Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great way to increase your authority and build trust in your brand.
For this reason, optimizing your blog for search engines is a must. Your readers rely on your content to find and interact with your brand, so you must present them with the best information possible.
Using the right keywords, tag structures, and length of posts are all important parts of SEO, but you also need to optimize for search engines.
How can you optimize your blog posts to get maximum benefit? We will share a detailed guide on optimizing blogs for SEO in this guide.
What is SEO Content?
SEO content is the writing of articles, blog posts, and other content designed to help search engines understand your business.
In other words, SEO content is the type of content that you can use to rank on SERPs.
You can generate organic traffic for your business by using the correct SEO content, not to mention the role that keyword research plays in this.
How do I Write an SEO-friendly Blog Post?
When doing SEO, create high-quality content rich in keywords and provide user-friendly information.
Writing a blog post optimized for search engines is very important for your blog. You need to write about a topic that the target audience is searching for.
Whether you are assigning it to the writer or producing the content on your own, it is important to understand some basics of SEO writing.
When you create SEO-optimized blog posts, here are a few things to take care of.
Pick the right topic to write
Researching your topics is the first and most important step in producing SEO-friendly blog posts. Pick up a topic that will help you in getting traffic from search engines.
Firstly, pick a topic that you feel is going to help your readers as well as you. Make sure to create relevant content for your target audience.
You can spy on your competitors or use various content explorer tools to find the topics in your industry. Make sure to start with a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow.
For example, a topic like digital marketing may be hard to get noticed because there are authoritative sites covering this topic.
Hence, it is always better to cover a topic with a medium or low difficulty level. That's because you want your blog to appear in the SERPs.
As you go down the SERP, the chances for clicks decrease.
Conduct a keyword research
Before writing a new blog post, make sure to perform thorough keyword research. Only relying on the main keyword wouldn't do any good.
As part of a powerful SEO strategy, keyword research should be done, keeping the searchers' intent in mind.
Thus, finding the related and long-tail keywords around the main keyword is always better. Besides the manual keyword research, you can also use keyword research tools like Ahrefs to see what keywords bring more traffic to your competitors.
Look for the metrics like search volume, keyword competition, and traffic for your main keyword.
If the search term is too broad, use the filters to find the easy keywords. For instance, the keyword difficulty should be as low as 15. At the same time, make sure there is some decent search volume for that search query.
If you plan to write a pillar content, the keyword research process should be more comprehensive. A large cluster of topics on your website may help enhance the user experience.
Once you are done with keyword research, the next step is to create a content structure.
Create a content brief
Divide the content into skimmable parts. A long-form content should be divided into small paragraphs and various subheadings.
This also helps in improving the readability of your blog content. Furthermore, the trends also suggest that using the LSI keywords in subheadings may help with rankings for various search queries.
Besides, it is also important to create a content brief before starting your writing. A content brief saves your time in deciding what to include next.
The best practice to create a content brief is by spying on your competitor's subheadings. This way, you can even find which subheadings your competitors are using.
It is a good practice to use h1 as the page title and use your main keywords. While the h1 should be used only once, you can use h2, h3, and h4 as many times in the content.
Create your blog draft
You've completed your outline; now it's time to flesh it out into a complete draft.
Use language that your audience will understand.
If you are not an industry specialist, you may be unable to reach the intended audience since you are likely utilizing jargon-like terms and phrases.
As a result, you must start using a dictionary or a vocabulary builder to locate logical terms related to your industry.
How to Optimize Blog Content for Search Engines: 10 Points Checklist
Once you have created the content and published it, this is not the end of the story.
Different search engines have different ranking algorithms. In other words, Google and Bing use completely different approaches to showing the most relevant results on SERPs.
Therefore, you must optimize your site to be ranked well across all of them to get more traffic from each one.
Blogger.com has reported that roughly 60% of businesses have blogs, and 65% of those blog owners haven’t even updated in the past year!
Thus, we have created a 10-point checklist for optimizing the blog posts for SEO.
Write a catchy headline
Headings are known as one of the most important factors that must be optimized on your web page.
Headings guide readers when they are scanning an article, and can also do wonders for keyword research.
A good title makes your article more relevant to the search query. It is also a way to get people interested in reading it and clicking on it when they see it in search results.
A catchy title has powerful, emotional, and word combinations that may be common and uncommon. The best practice is to include the main keyword at the beginning of your title.
Include semantic keywords
Optimizing a blog post for search engines is easy. Add keyword variations to your content and make your content look natural with semantically related keywords.
That's because keyword stuffing doesn't work anymore.
You can use Google autosuggest or auto-complete to give the semantically related keywords. Scroll down to find all the semantically related keywords for the main keyword.
Use focus keyword in URL, meta description, and title
Although meta description does not contribute much to your SEO campaigns, it helps with click-through rates (CTRs).
Ensure that you include the focus keyword in your page URL and meta title as well.
As evident, you can either use the focus keyword or tweak the keyword according to grammar rules.
Create internal linking between the pages
There has been confusion about how to interlink between different pages. The simple rule is to find the contextual backlinks with anchor text variations.
