SEO Blogging Basics
11th June 2021
Creating content for your blog that is optimised for search engine visibility is important in helping to rank and better market your service or products via your website – because as we know, Google loves new, useful, consistent, long-form content.
But to get the traffic to your blog posts – and subsequently, to your website – you need to do some search engine optimisation (SEO). So, what can you do when writing content for your blog to ensure you can be more easily found via search engines? Find out some key SEO blogging basics in this article.
Why Is SEO Worth Considering When Blogging?
Put simply, optimising the content within your blog 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.
This is because blog posts provide an opportunity to show off your expertise and talk about the latest news in your industry or at your company – all in the name of turning a reader into a customer.
For more specific information surrounding the importance of SEO when creating content, check out these two articles:
What Can You Do To Improve Blog Posts For SEO?
We have previously covered a list of on-page SEO efforts to consider to bring users to your website pages, within our ultimate on-page SEO checklist. In this article, we home in specifically on some of the basics surrounding what you can do to your blog posts to improve SEO, without getting too technical!
Blogging helps boost SEO by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your potential customers' questions. Blog posts that specifically use a variety of on-page SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs) and in turn, get traffic to your site.
Here are 13 SEO blogging basics that you should consider when creating, updating, or repurposing your blog content:
1. Use Your Keywords
There are four key areas where you should try to include your keywords: in your title tag, headers & body, URL, and meta description.
Writing good quality blog posts based on your keywords isn’t about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible – this can actually do more harm than good. Keyword stuffing isn’t good in terms of ranking, but also doesn’t help to provide a good reader experience.
Best practice is to try and focus on one or two long-tail keywords per blog post, that match the intent of your target reader in a way that doesn't feel unnatural or forced.
2. Write Strong Page Titles and Headings
A good page title (your page title is not always the same as your H1) should include your keywords as close to the beginning of the title as possible, and within the 66-character limit, so that it doesn't get cropped by search engines.
You should also try to ensure that each blog post uses variations of your keywords in your H1, H2, and H3 tags.
This article goes into greater depth about heading tags, and how to create them: How Important Are H1 Tags For SEO?
3. Try To Make Blogs Lengthy
Keep in mind that long blog posts that are informative and full of relevant advice and high-quality information are great for your SEO. This is because you can add more headings, links, and images, with your keywords or phrases scattered naturally throughout.
At a minimum you want your blog posts to be around 400 words, but as long as you’re not writing for the sake of it, then the longer the better – for reference, this article is over 1,500 words!
4. Create A Blogging Calendar And Post Frequently
Publishing blog posts frequently, as well as updating older content to be more relevant, whilst maintaining an intent-based reader experience, can aid you in building up domain authority. If Google has to crawl and check your website more regularly, over time, your pages will hopefully begin to attract more traffic.
Find out more about the benefits of regularly updated content: How To Improve Your SEO With Fresh Website Content
5. Tag And Resize Your Images
Images are important, as they help explain and support your written content. So, when you find the right image(s) for your blog post and it comes to uploading them to your site, it’s always best to resize your image (preferably under 500KB). The main reason for this is that 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 don’t want to wait more than a few seconds for your page to load.
Want to know more about alt tags? Take a look at this article: How Important Are Alt Tags For SEO?
6. Have Clear Blog Categories
It is important to categorise your blog so that you leave a helpful breadcrumb trail for readers. Try to intelligently name your categories to focus on major keywords your blog may talk about and that your business may provide as products or service offerings. For example, the SilverDisc blog categories include areas such as Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Website Design & Development, which are all services we provide and areas that we can provide relevant blog posts about.
By doing so, you can build more links to the content on your site and show search engines that you are linking to keywords on your site.
7. Always Write A Meta Description
A meta description is the text underneath your site’s title that appears in SERPs telling readers what your blog post entails. This short piece of text matters in terms of click-through rate (CTR), because it satisfies reader intent – so make sure what you write is concise but engaging.
Within your 300-character limit, look to include long-tail keywords, so Google and your audience are clear on your post's content.
For more in-depth information about metadata, such as metatags, meta descriptions, and alt tags, take a look at this article: Everything You Need To Know About Metadata For SEO
8. Share Your Content
Although not the most important consideration for your SEO, sharing your content via social media gets attention, and provides the opportunity for external links from other bloggers. You may write a killer piece of content that gets lots of engagement which could lead to an increase in backlinks – so it’s worth taking some time sharing your content on social platforms.
9. Have Clear URL Structures
Search engines crawl your URL to understand what your post is about, so it is worth optimising your URLs on every blog post you publish.
URL structure acts as a categorisation system for readers, letting them know where they are on the website and how to access new site pages. Search engines appreciate and therefore favour this, as it makes it easier for them to identify exactly what information searchers will access on different parts of your blog or website.
10. Get Linking
A good SEO strategy is made up of architecture, content, and links. Links help users and bots to navigate your website to arrive where you want them to. There are a few different types of links that benefit your SEO in different ways:
- Link out to external articles using anchor text throughout your blog posts.
- Link to other internal articles on your site using anchor text.
- Get other people to link to you. This is known as having inbound links, or backlinks. This can be done either by asking other sites to do so or by writing great content that people want to link to.
Get a better understanding of linking strategies in these previous articles:
11. Update Your Existing Content And Remove Outdated Content
As well as creating new content, it is worth spending the time repurposing or updating your existing blog posts. This is because it takes a lot longer for a completely new piece of content to settle on the search engine results page (SERP) and gain authority, whereas your existing content is already there to be improved.
Additionally, updating and repurposing some of your most successful pieces of content can extend its lifespan.
In terms of removing content, it’s best not to if you can help it (which is why it is important to try to write evergreen content), but there are bound to be informational updates or old news that is no longer relevant or correct, and could be removed. Our advice would be to run through your content and if it really no longer fits and updating it doesn't make sense, then remove it as a last resort.
12. Write With Your Audience In Mind
Whenever you create content, your primary focus should be on writing about what matters to your audience, not how many times you can include a keyword.
Once you’ve got a solid blog post full of useful information, then you can start to think about SEO. And realistically, if you have done your research and written a good article, you’ve probably got plenty of keywords in there already.
13. Write Fresh, Well-Written, Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that is going to be relevant for a long time after publishing, so it has the potential to generate a continual, steady flow of traffic for years to come.
This would be the difference between answering a key question within your industry and writing an article about an upcoming event – although both are useful, it’s clear which one is likely to be more beneficial and can be updated or repurposed if needed.
Planning, researching, and writing consistent, optimised content can be a time-consuming and unfamiliar challenge for many businesses, but we are here to help. Contact SilverDisc today for support with your SEO and/or content marketing strategy.