How to Do SEO for Blogs
Most of us frequently read blog posts. In fact, you’re reading one right now.
And the reason behind it is simple: blogs are a powerful marketing tool. Around 7 million blog posts are published per day because of their ability to drive traffic, boost social media popularity, increase user trust, and enhance search visibility. But this is only true when high-quality, expert content is produced.
Creating an SEO-friendly blog is a far more complex and challenging process than it may appear at first glance.
For that reason, let’s break down how to optimize your blog for both people and search engines.
What is blog SEO?
Blog SEO refers to optimizing a blog’s content to increase its visibility and ranking in SERPs. This includes various activities such as keyword research, content writing and editing, internal linking, image and main SEO element optimization, plugin installation, pagination, improving page loading speed, etc. The goal of using blog post SEO is to drive organic traffic to your website.
Why is blog SEO important?
Applying SEO to blog posts is important for several reasons. A well-executed SEO strategy results in:
- Increased visibility. Optimizing your blog for search engines can increase its visibility in search results, making it easier for people to find and access your content.
- More traffic. Improved visibility can lead to an increase in organic traffic to your blog. This means more potential readers and a greater chance of converting them into subscribers or customers.
- Better user experience. Implementing SEO best practices for blogs, such as optimizing page speed and improving website navigation, can enhance the user experience, leading to more engaged visitors.
- Competitive advantage. Optimizing your blog for SEO helps you stay ahead of your competitors and position yourself as an authority in your niche.
In short, you need to take blog SEO seriously if you want to drive more traffic, engagement, and growth for your blog.
Your blog is just one piece of the puzzle in your overall content SEO strategy. Ensure you don’t miss out on anything vital by enrolling in SE Ranking’s Content SEO Course.
SEO tips for blogs
Now that you know why SEO is important for blogs, let’s take a look at the technical and content SEO side of things, which is how search engines recognize the value of your blog and display it in SERPs. We’ll go over all essential tips to follow to ensure your blog’s SEO success.
Come up with the topics
1. Understand your audience
Once you identify your blog’s target audience (or buyer persona if you have a commerce project), the first thing you should do is find out what pain points they have and what trending topics they’re interested in learning more about. Then use that knowledge to provide them with the exact content they need via your blog.
Find out what your target audience needs are by:
- Directly reaching out to your customers.
- Exploring niche-related forums.
- Reading social media updates.
- Studying competitor blogs.
- Analyzing review sites like Yelp.
- Examining question-and-answer sites like Quora.
If you don’t define your target audience, you’ll end up writing content for everyone and pleasing no one.
2. Make a list of seed keywords related to your business
Each of your posts should center around a specific search query and tell a story with an angle. Doing so will help you stay on topic, ensure a good reader experience, and solve your audience’s problems (that’s why they’re reading your posts).
Start by creating a list of seed keywords that typically represent general terms describing your niche. These are usually short, concise, broad in nature, and serve as the starting point for keyword research. From there, expand your keyword list and identify more precise target keywords for your blog posts.
This is where keyword suggestion tools come into play. These provide a complete list of keyword recommendations on a given topic. Let’s take a visual example from SE Ranking’s Keyword Research tool. As you can see in the picture below, you would simply enter a term that describes your website’s main topic, then you’d choose a country to get plenty of suggestions in the Keyword Suggestions section. The Similar and Related tabs are highlighted to show that you can hand-pick seed keywords that describe your niche best. Also, these typically have a high search volume.
3. Perform competitive research to find keyword opportunities
Once you have a list of seed keywords, you can apply the same research process to each. This will expand your list of keyword ideas and help you identify your main competitors in the industry. You can do this either manually by checking the SERP for every seed keyword, or by utilizing specialized tools. For instance, in SE Ranking’s Keyword Research tool, you can enter your seed keyword and go to the Organic SERP History section, which provides data on your top SERP competitors and shows how each of them performed over time.
Select relevant websites from the list that performed well, and be ready for the next step, which is to collect competitor keywords for your blog.
This is possible with SE Ranking’s Competitive Research tool. Just enter the appropriate website from your list and move to the Keywords section, which provides keywords for which the competitor ranks. Pay special attention to the keywords that generate the most traffic to your rivals. If these topics are missing on your website, covering them can do you some big favors.
