You can do these three quick things in your blog posts to improve SEO and help your target audience find your content.
Search Engine Optimization: It’s a phrase every blog writer looking to grow readership has wrestled with at one time or another. Part science, part art, SEO writing can evade even the most seasoned blogger. You want people searching the internet to find your blog, but you also want readers to enjoy your posts and not feel like they’re written for machines.
So, how do you write for search engines while ultimately trying to appeal to human beings? The answer is, of course, trying to balance the two objectives.
Three quick SEO tips for blog posts
Ultimately, your content will be effective only if it is valuable to your target audience. That should be your priority when planning and producing content like blog posts. But you can also keep these three quick tricks in mind to optimize your posts, and thus increase the likelihood internet searchers will find them in the first place.
1) Use your keyword(s) in the right places.
A thoughtful keyword strategy should be central your content strategy. Also crucial is the strategic placement of your keyword(s) within your blog posts.
Firstly, it’s important to know that search engines don’t read all parts of your blog posts the same. They weigh some features — like your title or subheadings throughout the post — more heavily than, say, the last sentence. This helps them quickly determine what your post is about since, in theory, your title and your headings most likely reflect the topic about which you are writing.
That being said, you should prominently feature any keyword you are interested in ranking for in several key places. These include:
- Blog post title
- URL slug (e.g., www.fronetics.com/3-quick-seo-tips-improve-blog-right-now)
- The first sentence of your post
- Several times throughout the body of the post (but avoid keyword stuffing)
- The post’s meta description
- The image’s alt text (see #3)
Including your keyword in these places lets search engines know unequivocally that your post concerns that topic. That way, readers looking for articles like yours will be more likely to find them when searching that keyword.
2) Incorporate internal and external (outbound) links.
Including both internal and external links in your posts can improve SEO. Obviously linking to other content within your site or blog is beneficial to you and the reader: You keep the reader engaged, while the reader can find other related content of interest.
Sometimes our clients are hesitant to use outbound links, or hyperlinks to pages on other websites. They’re afraid of driving readership to other places and away from their blog.
Firstly, a simple solution to this concern is to ensure all external links open in a new window. That way, the blog post someone was reading remains open, along with the new page from the link. When the person finishes browsing the page from the link, your blog post is still available and at the ready in the user’s web browser.
Secondly, including external links in your posts improves SEO. Well, I should say using trustworthy external links improves SEO. See, search engines consider the value of the links you use. So, if you link to a well-known site, like nytimes.com, you are actually benefitting from that site’s credibility and popularity. Some top factors search engines consider when it comes to outbound links include:
So, it is worth noting that you should only include external links from credible sources that are relevant to your posts’ content. Linking to uncredible sites can actually harm your SEO.
3) Include an image.
Images aren’t just nice pictures for readers’ viewing pleasure — they help strengthen the message of your post. And, if optimized properly, they can improve your post’s SEO.
Here’s how it works: When you place an image within a post, the content management system automatically pulls the image file name into two hidden fields: the alt tag and the title tag. Web browsers read alt tags as descriptions of the image, so that if the image doesn’t load, users can still see what the image is supposed to be. Screen readers also use this field to communicate the content of the image to visually impaired users. Every image, therefore, should have alt text.
But beyond that, alt text is used by search engine crawlers to determine the content of the image and surrounding text. If a keyword is included in the alt text, it supports your ranking for that keyword.
It’s important to note that keyword stuffing in your alt text won’t help your cause. That can cause your site to be perceived as spam. Instead, you should choose an image that naturally is described by your keyword and is relevant to your content. Your image title, too, should be descriptive and reflective of the content.
These are three quick SEO tips to help improve the visibility of your blog. It’s worth mentioning again that you should never artificially stuff your blog posts with keywords or links or images. After all, search engines will continue to evolve to help readers find what they’re looking for, meaning they’ll become increasingly better at spotting any b.s. you try to sneak past them (and they’re already really good at that).
Your best bet to improve SEO is to create content that is valuable to your target audience. Then you should use these best practices as a guide to help users looking for content like yours to find it.
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