Blogging helps boost SEO quality by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your customers' questions. Blog posts that use a variety of on-page Search Engine Optimisation tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and get customers to visit your site.

SEO is important for everyone who has a website, when you optimise your blog posts, web pages and images you're making your website more visible and easy to find for people who are searching for keywords relevant to your business, product or service.

1 - Choose 1 or 2 long-tail keywords that are relevant.

Optimising your posts and pages for keywords isn't about cramming the keyword in as many times as you can. Doing this will have a negative affect on your SEO and will actually cause you to be penalised by Google because Google will see it as keyword stuffing. Keyword Stuffing: including keywords as much as possible with the sole purpose of ranking highly in organic search

Keyword stuffing makes your content hard to read and will also result in a high bounce rate, you should use keywords in your content in a way that doesn't feel unnatural or forced. Ideally you should focus on 1-2 long-tail keyword for your blog or page, while you can include more try and keep the focus of the post narrow which will make optimising the content easier.

2 - Include the focus keywords in specific areas of the post

Now that you've chosen your focus keywords it's time to add them into your post! But where are the best places to include the keywords in you post?

The Title Tag

The title of your blog post is a search engine and your readers first step in deciding how relevant your content is for the term they're searching for. Be sure to include your focus keyword(s) within the 60 character title tag. 60 Characters is recommended as if the title is any longer Google can trim down the title making it hard to read. Google measures titles by pixel width and not by character count, the last time we checked this was between 500-600px which translates to roughly 60 characters.

Headers and Body

Make sure to mention your keyword(s) frequently inside the body of your article, however don't overdo it, we don't want to be picked up for keyword stuffing! Make sure that when you're writing your content you're focused on the information you're providing to your audience and not how many times you've included the word 'cat harness' in your blog post. If you do that you'll likely find that you're naturally optimising your post's content as you go.

URL

Search engines will also look at the URL of the post to figure out what it is about, it's one of the first things that a search engine will crawl from your page. You have a huge opportunity to optimise the URL on every post you publish, because every post has it's own unique URL. So make sure you include those keywords!

Meta Description

We'll speak more about this later on, however your meta description is meant to give search engines and readers a bit more information about the post and it's content. So make sure you use your focus keywords so everyone is clear what the focus of the post is. Please bear in mind that the copy of your meta description will impact your CTR (Click Through Rate) so include the keywords but make sure it's still easy to read!

3 - Make sure your blog is responsive (mobile friendly)

Nowadays more people are searching the web via their mobile device or tablet than on a desktop computer or laptop. So you need to make sure your website works perfectly regardless of the device it is being viewed on. You can check your website or blog post using the following website: Google PageSpeed Insights this will give you a score out of 100 for both desktop and mobile. PageSpeed Insights also provides some useful information on how to improve your website's score.

What search engines value is constantly changing. Make sure you're keeping on top of these changes by subscribing to Google's official blog.

4 - Optimise the meta description

We spoke briefly about meta descriptions earlier on in the post and how you need to include the relevant focus keywords. A meta descriptions is a small amount of information that is displayed underneath the title of your page or post on the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). The maximum length of a meta description has increased, this is now around 300 characters. This change suggests that search engines want readers to be able to find out a bit more information and assess relevancy of a link before clicking.

It's not guaranteed however that a search engine will pull the meta description that you have set for a specific page. In some cases the search engine will find information on your post that is relevant to the readers search term and display that on the SERP instead of your meta description. This is great in some cases as long as you make sure your content is concise, to the point and relevant to the targeted keywords. By creating reader-friendly content with natural keyword inclusion, you'll make it easier for Google to prove your post's relevancy in SERPs for you.

5 - Optimise image alt tags

Blog's shouldn't just be a wall of text that require readers to scroll through for days on end only to come away feeling drained. Images keep the reader engaged and break up large areas of content. When adding images to your post you need too make sure that all images have an alt tag attached! Some of you will be reading this and saying to yourself: WHAT IS AN ALT TAG?

An alt tag is used to tell the search engine what the image is, because search engines can't see images if we don't complete the alt field on the images we insert they will have no benefit to the SEO of the post. The bit of code below shows how you should add alt tags to your images

<img src="/image/imagename.jpg" alt="Image Description">

Some Content Management Systems such as Wordpress allow you to do this inside of the media library, when clicking on an image there is an ALT field that can be filled out to achieved the same result as above. This may seem like a minor thing, and although it won't have as huge of an impact as some of the other things on this list it's worth the extra minute or two to make sure that search engines know your blog has images and what those images are.

6 - Keep topic tags relevant and low

Topic tags are used to help organise the content on your blog, but overusing them can be harmful! If you have too many tags attached to your post, search engines can sometimes penalise you for duplicate content.

Imagine this, each tag you add to a post adds a new location that a search engine can find your blog post. If you use too many similar tags then the search engines will think that you're serving the content multiple times from your website. For example the tags: News, Latest News & News and updates are too similar to one another to be used on the same post.

Try to choose between 15 & 25 relevant tags that are diverse, important and relevant to the content that is in your blog.

7 - URL Structure

Having an easy to understand URL structure is the key to running a successful blog, a clear and consistent URL structure allows the users and search engines to find the information they need quickly and efficiently. For example posts under marketing should be under a URL structure like the following:

https://www.yourdomain.com/marketing/your-post-here

This tells readers and search engines that the post they are about to read is by you and is relevant to marketing. Using this method your URL structure becomes a categorisation system, letting users know they are on your website and they are in the correct area for the content they wish to read.
Moz offer some great information on URL structure here

Internal links show relationships between content and make it easier for search engines to crawl your website. If you've written a post that is relevant to the content you're currently writing about don't be scared to include a link to it, it's best practice to do this! Not only will internal linking help keep visitors on your website, but it also shows your other relevant pages to search engines

9 - Use Google Search Console

Google's free tool: Google Search Console provides some amazing tools for keeping an eye on your blogs SEO. There's a small section called the Search Analytics Report that users can use to analyse clicks and show which keywords your blog has been found under! A lot of people struggle with optimising their blog posts for search, what you need to bear in mind is that rankings take time to achieve it won't happen overnight ( unless you become mega famous ).

10 - Use topic clusters

The way in which many blogs are structured is in such a way that specific keywords are targeted and ranked for. Doing it this way your results are all over the place and hard to organise, it also means that you end up competing against yourself for specific keywords when you produce multiple blog posts about a similar topic.

By using topic clusters you can make sure that you're not competing against yourself and you will actually start boosting your own rankings.

Creating topic clusters of articles allows readers to easily navigate to all the relevant articles on a topic on your blog. This also lets Google’s bot easily find all the articles on that topic on your blog and determine how well to rank them β€” both the main page and the supporting articles.

Inbound educators covered this really well in their Youtube video:

If you need help with your SEO please don't hesitate to get in touch. We'd love to chat and see how we can help! πŸ” πŸŽ‰