12 Ways To Make Your Blog Posts More SEO Friendly

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| 3rd August 2018
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Google loves new, useful, and longform content, and that’s why your blog is a very important part of your website. Blog posts gives you an opportunity to provide information to visitors, show off your expertise, talk about the latest news in your industry or your company, and tout your wares – all in the name of turning a reader into a customer. But to get the traffic to your blog posts – and subsequently to your website or physical store – you need to do some search engine optimisation. This will help search engines to find your website, show it to people conducting relevant online searches, and rank it as highly as possible so you get the traffic you need. Here are twelve tips for writing SEO-friendly blog posts.

 

1. Lay a breadcrumb trail

The first of these tips is for when you’re first creating your blog or website. Breadcrumbs show where the blog post is in relation to the rest of the website and how it is structured. This is helpful for both the user and the search engine. It helps Google to crawl your website better, and assists with your internal linking, making each blog post is easier for the Google’s bots to find. It also helps the user to navigate back to other parts of your website, such as the particular blog category the post is in, the main blog post listings page, or your website’s homepage. Once your breadcrumb system is set up you won’t need to worry about it – this is one of the foundations you can lay when building your website to ensure it is SEO friendly.

 

2. Create a good URL structure

Another important SEO task you should do when creating your website is to create a good URL structure. Much like the breadcrumbs, this shows where your blog post is in relation to your website structure. Have a little look up at the URL bar now. If the SilverDisc website had a bad URL structure for our blog posts, the URL for this blog post might be something like:

www.silverdisc.co.uk/12-ways-to-make-your-blog-posts-more-seo-friendly

This tells us the title of the blog post but it doesn’t tell us anything else.

But of course, we have a good structure in place. The URL we have used shows that the page is a blog post, and also shows when it was posted. That’s why the URL is:

www.silverdisc.co.uk/blog/2018/08/03/12-ways-to-make-your-blog-posts-mor...

It’s also why I know exactly what the URL of this blog post is going to be before I have even uploaded it.

The bottom line is, users and search engines can understand what this page is by looking at the URLs. URLs are a minor ranking factor used by search engines, but they are a factor nonetheless, so it’s worth thinking about having keywords in your URLs, too.

 

3. Research topics carefully

When it comes to planning what to write about, there are several things to consider. You might be writing a blog post because there is some company news you need to tell your customers, or industry news you’d like to give your opinion about. You might have a new product coming out that you’d like to shout about. Or it may be that you know your blog is an important part of your website and SEO strategy, and you know that you need to be blogging regularly in order to reap the rewards, but you don’t know what you should blog about. If you’re struggling to choose a topic, consider what’s currently in the news in your industry that people may be searching for. Try using Google Ads Keyword Planner to find out how many searches your idea is getting, or use Google Trends to see what’s popular. Or turn to Google Analytics to find out which pages on your website are getting visitors. What services or product pages are people looking at, and what could you write around these products? What would help your readers, and what do they want to know about? And what keywords do you want to rank for? Can you think of a subject that would interest your readers, bring more visits through SEO because of people searching for those keywords, and help you to rank for the keywords you’re targeting?

 

4. Write for the reader

It used to be that black hat SEO tactics were rife on the internet, with strategies such as keyword stuffing often employed to make a website appear at the top of search engine results. These days, search bots are much more sophisticated and trying to game the system simply won’t work. You need to write blog posts for the reader, rather than for the search engine. Aside from the fact that the bots are now wise to keyword stuffing, who wants to read an article that sounds disjointed and unnatural because someone has tried to jam as many keywords into it as possible? So think natural, think useful, and write for the reader. Once you’ve got a solid blog post packed with useful or entertaining information, then you can start to think about SEO. If you’ve written a good post that’s relevant to your topic, you’ve probably got plenty of keywords in there already – you’re halfway there.

 

5. Insert keywords into your copy

Now that your article is written, go back to your keywords and examine your text for places where you can naturally add them in. Look for opportunities you missed the first time around. For example, if you sell hair products to salons and have written a blog post about your new line, you may look at your blog post and find places where you have said “salon” where you could say “hair salon” instead, or even “hair salon in London”. Find places where you can naturally slot keywords in your copy without sounding too repetitive.

 

6. Choose a good title and headings

Your page title and headings are important for SEO, so make sure these are relevant and include the keywords you want to target. This includes the title of your post, which appears at the top of the page (e.g. “12 Ways To Make Your Blog Posts More SEO Friendly”), and the page title which appears at the top of your browser window and on the search results page (e.g. 12 Ways To Make Your Blog Posts More SEO Friendly | SilverDisc). This second one is important because it informs both the user (when they are on the search results page) and Google of what your page is about. Using H1 and H2 tags in your content can also help with your SEO, and headings also split up the content to make it more skimmable for the reader.

 

7. Think longform

Google loves long content – which is great because this post is already 1,100 words and I haven’t even finished it. Long posts that are informative and full of relevant advice and information are great for your SEO. At a minimum you want your blog posts to be around 400 words, but I always say make them as long as they need to be, and as long as you’re not writing filler just for the sake of it, then the longer the better.

 

8. Make it evergreen

As Will Young would say, take this post and make it evergreen. Evergreen content is content that is going to be relevant for a long time after you have written it. Non-evergreen posts might tell people about an upcoming exhibition or conference they can attend, and tell them where to get tickets. Meanwhile, consider a post written after the event, that explains what happened and what you learnt that you and your readers can put into practise. This could be useful for months or even years later. And since it’s evergreen, people are likely to be searching for keywords around it for a long time too, so it will generate a steady flow of traffic for longer than a post with a short life would.

 

9. Use internal links

Using internal links on your website can help Google to better crawn your website, and they also improve usability and can keep visitors on your website for longer. So take the opportunity where you can, by linking back to relevant product or service pages in your blog post. By doing this, you might even be directing people to making their first purchase with you.

 

10. Tag up your images

You can add alt tags, or alternative text, to images you upload to your website. This text is read by screen readers and search engines, or it is displayed when the image cannot be loaded. The alt text you use should be descriptive of the image, and it should also be written with SEO in mind, because it helps Google to index the image. Avoid keyword stuffing and keep it short, while bearing in mind the keywords you’d like to rank for.

 

11. Reduce your image sizes

Google takes page loading speed into consideration when ranking your website, and large images can slow down your loading times. On top of that, visitors won’t be visitors for very long if they have to wait more than a few seconds for your page to load – there are plenty of other websites out there they could be looking at in that time. But reduce your image sizes to less than 1MB before you upload them, and this won’t be something you need to worry about.

 

12. Write a meta description

Meta descriptions don’t affect your SEO ranking, but they do appear on the search engine results pages. The meta description is the short paragraph of text underneath your site’s title on the results page, and if the words the user searched for appear in this paragraph, they will be in bold. This suggests to the user that your page is relevant to what they searched for, and that’s why meta descriptions are important. Often if you don’t write one, Google will pull a chunk of text out of your webpage, but to ensure your meta description is relevant to the searches you’d like to appear for, it’s best to write one yourself.

 

If you would like any help with SEO, blogging or content, get in touch with SilverDisc.

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