Here are eight simple steps you can incorporate into your blog posts to optimize them for search engine optimization (SEO). By doing so, you will more than likely see an increase in traffic to your blog.
Pick Relevant Keywords
When developing a strategy to tackle SEO, deciding on what keywords you want to focus on will help you tremendously moving forward. Topics you will be covering and how they can relate to your audience will be the guiding factors when coming up with primary and secondary keywords.
For example, if you have a website about fashion, you are posting on your blog about next season’s trends, and you know your audience happens to like the Kardashians, maybe a good primary keyword for you to pick could be “fashion trends for next season.”
For secondary keywords, “fashion trends among famous people” could work well. It is related to your primary keyword but can bring in a slightly different group of people. Additionally, some people like to choose an extra primary and secondary keyword. This can be helpful and something for you to take into consideration.
Search engines prefer keywords that are a little bit longer because it can be too difficult to determine rankings with only a one- or two-word phrase. Also, keep in mind voice search options on products like Alexa and Siri. As these features get more popular, the importance of optimizing your site for them will increase.
Incorporate your keywords into your post where appropriate. It has to sound natural when reading it – don’t force keywords into places where they seem out of place. Search engines can detect when you are keyword stuffing and will sometimes penalize you for it.
Check Relevant Keywords
After picking your keywords, check to make sure what you are using is optimal. One way of doing this is by going to Google and searching for the keywords you just picked out.
If your search returns results with featured snippets, images, and videos, you have picked a good keyword. Remember, these search results are who you are now competing with for the top spot. The content you create should be comparable to the sites you just came across.
The previously used example, “fashion trends for next season,” did not return the best results. Changing the keyword to “fashion trends in 2019” returned results that featured snippets of top stories.
The secondary keyword, “fashion trends among famous people,” was just as bad. After a few tries with slightly different wording, “celebrity fashion designers” was definitely a keeper. The first picture to pop up was of Kim Kardashian.
The point is, don’t worry about getting it right on the first try. Just keep swapping out different parts of the phrase until you hit on the correct wording. If you are having trouble, you can learn more about the different SEO services that are available on the internet.
Choose a Title
Incorporate your primary keyword into the title of your post. A good title will help both people and search engines understand what your post is about in just a few words.
Use Keywords in Headers
Another place that can be perfect for a keyword is the headers throughout your post. Breaking up a post into sections allow you to add important headers for SEO, and it also makes it easier to read for the visitor.
Include Keyword in URL
This is something that search engines look at when determining what your page is about. Some CMS (content management system) programs, such as WordPress, can automatically create a URL matching your title. Turn this feature on if you have it available.
Title Your Images
However you are publishing your blog, there is usually an option to add titles and alt text to your photos. It is good practice to fill these in because search engines also look at them. This is another important spot to try and include your keyword.
It is essential to use accurate titles for your photos because people who have vision problems might be using a device that reads websites to them. This device will describe the photo to them based on what you wrote.
Include Relevant Links
Whether you are linking to different posts on your blog, or to other websites, make sure your links are relevant to the reader. Links are another important factor for search engines, of course.
The more websites that link to you, the better your rankings should be in search engines. It can be hard sometimes to get people to link to your blog posts. However, you can link to as many other posts on your own blog as you want, as long as it is appropriate.
One reason why getting people to link to your blog is so important is that it demonstrates to the search engines that you are a legitimate website. The more people that link to you shows how popular you are.
Choose Tags and Categories
Blogs usually allow you to create tags and categories to sort posts accordingly. Depending on your CMS program, with every tag and category you create, the program automatically generates a webpage including links to all posts on your site that also use the same tags or categories.
These pages are rich in keywords and can help out a lot with SEO. They can also be useful navigation tools for your visitors.
Now that you have learned how to optimize your website for SEO, it shouldn’t seem that intimidating. Some of it is instinct and common sense, other parts are trial and error. Keep attempting different things until you come across that winning combination.
At the same time, be patient. Your blog more than likely won’t go viral overnight just because you added a few keywords. Keep updating your site with more content as you try out different things. Once you get the hang of it, consider going back to old posts and reworking them to include keywords. It can only help to improve your SEO if done correctly.