A decent blog cannot survive in this competitive digital world without search engine optimization (SEO). You surely have heard the term SEO before, but you might not understand why it is so pivotal to your blogging practices. Most SEO practices are basic and happen without you realizing it, but some other elements are easily overlooked if you don’t know how or why to use them.
Here are the best SEO practices for blogging:
1. Find The Right Keywords
Keywords are the bricks in your SEO foundation. As an online presence, you need to choose keywords that are useful and will get you in contact with your target audience. The reason most people land on your website is because they are using specific words and phrases associated with your site or found directly in your blogs. Once you begin blogging, you should be making use of tools like Google Keyword Planner to help find which keywords are drawing the most traffic.
2. Emphasize Quality, Not Quantity
The next piece of building successful, SEO-friendly blog is the content. You have keywords as the cobbles, but the quality of the words surrounding those phrases is what is going to drive people to give your their business. Therefore, all of your blogs should be superior to what the competition is putting out there. When you develop content, you should aim to have 80% of your blogs be educational, informative, and meant to answer questions straight from the audience. The other 20% can be marketing and self-promotion.
Remember, content that is compelling and engaging instead of stuffed with useless or faulty information and keywords is going to win you favor. Also, come up with content that fits into your brand image, because that will help you connect with the audience on a deeper level.
3. Short and Succinct URLs
SEO-friendly blogging practices also applies to URLs. You want to have URL structure that is short, sweet, and works in a brand name, like the name of your company. If a URL has multiple keywords because of the title’s length, separate the individual words with hyphens. Overall, the shorter, the better.
4. Less Is More
You are probably starting to see a pattern. Although you might want to create lengthy blogs and have thousands of ideas for content, you need to remember that length is not indicative of quality. Keep your blogs around 500-2000 words, depending on subject matter. Aim for a clean, navigable site. Keep links obvious. Within the content, you should keep flashy elements to a minimum, since you don’t want people getting distracted. Organize the page with headers, mainly h1 through h3. Use numbered lists and bullets when you can, since that is easier on the eyes than walls of text.
5. Always Use Meta-Tags
Sure, meta-tags are optional—but that doesn’t mean it’s useless. Fill out the title tag, inserting a keyword or two. Keep the title tag around 70 characters long. Meta-description tags are great, because they help with click-throughs on SERPs. Keep your description eye-catching but less than 160 characters long.
SEO is the only way to improve organic search results from search engines. SEO is also needed for user experience. Never stop working to improve your SEO practices, such as choosing quality keywords, developing compelling content, and studying newly emerging trends. The more you work to make your blog SEO-friendly, the better your presence online will become.