Another approach is to manually review your competitors’ blog posts. Look for recurring themes or topics and note the keywords they use to describe them. By doing so, you can add them to your list to get insights into the types of content that resonate with your target audience.
4. Check keyword effectiveness
Once you have identified your competitors’ keywords and consolidated them into a list, it’s important to evaluate their effectiveness. First, consider each keyword’s search volume to make sure your potential readers are interested in these topics.
Focus on keywords with high search volume. The higher the search volume for each keyword, the more people are searching for it, which also means the greater the potential for it to drive traffic to your blog.
But don’t be blinded by the volume of traffic that keywords receive. If your website is new and you want to avoid getting trampled by the competition, you need to consider keyword difficulty. This metric measures how hard it is to rank for a particular keyword in SERPs. A high difficulty score indicates that it will be challenging to rank for that keyword, whereas a low difficulty score indicates a good opportunity to target that keyword. The key is to find a balance between search volume and difficulty. While highly competitive keywords with large traffic numbers may look attractive, you may be better off targeting less competitive keywords with smaller amounts of traffic.
Another metric to consider when analyzing and selecting keywords is Cost per click. This metric measures the cost of each click on an ad for a particular keyword. Even if you aren’t running ads, you need to know how valuable that keyword is to your competition to jump the line in SERPs. A high CPC reflects that there is a large pool of advertisers who are working to beat the organic results. You’re going to have a harder time getting your organic results to rank if the market is heavily influenced by advertising.
5. Remove irrelevant keywords
The next step is to weed out any terms that won’t help you in developing an SEO strategy for your blog. Remove the following keyword types from your list:
- Keywords with too low search volume: These may not be worth targeting because your target audience may not be interested in such topics.
- Keywords with a high competition level: These keywords likely have many websites already optimized for them, making it difficult to rank high in SERPs for them.
- Keywords that don’t match your content or business: For instance, if you are a clothing retailer, targeting “home appliances” may not be relevant to your audience.
- Keywords that are too broad or general: For example, if you are a small local bakery, targeting the keyword “baked goods” may not be specific enough to attract your target audience.
6. Group keywords by search intent
It’s worth noting that blogs that solely create content to rank for specific queries in SERPs are often disorganized. This can cause pages (on your website) with similar topics to start competing in SERPs, resulting in keyword cannibalization. To avoid making a mess of your blog, group keywords by search intent and apply the topic cluster model from the get-go.
Analyze the search intent behind each keyword. You can find out its type (informational, navigational, transactional, or commercial) by answering these questions:
- Are people entering this query for information, products, or services?
- What questions are they trying to have answered?
- What problems are they trying to find solutions for?
Analyze the SERP to discover answers to questions and determine the search intent behind each keyword.
Skip keywords with transactional intent. Keep in mind that you don’t need keywords related to product or service searches for your blog, leave them for product page optimization. To optimize your blog, focus on keywords with informational search intent (e.g., “how-to”, “tutorial”, “guide”) to provide your target audience with helpful guides that answer their search queries.
Manually working with thousands of keywords can take hours, if not days. Working with keywords in this way is also only partially accurate because certain terms require checking the SERP. You can automate this process using a special Keyword Grouper tool that buckets keywords into groups based on their SERP result similarity. Keywords are put together into clusters if they get similar results in Google’s top 10 SERPs.
Once you have groups of relevant keywords with informational intent, you can create separate blog posts around them. Creating high-quality content also requires you to be organized, so you must put together a content plan.
7. Build a content plan
Next, set yourself on the right path to creating consistent, quality content by preparing a content strategy and sticking to it. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Determine your blog’s main message.
- Decide on post topics (including guest posts).
- Choose the types of content to create (text, images, photos, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc.).
- Identify the content formats to publish (customer/product review, story, guide, interview, etc.)
- Select the best promotional channels for your brand (social media, email, Quora, competitor blogs, etc.).
- Set the publication frequency and dates.
Without a well-planned roadmap, you’re basically saying that you’re going to wing this whole blogging thing in the hopes that it will somehow pan out.
Write the blog post Google likes
Once you have topics with keywords and a content plan, you can start creating content for your blog. Effective SEO content writing is a critical part of your ranking strategy. Let’s look at a few tips for creating well-optimized blog post.
