Of the many questions I get, and just about daily, nothing is asked more than questions about blog post optimization, especially from beginners to the blogging platform.
So, I figured I would go back to my roots in search engine optimization and help you learn and understand the basics of on page optimization, in particular, how to truly optimize a blog post.
Everyone wants to be on the first page of Google, but did you know that there are other platforms that can help you drive quality traffic as well? There is, and here we will learn how to optimize for them as well…
Bots, Spiders, Crawlers And Blogs.
First off, we are to always be optimizing for people, and search engines second. What this means is well, rather obvious. We need to be creating content people want or need, and making sure that there are on page SEO factors built in to help crawlers, bots or spiders, whatever you want to call them, access them easier.
These little bots, however, should never be ignored, search engine optimization is as important as any other content or inbound marketing strategy you will employ for your blog.
Without some basic SEO skills, your blog will be harder to find, actually, it could make it almost invisible to tell you the truth.
That would be a killer right out of the gate.
Bots, crawlers, and spiders, they are constantly searching out new content, links and web pages to index 24-7. Like the Matrix screen in that movie of old, search engines of all kinds are constantly seeking out what you and I might need or want to read, view or listen to.
“Search engines are seeking to give us the best answer possible to the query we have.”
However, some search engines are truly better than others at relaying the best answer to that question, and of course, Google has always been the number one go-to search engine for this.
So, if 40% of all serious inquiries about “things” in general today start with search engines, and Google is on the top of the heap, we should then understand some of the most important blog post optimization best practices, and actually practice them.
Now let’s learn what they are, and why they are so important…
1. Titles Matter Most.
Someone recently asked me what the one most important on-page SEO factor there was, my answer was quick and simple;
“It’s all in the title.”
I know that many, many search engine optimization specialists will agree with me here, but this is my own opinion, but one based on examples and plenty of data out here to share, but a greatly optimized title is probably about 70% of the overall SEO importance of a blog post.
Seriously, think it might even be more personally, but let’s just stick with 70% for now and work with that.
Titles spell out the answer people are looking for, or the need or want they are feeling at that moment. This is why titles matter so much, and when backed by great content, well, double the awesomeness! and power of SEO.
Be creative with your titles, but do not mislead people with them. Misleading or “click bait” titles are highly scrutinized by search engines, especially Google.
And, as far as optimization for social media, spammy is spammy but interesting or to the point are just that, to the point and interesting if you get my drift. Use keywords in your title, but most importantly, make sure it speaks to something in particular as often as possible.
2. Utilizing Keywords Where It Matters.
Keywords or, keyword phrases still have a place among well ranked and visible blog content. As a matter of fact, when it comes to titles, main H1 title tag titles, using your keyword phrase and keywords is a must.
However, looking at how semantic indexing works today, keyword usage within the blog post itself should be natural, and no, there is no percentage tricks that will help today.
“Your keyword density tricks are for kids and hacks today. Let them go, and just write out the best answer possible.”
Keywords in subtitles like H2. H3 and even H4 title tags are a good thing, as long as they are not overused of course, which is what most website and business owners online tend to do often.
Where do keywords matter most? Well, as I stated above, in your main title, but when you write, speak or write naturally, the keywords will naturally flow if you know your subject matter well.
Kind of like the next subtitle below…, there is a great example.
3. Optimizing Your Images.
Imagery is not used enough I think. Most bloggers or business owners online think of only featured images and infographics, anything that will sell people I guess.
Not me, I think these things are great, especially infographics where needed, but when none are needed, why not some “push imagery?” And why are we not optimizing these images better?
- Alternative Text: Or better understood as the “Alt Text” in the SEO world. This is the keyword phrase that describes the image. Now on this image, I am using the title to the main post, and that is okay…, but the others I would use the words that describe what the picture is actually of.
- Image Title: This is the actual title you give to the image, the same as the “alt text.” And just so you know, create a small hyphen between the words here, Google and other search engines will put them into one word if not.
- Size Does Matter: There are slow load times that have nothing to do with video or podcasts, sometimes your image that is 1900 x 4500 is just big! scale it down here and render it to the actual or close enough pixelation size of the blog post itself.
- Link Rel: Leave it alone for now.
4. Linking Inbound And Outbound.
Link building and your blogging efforts will go hand-in-hand, but know this, all the links in the world will not guarantee you anything, but they do “help.”
I have seen people, brands and businesses of all sizes come and go, and I mean get black listed from search and social media platforms, because of poor link building practices.
Here are the three best link building practices we all know work, especially when we do not overdo it:
- Creating blog content people want.
- Linking in and out of your blog.
- And commenting or sharing out our content and that of others.
There you go, your link wheel, SEO mastermind goobly-goo you need. Any other way of building links can be harmful.
We create links through being a part of conversations through commenting and leaving our links behind. We create them through linking contextually to other vital pieces of content within our own blogs, and to out bound blogs from others that have some importance or authority on the subject matter at hand.
And simply put, we create content people want or need.
There is your secret to link building.
5. Give People More Content Choice.
Recent posts on a sidebar. Related posts at the end of a blog post. A search box. Links to other useful content.
These simple practices help people find more useful content within your blog, which in the end not only feeds links to search engines to crawl, but in the end, build authority and trust with people, and that can mean money in your pocket.
More choice for people makes more visible choices for search engines as well. This is why things like sitemaps help a blogger out, especially a blogger looking to get ranked well and grab some of that FREE money making traffic!
6. Make Sharing And Caring Easy And Simple.
Social share buttons. From SumoMe to Social Warfare to what comes with the professional blog theme you chose, social sharing buttons work!
Ask people to share. Make it easy to share. This is how you get more reach. more links, more engagement. And trust me, nothing is better for your blog posts to search engine optimization than that of engagement via social media.
And do not just share your own, share other people’s content as well. Be a part of your literal niche by being a part of the conversations, at least the ones that matter.
Share to your email list, Facebook groups, Twitter lists and the such. Be shareable in all the ways that you can…
Don’t Forget SEO, Just Forget SEO! Duh!
Confused yet? Me either, of course, I am saying that you should always “optimize for people first and search engines second”, especially when it comes to optimizing your blog posts.
Don’t forget SEO is about being visible to people through platforms like search engines and social media platforms…, not just being visible to them, and them alone.
Do You Have A Second To Share?
If you have a second, sharing this article with your twitter followers would be a huge help. (It’s just below) I know, I’m shamelessly asking you to tweet my article, but it’s easy. And thank you very much…, and God Bless!