Blogging can be a complicated task to take on thanks to the always fluctuating landscape of search engine indexing, like Google. Here are five things every blogger should be doing to stay at the top of the results page.
Websites with blogs rank higher on search engines like Google than those without because they’re an immensely powerful on-page SEO asset. This makes blogging an indispensable tool for any marketer or website owner who wants to grow their organic traffic.
Blog writing comes with its own set of challenges, however. It’s not about getting a couple of paragraphs on a page just to have something there. There’s a lot of planning and thought, not to mention strategy, that goes into creating high-ranking blog posts. Therefore, it is important to do it right from the start. Or risk wasting hours toiling over something that won’t pay off.
This article won’t cover everything there is to know about blogging and SEO. Rather, the list below contains five basic steps that every writer and blog owner should already be following.
1. FIND SOMETHING RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT TO SAY
Google has been emphasizing the importance of intent within blog posts in recent years. This means that they not only look at long-tail keywords but also at LSI keywords. They then factor in how relevant the blog is to the reader (through their search keywords, but also other online habits and location).
The reader’s experience is now a priority for search engines like Google, and every blog should share that sentiment. Which means finding topics that the reader cares about and providing them with interesting content.
2. INCLUDE MAIN KEYWORDS IN THESE PLACES
Keywords are still one of the most influential factors in a blog’s ability to rank in searches. But keyword stuffing has become a major issue, which has led to a change in the way Google looks at them.
Instead of placing keywords as often as possible, place them in these six strategic areas:
- The Title Tag: This is the title of the blog and is the first thing a reader will see. It’s the piece of text that will show up in the search results and on the opened browser tab.
- The Meta Description: The meta description is a paragraph of text that shows up under the title in the search results. It describes what the post is about.
- The URL: The primary keyword or long-tail keywords should always appear in the URL, so Google’s crawlers can easily index the post.
- The Header: This is the title of the blog post that shows up on the page and other places on the website.
- The First Paragraph: It’s important that the primary keyword(s) of the post feature in the first few sentences of the text.
- The Body of the Text: The primary keyword(s) should feature again once or twice in the rest of the blog post.
All in all, keywords shouldn’t feature more than two or three times in the text.
3. ALWAYS KEEP OPTIMIZING
It’s such a shame to keep old blog posts unchanged when they get outdated as search engines evolve. These posts can still be relevant, and a lot of effort was put into creating them.
Blog owners should go back and update their old posts to optimize them for current SEO trends.
4. USE A DEDICATED IP TO GET AN SSL CERTIFICATE
It’s not a hard rule that websites should move to HTTPS, but it is very beneficial for them to do so. An SSL certificate helps keep a website’s visitors safe from outside attack. Making it not only important because of security reasons but also for search engine ranking. Because Google has stated that they care about online safety and this factors into their SEO decisions.
Getting an SSL certificate requires a dedicated IP address, so make sure to get one.
5. NARROW DOWN BUT DON’T OVERLAP
It’s important to keep blog posts related to each other and the business’ interests. Most people do this through blog tags and interlinking. But it’s important to differentiate between each blog post and their topics because Google penalizes duplicate content.
Do not use tags that are too similar to one another, like “run, running, and runner.” Instead, focus on using tags that are related but not the same. Such as “advertising, marketing, and social media.”
Search engine optimization can be complicated, but blogging doesn’t have to be. Save time by following these and other expert tips to start creating engaging and SEO-focused content right now.