If your blog posts aren’t getting the traffic you expect you may be missing simple steps that will help the search engines find and rank your posts. We’ve all heard that content is king, but getting that content found and indexed doesn’t happen magically. If this is you, try incorporating some of these strategies when blogging for SEO (Search Engine Optimization.)
Blogging for SEO: Use a WordPress Plug-In
If you’re using WordPress.org you have the option to add plug-ins to your blog to increase the functionality. The Yoast SEO Plugin is an excellent plug-in for optimization and very user friendly. Once you’ve installed the plug-in you’ll see an easy to use interface at the bottom of every post and page. Make use of this plug in to fill in the fields with your keyword optimized title, description, which is what Google displays under the search results, and your target keywords. The plug-in will examine your post and tell you what’s missing, such as alt tags and headers. It will also examine it for readability and give you a score. Try to go for green each time.
Even if you’re using WordPress.com and don’t have access to an SEO plug in, there are still plenty of things you can do to on page to optimize your blog posts.
Make Use of Your Post Title when Blogging for SEO
The post title is what will display in your browser title bar as well as determine the URL of your post. To make sure the search engines can understand the content of your article include your target keywords in your post titles. For example, if you’re writing an article about the weather in Phoenix, Arizona you’ll want to make sure to include “weather, Phoenix, and Arizona” in your title. Seems simple enough!
Use Header Tags in your Formatting
Search engines read the text surrounded by a header tag before they read normal text. Make use of these formatting options and include keywords in the text formatted with them. Here’s where you format text using header tags:
Optimize Your Images for SEO
Search engines aren’t that great at reading or interpreating images. When adding photos or graphics to your blog posts make sure to fill in the Title and Alternate Text field in the image options section. Not only are you adding valuable text to your images for the search engines but you are also helping those using a screen reader understand the visual elements of your posts. You might start seeing traffic from Google Image Search after you add these tags. Of course, by now it goes without say to include keywords in those alternate text descriptions. Here’s where both versions of WordPress provides these options:
Use Formatted Text for SEO
Even in the normal text section of your posts you can still bold, underline or italicize the keywords that appear naturally in your article. Search engines will place higher importance on this kind of formatted text.
Use Outbound and Internal Links for SEO
Link to other quality articles within your own blog. Search engines give higher credibility to these links. If you’re linking to an outside resource make sure to wrap that link with text that the search engine will read as pertinent to the post. Note: using “click here” as a link does not accomplish your goal. The search engine cannot associate “click here” with any relevant content. Instead, use “Click here for more about the weather in Phoenix, Arizona” as your link text. Doing that will keep your users happy and increase the odds that the search engines will rank your post accordingly.
These are just a few of the SEO tips for blogging. Do you have suggestions for improving the SEO of blog posts? Leave them below!