On-Page Optimization of Blogs
The digital marketing world has completely changed over the last twenty years for business owners. Between Google’s ever-changing search algorithm and the constant flow of misinformation circling the internet marketing world, it’s no wonder people lose sight of true SEO Best practices. Despite the panic of new change, the core principles remain the same and it’s time to get back to the basics of successful SEO for Blog Pages.
Keywords and How To Structure
Keywords serve several important functionalities, the most important of these is signaling to Search Engines what the main focus of your web page’s content is. Optimization starts with using your keyword in headers, meta tags, URL, Images/Videos, and throughout the content on that Page.
This is important because specific keyword phrases are bolded within the meta description of a Google search result, potentially increasing your click-through rate. See the Image for a visual explanation.
Equally as important is making sure not to over-optimize the content. Keyword stuffing, or a high keyword density, will qualify your content as spammy, therefore not trusted by Google.
One simple rule to keep in mind, if you have been asked any question more than 2-3x, it needs to be on your website. Keywords serve as the bridge between what a user desires and the content Google stores. Keyword-optimized content helps to position individual web pages to rank higher organically and drive impressions.
Most underrated and improperly used: Internal Linking. Several key points come to light when properly internally linking for SEO:
- Establishes paths for users to navigate your website.
- Opens crawling to deep-linked web pages and increases crawl rate.
- Defines site architecture and your most important web pages to search engines.
- Distributes link juice, or authority, throughout your website.
Ideally, you’ll want at least three to five internal links per blog post, and a navigation menu on your home page to provide deep links to inaccessible web pages. Just because a piece of content is posted to your blog, doesn’t automatically mean search engines like Google or Bing can see it.
You can conduct a thorough internal link audit to see which web pages have the most authority. Once that’s completed, place internal links on these pages from other high-value internal pages, therefore distributing authority evenly throughout your domain. While a blogger’s home page will be the most authoritative, don’t forget to limit the number of links between each blog post and your home page to evenly distribute link juice throughout your domain.
Finally, be sure to use varying keyword phrases for each link so that you can rank your web pages for multiple search queries. For example, a Page covering the HVAC Repair Blog could use a whole list of keywords to optimize such as Heating and Ventilation Repair, air conditioning, ac repair, home air conditioning repair, commercial ac repair, etc.
High-Quality Page Content
As a general rule, it’s important to write for readers and not search engines. Keep content light, don’t overwhelm a reader with the knowledge or use too many big words that don’t make sense. Basically, write for readers on an eighth-grade level. In most cases blogging on-site content is not about publishing, but rather building brand awareness online. Consistent content production. wherein you place actionable tips, that can establish you as an authority in your niche.
Look over your blog post as a whole and analyze it. Upon encountering your website at first glance, what does a reader experience? Consider the fact that the average attention span is estimated to be eight seconds.
Craft a powerful headline to speak to readers’ interest, and nurture this interest with a strong introductory paragraph. Always insert clear transitional phrases between paragraphs. Many Bloggers forget the importance of optimizing the header structure. This includes your Header, meta tags, images, URL, and links; which can encourage easy scanability and communicate a clear purpose that is essential as an attention grabber. These will also increase your average user session time.
Make your content visually appealing by utilizing white space properly and inserting images after every 400 words or so. This essentially chunks content and prevents information overload. Many Bloggers even use fun GIFs to appeal to their audience within their content.
Finally, edit fiercely. Many writers live by the rule that about two-thirds of writing should be edited and reworked.
Optimize Images and Videos
Speaking of poor page copy, many bloggers are quick to forget image and video optimization. Unoptimized image file formats and sizes are the most common loading errors that deteriorate SEO performance.
All on-site images should be formatted as either a .jpg or a .png file. Saving your image files correctly is the first step, and the second is naming them properly when saving. It is crucial that your image be named the same, or semantically, as your Blog Title including the most important keyword for that blog.
Optimizing the image’s alt text is the best way to position the image to rank within a targeted keyword image search. The alternative text communicates with search engines to further detail the content of your image. Alternatively, this area is used to describe images to those with screen readers.
When optimizing video files, correctly organizing them online is key. We recommend loading the video on YouTube first and then embedding it within your website. This shows great link authority to Google. Don’t forget to optimize the meta description of all video pages on your website, as well as the description within YouTube using consistently targeted keywords. Video marketing can be distributed from multiple channels, as well as your blog to benefit your website. A huge benefit of using YouTube is YouTube transcribes your videos, so in theory, you can also have an entire Blog of written content to use when creating a video.
In following these best practices for search engine optimization for Blogs, can effectively make blogging quality content a lead-generating tool. For on-site blogs, the focus should remain on informational long-tail keyword phrases. Rest assured that if you take the time to properly set up and maintain your online presence, your Organic Rank will reflect all your hard work. Keep in mind that Google is ever-changing, so staying updated on the best practices for each algorithm update is truly the only way to be sure of the legitimacy of your SEO practices.