If you have a blog, you probably put a LOT of time and effort into creating amazing blog posts.
But what if no one is finding those blog posts?
This is where SEO comes in. If you want your posts to show up in the search engines, you’ll have to use some specific strategies to make sure Google can find your content.
To make this process a little easier, I’ve put together this list of 5 SEO tips to help you blog your way to the top!
But First…What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the process of making sure Google and other search engines can find, understand, and index the content on your website (index simply means putting your posts into Search).
Your blog posts are probably the #1 type of content that are going to show up in Search, so it’s worth spending time optimizing them.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you have a blog post about how to bake a cake, but never use the words “baking” or “cake” in your post, it’s probably not going to show up when people search for baking or cakes….and that’s not good!
Can you see how important SEO is now? <<grin>>
Now let’s jump in to some actual strategies!
5 SEO Tips to Blog Your Way to the Top
SEO Tip 1: Do Some Basic Keyword Research for Your Posts.
Keyword research helps you figure out which words and phrases people are searching for in Google.
For instance, if you want to write a blog post about marketing, some basic research using Google’s Keyword Planner tool offers other possible terms you may want to use:
By looking at the “Average monthly searches” column, you can see approximately how many people search for those terms each month, as well as get a rough estimation of how hard it will be to rank for those terms (“Competition”).
SEO Tip 2: Don’t Target the Same Keywords Twice.
You might be thinking: If keywords are so great, I should probably use them again and again throughout my blog posts!
But here’s the thing: Ideally, you only want ONE blog post ranking for a particular word or phrase.
Why is this?
If you have multiple blog posts all targeting the same keywords, you’re basically competing against yourself. This is called keyword cannibalization…and it’s obviously not good.
Instead, for each post, choose 1-2 keyword phrases to focus on, and then make sure you don’t target those phrases in any other blog posts!
Pro tip: Choose longer keyword phrases rather than 1-2 word phrases, as they’ll usually be easier to rank for.
SEO Tip 3: Optimize Your Metadata.
First of all, don’t panic! This SEO tip for your blog isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds.
The two most important pieces of metadata for your blog posts are your title tag and your meta description.
Your title is the headline that’s displayed in the search engines, and your meta description is the blurb under the headline:
When writing your title tag, be sure to include your keywords, as we’ve done in the example above.
While your description doesn’t really “count” for SEO, it’s what will entice people to click through to your post…so you definitely want to make it good!
Your posts will all have a default title tag and description, but I highly recommend adjusting them using the tips above. Using the plugin I recommended earlier (Yoast SEO), this is SUPER easy to do, as you can see here:
SEO Tip 4: Brainstorm an Awesome Post Title.
Use a free tool like Portent’s Content Idea Generator to help you come up with an awesome title.
Your blog post title is one of the most important parts of your post, both for SEO and for catching your readers’ attention.Your blog post title is one of the most important parts of your post, both for SEO and for catching your readers’ attention.Click To Tweet
(By the way, though they’re similarly named, your blog post title is different than your “title tag” (see #3). Your blog post title is meant for people who are on your site, whereas your title tag is the title people will see in the search results).
Be sure to use your keywords in your title, and focus on making it both descriptive and attention-grabbing. Some tips for doing this include:
- Using alliterations: e.g., Sexy Secrets About Socks No One Knows
- List-type titles: e.g., Top 10 Ways to Get Clients, Fast
- How-to titles: e.g., How to Cook an Easter Ham
- Sharing something unexpected: e.g., 5 Things You Didn’t Know About _____, Top Myths About ______.
- A step-by-step post: e.g., 8 Steps to Writing an Effective Sales Letter
If you want a quick and easy formula for writing clickable blog titles, check out my post.
SEO Tip 5: Link to High-Quality Sites in Your Blog Posts.
Google loves when you link to high-quality, relevant sites in your blog posts.
As you’re writing, think about what kind of information or resources could make your blog posts even better, and include links to those sites.
Both Google and your readers will appreciate links to:
- Recent industry data or statistics
- The latest research on your topic
- A relevant infographic
- Case studies
- Amazing blog posts that shed even more light on your topic
- Tools related to your topic
When deciding which sites to link to, make sure they are reputable, authoritative, and that the content is high quality.When deciding which sites to link to, make sure they are reputable, authoritative, and that the content is high quality.Click To Tweet
Not sure if a site is authoritative? The Website Authority Checker tool is a great resource for this. The higher the number, the more assured you can be that the site is worth linking to!
As you can see, optimizing your blog posts isn’t super complicated, and you don’t need to be a “techy” to do it (especially if you’re using the Yoast plugin).
When it comes down to it, I always recommend focusing on PEOPLE first, and Google second. Fortunately, the SEO tips for your blog above are great for both your readers and search engines, so by following them, you really can’t go wrong!
Still feeling a bit unsure about SEO, or about how to optimize your blog posts?
Let me help!
I’ve put together a step-by-step guide to optimizing your blog posts like a pro…complete with checklist!
Grab my How to SEO Your Blog Post Like a Pro workshop by clicking below.
Were any of the tips above a surprise to you? Any you’re going to start using right away in your posts? Let me know in the comments below.