- Use keywords strategically in content. Incorporate them into your headings, subheadings, title, URL, and throughout the body of your content. Avoid keyword stuffing, which is an excessive use of keywords that can negatively impact your content’s readability and SEO. Add keywords in a clear, natural way that makes sense to users.
- Use a clear and concise writing style and check your text for grammar and punctuation mistakes.
- Make sure your content aligns with search intent. Determining the right search intent is crucial because it helps you home in on the appropriate content format for your users and gives you an understanding of what they expect to gain from their queries. Don’t forget to analyze the SERP before writing your blog post. If the first page of Google shows listicles, go with a listicle. If it shows guides, create a guide.
- Use special SEO writing tools that automate content creation and provide valuable SEO insights. The content creation tool enables you to not only write copy but also to create a comprehensive brief. You can also use this tool to review the article by its SEO parameters, compare its ranking potential against the top competitors, correct textual mistakes, search for plagiarism and even generate text with the help of AI Writer. This AI writing tool creates top-ranking texts by first analyzing the SERP for content that ranks well, and then emulates the strategies used by your top-ranking competitors to create unique, original content. This streamlines the content creation process, which is why it’s a lot more effective than creating content manually.
When it comes to SEO, writing the body content is just one piece of the puzzle. Optimizing the primary SEO elements on your website is equally important, if not more so.
Optimize the main SEO elements
Give proper attention to all SEO elements, including the title, URL, meta description, and H tags. Each of these elements provides key insights to Google about the content of your web page. They also help Google in determining its relevance and quality.
The title tag is an important on-page SEO signal and is one of the first things that both search engines and people look at when assessing your content’s relevance. It provides an initial cue or context about the topic or subject matter of the page it appears on.
Google tends to display approximately 55 characters of a page’s title, so it’s best to include the keyword at the beginning to avoid jeopardizing the post’s perceived relevance to users. You should also only include one target keyword in your page’s title tag because stuffing lots of keywords could actually harm your ranking results and confuse users. This will make them less likely to click through to your page.
Another valuable piece of advice is to avoid using duplicate title tags. This can confuse both search engines and users. Every page on your website should have a unique title tag.
Your focus must also be on answering the searcher’s question, need, or desire. To do this, pick words that are clearly relevant to the page’s topic and searcher’s intent.
Both bots and humans rely on the meta description to gain a better understanding of the post’s relevance, and it can actually make or break the click-through rate.
Here’s a list of tips for writing a good meta description:
- Keep it up to 155 characters.
- Use active voice and make it actionable.
- Make sure it matches the content of the page.
- Make it unique.
Note: You don’t need to include your keyword in your meta description. Google doesn’t use descriptions in its algorithm. Descriptions are purely for capturing users’ attention and increasing organic CTR in the SERPs.
However, there’s no guarantee that the meta description you created will appear in SERPs, as Google shows other content sections (ones that include the searched keyword) for context.
And since you can’t really influence what description searchers see, the least you can do is continue creating an SEO-optimized blog so that Google displays the best possible content in the meta description.
Heading tags provide pages with two huge benefits: readability and hierarchy. Google’s John Mueller said that heading tags in HTML helps crawlers understand the structure of the page. H tags help search engine bots better crawl your content and determine more accurately which queries the blog post may be able to answer. So to put it plainly, if the content is structured, it’s easier to crawl. Below are a few tips on how to optimize your H tags properly:
- Maintain heading hierarchy and don’t skip levels. For example, make sure that your <h2> is not followed directly by an <h4>.
- Use heading tags where it makes sense. Too many heading tags on a page can make it hard for crawlers to scan the content and determine where one topic ends and another begins. You can use <em> and <strong> instead.
- Avoid long headings. Write them concisely, naturally, and organically.
- H1s should include a focus keyword. They should also focus on the same user intent as the primary content. Use the focus keyword once per page, and make sure the H1 tag differs from the meta title tag and is unique across the website.
Optimizing the URL is another useful SEO tip for blogs.
Make sure the URL mentions the keyword as early as possible. The URL also should not be changed later, so it’s better to make it short, descriptive, and evergreen (e.g., without years, numbers or variables). If you have a long and unreadable URL, there’s a chance your SERP visibility may take a hit.
