For your blog to be effective, you need to write it well and offer your readers the information they need. But this isn’t enough on its own. If people are going to find your blog posts online, you need to optimise them for search engines. This is the only way to make them show up prominently in search results. Follow this step-by-step guide to make sure your blog posts are visible online.
Identify Your Goal
Before you start, it’s essential to have a clear idea of your target audience. Who do you want to aim your blog post at? This will help to guide your content. You can tailor your topics, structure and language to suit the audience you want to reach.
You then have to consider what you want the post to achieve. What will your audience get from your article when they find it. Does it:
- Answer a question?
- Contribute to an existing conversation on your topic?
- Entertain and educate?
- Promote a product?
Find the Right Keywords
Search engines use keywords to determine how relevant your content is. This is a major factor in how highly they rank your posts. However, you should avoid stuffing your content with keywords. This takes away from its usefulness and harms your ranking.
Instead, you should identify one or two keywords that reflect the intentions of your audience. What are they searching for? Which questions do they ask? By thinking about this, you can identify a couple of long-tail keywords.
These are phrases or questions your audience is likely to search for in a browser like Google, for example. By including these throughout your copy, you satisfy searcher intent. This makes your article more relevant and search engines boost its ranking.
The main one of these keywords is your primary keyword. Any others you choose to include are your related keywords. You should only choose one or two of these.
Where Should Your Keywords Go?
There are specific places where you should put keywords to boost your article’s visibility online.
Where to Place Your Primary Keyword
Include the primary keyword in these three places:
- The Title: Include your main keyword in the title or headline of your post to give the reader a clear idea of the content.
- Meta Description: This is the text that appears underneath the title in search results. It needs to satisfy searcher intent, so users will want to click on your article.
- Your URL: This is the web address at the top of your article. Each piece of content online has a unique URL, so search engines can determine how relevant your post is. Including your primary keyword in your URL will help your post rank highly.
Where to Place Your Related Keywords
Related keywords are not as crucial, but you still need to think carefully about where to put them. Be sure to include them in your meta description. This will make it reflect searcher intent more precisely. Use related keywords sparingly throughout your article. Also, include them in subheadings within the body of your text to make them more searchable online.
Another important place to include your related keywords is in image alt tags. These are snippets of HTML you add to images on your blog. They tell search engines about the content of the image so your posts rank higher.
Think About Your Competition
Google your chosen keywords and review the articles that come up. This lets you know what your post will be competing with, so you can make yours stand out. Next, ask yourself these questions about your blog article:
- Does it offer more value than the competition?
- Are you offering unique expertise, insights or data?
- Are you using images, video or infographics?
Include Internal Links
Internal links are links going back to other articles or pages on your website. If you have previously written a post on a similar topic, link to it. This is how you demonstrate your knowledge of your topic to search engines.
If search engines view you as an expert in your field, they will rank your posts more highly. Also, it shows that your content is more relevant to users. As a result, they will rank your future posts highly, too.
If you can learn to optimise your blog using these SEO best practices, that’s half the battle. Additionally, you need to create consistent, relevant content. Keep it clear and informative, but also make it entertaining. The more you engage your audience, the more they will come back to you. This enables you to keep your brand on the top of their minds.