You’ve probably heard of blog SEO. You might even know that it stands for Search Engine Optimization. But only a small percentage of bloggers actually know how to make their blog posts SEO friendly. Do you?
When it comes to blog SEO, every single blog post you publish counts as an “indexable” page of your website. That means, each post has the potential to be found via search engines and has the ability to improve the overall visibility of your website. When it comes to SEO, ranking as high as possible will get more people to discover you and your services and might be a very important aspect of your success.
Let’s face it, who looks past page one of Google?
So to give your blog posts the best chance of ranking highly in search results, they need to be optimized. This is called “on-page optimization” and it’s essential for getting your blog out there.
We know bloggers like you already have enough to remember when writing blog posts (simplify your planning with this Free Content Planning Calendar), so we’ve broken down the process of on-page optimization into a checklist with five simple steps to make your life easier.
Simple steps to on-page optimization success to improve your blog SEO
1. Body text and headings
This may seem like a bit of an obvious one, but make sure your keyword actually appears in the body text of your post!
Best practice is to aim for a minimum keyword density of 0.5% – but be careful not to litter your text with it, as Google penalizes “keyword stuffing”. If you’ve also got in there a sprinkling of words and terms that are similar or analogous to your keyword, so much the better.
It’s also good practice to include your keyword in at least one heading. If you do this, make sure to format that part of the text as a heading – H2 through to H5, 6 or 7. H1 should be reserved as your main title.
You should be able to select what sort of heading you want easily from a dropdown menu in the CMS.
2. Page URL
The “slug” is the end part of the page URL; it’s the bit you can alter. Stick to these three simple rules when altering your page slug:
- Include the page keyword
- Wherever there would normally be a space [ ], use a hyphen –
- Keep the slug short and sweet
And remember: Don’t change the slug after your post has been shared or you’ll end up with broken links (a huge SEO no no)!
3. Alt descriptions
“Alt descriptions” are shown if images don’t appear for the user. They’re also how search engines recognize what that image is about.
If you click to edit your image, there should be a field entitled “alt description” or “alt tag” where you can input some text that uses your keyword. If you can’t find this option anywhere, rename the image file to include the keyword.
4. SEO title
Your SEO title will default to the title header of your page unless you write a different one in your CMS.
In WordPress, if you’re using the Yoast plugin, you can write your SEO title (and meta description) there. If you’re using the Hubspot platform, it’s in the optimization tab. In Wix, it’s in the post’s Advanced Settings.
Usually, you’ll be able to see a preview of how your title will appear in Google, so you’ll know if it’s too long. If you can see “…” you need to shorten your title or risk being penalized.
If you’re not sure, keep your title to under 60 characters long. Don’t worry, you’ll get a chance to write more in the meta description.
Tip: A good format for an SEO title is this:
[Keyword]: [Some Detail] | [Brand or Blog Name]
On-Page Optimization: SEO For Bloggers | BLOGGERSET
5. Meta description
This is the snippet of text that appears in Google when it’s returned as a result.
Along with your post’s SEO title, the meta description is the first thing your intended audience will see. So take the time to craft some creative, compelling copy that will make them want to click to find out more.
6. Use a plugin to help you out
If your blog is hosted on a popular platform like WordPress or Blogger you can use an SEO plugin. I personally recommend Yoast SEO. I use the free version which is quite powerful and it does help you set up the main keyword, SEO title and meta description.
It also gives you a checklist of other improvements you can do to improve your on-page SEO such as keyword density, number of words in the post, outbound or inbound links that your post contains.
We hope these tips will come in handy for optimizing your blog posts. Stay tuned for more resources on how to be a better blogger!