Structure URLs on your site so that visitors can easily understand it, especially because search engines give more weight to reader friendly websites.
And don’t forget that every URL should be unique.
If you want to learn more about URL optimization, read this guide.
How to set up the title, URL and meta description in WordPress
Working with HTML code can appear complicated for content creators or SEO specialists. To avoid having to deal with the headache that often comes with HTML tags, use dedicated plugins to set up the title, description, and URL, or do it in the CMS admin panel. In WordPress, for example, the Yoast SEO plugin lets you do this while editing your blog post. Just navigate to the SEO section.
Around 1 billion people use Google Images daily. Google search stats show that 10.1% of Google traffic is for images.google.com. And if you want to get ranked in Google Images, optimize your images’ title, alt text, filename, caption, and the text surrounding the image.
Some web browsers display the image title text as a tooltip when you hover your mouse over an image. However, a lot of people just tend to use the alt text as the title, due to the latter having certain accessibility problems on most browsers.
If an image is not shown to the reader for whatever reason, descriptive text is pulled up from the image’s alt text instead, which is especially useful to screen reader users. Follow this example to add an alt text to an image tag via HTML:
<img class=”normal-image” src=”Nike ISPA Air Max 270 SP SOE.jpg” alt=”New Nike sneakers (ISPA Air Max 270 SP SOE)” title=”Nike ISPA sneakers”>
Another thing you should do is take the time to change the filename from “image1234” to “Nike ISPA Air Max 270 SP SOE”.
Captions are vital for image SEO as well, and are used by readers to visually scan the post together with the headings.
As a rule of thumb, image captions are used in long texts to provide additional information to support a certain point in the text.
Finally, the images in your blog posts need to be in tune with the post’s main topic. This is a big deal for SEO because if an image isn’t surrounded by a piece of text on the same topic, the page won’t enjoy higher rankings for the optimized search query.
Link internally where possible
Another established SEO best practice for blogs is interlinking your posts. While backlinks boost your relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines, internal links are no exception (think back on the topic cluster model).
If you’re writing a new post where you touch on the topic of another post or page of yours, add a link to that page:
Of course, linking to older posts comes naturally during the content creation process, but you can also link out to a new post from the old ones for the same reasons.
Remember that as you are adding links to your own posts, provide relevant info in the anchor text. Use the keyword wherever possible because search engines also look at anchor texts to understand what a page is about.
Finally, although conducting keyword research, optimizing metadata, and linking internally are critical steps toward improving your blog’s SEO, you must remember that you should also double-check that your blog’s code is clean, the pages load fast, and that they’re mobile-friendly.
Provide a great reader experience
Providing a great reader experience is crucial to improving your blog’s SEO. By optimizing the user experience on a blog, you can attract more visitors, keep them engaged, and establish a loyal following. If readers find the content easy to read, informative, and enjoyable, they are more likely to stay on your website longer.
Plus, technical aspects like site speed, CWV, mobile readability, and broken links are also critical ranking factors. Here’s a closer look at each of these aspects:
Speed and Core Web Vitals
Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in its search results. This means it uses a mobile version of the document to assess the quality of the blog page. So if some of the content is not available for mobile devices, chances are it won’t be considered for ranking. This means you absolutely must optimize your blog for mobile devices. Here’s how:
- Use a responsive design. Use media queries to define different CSS styles for different screen sizes. This allows you to adjust the layout, font sizes, images, and other design elements based on the screen size.
- Choose a mobile-friendly font. The font size should not make the text difficult to read. It should be no less than 14-16 pixels. In addition, ensure a high color contrast between the text and the background.
- Optimize images for smaller screens. Compress images and reduce the size of the image to match the size of the screen (many popular CMS’s offer various ready-made solutions to automatically adjust the size of images to a screen’s resolution settings). In addition, you can try lazy loading, which lets the page content load gradually as a visitor scrolls the page.
- Ensure that all content types are easy to read on mobile devices. Buttons, text entry fields, checkboxes, links, and other interactive elements must be large enough for users to easily hit them with their fingers.