Creating internal linking between the pages is a great way to optimize blog posts for SEO.
When you have pages on your website linked to each other, you create a better user experience for your visitors. The links will make it easier for your visitors to navigate your website and find what they need.
This will help create relevant juice links between your old and new posts.
Add images and videos to your posts
Including visuals between your content can help reduce the bounce rate.
You want to ensure that visuals are included between the paragraphs.
Explanatory and relevant videos may help with page SEO as it builds the search engine's trust. Furthermore, an image SEO can also help with page rankings.
To boost the visibility of your images, the best practice is to include the image alt text that consists of the focus keywords and variations around it.
The good practice is to include the average number of images that SERPs (search engine results pages) have included.
You can look for stock images online to use in your blog posts. You can also use Canva to create graphics that you then publish on the internet for other people to see and enjoy.
Optimize for a featured snippet
Optimize your blog posts for featured snippets. To tap into featured snippets, you need to first figure out what type of featured snippet you’re aiming for.
Now, it depends on what featured snippet you want to rank for. Is it the definition snippet, list snippet, or simply the text snippet?
The best trick to optimizing your blog for featured snippets is replicating the SERPs content strategy. For example, if it is a list snippet, you may want to include the subheadings or bullet points in your text.
To build trust among your audience, you need to get in front of people and make them aware of the new site.
Increase content length
Make sure that you are writing the content which will be appropriate for your audience. You need to thoroughly compare what they like and dislike so they don’t get bored of reading long-form content all day.
The keywords give you an idea of what people might search for in relation to a particular topic.
By including those keywords, your article would be able to get more hits than other articles that are not covering the same terms.
This can help make it easier for readers to find your article when they search for that topic on Google or Bing's Internet search engine.
If it is your old blog post with less word count than the top search engine results, you should include the content relevant to your audience.
Identify the content gap in your SERPs and within your content.
Add outbound links
Linking doesn't matter as much now because the search engine believes in serving the best resources on the web. When you are giving out external links to authoritative and resourceful pages, you gain the trust of the search engines.
Other marketers worry about readers leaving their sites because they may never return. But this is a great way of showing your readers that you value more about resourceful content and insights.
Improve the readability of your content
Readability is an indispensable part of content marketing. You don't want your readers to bounce back just because the content is not readable and the sentences are too complex.
The readability of your writing is a measure of its quality. More individuals will be able to enjoy the material on your website if the sentence is easier to understand.
Various factors decide the readability of your content:
- Division of texts into short paragraphs.
- Number of syllables in the text.
- Ratio of unique to total words in the text,
- Average sentence length
- Average word length or average number of syllables.
For instance, Scalenut uses the readability of the top search engine results pages and suggests the readability level.
Include an enticing CTA
Hubspot analyzed 330,000+ calls to action to determine that personalized CTAs perform 202% better than non-personalized CTAs.
CTAs are meant to convince quickly and can be short. You should write them so that they will be easy to remember, so you don’t have to reread them later on.
Don’t make it too long or complicated because users might not remember all of the details if they decide not to use your product after reading your CTA at this point.
You can optimize your blog posts for SEO by including an enticing CTA. CTAs are crucial for sale purposes, and it’s the part that will determine whether or not your post will rank well in search engines.
A well-placed CTA will encourage readers to click on the link, which is the most important step in generating revenue for your blog. In other words, adding a CTA can help your visitors convert more visitors into subscribers.
Does Blogging Help With SEO?
Blogging can help with SEO if you blog on a topic your target audience is interested in.
When blogging, you need to make sure that the content is high quality and compelling enough for people to read. You also need to make sure that the blog posts are original, relevant, and useful.
That said, blogging can definitely help with SEO, but not how you may think. It is a great way to keep your site updated and current.
By blogging regularly, you can show search engines that your website is still active and relevant by including fresh content regularly.
Factors That Affect Blog SEO
Even if you have optimized your blog posts well and made sure the On-Page SEO checklist is followed, some factors might still affect your rankings.
Page speed and loading time
To understand what factors can affect the loading speed of a blog post, you should watch how long it takes for your users to load a page. Your Google Analytics dashboard will show which pages are slowest and why they may be slower than others.
Page Speed Insights is part of Google's ranking algorithm. It measures the page speed by analyzing how fast it loads, how many requests are sent to the server, and other metrics.
One of the most important factors for a page's SEO is how long visitors stay on the site. This directly correlates to time spent with content and links to other pages on your website or blog.
Dwell time is the time a reader spends on a page on your blog site. It is indeed an indirect ranking signal in SEO. The time spent on a page is influenced by the content's length, readability, and usability.
This metric measures the time that people spend on a webpage. People will be more likely to read your page if they have spent a lot of time looking at it before deciding what to do next.
Thus, search engine algorithms use dwell time as the factor for deciding the page SEO.
Mobile users demand better websites and blogs. They want to browse from any mobile device they have access to, including their phone or tablet.
More than half of Google’s search traffic in the United States comes from mobile devices. Mobile speed is a crucial factor affecting your blog site rankings, both in Google and Bing.
