This article is not intended to be a definitive guide on SEO. My purpose is to provide you with some basic tips and techniques so that you can set up your blog articles for the best possible website ranking.
There are many reasons why people blog, but most of those reasons involve reaching an audience. So, no matter what the purpose is for your blog it’s a good idea to use proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to get the best possible website ranking. See also my related article Using Yost SEO to Help Rank Your Blog.
Here are some simple steps you can use when mapping out your next blog article…
Always deliver great content
If your blog is not worth reading, it doesn’t really matter how many visitors you get, none of them will stay for very long nor will they come back. As a matter of fact, visitors reaching your site and leaving quickly can actually hurt your ranking. See Writing Valuable Content for a series of 3 Daily Shortcut episodes that explain the importance of delivering great content to your readers.
“Google” the competition
Once you have an idea for a blog topic, Google It. It’s a good idea to find out what your competition is writing about and how they are delivering the message. But, there is more to be gleaned from your competitors’ posts than their writing style. You can also find out the SEO structure of their article and make yours even better. This can be done with a free tool for your browser called “SEOQuake.” This is a free extension that can be installed in your Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari browser.
Navigate to the site you want to analyze, click the SEOQuake extension and the tool will do the rest. You can find out information about the Title, Keywords, Description, Headings and much more. Assuming you have selected a popular, well written article to review, you can use this information as a guide in structuring your post. Some useful information you will find includes:
- The optimal length of your URL and title
- The optimal length and wording of the meta description
- The proper text to html ratio
All these things factor into the ranking of your blog. Once you have a draft of your own article, you can use SEOQuake to analyze it in the same manner before publicizing your new post. Remember to use your keywords in your title, meta description and your main header (H1.) According to SEOQuake, H1 should always contain your best keywords and should only be used once.
In the article, [On page SEO Checklist] Do NOT Publish Before You’ve Read This, Authority Hacker provides some tips for how to best use keywords in your headline. Here is just one of them…
“Use the target keyword at the start of the headline. If it doesn’t flow naturally, try to use a hyphen after the keyword, such as “Onpage SEO Checklist – 5 Essential Do’s and Don’ts”.”
Check out the article for more SEO tips and a free PDF checklist.
Find great keywords
One of the easiest ways to find great keywords is by using the Google Tool called “Keyword Planner.” All you will need is a Google account to use the tool. Once you are set up, enter your potential keywords into the planner based on your topic. For example to write this article, I entered “Blogging for SEO.”
Based on that search you want to find keywords that you can use naturally in your article and that have relatively high “Average Monthly Searches” and low competition. Based on this criteria, I chose “website ranking” as my keywords for this article (see above.)
“Optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Turns out that’ll actually hurt your SEO because search engines will think you’re keyword stuffing (i.e., including your keywords as much as possible with the sole purpose of gaining ranking in organic search).”
This topic could be the basis of an entire article, so I’m going to keep it simple for now. The more quality backlinks that point to your site or article, the better chance you have for a great website ranking. According to The Importance of Backlinks on webconfs.com, “When search engines calculate the relevance of a site to a keyword, they consider the number of quality inbound links to that site.” Some simple ways to get backlinks for beginners are to post in relevant forums, leave testimonials or comments on popular blogs and post links to your site or articles on social media. For more information check out How to Build Backlinks in 2017 (NEW Guide) by Nathan Gotch.
So remember the first rule I stated above, always deliver great content as your number 1 priority. Here’s a recap of things you can do to get the best possible website ranking:
- Deliver great content
- Google the competition
- Analyze the competition and your own post with SEOQuake
- Use your best keywords in your URL, Title and H1
- Find your best keywords using Google’s Keyword Planner
To Your Success,