[How to] Optimize Your Blog for Improved SEO
Have you ever skipped the first page of Google’s search result and visited the next pages for the most relevant searches? Nahh! Blog optimization for improved SEO is of utmost importance.
The first page of Google search result receives 95% of the web traffic.
And the rest? We will only talk about the FIRST!
Search Engine Optimization- you must have heard of this term.
Yeah, who hasn’t, right? If you have a blog, this is your ‘staple-word’.
Let’s consider a scenario. You are, perhaps, looking at adding some amazing content to your business blog. You zero in on an idea, write an awesome piece of content around it and publish it on your blog. And now you wait to see the surge of visitors to your page! Well, it turn out to be a long wait and you end up heartbroken. Sounds familiar?
If yes, then you are not alone! A lot of business blogs lacks visibility and traffic, despite having quality content. And, what happen when they don’t get the desired results, even after investing precious time to create and publish quality content? They get disheartened! In most cases, the blog posts become hugely inconsistent.
So, if you want your business blog to end up like this, you gotta ask this question, “What am I doing wrong?” And be honest too! More often than not, businesses are more concerned with how to start a blog, how to create more content. Don’t get me wrong, these are valued concerns; but an equally but more pressing one is how to optimize your business blog.
What is Blog Optimization? And Why Do You Need It?
Chances are, you have heard quite a lot about optimization, but have very little understanding of it! What is optimization? Stuffing your content with keywords? Or maybe forcefully using keywords to make it more attractive to search bots?
Well, it’s not!
Optimizing your blog means, simply creating a great piece of content that is targeted towards a specific (1-3 ideally) set of search queries. While a lot of content creators understand this pretty well; they end up writing for the search bots more, and their readers less. No, this is absolutely no way of optimizing your blog posts.
So, let’s take a look at how to optimize your blog posts for improved SEO without stuffing keywords!
How to Optimize Your Blog Posts for Improved SEO
Choose the right keywords
Want better SEO for your blog? Use the right keywords, not more keywords!
The question is how to do that? How to identify the favorable keywords? Here are some tips!
How do you generally select your keywords? In most cases, people go to any of the free keywords planning tools, search for keywords on a particular topic and start working with the ones that have huge search volumes.
While this approach is not particularly wrong, it can be improved upon!
Most people value the number of searches most when it comes to choosing the right keywords. However, it is the level of competition that SHOULD matter more.
The higher the competition is, the lesser your chances of ranking with this keywords are. Therefore, going for a keyword which has medium or low competition but a respectable search volume is the best way.
Most keyword planning tools give you this insight on competition level for free. I generally use AdWords and Ubersuggest for my keyword research; but feel free to use any other tool that you might like.
Mix of long tail and short tail keywords
If you are new to world of SEO and blogs, then the concept of long tail and short tail keyword may still be a bit unclear in your head. Well, it’s pretty simple actually. Short tail keywords are generic topic specific keywords which consist of 2-3 words. And long tail ones are basically search phrases with more than 3 words.
So, why you need to mix the two? Well, till a few years earlier, no one cared! Topic specific short keywords were more of a trend. However, as the competition grew in the online space, marketers started optimizing their content with long, natural language phrases.
For example, if you are creating a content around CRM implementation, then ‘CRM implementation steps’ is a short tail keyword, while ‘how to succeed with CRM implementation’ is a long tail one. Well, as per research 50% or more search queries are based on long-tail keywords. And, that is a LOT of people; people whom you can convert into traffic and then into lead!
So, let’s try and understand why you need a mix of both short and long tail keywords.
The answer is simple; you want to optimize your content for both, the people who are using specific search queries and the people who are using natural language phrases.
You can find long tail keywords in your standard keyword search only. Most of time they are buried in the 2nd or 3rd page of your keywords list. Just keep digging further and you can find them. Another great way of finding long tail keywords is Google suggest.
Make sure mix the two types of keywords and you’ll see better SEO results!
Place you keywords intelligently
You probably have heard or read the advice of using your keywords in the first paragraph of the content. Do you know the reason behind it? Well, the reason is search engine bots.
During any keyword search, the search engine bots starts crawling zillions of web pages around the world and pull up those which have the exact keywords or something relevant to them. (Just think! This happen in fraction of a second!) And these bots crawl the webpages from top to bottom. So, the higher you place your keywords on the page, the sooner they notice you.
So, place you keywords strategically! As a thumb rule, put your keywords on the headline, in the sub-headline, somewhere in the beginning of the content (not necessarily on the first para) and on meta descriptions and meta title.
But, ALWAYS remember, you put the keywords where they fit naturally! When they mean something and most importantly, where they do not hamper the reading experience.
Write for your readers, not search engines
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, a lot of people focus on search engines so much, they forget about their readers.
So, whatever you do, DO NOT overdo keywords in your content. If you overstuff your content with loads of keywords, you end up compromising readability. What more, you run the risk of being penalized by the search engines. Google has clearly mentioned what overstuffing means. According to Google-support, keyword stuffing comprises,
- Phone numbers without substantiating any value to them
- Unnatural repetition of phrases and words, for instance: Automobile modification services is a new trend in the third world countries. Our custom automobile modification services work on wider range. If you want your cars or bikes to incredibly look better get our automobile modification services.
In short, write for your readers; not some search bots.
Work on improving your content quality as much as you can. Solve problems, offer authentic facts and figures, make the content engaging to your readers. On one hand, you’ll get more readers and build your authenticity; on the other, low bounce rate and more ‘time spent on the page’ will improve your SEO ranking manifolds. Talk about dual benefit!
Optimize your images and videos
A lot of novice bloggers tend to ignore images and videos when it comes to optimization.
If your image/video files are large, they slow down your webpage. You are compromising on the optimal user experience here.
If your file size is too low, you end up posting a very low-quality image. Again, you disappoint your visitors. (No one wants to look a grainy picture, mate! Absolutely no one!)
So, how do you optimize your videos and images?
First of all, ensure quality! Make sure that every picture or video you use within your content is relevant as well high in quality. In case the file size becomes too large, you can always use some free plug-in or tool to compress the item. But, make sure that it does not compromise on the clarity.
In case, you simply cannot get a highly quality video or image on the page, skip it all together. Focus on infographs, icons, subheads, bullet points instead.
Not adding meta tags and descriptions to your images and videos is another way of hampering your SEO. Optimize your images and videos with keyword reach tags and you would take your optimization a long way up.
You may come across different SEO experts who talk about different technical terms and faults regarding your blog optimization. Don’t get confused though! Everybody starts somewhere! Follow these tips, focus on your content quality and most importantly, offer value with each and every piece of content that your produce; and you’ll see your SEO getting better every day!
Want some professional help in optimizing your blogs or want to turbocharge your content creation?