When it comes to being found online you need an SEO strategy to reach the maximum audience possible using solely white hat SEO techniques. We are not going to delve into white hat or black hat SEO here. We will strictly be talking tactics that we use in every blog post to achieve SEO success with content through blogging on your website. Before we even get into the article I want to be very clear that when you write do not write for the search engines to get your SEO. You want your content human readable and in a way, that is engaging and provides value to your intended audience.
We have found by doing just these foundational elements you will off to a great start. These are called the foundational elements as they help you achieve the initial requirements for SEO. In fact, this information applies to every page on your website and not just for blogging.
At the top of every browser displays a title. This title is used to visually show the user your title in the browser but also the search engines. Not all search engines will use the title but not having it means they won't use it. A title tag should not be longer than 55 and 65 characters in length and should contain the title and other keywords (but still human readable).
More search engine magic which may or may not be used by all of the search engines. This is a very brief description of what your blog article is about. Often it is from the first paragraph of your blog article that you send to the search engines.
Keywords in the post
If your targeted phrase for your post is "bed bugs and mattresses" then we would expect to see that extract phrase and variations of it within your document three to five ties and appearing in a way that reads well and naturally (e.g. it's not stuffed in to hit that number).
Semantically Linked Keywords
With our phrase of "bed bugs and mattresses" you want to use words that are like that but not exactly. Other phrases you could use would be "bugs and mattresses", "old mattresses and bites", etc. When it comes to the search engines they see new keyword phrases that people type to find stuff daily. This means you need to make your content relevant not only for the people looking for you today but down the road as well.
The heading should be the very top of your article and should match as closely with your title tag, use keywords when possible (again without seeming it was just put there to be there), and this H1 heading tag should only show once on the page. If you need other headings use the H2 through H5 heading tags. The heading of your site should be meaningful, engaging that entices people to read your page, and be truthful about what you are writing about.
Other SEO Elements of Blogging
We did just stop with the main heading which is the H1 tag and that will only appear (or should appear) once within any web page. The H2 through H6 tags can appear multiple times. Use these headers to not only separate and categorize your pages but also help on your overall SEO within your blog.
You write a blog make certain it has an image or two that relate to the blog. Blog articles with images will often perform better. In the case of this blog we used the main blog image and that's it as we are intentionally choosing not to. That is a choice you must make when creating your blog.
We truly love lists they:
- Get your point across quickly
- They are almost always short
- And people will read lists more than text
You have your headings that signify breaks. Use bold and italics, and other formatting to add emphasis to your article. But use it sparingly so that it doesn't distract. Remember that everything you do needs to add value to your reader.
Quotes and Mentions
If there are statistics, you can use and it fits your article use them. If someone gave you advice or is someone of significance remember to give credit where credit is due. This will help show a page that was written well and thought out and not just rushed out the door.
One of my favorite statements I read is that 75% of all statistics are made up (I have no clue what that number is). This makes me question everything I see. Don't make people question your good work. Provide information that is accurate, mention any sources, etc.
Call to Action
Whether your article is about providing great information, a sales piece, or a story make certain to include a call-to-action within your article. This call-to-action could be read our other articles, subscribe, or to contact you.
Talk about yourself
You are the author and the authority of this article (unless you did a copy and paste). If you created this original content based on your knowledge and expertise it is good to call yourself out, include links to your social media pages, etc. If all you did was curate the information calling out your expertise is not something you should do as all you are showing is you know how to copy other people's valuable work.
Other compelling elements you can include in your blogging efforts
Evergreen content is content that will live forever. This means that dates, mentions, etc. are not tied to a specific period.
Backlinks are links from other sites to your specific page. The more that link to you that are from credible sources will help improve your SEO. When it comes to SEO this over time will continue to grow as people share your information and link to you as the expert.
Having just talked about sites linking from outside of your blog site a key area that will also help is by linking to your internal pages as well. This could be pages within your site or other relevant blog articles.
