There are so many SEO tips floating around on the internet. The first problem with this is that it makes SEO even more complex than it already is. The second problem is that becomes so difficult to wade through the myriad of tips to find the right ones.
The average business owner today cannot do SEO well because it has become so confusing. But not every business owner has the means to hire an optimization expert to implement the best tips for their website. A lot of them need more actionable advice that they can apply on their own. This is why this post is about just 5 SEO tips that you can use right now to optimize your next blog post.
1. Choosing a Topic
Having a great topic is where you must begin. You may have heard SEO tips about writing based on keywords, but that focuses only on the technical side and ignores the human side. That would be doing half-baked SEO because Google, the king of all search engines, considers the user experience more than anything.
Choose topics that a lot of people want to know more about or would be interested in even if the idea never occurred to them. This way, you are considering the reader first, as search engines would. You can think about what keywords to target later.
2. Choosing Keywords
You should have a master list of keyword ideas before you start writing. This list would be composed of all the key words and phrases that relate to your products or services. They would be what you think someone would type into a search bar if they wanted to find such products or services. These are the terms that are most relevant to your business.
You don’t need to use any tools at this stage, contrary to some SEO tips out there. Just brainstorm as the master of your business who knows more about it than anyone else. Using tools will just distract you from getting the most relevant ideas down and confuse your results.
When you have your master list, then you can use a tool like the Google Keyword Planner to check the numbers. This tool is free, but will show you pretty accurate data on the actual value of your ideas. You’ll see how many people type in these keywords and whether you will be competing with a lot or a few other web pages for rankings. You’ll also be able to get more ideas based off your initial ideas, with the data.
Note that you’re going to get a lot of wild suggestions. Make sure to go over any suggestions from the tool and check for relevance. Then you can sort your expanded keyword list based on value as well as relevance.
The combination of a hot topic with a highly relevant keyword or phrase will allow you to hit the mark on the technical side as well as the user side.
3. Using Keywords
From your expanded keyword list, choose the most relevant term for your topic as your main one. This is probably the most crucial of all on-page SEO tips. Take note as well of any other terms that fit the topic well. They will be your secondary ones. As you write your blog post, keep this top topic keyword in mind.
When you finish writing, go over the text and check that you’ve used your main search term a good number of times. Between 1% and 3% is a good keyword density. If you use a tool like Yoast for WordPress, you won’t have to make calculations since it will tell you if you need to use the phrase more or less. Check also that the main term is spread out through the text and not stuffed into one section (top, bottom, middle paragraphs). Your main term should also feature in your post title and be used in headings and subheadings as it makes sense.
You will undoubtedly proof your work for errors. As you do this, think about the secondary keywords as well and where you can make adjustments to use them. It’s important to keep your content focused on the user, which means writing naturally, and not for the sake of keywords.
Once the text is perfect, you will want to add images to break it up in key spots. Adding images is also one of the often forgotten SEO tips. You need to add the right titles, alt text and descriptions, however, if you want them to help and not harm your post’s potential. Again, an SEO tool will help you easily configure these elements. These three elements must be relevant to the image more than your topic. This means choosing images that are a great match for your main and secondary search terms. Then you can give them titles, alt text and descriptions that accurately describe the image (which Google will check) and are relevant to your post.
4. Linking your Post
There are two types of linking, internal and external. Why and how you should both are vital SEO tips for expanding your post’s popularity.
Without all the technical detail, it’s pretty easy to grasp what linking does for your website. Internal links can be tracked by search engines through your site, sharing points for relevance and ease of movement. External links are also tracked, and they support relevance as well as adding points for supplemental information sources.
The keys to link building are quality and relevance. Quality is first because no matter how relevant a piece of web content may be, if it comes from a poor website, it’s not considered by the search engines to be a good source of information. Stick to pages that are quality sources. You can tell if they are by looking at the amount of traffic they get as well as their given page rank. (Using a simple browser extension like SEO Pagerank makes this super easy.)
We also have important SEO tips on how and where you link. You need to choose as your anchor text words and phrases that are relevant to the content you are linking to. (Just check how we’ve linked in this post to see how that works.) Like your search terms, your links should be spread out. Particularly for mobile page versions, links that are too close together will hurt the user experience and deduct from your post’s ranking potential.
5. Sharing your Post
We know from linking that the search engines award points for popular content. A big part of how popular your content is going to be is how well you share it. Below are a few SEO tips for where you can share and how to make it count.
Linking out to this new post from other previously published pieces of content is one way to increase its reach. Just make sure the connection is relevant! (This positive update to old posts will also increase their value.)
Linking to your post from other channels like social media pages is also one of the best traffic-generating methods you can easily use. Just make sure that you follow each platform’s guidelines and respect your audience there so you can maximize the benefits without suffering drawbacks.
You can also link this post to related guest posts that you write for publication on partner websites. If you don’t have a partner network, now is a good time to start building one. Then you can do content marketing on a whole other level.
You don’t need to hire an SEO to do a little optimization on your blog posts. If you do want to step up your game, however, you can outsource SEO to a specialist. An expert can go past the basics and really give your website a boost in rankings and traffic. Meantime, however, these 5 SEO tips will help you to optimize your next blog post without spending more than a few extra minutes.