In order to ensure your blog content is properly positioned for success and taking advantage of the opportunity to become an authoritative source of thought leadership for the topics your content covers, we’ve assembled the following step-by-step guide on how to optimize it for SEO. This guide will cover how to identify keywords, ensure your metadata is properly written, maintain a mobile-friendly design sensibility, optimize your image alt text and keep your content fresh and up-to-date
- Focus on one or two long-tail keywords that adequately address the subject matter you’re covering in your post. Longer (and in many cases posed as a question) keywords are a great way to focus your content on answering a specific concern for your audience. Long-tail keywords also lend themselves towards satisfying user intent; for example, a post that focuses on “how does covid-19 impact small businesses” will generally perform better than one targeted more broadly at “covid-19 smb impact”.
- Once you’ve identified your target keywords it’s important to be mindful about where you position them throughout your content. Placing the primary keyword as close to the beginning of your content as possible is a strong signal to both users and search engines that this is what this post will be all about. You should also be mindful to utilize your keywords in a way that’s natural and never impedes readability, as failing to do so by overusing them could leave you open to potential penalization for perceived keyword-stuffing.
Metadata & Copy
- Now that you’ve identified your keywords you will want to ensure they are present throughout your metadata and main copy. These areas include:
- Title tag: You’ll want to include your primary keyword within the first 60 characters of your title tag, as that’s the point Google will generally cut it off when displayed on SERPs.
- Body copy: As mentioned in the previous slide, you’ll want to use your primary keyword early on in your first sentence, and make sure that subsequent usage throughout the copy is done so in a natural and readable cadence. Keep your focus on covering the subject matter in a way that thoroughly addresses everything your audience wants to know about it and good SEO performance will follow.
- URL: As is the case with all URLs, blog posts that maintain a simple, easy to understand structure tend to perform better.
- Meta descriptions: Follow the best practices we’ve provided in the On-Page SEO article for crafting meta descriptions as they will also apply here.
- Like everything else on the internet, blog posts are subject to Google’s mobile-first indexing, so you’ll want to make sure your content is built and presented in a way that’s friendly to use on mobile devices.
- You’ll want to ensure you’re using responsive design, as this will keep the value gained from inbound links from being diminished by seeming to lead back to two separate URLs.
- You’ll also want to make sure you’re following all the other mobile-friendly best practices elsewhere on your site, including ensuring all the same features and elements present on the desktop version are available in mobile, limiting the use of drop-down menus that impede UX on mobile devices, sizing your tap targets appropriately, etc.
Optimizing Image Alt Text
- Images can help break up long blocks of text, liven up the look and feel of your post and communicate additional information that helps supplement your content.
- Properly written alt text serves multiple purposes, including providing an SEO boost by describing the contents of an image to crawlers that can’t properly “see” it otherwise and by improving UX, particularly by improving accessibility for users who see poorly or use screen readers.
- Be as descriptive as possible when crafting these; one useful exercise is to close your eyes and see what you can picture using just the alt text you’ve created, the better it matches the actual image, the better the alt text.
- Keep the description under 125 characters.
Fresh & Evergreen Content
- Having the proper mix of fresh and evergreen content on your blog ensures visitors can think of you as both the place to get new information on emerging topics as well as a trusted, reliable source to reference whenever they need.
- Evergreen content builds authority and rank over time, bringing steady traffic to your blog and accruing inbound links. It also provides good opportunities to link internally, not just to other blog posts but also to the services available elsewhere throughout your site.
- Fresh content will ensure that new users discover your site regularly and, ideally, learn more about the products and services you offer once they’ve gotten the information they were looking for when they came to your blog. However, fresh content doesn’t just mean you have to continuously find entirely new posts to create; it can also mean periodically reviewing and updating your content to keep it current.