SEO Must Haves for Your Blog Post
All marketers know that SEO is important for getting blog posts, articles, and websites to appear within the first few results on a search. But even with an understanding of how important SEO is, too many marketers don’t apply search engine optimization practices in the best way.
For an easy to follow guide to everything you need to include in an SEO-infused post, this checklist can help.
Use Long-Tail Keywords
Keywords are the backbone to an SEO strategy, but you can’t stuff an article or blog post full of keywords and expect it to be successful. Search engines may even discredit your content if this is detected, so you are always better off truly focusing on just a couple keywords – or a single general theme – in each post.
Consider one or two long-tail keywords for each post. Long-term keywords are more specific, so they can help bring in the right readers and potential customers and find more conversions. Long-term keywords also make the purpose of your post much clearer.
To get the most out of your keywords, you’ll want to try to include it in all areas of the post. The keyword or keywords should appear in the titles and heading of the posts, the body of the posts, the website URL, and the meta description.
Use a Responsive Website Design
The fact of the matter is that most people aren’t viewing websites on computers anymore. Instead, they’re using mobile devices like phones and tablets to view web pages, especially when looking for local businesses and services.
This means if you’re not using a responsive web design, or a design that will adapt to the different sizes of the screens that may be used to view your page, you’re going to miss out on potential readers and conversions. If your visitors cannot easily find the information they’re looking for or read your posts, they will probably return to the search results for a new site.
Search engines are believed to consider the amount of time that people spend on your site and the rate and which visitors “bounce” back to the results, showing an indication of not satisfying their needs. If people are constantly visiting and leaving your website quickly, you will have a difficult time finding your name in the top of the search results.
Canonicalization is used when you have multiple pieces of the same information throughout your website, or when the same information is used for multiple purposes. Using canonical tags allows you to use multiple URLs that will bring you to pages with the same information.
Canonicalization is important because search engines will have difficulty determining which piece of content is the original and intended for indexation. If you use canonical tags, you’re letting search engines know there is a purpose to having the information on multiple pages and your preference toward the original and indexed parent piece.
Don’t Use Too Many Topics
When we are categorizing our pages and blogs, we can get carried away with the number of topic tags we create. While effectively tagging each blog into its correct topic category makes it easier for readers to find relevant information, it can also appear like duplicate content is being put on your page if your topic tags are too similar.
Rather than finding every opportunity to tag your blog posts and pages, instead consider 2-5 strong topics that encompass the information on your page. Remember, when it comes to your SEO strategy, being more precise you can be about your content the better.
Use Optimization on Your Images
Your blog posts aren’t the only thing that can be optimized. You can also include your SEO strategy in optimizing your images. When images are optimized, they can appear in the search engines Images section of a result, which can lead to visits to your page.
Your images can be optimized with the use of alt text, or the text that appears when you place your cursor over the image. Adding alt text to an image to optimize them is easy to do and can greatly contribute and improve upon your SEO strategy.
Use Meta Optimizations
Just like image optimization is important, optimizing your meta descriptions is just as important. Your meta description can be found by looking at the supplemental text that appears with your listing on a list of search results. This description should be rich with keywords while still providing an adequate description of what the page contains.
Optimizing your meta description with your long-term keywords gives you another opportunity to include your description and keyword you’re trying to rank for.
Use Internal Links
Another easy way to improve your SEO strategy is to use internal links whenever it is relevant and makes sense. These links will push your readers to other pages within your site and keep them on your page longer, showing Google and other search engines that you provide relevant and informative content on a number of pages.
Internal links can also show that you are creating consistently relevant information and that you truly are an expert on your topic. These inbound links connect your messages and content to each other to create a comprehensive overview of what your page focuses on.
Use Helpful URL Structures
When you create a new page, you will be given a unique URL for that page of your website. While it can be tempting to leave the URL as the standard link given to you, taking the extra step to customize your URL can make it easier for your readers and for the search engines.
The text that is used in your URL is another opportunity to use your long-tail keywords. It can also show visitors where they are on the website, like if they are on your services page, in your blog, or browsing the sales page. It keeps things clear and organized.
“Your SEO strategy is incredibly important to your business success. The use of your blog, website, and social media cannot reach its full potential if you are not optimizing your pages to their best ability.”
Search engine optimization doesn’t need to be difficult and you don’t need to be an expert to apply the basics. Consider this checklist the next time you are planning to create a post. As you go through this list, double check that each task has been performed with your new post. Before long, the necessities of a SEO strategy will become second nature.