Having a blog is becoming more and more essential for businesses. But just simply having a blog won't do you any good in and of itself.
In order to beat out the endless competition for different topics and keywords it's important that you're focused in your efforts so you can outrank the other content that is out there and what is yet to come.
By optimizing your blog posts for SEO you will see more results and can increase the organic traffic to your posts significantly.
Here are 5 ways you can optimize your blog posts for SEO:
When writing your post decide what keyword or keywords it is that you're targeting. This should be the overall focus of the post and be mentioned and talked about throughout.
Use relevant keywords in the places they will have the most value and impact. The title of the article is a great place to start.
Also, include them in headings, subheadings, anchor text, title tags, meta descriptions, and alt text when appropriate.
Use your keywords throughout the text of the article too as long as it makes sense while still adding value to the post itself and the reader.
With that being said don't overdo it. If you stuff the post too much unnecessarily not only will it be hard to read, but your post could potentially be penalized and not rank as highly as it would otherwise.
The meta description is relatively easy to set and is a very important part of optimizing your posts for SEO.
This is the 160 character chunk of text that people will see as a preview of your post before clicking on it in a search engine.
Use the meta description to summarize the content of your page and include keywords the best you can.
Reference Links and Backlinks
Reference links and backlinks can go a long way in increasing the authority and credibility of your posts.
Be sure to use reference links anytime you're citing data or statistics or pulling information from another post.
Going back to what you're taught throughout school, plagiarism is no way, shape, or form okay so be sure to link to your sources when necessary.
Anchor text is what is displayed in place of a link and is what people will click. Be sure to use anchor text that is relevant to what you're linking to and, if possible, use keywords.
Backlinks are any incoming links to your website page or pages from another. These shouldn't be taken for granted as they can be extremely valuable.
The number of pages and different domains that link to your post can directly influence your page's authority. Typically, the more backlinks and referring domains the better.
However, sites that have a low authority themselves can actually have a negative impact. That's why it's important to obtain higher authority backlinks if possible.
You can use SEO tools like ahrefs to check the domain and url rating of different pages and keep track of links gained and lost.
Produce great content on a consistent basis and overtime you will start acquiring quality backlinks with ease.
Submitting your url to be indexed on google is a step that should be taken after each post you publish. This can be done by using Google's Webmasters tool.
Simply copy the url of your blog post, paste it into the "URL:" box, and press "Submit Request".
This will increase the likelihood of having your page recognized and added to Google's searchable index sooner rather than later if it's deemed quality content.
Not only do images add to the experience for the reader and promote engagement, they are also good for SEO purposes when optimized.
When you add images to your post make sure to set the title tag and alt text. This will let Google know what the image consists of and ensure you're ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.
The title tags and alt text of images is another great place to use keywords so long as it's relevant and an accurate description of the image.
Along with offering additional places for keywords, images promote engagement with your post.
When people are more engaged with your article they're more likely to share it on social media which will also increase your chances of ranking.
If possible, create an infographic to go along with your post as infographics see 3 times more sharing and engagement on social media than any other form of content.
There are numerous factors that go into your ranking and various SEO tactics you can do to help.
The 5 ways mentioned in this post are just a start but can go a long way in making your content more SEO friendly.