How to Optimize Your Blog for Better Search Results on All Leading Search Engines
Including blogs as part of your online content is an excellent way to boost SEO quality while providing value to your customers. If you include on-page SEO tactics in your blog, you increase your chances of high rankings in the leading search engines, in turn bringing more people to your site.
Search engine optimization is vital and the best way to attract the people who are searching the keywords relevant to your product or service. This is no easy feat, however, as Google’s constant algorithm updates keep marketers on their toes. So what are the best blog ranking tactics at the moment? Read on to find out some of the important ones.
Many people incorrectly think that blogs should feature as many keywords as possible. The truth is, this actually works against the rules of good SEO and is known as keyword stuffing. It’s also somewhat apparent to the reader, diminishing their experience, further hurting your ranking factor. Keywords should be a natural inclusion and never forced.
The best way to approach this is to pick one or two long-tail keywords. Blogs posts should be succinct, so one or two keywords should be more than enough. Long-tail keywords which are question-based also provide more value and cut out a lot more of the competition. They focus more on the specific goals of your audience and generate the right type of traffic, best positioning you for more conversions.
Where should these keywords be located?
You should aim to place your keywords in the following four spots throughout your blog:
- Title tag
- Headers and body
- Meta description
Please do not underestimate how often people use their mobile phones. More search engines are accessed from a mobile device than a computer. This means that Google gives preference to mobile-friendly results. The Penguin algorithm update in April 2015 gave significant preference to mobile-friendly sites, so if yours is not, you are at a considerable disadvantage.
To make your blog mobile-friendly, you need responsive design. This allows your website to give your blog one URL as opposed to two (mobile and desktop) in turn helping SEO because inbound links come back to the one location on your site.
By centralizing your SEO, Google ranks your post higher based on better value.
The importance of the meta description
The meta description is the additional text that readers see in the search engine, giving an overview of the content. Often it is the information that will determine whether or not they will click to read further.
The maximum length of a meta description is now around 300 characters which means you need to be compelling and relevant, while also including your long-tail keyword in a short amount of space.
It is also important to note that your meta description may not always display in full or as you intended. Sometimes, Google will use other parts of your blog that mention the searched the keywords to prove how the result matches the search query.
Image alt text
All of your blogs should include images as well as text, and these images also need to be optimized. When looking for images, search engines go by the alt text, mainly because they can’t “see” pictures. The alt text explains the image to the engine and determines the ranking in Google Images. It also increases the user experience displaying the image in a container and improving accessibility for people with screen readers.
Alt text can be added to an image tag in HTML or via a specified alt text box when editing the image.
Utilizing the URL
The structure of your URL should assist visitors in understanding the structure of your website and its content. This will also help your ranking as search engines favor pages with URLs that make life easier for them and users to understand.
For example, the products section of your site may have a URL like http://yoursite.com/products while the sales section is http://yoursite.com/sales. This URL structure helps the user understand that “/products” and “/sales” are subdirectories within your site.
The URL structure is essentially a categorization system acting as a map for users and letting them know how to access new site pages. Search engines look favourably upon this, and it makes things a little easier for you as well.
Inbound links tell search engines that your content is valid. If something in your blog references other content on your site, it’s a best practice to link to the page.
This will also keep visitors on your website while increasing your ranking in the search engines.
Incorporating SEO best practices
By including the above points (and more) into your content strategy, you are giving your site the best chance it has at relevant exposure. As your business grows, so should your search engine ranking goals.
As this increases so will your chances at link building with other websites, helping your rankings even further. It’s like the rich getting richer, but in a good way, as you are delivering organic content to your users!
Author Bio – James runs a digital marketing agency in Australia. In an effort to expand the agency even further he recently relocated to Bahrain and merged with another agency to provide digital marketing services to clients in the middle east.