SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of increasing quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or web page. It is how search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) pick up and place/rank your post. In order for your blog posts to get the continuous traffic we all hope for, the SEO needs to be proper. That said I’m sharing 7 things you need to improve SEO for blog posts.*
*Disclaimer: I’m sharing my perspective as a WordPress User, the information is helpful, but the plugins or apps needed for your website or platform may be different.
You Need A Plugin for SEO
Where my WordPress users at?! If you use WordPress then you have probably heard of Yoast SEO it’s a popular plugin that most, including myself, use to make sure I’m properly executing with my SEO. I use the free version, there is a paid version, I haven’t found that I need it just yet, the free version does a lot, particularly what is most necessary as far as properly setting your post up for quality SEO.
You Need A Keyword
The Keyword is usually the main topic or subject of what you’re writing. Whenever I prepare to write a blog post, I write the title first, then I write a few key points to describe what the post is about and what problem I’m solving. This is where I used to go wrong with blog writing. I used to try to write without knowing what my main point was and it led to terrible SEO because there was no direction.
For example my post 5 Reason to Use Pinterest*, Pinterest was my keyword, for this post SEO is my keyword. Both are general enough that people are searching for them and my post using said keywords now has a chance to come up in the search. In order for your post to meet SEO needs, the keyword needs to be found throughout your post a certain number of times and a certain number of places. Your keyword helps you stay focused.
*Linked at the bottom
You Need a Meta Description
A Meta Description is a blurb of 155 characters, directly under your link, by way of search engine, that summarizes what the post is about. Your meta description should be just about 155, if you’re over it’s too long and won’t fit nicely, if it’s too short it can hurt your search engine optimization. Your keyword should be in your Meta Description and should reinforce what your post is about. I tend to say something slightly different then what I’ve already said in my post to switch it up. These are the little places that should not be missed when it comes to bettering your search engine optimization.
You Need Photos
What’s a blog post without pictures? Even if they are stock, photos break up the reading so it’s not overwhelming to your audience. I for sure am long(er) winded with my blog posts so if I only had a bunch of words and no pictures to break it down ya’ll would be like “you know I don’t want to read a novel today, maybe another time” and I might fall on deaf ears.
Your keyword needs to also be in the Alt Text of your photos. It doesn’t need to be in every photo ONLY IF you have used your keyword the amount of times you’re supposed to throughout the post. This is important for pinning purposes, when your photo gets shared the keyword is still being used for search purposes and the title of the photo now becomes the caption and/or info about the photo.
Your photos should also have an option to pin. I believe my option may have been optimized and/or apart of my website theme, but another plugin that can be added will allow your pictures to be shared directly to Pinterest which in turn links back to your website. You want it to be revolving door to your website.
You Need Tags
On Instagram you can get away with using random tags, but on your blog I personally have seen best results when I’m specific. This ALSO helps when it comes to SEO. If it’s not related to the post I don’t use it. If the post isn’t about love, I’m not going to use the love tag. If the post isn’t about being an influencer, I’m not going to use that tag because I want to make sure my post gets the attention it needs, by using the right tags.
Not sure what tags to use? What else do you mention in your post that relates to your point? The same way we use hashtags for Instagram and social posts, you should be using tags for your blog posts. You should have ones related to your niche and then you can add and/or use additional ones as needed. You want the most traffic possible.
Your Post Needs to Be A Certain Length
Since I’m already long winded with my posts, I actually can’t quite recall what the average post length is or should be per YOAST. I did a little research and there really isn’t a blanket agreement; some people say 300-500 words, others say 1000. All I know is as long as you get your point across and do so in a way that will effectively draw traffic back to your blog, length probably isn’t the MOST important. If anything I would suggest the 300-500 range at the very least. Give people a reason to hang around on your page for a minute.
You Need Links
Inbound and outbound for best results; I don’t ALWAYS do both, but in order to give my post a better chance, inbound AND outbound is the better option. Your job is to set your posts up for success, yes we want people to read our posts, but if they only come when you send them, then you’re only hurting yourself in the long run. Link out to another blog post, link to your social media channel, link to something else you have going on. SEO is comprised of well rounded posts that offer a little bit of everything for your audience.
I will say when it comes to links, unless it’s a link to another post of mine, I try to put links at the bottom of the page because I don’t want people to click away from my page when my goal was to draw them there. I’m for sure the kind of person that will click stuff as I’m reading it. On a computer that works because you can open something in another tab, but on a mobile device it’s different because depending on how you access it (for example via Instagram) you aren’t able to do that.
Make sure you’re linking to something!
And Then What…
After you have made sure you have all of these areas filled in and you have done everything successfully, you should get a green smiley face like such.
If you get orange or red that means your post isn’t necessarily the best as far as SEO requirements are concerned, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post it. Sometimes it’s orange because you’ve chosen to use a keyword that you have used before, which I have also done. It won’t make or break your post, but the goal is to always get the green smiley face.
These are all of the things that YOAST SEO helps with and these are the very things that help me make my blog posts and SEO a success.
If you are killing it at SEO and have other gems or even have questions, drop them in the comments below!
Linked Posts: 5 Reason to Use Pinterest