If you missed our last post on How to do Keyword Research for SEO, please start there.
I took a little break from blogging when our newborn was born last month. Now I’m back and have a goal of blogging regularly (once every two weeks to start) and broadcasting my blog posts on social media using Hootsuite to schedule my posts.
Why would I make such a goal, especially with a newborn? For two reasons.
First of all, I’ve determined that it’s manageable and realistic for me to achieve this. I have already created a master document of content that simply needs to be adapted into individual blog posts. It shouldn’t take that much time to write and publish a new post each week (or to use a larger chunk of time to write multiple posts and then schedule their publication).
Second of all, it is helpful in achieving my business goals, since posting regularly on a blog with content that is optimized for SEO will increase traffic to your site and in many cases improve your Google search ranking.
What “newborns” or other huge commitments/responsibilities do you have that are keeping you from blogging? Isn’t it worth it to carve out the time or hire someone to write content for you?
Since you know that it’s important, let’s get to it. Here are some tips for optimizing your webpages and blog posts for SEO.
1. SEO Optimization starts with great, relevant content.
We hear it all the time but it’s always worth repeating– Quality content is so important for SEO. Start with great content and then optimize what you have written for your audience. While pages of quality content on your website are helpful, it is recommended that you also have a blog with periodically posted new material for Google to index.
Each blog post can be anywhere from 200 to 2,500 words in length. There seems to be some controversy about the ideal length of posts, but if it is longer you have more room to include more keywords and phrases for which your audience may be searching.
2. Be Intentional with Your Title and URL choice
Choose a title that is appealing, conveys the value of the content, and contains keywords related to your industry. Try to target different keywords in each post.
Tip: If you are using WordPress as your CMS (Content Management System), you can edit the URL so that it contains even more keywords than the post title itself.
For example, we were very strategic in using target keywords in our page titles for Stone Barn Holdings.
2. Include quality images and video within the pages and posts.
Google gives you many bonus points for including video on your pages and posts! When you insert your photos, make sure they are web optimized– meaning that they are saved at the correct size to display at a good resolution without slowing down your page load time.
Tip: You can also optimize your images for SEO by uploading them with an image title and alt text that each include keywords from your post.
Having a hard time finding photos to use? Try the free or cheap stock photo services I describe on my resource page or take screenshots of things on your own website to use as an example.
3. Use your H1 and H2 headers as you design and create your content.
Use H1 and H2 tags to break up your blog post into a list or into sections broken up by several headers. For example, on my pricing page, my larger sections are written in H1 and the subsections within the page are written in H2. H1 and H2 will look different on different websites as they are built to display at different sizes, colors, fonts, etc. Google indexes the words that you use in your H1 and H2 headers as keywords. Therefore, you will want to be sure to include variations of important keywords for your post in these headers.
Even though it is important to include keywords in your headers, make sure you avoid “keyword stuffing,” or the unnatural use of keywords in multiple forms. Keep it natural so that your readers enjoy your content and are more likely to share on social media and link to you from their own websites.
4. Include Internal and External Links
Make sure that you are linking to other relevant content that you have published on your blog previously or that is located elsewhere on your website. Google gives points for internal links in their algorithm and it keeps your visitor clicking and engaging in your site.
Including external links may be noticed by the bloggers that you link to, who may reciprocate. Either way, if you are linking to quality content then you are improving the value of your post.
5. Include Share Buttons and Promote on Social Media
By including share buttons underneath your post, such as the buttons we use which are provided by the Shareaholic WordPress plugin, you are making it easier for your visitors to share your content. Social media activity is noted by Google and also generates incredible traffic. Although it can be time consuming, Social Media promotion is an absolutely necessary step if you are serious about SEO. You can make it more feasible by using an automated service like Hootsuite, which I discuss in my post about my favorite resources.
Remember, it’s important to optimize as you go, but you can go back and optimize old blog posts that need some love. What are you waiting for? Get out there and get optimized!! Please leave any questions or comments below.