One brick after another.
That’s how a wall is built. You cannot skip the base and jump onto the top. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
This is essentially what SEO for blogs does, it helps in building the foundational steps meant for optimizing your pages well enough to catch Google’s attention. After all, who doesn’t want to be the top search engine’s favorite? We all do!
However, keep in mind that performing On-Page SEO for blogs doesn’t guarantee overnight success. For that matter, nothing does.
It’s a practice that must be undertaken, every step followed religiously.
And to follow the steps, you must know what exactly they are. Here we go!
1. Keywords like Confetti
Step one in carrying out the process of SEO for blogs is to choose the right keywords.
A keyword or a key phrase is essentially what your blog post is about and that term which you want a particular page to rank for. Not just this, these keywords are the exact terms which are being searched on Google.
For instance, if you own a food blog and want to write a blog about donuts, your keyword could be something such as ‘donut recipe’ or ‘easy donut recipe’ , depending upon which one is more relevant.
By relevance, I’m referring to the number of searches a particular keyword receives on a monthly basis along with the competition. Ideally, a keyword should have medium to high search volume and a low SEO difficulty.
To understand this better, conduct a keyword research for yourself. You can make use of tools such as Keyword Explorer from Moz, Ahrefs, Keywords Planner or Google Correlate. Another useful sources can be the auto completion and suggestions in the Google bar and even Youtube.
When you begin to think in terms of solving problems, you’ll be able to understand what works better as a keyword. So, hang out in places where your audience is asking questions. For instance, land yourself on Quora and search up your niche and you’ll know just what needs to be answered.
I would advise you to go with longtail keywords instead of single terms since these are easier to rank for. A good way to make use of keywords is to choose a primary one and one or two secondary ones. You can make use of them in your copy, the title, your sub headings, your image ALT text, the post URL and the meta description.
Bear in mind that you don’t overuse them. It’s better to have a low keyword density than to have an awkward sounding post.
2. Keep Your Headline Game Strong
SEO for blogs goes beyond the keywords.
If you can’t hold their attention single-handedly with your content, then forget SEO, nothing can help you.
And your post, again, is secondary when it comes to luring them in. Most people don’t read beyond the headline so that’s where you need to put in some extra work.
Here are a few tips to craft enticing headlines:
- Keep the numbers in check. Don’t go beyond 60 characters. For the Meta Title, a good character range is between 56 – 60.
- Think of something catchy yet relevant. A little click-bait is fine, but don’t go overboard with it. Preferably, go for an emotionally appealing title.
- Add elements such as a number, an year or a parenthesis to make your post give an updated look. You can go for titles such as ‘Top 10 ways to…’ ‘Start a Blog (2020 edition)‘. A good headline can also be a question, for instance, ‘How to Transform Your Blog into a Brand‘ where the post follows as an answer.
Make it tempting, pull them in and keep them hooked.
3. A Description Which Meets the Eye
Meta Descriptions should be crisp, brief and strategically formulated.
The best practice is to let it span the full space provided, so don’t go below 143 characters and while you’re at it, make sure it doesn’t exceed 156 characters.
Add your target keyword as a cherry on the top and let the content of the description be relevant and filled with value. SEO for blogs demands those eyeballs focused here and a good meta description helps you step closer to that goal.
4. A Form that is Easy to Catch Up With
The key ingredient for a good post recipe is value and I’m pretty sure a single paragraph won’t be of as much help.
When you’re writing a post that is aimed at helping people, then it’s definitely going to be filled with words. Your job here is to make it easy for your readers to digest the content and making use of conversational language isn’t going to be of any help if it’s not easy on eyes.
Formatting, it is. One of the major players in SEO for blogs, be it any niche.
Make use of headings, tables and rich media to help them drink your content in. Not just this, I would suggest you to go a step further and use a good plugin for displaying a Table of Contents and organize your posts better.
5. Link ’em Back to You!
The easiest way to make them stay longer is to keep your content synced and regularly connected by slowly building a database of posts which are linked to each other through a content link tree.
The practice of SEO, for blogs in particular suggests adding a few internal links and some high authority external links, both of which should be relevant.
Sprinkle them in strategically and see the magic for yourself.
6. Attention Grabbing Visuals
Scrolling for a while and no media found, are you gonna stay?
Nope, not unless it’s a good fan fiction.
A post rich in media such as images and videos is like a treat to sore eyes. Good news is, that it’s not just a treat for your readers, but also your visibility on Google.
Ideally, you should make use of images which are both captivating and relevant to the post. Now, for the optimization part, make sure that you manually update the alt text with your keywords in at least a few of the images.
This is something which people often overlook when performing SEO for blogs. Trust me, you don’t want to be one of those who miss the targeted attention in the image search results.
Make sure your post isn’t just an attention seeker, but also the one which gets the recognition it deserves.
7. Strategize, Categorize
The ultimate aim of optimization is to get you a ranking.
In other words, what you’re really looking for is building an identity in the search engine database. If you were to look at the content, detaching it from everything else, you’ll know that it’s meant primarily for a specific category of people.
Your goal, then, is simplification. The best way is to create a hierarchy through the means of categories. By categorizing, you’re helping your readers sorting out what they want to read by creating a structure.
Help them out now, and see how their readership will help you out pretty soon.
8. Plug it in the Slug!
A big NO to the default permalink settings.
That’s the easiest way to spell it out.
The slug is what follows your website URL. This is how it looks like:
One of best and most important practices involved in performing SEO for blogs is to mark the relevance of your content through the URL. A quick tip is to add your keyword and keep it short.
So, ditch the default slug now. It’ll pay off in the long run.
9. Tags on Display
The hype surrounding meta tags has died down and that’s because it’s no longer a determiner of your blog’s performance.
While it may not be as relevant to make use of meta tags, they can sure help your readers in identifying what your post is about and that’s why you shouldn’t miss out on them.
About three to five is a good number of tags – use keywords, synonyms and phrases which describe your post and you’re good to go.
10. Say No to Snail Speed
Here we are, to the last of the list and something that is a rookie mistake yet committed by many. Yes, I’m referring to page load size that makes readers run.
SEO, for blogs, eCommerce sites or any other type of website for that matter, takes into consideration tons of factors and while it may seem insignificant, the page load speed can very well affect your readership.
We live in a fast paced world, wanting everything and anything in a snap of fingers. It’s only obvious that we hate waiting, isn’t it? Heck, we can’t wait for our date who’s running late, will we wait for a blog post?
Some might, yes. However, most won’t.
To ensure their stay, you’ll need to make sure that your pages load within or even under a second. You can do this by making use of compressed image files, preferably in .jpeg or .png format.
Turtles no longer finish the race, you see? Flip the narrative, and make a run for it.