Improving your blog for search engines is an important task that can increase traffic to your site.
Some everyday tasks associated with SEO are on-page optimization, installing plugins, improving page loading speed, and internal linking.
A survey of over 1000 bloggers found that SEO was their 3rd most important source of traffic (just behind email marketing).
To improve this blog’s growth rate, I started implementing blog SEO. SEO for a blog is one of the best things you can do for your business.
- What is SEO For A Blog
- SEO for a blog best practices
- Long-tail keywords
- Optimize titles
- Add keyword in the intro and conclusion
- Only install plugins you need
- Subdomain is not blog SEO friendly
- Short URL optimizes blog SEO
- Meta Description
- Internal Linking
- No Index Categories
- Make a sitemap
- Take advantage of the Search Console
- Optimize for featured snippets
- Reduce the bounce rate
- Publish amazing content
- SEO for a blog best practices
What is SEO For A Blog
A blog post should be optimized around one keyword to represent the content better.
This is because search engines cannot determine what a post is about if there are lots of keywords present, leading to lower rankings and less traffic due to confusion on the part of Google or other search engine algorithms.
When focusing on a single keyword, Google can understand what your post is about very quickly.
SEO for a blog best practices
Implementing the following tips will improve SEO for a blog.
Use long-tail keywords for your blog if it is new. Long-tail terms aren’t as competitive, so you can focus on them and still rank reasonably quickly in Google’s search results.
Long-tail keywords are precise words that people type into Google to find information. To find long-tail keywords, enter a phrase or talk into the search bar on Google and see what other keyword suggestions it provides you with.
Or you can use Answer The Public. It is a fantastic free tool that helps you generate keywords for your posts.
Type in the topic of what you would like to optimize around. It will automatically give you an outline with various questions people typically ask on Google surrounding this subject.
Optimizing your post around a long-tail keyword is an effective way to improve SEO for a blog. Ensure you include the term in crucial places on your page, such as the title and meta description tags.
Avoid stuffing it into content that doesn’t need it or risk being penalized with search engine penalties for “keyword stuffing.”
Most Content Management Systems (like WordPress) have a title field at the top of blog posts. You want to include your keywords in both these titles to pick them up by search engines, and people can easily find them when they do searches online.
As an example, look at this blog’s title, “SEO for a blog.” I included the keyword in the title. Also, the keyword is in the title tag.
The title tag is an integral part of a blog post to be optimized for SEO. Google puts extra weight on words that show up in your page’s title, so it makes sense that you should place those keywords accordingly within this area.
To ensure your keyword appears in the title for each of your web pages, check to see if it is already there. If it is not, you will need to manually add it into HTML code before publishing content on WordPress sites that do not automatically create this tag.
Add keyword in the intro and conclusion
You also want to type your keyword in the blog post intro and conclusion. I’ve had some experience placing my keywords at these two key areas, which helps a little bit on-page SEO.
Most WordPress themes make your post title an H1 automatically. Use the keyword in your H1, H2, H3 sub-headings.
Having an H1 tag is great, but it’s not the only thing you need to check out for your Google rankings.
You also want to be sure that you have at least one subheading on every post with a phrase or keyword relevant enough so that people will search online and find their way back to your page when they click through from SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
These are essential SEO best practices to keep in mind as you optimize your blog content.
But these tips only scratch the surface: optimizing tags and page speed is also vital when it comes to on-page SEO. And don’t forget mobile optimization.
Only install plugins you need
WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, all of these website builders are capable of being SEO-friendly.
However, they often need an SEO plugin or extension. Yoast is the most popular one for WordPress sites, but there’s also All In One and RankMath available as well.
There are also similar SEO plugins for every blogging platform out there. Of course, the same plugin does not matter all that much, but it is essential to use the correct SEO plugins on your blog.
Want your blog to be optimized for SEO? Then you need plugins that optimize title and description tags, create a sitemap, allow easy site structure creation (no indexing pages/posts as required), and compress images for speed.
Don’t go crazy though. Only install plugins you need because plugins can cause conflicts or bog down your site.
Subdomain is not blog SEO friendly
What if you’re a SaaS business? Or do you sell services? Where should you put your blog then?
A very long time ago, people used to put their blogs on subdomains like “blog.example.com.”
As it turns out, though, that isn’t very SEO-friendly!
Instead of putting your blog in a subdomain, you want them placed inside folders instead.
