81% of businesses report that their blog is important or critical in generating leads. What's one of the main components of a successful content marketing strategy though? SEO.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website or web page in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is usually done by using the right keywords in the right places in various places across your website's content and backend.
But SEO isn’t just about cramming keywords into your website and hoping for the best. There is a science to it. And, more specifically, there is an art to optimizing blogs for SEO.
Keep scrolling for our full guide on how to optimize blogs for SEO.
What is Blog Optimization in SEO?
Blog optimization is the process of making your blog more visible and attractive to search engines. There’s a lot of crossover between blog search engine optimization and the more general SEO you’ll do for other pages on your website, but blog SEO also has its particulars.
In general, you can use a variety of techniques to improve your blog’s rankings, including:
- Researching keywords, or search terms, that are relevant to your business
- Optimizing web page copy
- Optimizing your website’s structure
- Engaging in link building
- Including keywords in your metadata (title and description)
In short, blog optimization involves creating content that’s relevant to your target audience through precision keywords, strong copy, and traffic referrals. The goal is to improve your visibility in search engines, which can lead to increased traffic and conversions.
When done right, there are many benefits of blog optimization, including:
- Improved search engine rankings
- Increased qualified traffic
- Brand awareness
- More conversions
Not only that but optimizing your blog posts can also help you build relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your industry.
In its most basic SEO form, the blog title should contain the target keywords, and the body of the post should include relevant keywords and phrases. You’ll also want to externally link to other relevant websites and blog posts, as well as include share buttons at the bottom of your posts.
To get more nuanced details on how to optimize your blog posts for SEO, check out the steps below:
How to Structure a Blog Post for SEO
Before you even get started writing, you’ll likely want to structure the outline of your SEO blog. In fact, we suggest doing this to ensure that your sections are all in order and that the flow makes sense.
Ultimately, how you structure your blog post can have a big impact on how well it ranks on the search engine results pages. Let’s walk you through a few tips to help you optimize your blog posts for SEO.
1. Write a Great Title
The first step of structuring a blog for SEO is to write an attention-grabbing heading. And, don’t forget to include your primary keyword in that heading. It should be interesting and intriguing enough to make people want to click through to read the full post.
2. Incorporate Your Target Keyword
Next, you'll want to be sure to include your target keyword in the first sentence of your post. If you can’t work it in naturally, at least make sure it’s in the introduction.
3. Don't Forget About Your H2s
Now, you’re ready to start writing the body of your article. First, you'll want to create H2 headings that feature your target keyword and secondary keywords.
H2 headings are used to structure content on a webpage and improve the readability of the text. They are also used by search engines to help determine the topic of a page and the relevancy of its content.
When creating H2 headings, it is important to use keyword-rich phrases that accurately describe the content of the page.
In addition, H2 headings should be placed at the beginning of a section of text and should be followed by supporting content.
Feel free to use headings and subheadings to break up your content and make it easier to read. When possible, use bullet points or numbered lists to highlight key points.
4. Craft a Great Conclusion and CTA
And finally, include a call-to-action (CTA) in the conclusion of your post to encourage readers to take further action. A great CTA prompts readers to take an action (hence why it's called a call-to-action!).
What do you want them to do? Do you want them to contact you for a consultation or maybe even read other relevant blogs?
By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your blog posts are optimized for SEO and have a better chance of ranking highly in SERPs.
SEO Checklist for Blog Posts
Now that you understand how to structure your SEO blog post and you've written the text, it's time to go back over to make sure you've included everything you need for an SEO-optimized blog.
Go through this checklist below to make sure you’ve included all of the basic key elements.
Is Your Keyword in the Title?
Including your keyword in the title of your blog tells the search engines what your post is about and makes it more likely to show up in results for that keyword.
Is Your Target Keyword in the Introduction, One H2, and Conclusion?
Use the keyword in the introduction and in at least one H2. This helps signal to Google what your post is about and makes it more likely to show up in relevant searches.
Additionally, make sure you use the keyword in the conclusion. Just like in the introduction, using the keyword in the conclusion helps Google understand what your post is about. Plus, it gives you one last chance to drive home your main points.
Did You Use Variations of the Keyword & Secondary Keywords?
Use variations of your primary keyword throughout your post. These are related terms that can also help search engines understand the context of your post. This will help search engines better understand what your post is about.
Did You Add Images to Break Up Text?
Search engines love visual content, so be sure to add images to your blog posts. Not only will this make your posts more visually appealing, but it will also help break up the text and make your post more easily scannable.
Did You Incorporate the Keyword Into Alt Texts?
An "alt text" is a short description of an image that is displayed in place of the image if it can't be displayed for some reason.
It also helps crawlers understand the context of the image and how it relates to the rest of the content on the page.
Incorporating the keyword into the alt text of blog photos is a simple way to add an SEO boost to blog posts. By doing this, search engines will be able to index the images and improve the post's position in image search results.
Does the Blog Have External Links to Related Articles?
Make sure to include external links to related articles. This shows search engines that your post is relevant and authoritative.
How many external links should you include? We suggest about three links per 1,000 words. However, if it doesn’t feel natural then don’t stress about not including the full three.
Is the Content Useful?
One of the biggest things to check off on any good SEO checklist?
Make sure your blog posts are actually useful.
This may seem like a given, but you'd be surprised how many people try to stuff their posts full of keywords without actually providing any useful information. Make sure that your posts offer something of value, whether it's helpful tips, interesting data, or just a fresh perspective.
Additional SEO Tips & Tricks
Have you gone through the SEO checklist above and still aren’t sure how to optimize blogs for SEO? Here are two of our top tips to help improve your blog's SEO.
Think About Keyword Intent
One of the most important things to think about when optimizing your blog is keyword intent. What are people searching for when they use the keywords you're targeting?
If you're not sure, try doing a search yourself and see what kinds of results come up. Are they mostly articles? Videos? Products?
Once you know what kind of intent people have when using your target keywords, you can start to optimize your blog accordingly. If you're mostly targeting informational keywords, make sure your blog has plenty of well-written articles.
Write for the Reader
The first and most important rule of SEO is to write for the reader, not the search engine. This goes hand in hand with thinking about keyword intent as mentioned above.
That means creating content that is interesting, informative, and useful. Write natural, compelling content that will engage your readers and encourage them to share it.
Get Help Creating SEO Content
Learning how to optimize blogs for SEO takes time and patience. As we said, there’s a delicate mix of art and science in learning how to craft meaningful SEO content. And we know that not everybody has time for that.
If you’d like help creating great, high-converting SEO content, browse through our SEO content services packages. You’re also welcome to reach out for a free consultation so we make recommendations based on your specific goals and needs.