—which translates to better visibility for your website. Plus, tracking keyword performance will keep you informed about the changing interests of your customers, giving you an opportunity to make your content timely and relevant.
2. Create Helpful and Engaging Content
The first rule of blogging is to focus on high-quality content, known as the primary success factor among all bloggers. Creating helpful and engaging content not only helps attract more readers but also supports building trust with your audience and search engines.
Quality content should include accurate and useful information, be easy to read, have keyword-rich headlines, use internal links, allow comments and be frequently updated.
The information provided in each post should add value to the reader’s experience and encourage them to come back for more. Each piece of content must have a clear purpose—this will give visitors an idea of what they can expect before they even start reading.
3. Optimize Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Page titles and meta descriptions can help you kill two birds with one stone. These elements not only help search engines understand what your content is about but also influence potential readers to click through to your website from the SERPs.
Many agree the optimal page title length should be no less than 30 and no more than 60 characters, while accurately describing the post's contents. Here’s your chance to showcase your keyword research and include keywords relevant to the topic being discussed.
Make good use of action words in the titles to intrigue potential readers into clicking on your page instead of other competitors’ pages.
Meta descriptions—the small snippets of text that summarize what each post is about—should also include the primary keyword. They shouldn’t exceed 160 characters and should also have actionable language within them whenever possible.
This will help draw people into reading further, once again increasing engagement levels with visitors, ultimately boosting overall conversions over time.
Don’t just copy and paste the same meta description to all posts—this could lead Google to think you’re placing duplicate content due to lack of originality.
If you don’t feel like risking it, you can always hire one of the top on-page SEO companies to help you with all this.
4. Use Internal Links to Other Pages on Your Website
Using internal links is one of the most important aspects of SEO for any website. Internal links are hyperlinks that link to other pages or posts on your own website, which can help increase a user's time spent on your site and make it easier to navigate around its content.
According to Databox, 51% of SEO experts say two to three internal links per blog post are just enough, but 36% of them believe three to five are even better.
Internal linking also helps search engines discover more pages on your website by providing them with an easy-to-follow pathway through all your content. When used correctly, internal links can boost page authority as they act as votes from one page to another, signaling a higher level of relevance and trustworthiness from Google’s perspective.
If you’re yet to adopt this practice, start by identifying content within blog posts that are topic-wise related and add appropriate anchor text linking out toward those target URLs.
You can also use the Related Articles feature at the bottom of each post listing similar topics users may find interesting.
5. Add Visuals With Relevant Alt Tags
You can further enhance the user experience by using visuals whenever possible. These elements are proven to increase engagement levels, which can ultimately lead to higher conversion rates from visitors into customers or subscribers down the line. Videos are a favorite among marketers, with 86% of them agreeing they provide a traffic boost, a The Social Shepard study finds.
Adding visual elements makes posts easier to read—people tend to scan text rather than reading every word carefully. And going by an Insivia survey, it’s no wonder viewers retain 95% of the message delivered through video content.
However, you must take additional steps when optimizing visuals for SEO purposes—web crawlers can’t perceive images the way people do. Because of this, you have to explain to Googlebot what the visual is about.
One way to do this is by adding relevant alt tags (also known as alternative text). This allows screen-reading tools & search engine crawlers to understand what an image contains even though they cannot actually view it themselves.
These tags help people with disabilities or special needs access information easier while providing context about the topics being discussed in the blog.
When creating alt tags, make the descriptions detailed but concise and include keywords. Also, consider using captions underneath each visual element. This will further explain what certain pictures contain and gives you extra room to include keywords without sounding spammy.
Daniel James Consulting is a Full-Service Business Consulting Firm based in New York that designs solutions tailored specifically to the needs of your business in order to ensure you achieve continued success by designing, developing and implementing plans, metrics and platforms, be it a one-man operation, non-profit, startup or large organization. Our packaged solutions or a la carte selections include Website Design, Marketing & Advertising, Search Engine Positioning, and Graphic Design. Business Management Solutions are also available for companies of all sizes. For more information please visit: www.danieljamesconsulting.com.