So, the URL of your blog should look like this: “example.com/blog.
When it comes to Google search ranking, short URLs are the way forward.
Short URL optimizes blog SEO
A new study by Moz found a correlation between long blog post URLs and lower rankings on Google searches.
Longer posts tend to have more backlinks which can improve SEO for your site, but this has some limitations when using super-duper long URLs.
The fact that they aren’t easy for users also makes these longer links bad choices, according to studies about click-through rate (CRT).
Also, if you didn’t set it up correctly right from the start, your URL could look like this, www.myblog.com/01-23-2021-setup-your-blog-properly.
With the added date, the URL can be super long and not optimized for SEO.
More than 5 million Google search results were analyzed. It was found that meta descriptions could increase the click-through rate by 46%.
Google can interpret the content on your page to create a meta description, but it’s better if you keep control of your page’s meta description.
Sometimes Google’s pick of description will encourage people to click. But most of the time, a written description by you will work much better.
Bear in mind that you don’t need to include keywords in the meta description. The meta description is to entice browsers to click on your article.
Internal links are links that point from one page on your site to another page on your site.
Most people think of them as links inside blog posts, but you can also put them in page headers, footers, navigation menus, etc.
Here’s how to do it:
- Add 3 to 7 links internal links on your new post
- Then add 3 to 7 links from your older post to a new post
And voila! The best whitehat SEO technique is done.
When you create your next post, use anchor text for your links that describe the post’s content. For example, if you’re writing about user experience, use “this post about user experience” as the anchor text.
No Index Categories
I recommend adding the “noindex” tag to the category and tag pages. These pages may cause serious SEO problems. But if these pages are bringing traffic to your site, then leave it alone.
If you’re like the vast majority of bloggers, your category and tag pages should have the noindex tag applied to them.
Make a sitemap
When creating a blog, Googlebot crawls and indexes all posts to make it easy for your audience to find information.
To ensure this happens smoothly, use sitemaps, lists of links that link back to every post or page on the site.
Many SEO plugins automatically create these so you can focus on content creation without worrying about technicalities such as crawling.
Take advantage of the Search Console
You must use the free Search Console Google provides. It is packed with tons of helpful features.
One feature you should pay attention to in particular is the Performance Report.
This report shows all the keywords that currently bring traffic your way and how many people click on these results when they search Google via this keyword phrase.
While the Coverage feature shows you how many pages are currently indexed in Google.
The Sitemap allows us to control how your site appears on a mobile device and alerts the crawlers that there is new content even if they don’t visit every page of your website.
Optimize for featured snippets
Featured Snippets are little snippets of text that Google pulls from the search results and typically appear at the top.
A List Snippet is another common type of Featured Snippets, and the best way to optimize for these is to use subheadings in your post.
Reduce the bounce rate
If your post isn’t a great fit, they’ll bounce.
I know that it might not be too exciting to focus on bounce rate, but reducing it does help improve SEO rankings and give you an advantage over competitors.
So why wouldn’t we want to spend some time improving our site? At its high level, the best way is to publish content with good search intent to satisfy searchers’ needs.
When someone lands on your page saying, “nice! this is exactly what I’m looking for,” then they are going stick around read more of your stuff.
Sadly, if the post doesn’t match the searcher’s intent, they will press the back button and bounce.
And, if that keeps happening, Google will notice and decrease your ranking.
Publish amazing content
Create contents that are so good that any blogger would link to it. Or, someone shares it on social media, which creates more awareness.
A blogger will see your blog on social media and says, “Wow, this post is amazeballs! I should link to it!”
When that happens, you’ll generate backlinks to your blog.
What is a backlink?
A backlink is like a popularity vote. The more you have, the better you look in Google’s eyes.
And if your sole purpose is to get backlinks, focus on creating why and what posts are the most linked to posts. Infographics, how-tos, and list posts tend to do well too.
This SEO for a blog barely scratches the surface.
There are things to look at such as site speed, mobile-friendliness, and site structure.
However, these tips will beat your competition that doesn’t know much about SEO for a blog.
Do you want to start your own blog? Learn how to start one and make an income passively. But, you have to do it the right way.
One wrong mistake and can ruin your blog’s money-making potential.
As a dedicated SEO professional, I help businesses improve their online visibility and attract more customers through search engine optimization. Whether you’re a small local business or a large corporation, I can help improve your search rankings, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately grow your business.Christian Tanobey