Optimizing your blog post for on page SEO will take 20 minutes but makes all the world of difference between ranking in the top of Google searches and being buried (with the dead bodies). While there are a ton of on-page SEO tactics you could implement, we’ve narrowed it down to our top ones to help you get started on optimizing your blog posts.
Q: “Where’s the best place to hide a dead body?”
A: “On the second page of Google."
Optimize Your Blog Title
- Your blog title could be the most important factor when it comes to SEO. Most blog host sites (ie. WordPress) use your title as the meta title. Meta title is what is pulled by Google as the search result of your post. In the case of a post, your article name would be the meta title.
- People tend to click on results that contain the exact keyword phrase they searched first. Google tracks this CTR (Click-through-rate) and rewards articles that are clicked often by moving them up in the search results rankings.
- Place your keywords as close to the beginning of your title as possible. Inserting modifiers like numbers or words like “best”, “how to,” and “Top 10” will help improve search rankings since these are aligned with how users enter search queries for content.
Use H Tags
- What’s an H1 tag? H1 defines the most important heading on a page
- How do I use an H1 tag? Add H1 tags around your title (ex. TITLE). Sites like WordPress will do this automatically to your title.
- Add H2 and descending H tags to any headings and subheadings, this will help by being scanning points for readers
- The H1 tag should have your targeted keywords, ones that relate to the page title and are relevant to your page content. The H2 tag is a subheading and ideally should contain similar keywords to your H1 tag. Your H3 is then a subheading for your H2 tag and so on. Think of them as a hierarchy based on importance, and a way to structure your posts for users to be able to easily navigate through the information.
Use Meta Description to Entice Readers
- The meta description is the text preview seen below your title in a Google search. If you don’t create one, Google will pull a random excerpt from your article.
- In max 300 characters, create a luring excerpt that includes your keyword phrase and the key points of the article. Give a sneak preview of your post, and then cut the reader off as you’re about to go into detail. We, humans, prefer complete thoughts and will click to finish that sentence!
Have A Properly Structured Permalink
- The permalink is the part of your URL following your domain name that shows up for each blog post. Essentially the specific website URL for the blog post.
- In WordPress settings, choose the “post name setting” for your permalink structure. This performs best for SEO. It will strip any non-essential information from the URL, and use your post name, separated by hyphens. Since you used keywords in your title, your permalink will too, have keywords.
- If your blog post was called “Top 10 SEO tips for blog posts” your permalink would be: www.yourdomain.com/blog/top-10-seo-tips-for-blog-posts
Keep Your Site Title Simple
- Your site title will appear after your meta title in the search results.
- If your title is long, your site title won’t appear. If your title is short, your search result will read “Article Name (AKA Meta title) | Site Title”.
- Typical practice is to use your domain name as your site title. If your domain is long (>20 characters), try shortening it to an acronym.
Google - article name and site title
Longer Posts Rank Better For On-Page SEO
- Google algorithms keep track of word counts and reward sites that consistently produce long-form articles. If you can regularly hit 1000 words, along with occasional 2,500-word posts, this can help improve your SEO
- Longer articles keep readers on your site for a longer period of time. Added bonus: Google rewards sites with longer visit times.
- Adding images and relevant videos to posts can increase the time viewers stay on your site.
Don’t Stuff Your Post with Keywords
- Keeping in mind that longer blog posts tend to do better for SEO purposes, you want to make sure you’re not stuffing your post with keywords just to create a longer blog post.
- Limit your exact keyword use to the beginning and end of your post. Keyword stuffed posts will be bumped down in rankings as Google reads this as an attempt to manipulate search engine results.
Opt for Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords
- Latent WHAT?!? Keywords? LSI keywords are synonyms and words related to your keywords. Use them throughout your article instead of repeating your keyword phrase. Google will recognize these related words and bump you up in search results.
Title Images with Keyword Rich Phrases
- Save images with descriptive keyword rich names, separated by hyphens.
- This boosts ranking in both Google search and Google Image search. This is a commonly overlooked step and can be proved useful!
- Ensure both the Alt and Title Text in WordPress are optimized with the full descriptive keyword phrase.
Include Quality Outbound Links
- When referencing or sourcing another site, make sure to include a link back to the original source. Google favors posts that link back to another quality and trusted source. Ultimately, your goal is to get other trusted sources to link back to your site, which does wonders for your organic SEO.
Use Internal Links That Are Related to Content
- Linking to a related post on your site will increase visitor time spent on your site, which can positively impact your search ranking.
- Instead of including a link that reads “Check Out This Next Article”, use the keyword rich title of the post and boost your on-page SEO. Something like, “Learn How To Use Instagram For B2B Marketing”.
In less than 20 minutes, you can optimize your blog post for on-page SEO that could take you from page 7 to the top few results in a Google search. Over time, these tips and tricks will become second nature. Remember, this is a long-term investment instead of a quick fix. Achieving optimal SEO takes months, but it’s worth it.
Check out this great infographic from BackLinkO on building a site that ranks stellar in search.
Need help getting the SEO ball rolling or unsure of what keywords and placement are best for you? We’ve got you covered! Book a free consultation call with a specialist today to see how we can improve your small business' SEO!