Broken links indirectly harm your blog post’s SEO by increasing its bounce rate, the time visitors spend on your site, and how you pass link juice. Broken links also send signals that your blog is old and outdated. Search engines tend to penalize websites with broken links, as they indicate poor website maintenance. To combat this, use a tool like Google Search Console or a broken link checker plugin to identify and fix broken links.
Regularly checking and fixing broken links will help ensure that your blog remains search-engine-friendly and user-friendly.
Work on technical aspects
Other than improving the user experience, it is also important to optimize all the technical aspects of your site that can make it run faster, increase its crawlability, and make it more understandable for search engines. Let’s observe some aspects to consider:
Pagination is a common feature used on blogs to break up content into multiple pages. It allows readers to more easily sift through your blog posts to find what they’re looking for. You can utilize different methods to paginate your blog content, including using infinite scrolling, preventing paginated URLs from indexing, or indexing the View all page only (or all pages). Learn how to do this by consulting our complete pagination guide.
Another important SEO technique to implement in your blog is splitting blog posts by categories and tags. This feature is actually a staple of the SE Ranking blog. By clicking on the category, a user gets a list of blog posts related to the appropriate category.
The same thing goes for tags, which can be added to each blog post:
Indexing issues occur when search engines cannot crawl and index all of the pages on your blog. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Duplicate content. Each one of your blog posts should be unique. Search engines will otherwise have a difficult time determining which page to index. To avoid duplicate content-related issues, you can also use canonical tags.
- Robots.txt issues. The robots.txt file tells search engine crawlers which pages to crawl and which ones to ignore. If your robots.txt file is incorrectly configured or blocking important pages, search engines may be unable to crawl and index your content properly.
- Server errors. If your server is experiencing errors, such as the 500 Internal Server Error, Google may not be able to crawl your blog content. Try to identify the error by using tools like GSC, or check for misconfigured server settings (e.g., incorrect permissions or incorrect file locations). You can also check for any plugins that may be conflicting with others. Contact your web host if server issues don’t resolve or if more issues continue to arise.
- Blog navigation issues. Search engines use your internal links to discover and index new pages. Links help search engines understand the content and context of the destination page, as well as the relationships between pages. That’s why if Google doesn’t understand your internal link architecture, it won’t crawl your blog properly. Work on content hierarchies, including categories, subcategories, and tags. You can also use contextual links in your text.
In addition to the above tips, it’s also important to ensure that you have a separate sitemap for your blog and that it is properly optimized for SEO. The sitemap helps search engines understand which blog post you want it to index. By adding a URL to the file, you’re signaling to Google that the page is of high-quality. The sitemap also helps crawlers find pages that they might have otherwise missed (e.g., URLs deeply hidden on the site that have a small number of incoming links).
Update your sitemap regularly. Include all new posts, ensure all URLs are properly formatted, and submit your sitemap to search engines for indexing.
As a rule of thumb, all the pages you add to a list must be 200 OK pages and be filled with high-quality content that serves users well.
Check the sitemap regularly for issues, such as size and compression errors, URL crawling issues, indexing errors, etc. See this guide for tips on how to polish your sitemap.
Consider Google’s E-E-A-T
Improving your website’s E-E-A-T score is another vital step in blog optimization. E-E-A-T is a framework used by Google to evaluate the quality of content. It’s based on four key factors:
- Experience. This refers to someone’s first-hand (or life) experience on the topic, such as their actual use of a product, visitation of a place, or communication about what they have experienced.
- Expertise. This refers to the level of knowledge that the content creator has on the topic. The author must have the necessary credentials, training, and experience to speak authoritatively on any given subject.
- Authoritativeness. This refers to the reputation and authority of the website that publishes the content.
- Trustworthiness. This refers to the reliability and credibility of the content itself. Users are more likely to trust accurate, unbiased, and error-free content.
If you want to improve your website’s E-E-A-T score, here are some steps you can take:
- Focus on creating high-quality blog content. This means having content that is accurate, informative, and well-researched. Make sure that your articles are written by experts in their field.
- Get reputable links. Having reliable backlinks from reputable websites in your industry establishes your website as a trusted source of information.
- Use your own experience. Give your own personal advice or describe products and services from your own perspective.
- Ensure your blog is secure and trustworthy. Use HTTPS, provide clear contact information in the footer and let your readers comment on posts.
