SEO: How-to Optimize Your Blog Posts
How do you optimize your blog post(s) with SEO? Today, we’re going to go over a few QUICK SEO techniques that you should learn, know and practice in every blog post that you write. All of us are guilty of dropping the SEO ball in one post or another, and those posts are usually the ones that don’t perform very well. You can also go back and re-optimize your old blog posts for better performance going forward.
As we all know, SEO is a living organism and changes all the time. It changes in the middle of the night and no one even knows it happens until someone, somewhere writes an article on it — or for some reason you’re one of the wing-nuts who follow Google’s blogs like a hawk. Either way, SEO is always changing, but the techniques here are tried-and-true.
Good SEO practices will undoubtedly drive traffic to your blog. So, how do you optimize your blog post using SEO? Here are a few things to get you going…
Use Word Tracker or something similar to help select keywords and phrases that fit the topic of your blog post. You want low competition keywords and phrases (good luck with that!). So, just do a quick look – don’t fret over it. Write from your heart. A lot of people put too much emphasis on keyword research. It’s a good thing to do – but it’s not a blog killer.
One thing is for certain, you want a keyword and a keyword phrase in mind that you will use in your blog post. Think of keywords and keyword phrases as Search Terms. Ask yourself, if I wanted to search this topic, what would I type into Google, Bing or Yahoo? Use that search term (or something similar) in your article.
Now that you have your keyword(s) and phrase, the easy part begins — writing your blog post! First, use your search term and keyword in the Title of your blog post. To optimize the content of your blog post with SEO, you want to ‘strategically’ place your keywords and keyword phrases throughout your article. The defining factor in figuring out how many times you should include your keywords or phrases is how many words there will be in the post. Inserting your keyword or phrase an average of one time for every 100-150 words is acceptable. If your article is 150 words or less, you may want to drop your keyword and phrase twice. DO NOT over-saturate your post with keywords or phrases, Google is smarter than that and will penalize you.
Start off your first paragraph with an inclusion of your keyword or phrase. Then space out your keywords and phrases equally throughout your blog post. Don’t just “stick them in”. Make sure they naturally fit within the context of the post, otherwise Google will get wise to you and penalize you for stuffing keywords where they don’t belong!
This is one thing that I see done wrong way too often! If you want to learn how to optimize your blog posts with SEO, you’ll need to learn how to optimize your photos. It’s really, really easy. If you’re blogging in WordPress (like a gazillion bloggers are) it’s so easy it’s almost stupid.
So, how do you optimize the photos in your blog posts using SEO?
- Pick a relevant photo – that way when someone finds it via image search, they actually click through to your blog!
- Write a proper alt tag – it’s not rocket science.
- Unless your images open in a lightbox, break the link or link it to something relevant (don’t leave it linking to the image location)
- THAT’S IT!
One thing that I see WAY TOO OFTEN is people using alt descriptions of photos that are not optimized at all. Writing “seo button” for the photos in this post is NOT optimizing them. “How to Optimize Your Blog Posts Using SEO” works for this post, so does “SEO for Blog Posts” and “SEO: Blog Post Opimization”….those all work for this particular post. So, why the hell would I put “seo button” as an alt description? Doh. Even easier, name your images properly on your computer. Then you can just upload them and the alternative description is automatically inserted! Form your alt description like you would a title — using caps and everything!
Here’s what a proper alt description looks like in WordPress:
Food for thought: Your alt description is also what Pinterest pulls when visitors select images to pin. Pin this blog post using the Pin it button below, you’ll see!
Truth be told, there is so much to learn about SEO it could make your head spin. But, these tips are a GREAT START and something you should do in each and every blog post – regardless of what the topic is about….