While a lot of people start blogging because they have a product or service that they want to sell and content marketing is an effective way of putting your business in front of your target audience, some do it because they want to share their stories and experiences with the world. And, it can be enormously satisfying to see that others share your interests and passions and are eager to read the words you put out there.
But, whether it’s for business or pleasure (or, why not, both,) you still want to be picked by search engines when users look for the ideas or information you offer.
So, how do you develop an effective SEO strategy for your blog?
Here are some guidelines that you should cover.
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Pick Up Topics of Interest for Your Audience
Coming up with unique and creative topics is a lot of work and you may not always have the inspiration or the time to write this kind of topic. But, that’s alright. More than anything, you should write about the things that interest your audience, whether that’s an evergreen topic or a more niche one.
Look at what your readers search, the questions they ask, and select the most relevant keywords to base your blog content on.
Keyword Research Is Priceless
When it comes to search engine optimisation, there’s no element that weighs as much as keywords. Keyword research should be part of your SEO strategy, no matter how relaxed you are about the traffic on your blog. Connecting new readers to your content is the best way of growing your audience and raising the value of your content.
To optimise your blog posts, look for the specific keywords that bring visitors to your page in the first place.
Google offers a very interesting thing to its users: featured snippets. These are the posts that get on the “#0” position of the search results, above the first result. It’s usually the post that answers the search query the most concisely and accurately. Readers usually click on the featured snippet, especially when they are asking a question.
This means that, on one hand, you want to write practical content that quickly helps your potential visitors. On the other hand, you want to avoid keywords that have featured snippets in the SERP, since you’re not going to get clicked on, most probably. It all comes down to the kind of content you are promoting.
Insert Keywords Naturally in the Text
Before Google and other search engines refined their algorithms and marketing became more focused on quality rather than quantity, a lot of bloggers or website owners relayed on keyword stuffing to get a high rank. Some people still use this practice, but it usually gives the reader a bad impression.
Whether you want a lot of visitors to read your awesome new blog post, or you’re expecting revenue from your blog traffic, refrain yourself from aimlessly inserting keywords in your post. Instead, focus on one or two long-tail keywords that match your audience.
Also, be sure that the keywords you are using flow naturally in the text and don’t seem forcibly inserted there. Luckily, Google’s algorithm is not so strict anymore regarding keyword structure. For example, if you are optimising your content for “bakery Sydney”, you can write “bakery in Sydney” instead. Don’t be afraid to use connecting words.
Optimise Your Images
If you have optimised your blog post for a focus keyword, try inserting the keyword in the alt text of the attached images too.
Optimise your images by also renaming the image file before uploading it to the server. Having neatly organized and labelled images is something Google likes, and a blog post with images will be prioritized over text-only.
Optimise Your URLs
The URL of your blog post is one of the ranking factors Google takes into account when crawling your page. Inserting keywords in your URL is a great way of optimising your posts down to the last detail.
Write Good Ad Copy in Your Titles and Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are the text that appears in the search result page, underneath the title, and the URL of your blog post. Writing an engaging, keyword-rich meta description will convince more readers to click on your blog post.
To really do it like a pro, make sure that your description does not exceed Google’s limit of pixel width. It’s more than writing a certain number of characters: some characters are wider than others (think w versus i, for example). You have to keep your description below the width that Google will show so that readers can see it all.
When it comes to titles, mention your relevant keywords in a natural and engaging way to grab readers’ attention. Use the title tag in your blog post to show your potential readers exactly what they would get by clicking on your page.
Build Backlinks and Practice Internal Linking
Link building has been part of blog optimisation since the beginning. Bloggers have quickly learned that being linked to on other pages improves their rankings. There are many methods of getting backlinks, but we will start by recommending including them yourself in your content.
Wherever possible, link to other sources. Make sure you link to active pages that have a good reputation and will add value for your readers.
Internal linking is also a great way of getting exposure to other blog posts that you would like to get more attention. Show your readers that you really know what you are writing about, and there is more to come in the same register. Delivering relevant content is crucial for SEO, and internal linking demonstrates that your blog covers more than one need.
Promote Your Blog Posts on Social Media
You might like it or hate it, but social media is a fantastic way of promoting your blog posts. Think beyond just sharing the post in your news feed. You can create affiliated Facebook groups, for example, where you have the chance to interact with your community in a safe, private space. You can use multimedia promoting to get new visitors and interact with your peers on the subjects you are writing about.
Scheduling your posts and sharing on multiple platforms at the same time, especially if you are a prolific blogger writing at least once a day, is perfect for saving time on social media promotion.
Optimise Your Blog for Mobile Devices
Since most people use their phones to browse web sites, it’s wise to optimise your blog for mobile devices, as well. While this doesn’t mean that you must make your blog mobile-only, it should be mobile-friendly.
Depending on the domain provider you are using, you might have this incorporated in your plan, anyway. We are mentioning this because some bloggers are surprised to find that their posts don’t look so good when accessed from a smartphone. If you want to optimise your website for mobile, you can use “read more” text expanders instead of showing the whole text on the page.
Do You Want More Visitors on Your Blog?
If you have been applying these good practices on your blog, but you still want more traffic, contact a Search Engine Optimisation specialist at Australian Internet Advertising. We will check your blog entirely, look for any weaker points that we can improve, and you will soon see those traffic curves rising.
What we like about creating SEO strategies for bloggers is that we have so much material to work with! From discussing the general direction of your blog to putting the tiniest details into place, it’s a very satisfying process both for us and the bloggers we work for.
So, get in touch with us know, tell us your story, and let’s plan the future of your blog together. We are confident that we can help you advance your SEO strategy and improve your ranking.