Another key tip to improving your website’s E-E-A-T score is to create a strong author profile that establishes your authority in your niche:
- Include a bio: Add a brief summary of who you are and what you do, your name, job title, and any relevant experience or qualifications.
- Establish your authorship: Use the same name across all your blog posts.
- Include links to your social media profiles in your author bio: This will help readers connect with you and increase your social media following.
- Link a portfolio of your writing work to your author bio: This will help establish your authority as a writer.
Note: The E-E-A-T quality is crucial for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) sites, which are resources that can significantly impact website visitors’ well-being, health, financial stability, and security. Medical and financial blogs are often considered YMYL resources, and Google has strict requirements for them. For instance, medical advice should be written or produced only by people or organizations with appropriate medical expertise or accreditation.
Conduct a successful blog content audit
As your blog continues to grow, it’s essential to regularly assess the performance of your content. This will ensure that your blog as a whole is meeting your goals and providing value to your audience. Consider conducting a content audit to identify opportunities to improve your blog and further optimize your content strategy.
Follow these steps when performing a content audit.
Step 1. Analyze your blog pages.
Identify which pages perform well or poorly, have high or low traffic potential, or have many or few conversions. To do this, utilize special tools like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, or SE Ranking. We’ll describe how to use each of these tools in the next section.
Step 2. Decide what to do with each piece of content and determine which pages to focus on.
After conducting your analysis, you may decide to update a blog post with new information or to delete a post that’s no longer relevant to your audience. Alternatively, you could consolidate several related posts into a comprehensive guide or promote a high-performing post through social media or email marketing. Now, let’s take a look at the pages you should focus on first:
- Pages with low organic traffic but high traffic potential. Optimizing the content on these pages enables you to reach a wider target audience and with less effort.
- Pages with high positions but low click-through rates. These pages may have low-quality meta tags that you can optimize.
- Pages with high traffic but low conversions. Low conversion rates indicate problems related to your content’s relevance to titles, CTAs, or loading page time.
- Pages with low or high impression counts but low clicks. These pages may require more keyword optimization and fixing of website loading issues.
- Pages that were last updated more than a year ago. Google likes fresh and up-to-date content and prioritizes it when ranking websites.
Step 3. Discover ways to improve your pages.
After finding out which pages need improvement, now you can analyze their individual elements.
- Keep track of your headings, title tags, alt text, and other HTML elements.
- Update your outdated or underperforming CTAs. Make sure that your new CTAs are increasing conversion rates.
- Optimize internal linking.
- Expand your content with new and relevant information.
- Refresh your content by adding new pieces of content, such as quotes from experts or new statistics. This will also make your content more credible.
- Use 301 redirects to send readers to the new-and-improved blog posts and stop them from landing on 404 pages.
Step 4. Delete unnecessary pages.
In some cases, it doesn’t make sense to improve blog pages. Consider deleting:
- Pages that have not had any sessions in the past year.
- Pages that do not focus on specific keywords or offer minimal value to your audience.
- Pages that are duplicates or created for the same keyword/user intent.
Step 5: Monitor the impact of your changes.
Finally, adjust your blog’s SEO strategy according to any negative or positive changes that you noticed. Keep track of your traffic, engagement, and conversion metrics to determine if your changes positively impact your blog’s performance. If you notice a decline in performance, revisit your content audit and make additional adjustments as needed.
Track your keywords and SEO health
Once your posts are out in the wild, give them some time to find their place on the search engine results page. Then, start monitoring each one to see how well they’re ranking for the search queries you selected:
With the help of SE Ranking’s Keyword Rank Tracker, you can set a target URL for any keyword and easily keep track of how each one of your pages ranks for each keyword.
Another powerful tool that enables you to thoroughly go through the technical SEO aspects of your blog is Website Audit. With this tool, you can quickly find out if there are any issues in your website’s performance, plus it advises you on what steps to take to improve your blog for search engines.
And when you want to analyze a specific blog post from top to bottom, On-Page SEO Checker can come to the rescue. This tool checks all the page’s technical details, displays how well it’s optimized for a search query, assesses content uniqueness, and highlights any improvements that can be made.
In addition, you can track your keywords and check your SEO health with Google’s special tools.
