Maintaining a blog with frequent, informational posts is a time-proven and effective means of boosting a website’s search engine ranking.
Authoritative, interesting and original content draws readers to your site and positions it as a source of high-quality information. The more you post, the more opportunities you create for your site to rank in searches.
Quality, of course, matters. There’s a vast disparity in the types and standards of blog content, and the gulf between the lowest and highest-performing content often boils down to user experience.
Factors including page speed and mobile responsiveness should be accounted for and optimised on a site-wide level to ensure users a clean and easily navigable interface.
However, there’s a lot you can do ‘on the page’ to ensure each new post is reader-friendly and maximises its SEO potential.
Try implementing the following 14 tips when creating new blog posts in order to boost search engine rankings and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.
While you’ve likely got a fairly comprehensive understanding of your blog’s overall audience, it’s worth thinking about audience subsets and identifying exactly who you’re targeting with each blog post.
Creating ‘buyer profiles’ is a useful exercise. Knowing exactly who you’re speaking to in a post, what they’re looking for and why, and what they will get out of clicking on and reading your post it key to its performance.
Keyword research utilises important search engine data to determine the topics that are of most interest to your target audience.
Researching keywords can be a useful way to come up with topics to write about for your blog, and it ensures that you’re covering topics that people are actually interested in and are regularly searching.
Your blog’s title is the first component that a search engine will use to determine its relevancy to a search or set of keywords. It’s also the first thing that a potential reader will analyse to decide whether to read your post, so the more catchy and impactful the better.
A useful title that draws clicks contains relevant information paired with a question, hook or twist to generate interest.
Make sure to include your main keyword in the first 60 characters of your title, as Google cuts off titles around there in the search engine page results.
Visuals including photos and videos are valued highly by Google and other search engines for certain keywords. Original photos and videos are likely to be ranked higher.
It’s important to add descriptive alt text to each visual element within a blog post, as this is what search engines are looking for. Search engines don’t ‘see’ images, but rather rely on the alt text to accurately describe the image and rank it accordingly.
Image alt text should be accurate and descriptive, under 125 characters and include the primary keyword you’re aiming to rank for.
Link to other relevant or useful posts on your website. This is useful for readers trying to navigate your site, and encourages them to spend more time and visit more pages.
Inbound links to your content from other websites, as well as internal links from other pages on your website, help to prove the relevance of your content to search engines and can improve SEO outcomes.
A legible and easily readable website will rank higher in web searches. Rather than serving your readers a daunting wall of text, break your post up using short sentences and paragraphs with headings and subheads.
Use proper punctuation and don’t be afraid of breaking information down into easily digestible bullet points.
Further breaking up text with images (with descriptive alt text!) and allowing some space between paragraphs will help your post score high on readability.
Each page on your website should contain unique, original copy in order to rank most highly in searches. Do not copy text from any external source, or from other pages on your site.
The more relevant, interesting and compelling your post, the more likely readers will engage, spend more time reading and click through to other posts on your site. All of these factors positively impact your post’s SEO outcomes.
The purpose of posting blog updates is to draw in readers and encourage them along to the next step in their journey through your site.
A bold and highly visible button at the end of your post works well to encourage readers to make a purchase or to ‘Get In Touch’, ‘Get A Quote’ etc.
Rather than trying to utilise as many seemingly relevant keywords as possible, try to optimise your post to rank for one or two longer, more specific keywords.
Longer keywords could be questions that directly pertain to the content of the post, for example using ‘Why use solar batteries?’ as a keyword for a blog post about the benefits of incorporating batteries when installing a solar power system. This will be more effective than using shorter keywords like ‘solar’ or ‘batteries’.
Once you’ve decided on the primary keywords you want your post to rank for, you’ll need to use them strategically throughout the post. Be sure to use your main keyword in the first 60 characters of your post’s title.
Your keyword can be mentioned again a couple of times in headers and the body copy of your post, but don’t try to cram it in over and over. This is known as ‘keyword stuffing’ and is obvious to readers and penalised in search rankings.
Optimise the URL of every blog post in order to boost its relevancy to your main keyword. Use your primary long-tail keyword in the URL so that search engines and readers can clearly see what the post is about before clicking on it.
This is important for two reasons. Firstly, you need to incorporate your primary long-tail keyword in the post’s meta description so that it can rank in searches.
Additionally, the meta description should be written in a catchy and compelling way, as this is the copy that will appear beneath your post when it appears in search results, so needs to convince readers to click on your post.
While timely posts about current events in your industry might draw interest and clicks in the short term, these sort of posts quickly become outdated.
‘Evergreen’ content that’s focused on topics that remain interesting over longer time periods are useful as they can continue to rank highly in searches and can result in a steady influx of traffic to your site well into the future.
Topic tags can be useful for readers navigating your blog. If a reader clicks on a tag, it will show all posts on your blog with that tag. Don’t create too many similar tags, as it’s unnecessary and can actually make search engines think your site contains duplicate versions of posts and rank it lower in searches.
A good way to use tags is to create a selection of up to about 20 tags that cover the types of content on your blog, and use only these tags on your posts.
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