Businesses and marketers worldwide prioritize ranking high on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Ranking high on SERPs means increased customer potential. When you are among the top search results, users are more likely to click through to your page. If your rankings are lower, you may need to consider paid ads to increase click-through rates and potential revenue.
Blogging is an effective way to boost your message and connect with readers. A recent survey found that 56% of consumers purchased from a company after reading their blog! In addition, 10% of marketers employing blogging practices say it generates the largest return on investment.
We've discussed various aspects of SEO in previous posts, but you may still wonder what blog SEO is and how you can optimize your blog. Prepare for an in-depth exploration of content optimization, keywords, and backlinks.
What is blog SEO?
Blog SEO is the practice of creating and updating a blog to improve search engine rankings. It includes keyword research, content writing, link building, and image optimization. Optimizing your web pages and blog posts makes your website more visible to people who use search engines to find products and services.
Why Does Blogging Improve Search Engine Optimization?
Search engines use ranking factors to determine which results to show for each search query. They also decide how to place those results. When done correctly, blogging can help optimize your site for relevant Google ranking factors like:
Organic Click-Through Rate
Blogging creates relevant content for more keywords than other page types, improving organic clicks. Blogs can answer navigational, informational, and transactional search queries. When you offer content for more types of searches, you increase clicks to your pages, which improves your SEO.
If you want your site to be seen as a useful and authoritative source, you'll need to work hard to earn backlinks. Backlinks act as an online peer review system. If your blog gets backlinks from respected sites, it's more likely that your website will rank in search results. Blog posts are fantastic for earning backlinks as they educate or inform users more than other pages.
Internal links create a clear path for users to follow and make it easier to find the content on your site they're looking for. A blog creates more site pages to link to internally and a chance to direct site traffic to other pages that can help your users. Blogs share useful information with your audience to help draw new customers and engage current ones.
Google can't rank a page if it isn't indexed. Indexing means a search engine finds content and adds it to its index. Later, the page can be retrieved and displayed in the SERP when a user searches for keywords related to the indexed page.
What is a Blog SEO Strategy?
Blog SEO strategy is a comprehensive plan to improve organic search results. You can use keyword lists, competitive research, or an optimization proposal. Search engines update frequently, and business goals change rapidly. Combine this with the fact that it can take an average of three to six months for your post to rank on Google, and you start to understand why you need an SEO strategy.
Proper strategizing helps you make the most of your team's time and resources. Check out this handy post from HubSpot for some strategies to develop your SEO strategy.
Blog SEO Best Practices
1. Identify the Target Audience For Your Blog
Regardless of what industry your blog targets, your content needs to speak to your primary audience. If you understand who your audience is and what you want them to do when they click on your article, you will be better able to develop a successful blog strategy.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
Now it's time to find out what content your readers want to consume. Keyword research can easily get away from you if you don't go into it with a strategy in mind, so start with some basic planning before diving in.
3. Write a Catchy Title
Your title is the first thing a reader sees when they visit your site, and it has a tremendous impact on whether or not they click through to read your article. Using data, asking a question, or leading with curiosity will pique the reader's interest in a catchy title.
4. Write an Enticing CTA
After your title, your call to action (CTA) is another highly effective feature to consider.
A CTA should lead your readers to the next step in their blog journey. A compelling CTA will be relevant to the topic and flow naturally with your content. CTAs come in a variety of formats, so don't be afraid to get creative and experiment with them. CTA's commonly include hyperlinks, buttons, and widgets.
5. Add Visuals
Most search engines value visuals for certain keywords. If you want to achieve a top spot in an image pack or video snippet, you need to design creative graphics and use them. Alt text also plays a pivotal role in ensuring your site is accessible to visually impaired people. You'll want to have inclusive content to be consumed by everyone.
6. Focus on the Reader's Experience
Any content creator will tell you that the reader experience is the most significant part of any blog post, and several factors influence it, including formatting, readability, and page speed. Your content needs to be clear and comprehensive about your topic and accurate according to the latest data and trends.
Remember to organize your content using headings and subheadings in a hierarchy. This page formatting helps visitors quickly scan your content and find the information they need. Don't let on-page elements like images and videos affect page speed. Keep your image file sizes low (250 KB is an ideal starting point) and limit how many videos you embed on a single page.
No one is perfect. Mistakes and minor errors happen. If it's an available option, consider hiring a professional editing service to ensure your blog post is polished, readable, and error-free.
SEO is a Long-Term Play
The fight for Google's top spot is just that — a fight. Any SEO strategy takes time. Combine that with the continually changing SEO landscape, and it's even more important to stay on top of new developments. If you are struggling with your SEO strategy, call the experts at Alley Kat Web Consulting today for your free needs assessment and let our team take the worry out of your SEO. Employ our tips and strategies to start your planning today.