Google Search Console provides some key features that you will need to pay attention to if you want to improve your blog’s SEO. The Performance Report, for example, displays all the keywords you currently rank for in Google, as well as how many users click on your page. You should also pay special attention to the Click-through rate (CTR) metric, which measures the percentage of clicks your content receives in relation to the number of times it’s displayed in search results for a particular keyword. A high CTR indicates that your content is relevant and appealing to searchers, while a low CTR may indicate that your content needs improvement or that you need to adjust your targeting.
To monitor your blog’s SEO health, go to the Pages section, which shows how many pages of yours are currently being indexed in Google. It also displays any pages with indexing issues and provides a complete list of errors.
To evaluate your blog’s performance, go to the Experience section, where the tool provides page experience data, Core Web Vitals metrics and mobile usability issues.
Google Analytics is another helpful tool for assessing website performance. It provides page view statistics, data on average time on page, bounce rate and other engagement metrics, to help you understand your how effective your blog optimization efforts have been.
This tool enables you to analyze the conversion rate, which measures the percentage of visitors to your website who take a desired action, such as following a link or filling out a form. Tracking your conversion rate can help you determine whether your content is effectively targeting the right keywords and engaging your audience.
So, if you notice that something isn’t going according to plan, you can go back to the drawing board and continue optimizing your content. And remember, always optimize for humans and for robots!
Prioritize getting backlinks
Crafting high-quality content should only be a part of your SEO and marketing strategy. If you want to win the optimization game and take first place on the SERP, paying special attention to your link building strategy is also a non-negotiable. Still, creating high-quality content is the best way to attract backlinks.
Fortunately, as a blogger, your website is already primed to get links. In fact, businesses that blog actively get 97% more inbound links, according a Hubspot study. Consider the following tips on creating blog content that attracts high-quality backlinks:
- Create original, informative, and valuable content. Your content should solve a problem or answer a question that your target audience has.
- Incorporate data and statistics. This will make your content more authoritative and credible. People are more likely to link to content supported by data and research.
- Establish contacts with potential partners in your industry. Identify relevant websites that are likely to link to your content, reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in sharing your content with their audience.
- Add infographics and visual content. These should supplement your written content. People are more likely to link to content that is visually appealing.
- Share your content. Whether its on social media, email newsletters, and other relevant channels, the more people see your content, the more likely they will link to it.
We’ve covered the top tips for creating a powerful blog to achieve good SEO results, but there is no limit to perfection, especially when it comes to content. Here are a few more tips to help you improve your blog post SEO.
Write сatchy headlines
Get your readers hooked from the moment they see the title of your post in the search results. But don’t deceive them. Make a promise in your headline that tells them why they should read your post, and make sure to deliver on it.
The headline, afterall, can make or break your blog post. If it’s catchy enough, people will spend more time absorbing your content and may even share it without reading it! But if it’s not catchy, expect your post to collect digital dust.
If you’re not seeing any high-quality organic traffic on its way to your post, try changing the headline by convincing your readers to engage with it.
Write a great intro to hook
A blog post intro is the next big thing your reader sees directly after your blog title. There are 4 elements that go into making a great blog intro:
1. The hook
The hook is placed at the beginning of your blog post to pique the reader’s interest. This section is your chance to catch your reader’s attention and make them want more. It should be short, straight to the point, and catchy.
Some statement types that can serve as a hook for your topic include:
- A statistic
- An intriguing question
- A bold claim
- An anecdote
- A quote
- A provocative opinion
Right after the hook, you need to explain to readers why the information you’re providing is important and how it can be useful to them. In fact, there is a famous copywriting formula that strongly emphasizes your “WHY” in your copy.
It’s called Problem-Agitate-Solution (PAS):
- Phase 1: State The PROBLEM. You need to emphasize what the hardcore problem is that your readers are facing. This takes a lot of research and a concrete understanding of the problems your target market is struggling with.
- Phase 2: AGITATE The Problem. Talk about all the bad things that this problem causes and why it will be better if this problem is resolved. But keep in mind that adding excessive negativity can harm your brand’s reputation. Structure your material in a way that, as readers progress to the end of your copy, they’re able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Phase 3: Offer A SOLUTION. Your solution must be realistic, achievable, and address the specific needs of your audience. It also has to be something they haven’t heard before, or at least not from you. The goal is to position yourself as the expert capable of resolving this problem once and for all. Or, if there is no one-size-fits-all solution, guide readers in finding their own way to fix the issue.
