Content is everywhere, consumers are saturated with messages and you want to optimize that organic search engine traffic–well we got your back. Take a look at best practices to get you to the top of Google’s, Bing’s or for the super hip Blackle and how to make the most of your branded content.
1. Research Your Keywords
Relevancy. You can spend time getting the best photos and creating awesome graphics however it still needs to be accessible, in a place folks can find it. The point is to gather common words or phrases utilized on search engine–know what’s popular.
To expand, take this and think about how it can be utilized in the future. Think of possible blog ideas for the next month and research the main idea. The research before you actually get to writing will aid in direction and structure of your blog. The same idea works for previous posts, if you have the time to update them.
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: Research Keywords
- Think of main ideas, phrases, and words.
- Use an online tool (various free ones exist) to determine relevancy.
- Put them in order.
- Notice keywords, themes, and trends useful to overall marketing.
Numerous tools exist such as:
- SEO Book
- Google Ads
2. The Crucial Blog Title
You gotta give the people what they want, and quite literally–as it what attracts the readers to your site in the first place.
It is the main heading for the posts making it crucial to SEO, it is the most visible to organic audiences and aptly enough it’s what shows up in previews when your post is shared on the ever friendly social medias.
Again, the keywords used in the title will be one of the key rankers, meditate on this for a second. Got it? Then let’s move forward you zen master.
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: Title
- Be professional and to the point. Granted, jokes are cool but when looking for relevant useful content not many people are searching up anything with the keywords “SEO and How It All Goes Bro.” Think about relevant search times.
- Include those keywords!
- Stick to titles under 60 characters or about 6-10 words
- Sentence form! Sentence form! Sentence form!
3. Intentional Blog Post URLs
Domain: Groups of computers on a shared system, in a nutshell.
URL: Unique address for your page.
Search engines rank you on the URL of your blog. URLs may also be called slugs depending on the system you are using, no matter it is relatively easy to be able to do this.
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: URL
- The shorter the better.
- Stay away from unique or unusual characters such as (%$!&)
- Include keywords please!
- Hyphens, not underscores
- No “and”, “A”, “To”, “In”, etc.
4. Organizing Headings and Subheadings for Blogs
Algorithms like simple, so they break up headings to understand what type of content is there–passing that ease of categorization to readers.
Headings and subheadings should be used in specific orders to organize your content.
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: Headings and Subheadings
Headings for SEO, Simplified
5. Quality of Blog Content
Organization’s should be taking the time and effort to create their awesome content regardless, but some of it won’t be a top result because it’s lower in quality than the rest and/or content-thin.
Search engines have been optimized to give the best content, and to be one of the top ten on the internet you have to be elite.
Factors in Determining Quality Content:
- Topic and relevancy of post
- Bounce rate (percent of visitors to site who leave after viewing one page)
- Number of words on page
- Time spent on site
- Social media shares
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: Content Writing
- Articles above 1,000 tend to fair better for SEO, there is not necessarily a maximum
- Include images and videos within blog, it’ll help with shares and engagement too
- Link out to other trusted sites to strengthen your article
- Include keywords in the first paragraph
- Add keywords throughout the post, keep in mind a natural voice and brand
In the case you’re interested in fun blog history: https://mashable.com/2010/08/05/history-of-blogs/
6. Max SEO even from Images
Humor, visual interest, depth, personality call it what you will but even images can be a part of the search engine optimization strategy. As images get processed computers can’t “see” it as such the only information received is the name–be mindful and take advantage of that.
Naming Image Files
You’ve probably noticed a default save setting for images on your phone such as IMG_0583.jpg, while it easy to upload it and just throw it onto content but your throwing away a valuable chance for search engines to rank you higher for content relevancy.
Proportions and Sizing Images
Mobile is king in our field, as such content should always be top of mind here. With that said content dimensions should fit accordingly, aptly the image size from an iPhone 8 is 4032 px x 3024 px with the average width of a blog post being 750 px. Roughly 5x the size of what it needs to be, evidently slowing down the load time and making it less of an enjoyable experience for readers.
One can easily edit it on photo editor apps/sites or look to “Edit Photo” features within your blog platform adjusting accordingly.
Favorite Photo Editors:
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: Images
- Hyphens, not underscores (when separating words)
- Shorter file names, 2-3 words
- Sentence form!
- Edit prior to upload, as it’ll save you from loading times and crashes
- Include keywords in the file name
- Don’t forget Alt Tags! Use descriptors and keywords
7. Utilize Organizational Content
People with niche interests are around looking for your content and most likely other resources that you can offer. Insert yourself into a broader conversation, by placing a hyperlink from the main post to another relevant post.
The practice helps to insure visitors can navigate easier and consume more relevant content–ensuring a positive lasting impression. Plus the more they scroll the better for your analytics, proving to search engines that you are relevant and trustworthy. Didn’t mean for that to sound so harsh!
Additionally, to help Google with a better ranking use keywords within your hyperlink when linking to a page.
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: Your Links
- Keywords within anchor text
- Be intentional with links as it is meant to be useful and guide to relevant content, not just to be a top result
- Yes, add those links to other relevant blog posts!
Some shameless self-promotion because lead by example: https://aviaro.com/six-tips-mobile-seo-success/
8. The Search Engine Title
Blog post title and search engine title are not the same. You have an opportunity to display another title (that is not visible on your website) and attract readers. Take time and think about this one as well.
The title is the typical blue text face on Google search. You can edit your title in the dashboard of your platform.
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: Title Tags
- Keep it at 55 characters in length, as it may not be on full display for users
- Surprise, keywords again!
- Utilize hyphens or pipes to separate sentences
- Use short sentence format
- Avoid stuffing the title with too many keywords
9. Don’t Forget Meta Descriptions
The meta description is the name of the lighter text beneath the green URL on Google searches. Here you can include more information to direct relevant searchers to your content, it’s not necessarily the strongest asset for SEO but it can still provide traffic.
Users find this particularly helpful although they typically glance through it. Be concise, and think of the most valuable points to attract as much traffic as possible.
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: Meta Descriptions
- Limit characters to 130-150
- Include call to actions when relevant
- Ask driving questions to peak interest “Need more eyes on your blog?”, “Searching for blog SEO”, etc
10. Think Of Categories and Tags
Structure your content via categories and tags, group certain content with similar characteristics for ease of use. There is not a major impact here but navigators remember the small things.
Main topic, singular. For example for our purposes I would categorize this post as “SEO”, if need be you may do more but it does make things a bit messier organizationally for your blog.
Essentially, it is just additional topics for a more varied view of content. It is a more precise way of getting those interested in certain topics.
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: Categories and Tags
- If possible limit yourself to one category
- Go further into detail for sub-categories
- Keep your style consistent for the structure of the blog
11. Social Media Analytics
Blogs that get a lot of likes and shares show search engines that your content is interesting and valuable to a general audience–as such it pushes for further reach.
Best Practices and Execution for Blog SEO: Social Media
- Include a social media bar, with the option to share your content to personal feeds or at the very least provide your platform details
- Include links to other brands or influencers when relevant to raise your visibility.
- Do a call to action, ask for that like, share or follow. Let ’em know!