Tags and keywords
Linking to other blog articles that are similar are often linked under "tags". These tags are often clickable and link to other blog articles that are related to the article they are reading.
We did talk about having images. When we say more images what we are talking about here is rather than just one image you could add an image carousel that shows multiple images.
Behind ever image is anchor text and words that help define the picture. This information is used for those with disabilities know what the image is about. From another standpoint, it helps the search engines know about the picture and help from an SEO standpoint
Including video is a great way of adding value. Video is truly becoming the king when it comes to social media. Video can play very well within your blog as well. You can also get some great backlinks from YouTube and Vimeo if you use them to host your video. When using, YouTube being it's owned by Google it too can help your SEO efforts.
Audio and Pod Casts
When you think of a blog with audio a pod cast is the first thing that comes to our mind. It doesn't have to be though. You can include a link to audio snippets that add value. You will notice we said link to and not auto-playing and annoying your audience. If your audience wants to listen let them decide to listen rather than you deciding for them.
Having slides that enhance to your article are a great item to have. Often the power point presentations don't even have to be on the site. You can add a link to sites like SlideShare that can host your PowerPoint presentations. The benefit here is you are including a great link to a credible site and from their site you can link to your page as well building more credible trust. Building on your backlinks.
When you have a great article and those that read it not only learn from it but love it as well having social media sharing icons where they can share on their Facebook or Twitter page is a great benefit to getting your good word out to the masses.
Personally, we hate the pop-ups that appear on a page that seem to push people away rather than drawing them in. What we do like is when the lead generation is subtle, non-obtrusive, and flows well with the entire site.
As you write more articles your tone and voice will change. This is to be expected and is perfectly fine for it to happen. What you don't want to happen is your writing to be sometimes sound rushed, sound like it is written for the search engines and not people, or that it doesn't consistently have the same message or tone the page is conveying.
Final SEO Elements
Having a mobile site is more important every day. More people use mobile devices to find information and navigate online. Having a mobile site also helps in your overall SEO.
Security (HTTPS, SSL, and TLS)
HTTPS, SSL, and TLS are often used interchangeably. When it comes to providing a secure connection between the user and the server the method used today in all modern websites is TLS. Although each are used interchangeably they are different. Start thinking for your website green lock you need to have a TLS certificate. This will also assist in improving your blogs SEO.
Well-structured and designed web pages will make it easier for the search engines to quickly and easily understand your website. This will also improve the overall page speed of your site as well.
Page Speed and SEO
Speaking of speed a key factor for the user is to have a fast loading site which makes for a positive user experience. Page speed needs to be as fast as possible. A key area to page speed is take a look at your image size. We often see people uploading very large images and fixing a lot of their page speed issues is by uploading and fixing the images.
Avoid parameters in your name
Parameters like /Page.html?Id=2 just visually look bad. If you have a blog article than is /My-Blog-Article people can easily understand what the page they are looking for is. Additionally, this allows your page to use more of the keywords you want further optimizing your SEO.
Long Tail Keywords
A key part of getting your blog optimized for keywords is not about stuffing in as many keywords as you can to get your blog post seen. Long Tail Keywords are long keyword phrases that consist of three or more words that you feel a person would type within the search engines.
Other areas for SEO insight
If you are not yet an industry leader in your field but have the aspirations to become one a key area is to watch, read, and learn from the current set of industry leaders. By doing this you are learning from their expertise, learning what works, and can see what doesn't work. Then take that information and use it to assist your target audience.
Last on our list is analytics. With analytics, you can tell how many people are coming to your blog and what other pages they are visiting with your site.
When it comes to marketing your blog, or any web page, there is a lot to think about when doing so. When you write well, you engage with your reader, and you show a true love and passion for what you do people will not only come back but gravitate to you. You've built a trust with them and you will become known in your field as the expert. Take your time, write your information for the reader and not the search engine, and you will have some great quality content.
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