SEO is not a one-time project.
It takes months of consistent content to build upon a properly optimized website. Even if you rise to the top of Google search results upon the launch of your website, you’ll likely drop in rankings unless you continue to post SEO-optimized blog posts.
Writing awesome content is important, but optimizing content for Google (SEO) is a whole other perspective you’ll need to consider if you want your blog to get the widespread attention it deserves.
This post will cover 5 techniques in which you can do today to optimize your blog post(s).
For the purposes of this blog, let’s assume that you already have a blog post with minimum of 300-400 words. Remember – quality always trumps quantity – so write as much as you can so long as the content remains relevant for your consumers.
1. Add a meta title and description
If your marketing agency has optimized your website for SEO, you’ll probably have a plugin called Yoast or All in One SEO installed on your website.
When writing your blog post (accessible from the Posts –> Add New option in your WordPress sidebar), you’ll notice a section to fill out at the bottom of your copy. If you scroll to the bottom of your blog, you’ll see a section titled All in One SEO Pack or something similar.
Follow the guidelines in these boxes and fill them out.
The Title and Description will be visible from Google, and the character guidelines (no more than 60 or 160 characters) are estimates for the amount of copy Google will show before they begin truncating your content.
This is what your populated SEO plugin fields should look like:
If you do not fill out this section, Google will use your page header and the opening paragraph for their Title and Description. This isn’t always the optimal content for your blog post. Use your 160 characters wisely to describe your post in a way that will entice visitors to click on the link.
2. Rename your images to something relevant.
You know the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words?
Images are necessary in this digital age, where users often skim through articles without reading everything.
If your blog post is engaging, chances are it uses (or should use) a bunch of pictures. Make sure that you properly name your image file, before you upload it to WordPress!
For example, if you take a screenshot, don’t leave your file name as-is. Rename it to something relevant, ideally related to your primary keyword.
Why is this important?
If your visitor downloads any image from your site, their file name defaults to the original image name.
Google also reads the name of the file – and you want everything on your blog post to be as relevant and consistent as possible.
Lastly, since you’re editing images anyways, make sure to keep their file size small so that they do not slow down your website.
A slow website contributes negatively towards SEO. You want to keep your image file sizes under 200k, or preferably under 100kb.
You don’t want a huge image to slow down the performance of your website!
3. Add meta descriptions to your images
After adding an image to your blog post, you’ll want to ensure that you add the proper information to your image.
Here’s the thing. Google can’t “see” images, so it relies on alt tags to identify what the image is about.
When you’re loading an image on your site, you’ll want to add an alt tag and description that accurately portrays what your image looks like (e.g. “white dog costume with fluffy red feathers”). For SEO, you’ll also want to ensure that any keywords are also represented in this meta information.
This is what your alt tag should look like, when uploading an image to your blog post:
By using alt tags and proper file names, you’ll be able to send Google all the right signals with your blog post.
Hypothetically, this is how Google sees your blog post:
“A fashion business is posting a blog post about Halloween costumes and uses image files titled “spiderman-costume.jpg” with the alt tag “spiderman Halloween costume”
Given consistent blog posts on Halloween costumes and Spiderman, It’s likely that Google will bump up your ranking for “spiderman Halloween costume”-related searches.
4. Use headers, not formatting
Google sees objects in certain ways. When you’re using italics or bold formatting, Google recognizes that you’re drawing emphasis on a point. But, this may not necessarily be a title of a new section or paragraph.
When you want to break down your blog post into multiple section, you’ll want to use Headers.
Every blog post needs a heading tag, also known as an H1. This is typically the title of your blog post. Following that, you’ll want to break down your post further into H2 and H3 sections.
This is how you change titles in your blog into headers:
Highlight or place your cursor onto the title you want to change into a header. Then, click on the “Paragraph” icon in your toolbar. Next, select the heading type you’d like to use. Never use more than one H1 on any page, but feel free to use 2-3 H2’s or more.
5. Add internal links
When you link to other parts of your site, you add to the user experience. Google likes that, and so do your visitors.
When drafting a blog post, you want to link to other parts of your website that are relevant to what you’re discussing.
Furthermore, when crafting your hyperlinks, make sure to use anchor text properly.
The anchor text is the copy that links to your destination page. When optimizing your blog post, you want to choose anchor text that also support your SEO keywords.
For example, take a look at the following two statements:
The second line tells Google exactly where the link is going, and what the user should expect. Whereas the first statement has weak anchor text, the second statement contributes towards your primary keyword of anchor text.
When it comes to SEO, there are many elements one can consider to improve their website’s ranking on Google search.
By far the most important aspect of SEO is creating relevant content on a consistent basis. By following the 5 guidelines above, you’ll be able to craft blog posts that are not only interesting to your readers, but easily searchable by Google as well.