3. Support Pillars
In this phase, you can mention other ways to benefit from this blog post beyond the main solution. This might include offering a free e-book, guide, membership access, cheat sheets, case studies, checklist, templates, etc. You can also lighten things up for your readers by cracking a topic-related joke.
This is the final section, and honestly, it’s also the weakest. But you should still include one because omitting a CTA can render your blog post difficult to navigate. Your readers might also lose the connecting link to the next part of your blog. Remember, we’re not writing CTAs for a sales page; rather, it’s for your blog.
Follow the KISS principle
The KISS principle, which stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid,” emphasizes the importance of simplicity and clarity in creating effective and memorable content. With voice search growing in popularity, Google now hand-picks the most on-point, informative, concise, and voice-friendly content to provide instant answers to searchers.
Here are some tips on how to follow this principle:
Make content easy on the eyes.
With 43% of people visually scanning posts instead of reading them carefully, you should avoid presenting content in a complicated way. This is where bullet points, lists, white space, clear headings and so on make it easy for people to consume content.
Looking at the image above, which option would you prefer reading? Let’s rephrase that: which option would you read? The answer couldn’t be more obvious.
You should also avoid using complex jargon and cluttered layouts.
Don’t write convoluted sentences that confuse or bore readers. Instead, focus on using simple, clear language that is easy to understand. The KISS principle also applies to the visual design of your blog. Avoid cluttered layouts or too many distracting elements, and focus on creating a clean and simple design that helps readers focus on your content.
To help your readers understand your content better, use concrete examples that illustrate your points. This can make your content more engaging and memorable.
Build relationships via commenting
Among other things, both people and search engines get a feel for a post’s level of engagement by analyzing the comments section. It’s a great place for exchanging ideas and opinions about a specific topic. It also serves as a tool for driving and engaging traffic and gives you content to share on social media.
So if you want to spark a lively debate to boost your engagement and SEO efforts, give your readers the opportunity to leave feedback if they feel like it! But don’t let spam through — set up comment moderation to hide all comments that you haven’t yet approved.
Also, if you’re using WordPress, you can easily add star rating plugins to your blog for commenting, which will then be displayed as a rich snippet in SERPs.
Add a social sharing button
To encourage people to share your posts on social media and boost online visibility, add social sharing buttons to your blog. This will build trust and enable readers to share your posts in a single click — a process that’s way simpler and more inviting than copying and pasting the link.
It’s also in your best interest to include the Open Graph protocol — a set of meta tags that nicely structure the way blog posts are displayed on social media. To apply the protocol to your blog, include open graph tags in a page’s <head> section.
Here’s what a blog post that uses the protocol looks like on Facebook:
Make your content stand out
When you come across a topic that’s been covered a million times before, think of a new, entertaining way to make it stand out from the sea of competition.
Add podcasts, infographics, statistics, highlighted definitions, graphs, polls, memes, gifs, expert quotes, videos, and data comparisons. Play around with different options to make your posts valuable, yet entertaining and easy-to-read.
For example, request a quote from an expert on your post’s topic and insert it into your content to increase its level of expertise and reader trust:
It’s also true that adding tools like loan calculators, interactive recipes, converters and other engaging elements demonstrates a site’s quality. It is a great way to drive regular traffic and improve behavioral metrics.
But let’s face it. There’s no point in creating yet another piece of content if it doesn’t bring anything new or valuable to the table, right?
Now over to you
In this post, we took a close look at why blogs are important for SEO and how to do it right.
Running a successful blog can be demanding. It requires careful planning, a well-structured approach, and the creation of authentic, engaging, and high-quality content. The material you write should always answer specific questions or solve the problems of your target readers. Sure, there are certain technical things that can help your blog get noticed by Google and attract more visitors, but remember that if the content is not up to par, then it’ll be a waste of your time and resources.
After all, your blog is not just a means of getting your site to the top of the SERPs; it’s also a great, but oftentimes underestimated marketing tool that can attract a larger target audience.
So, make sure you make the most of it and always view blogging and SEO as two sides of the same coin.