Mobile users want fast-loading websites, so they don't encounter frustration while browsing with their smartphones or tablets. Because mobile usage has become more common than desktop use, it only makes sense for you to make sure your blogs are always responsive on all screens.
Include latest data
Recent data, another indirect SEO ranking factor, should be included in blog posts. People are constantly looking for new, updated, and fresh content.
They want to see the latest and most recent data on your blog or website to decide whether to stay on your site or leave.
Therefore, if you have an article published in the past few weeks, it is highly recommended that you include those articles as part of any post updates.
It is always good to include the latest data and insights in your content.
But, don’t overdo it.
A popular mistake that many bloggers make is to update their blog so frequently, that they flood the search engines with too much information.
Indexing is when search engines add your content to their database so they can find and display it later on a search result page of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Search engines like Google aim to provide the most relevant and accurate information available, so they use things like date to rank search results.
Search engine indexing happens after quite long; for example, Google indexes your pages in about 15 days.
If you have a slow site, then the search engines can't find your content, and they won’t index it.
The question arises: Is the date the content was indexed the same as the date it was published?
The short answer is Yes or No.
Blog posts are typically published immediately after they're written and thus may be included in search results within hours of their initial publication date. However, the content may also be backdated several times.
Tips to Optimize Your Blog Posts for SEO
Here are some quick tips to optimize your blog posts for SEO:
Use 1-2 long-tail keywords
When you post on your blog, it is vital to optimize the content for search engines. The more keywords you use in your blog post, the better your blog will rank in search engines.
You can use long-tail keywords for optimization. A long-tail keyword is a single word or phrase that contains many words or characters and is not as popular as a short-tail keyword.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on one or two keywords that are long-term but short in content. Furthermore, NLP terms have played a crucial part since the latest Google algorithm update.
NLP terms in your content increase the relevancy and bring your content closer to the searcher's intent. Read about NLP in SEO to know why you should use NLP in your content.
Create topic clusters
Create a list of keyword phrases that relate to your blog posts, then subcategorize them into topics or categories within your site. Use topic clusters to help search engines understand your expertise.
This helps Google understand how you define content related to these keywords and help it better match what users are looking for when they search for those terms on the web.
These are vital for getting more exposure in search engines and can help with increasing shareability on social networks by using them in titles and descriptions.
Review the metrics regularly
Make it your habit to regularly review the metrics and KPIs of your SEO campaigns.
You can use Google Search Console and Google Analytics to track various metrics of your site and analyze the performance.
Once you start publishing the post regularly, you will see more metrics coming up and the effort to improve your SEO campaign.
Publish evergreen content
Publishing evergreen content helps you write more posts and stay active on the blog, which can help in increasing your search engine visibility.
The best way to do this is by focusing on creating value for real people instead of trying to attract a lot of traffic with just one post.
Here are some benefits of publishing evergreen content:
- It will bring traffic steadily over a long period. For example, topics like 'Best Online Shopping Sites' or The Best ways to make money online tend to gain traffic constantly.
- Furthermore, the search engines also consider your website as a source of information so they display these queries in SERPs.
Optimize title and meta description
Optimize your meta description and title to have a high click-through rate. Include the focus keywords in the metatags.
Your title should be descriptive and engaging, as it will be the first thing a potential reader sees. Try to include two or three keywords that are important to your audience.
Meta descriptions are an essential part of any content marketing strategy. They allow search engines to understand what your content is about.
Check the optimal density of primary keyword
Optimizing blog posts for SEO is one of the most effective ways to rank your blog. The keyword density should be optimized to a range of 10-20% for best results.
This will help you rank your blog in the search engines and give you more traffic to your blog.
Q1. How long should blog posts be for SEO?
Ans: The ideal blog article length for SEO is 2100-2400 words, according to a HubSpot study from 2021. That's a lot longer than most authors or webmasters consider excellent blog posts to be 200 or 500 words.
Q2. Do blog posts help SEO?
Ans: Blogging is beneficial to SEO since it helps in a variety of essential ranking variables. When you have a blog that is consistently updated with high-quality blog entries on themes relevant to your audience, it may make a significant impact in how your whole website ranks in search engines.
Q3. How often should I publish a blog post?
Ans: The best way to get more people to read your content is to blog two to four times a week. This is the same as posting between eleven and sixteen times a month, depending on how set you are about when you post each week.
Q4. What are the main pillars of SEO?
Ans: The three main pillars of SEO are discovery, relevance and authority.
Q5. How long should Meta Description be?
Ans: Although meta descriptions can be any length, Google normally limits them to 155-160 characters. Meta descriptions should be kept short enough to be descriptive, thus we recommend keeping them between 50 and 160 characters.
The importance of SEO has never been greater. If you want to rank higher in search engines, you need to optimize your blog posts.
There are several ways to do this, but the best is with a platform like Scalenut SEO hub.
Now that you know how to optimize your blog posts, it's time to go for it!
It can help you with a lot of the technical stuff, such as adding schema markup and keywords, but it also provides suggestions on how to improve your overall content quality.
Get started with Scalenut SEO Hub for free and start creating SEO content with just a click.