Search Engine optimisation is the most potent tool for online marketers. Optimising your web page makes it more visible to people who are searching for the keywords that are associated with your product, brand, or service via search engines like Google. However, it can be quite tricky to keep up with the algorithm updates. This creates a lot of confusion for inbound marketers. In this post, we will look at a few optimisation tactics that will help you stay ahead of the curve.
Focus on one or two long-tail keywords
Optimising a blog post is not really about packing your posts with as many keywords as you can. This will actually hurt your SEO as search engines will think that you are stuffing your posts with keywords with the sole intention of gaining rank in search results. Moreover, going overboard with the keywords does not make for a very good reader experience either. You should focus on using keywords in a way that does not feel forced or unnatural.
Try to focus on a couple of keywords per post. This will help you focus on a goal for the post. While it is a good idea to use more than just one keyword in a post, you must keep the focus narrow enough so that you can spend time optimising for the keywords. Long-tail keywords are very efficient since visitors who search for long-tail terms are more qualified. You will rope in the right kind of traffic and gain more conversions by making use of them.
Use the keywords in specific parts of your blog post
Now that you have zeroed in on the keywords, you need to think about how you are going to incorporate them in your blog post. Which parts of the posts are ideal for including these keywords so that you will have a high search rank? There are four key places you should include the keywords in: headline, body and headers, meta description and URL.
- Title – The title of the blog post is the reader’s and the search engine’s first step in determining how relevant your content is. You must find a way to include the keyword in the first 65 characters of the headline, which is where Google tends to cut off the search engine result pages. Google measures the headline by pixel width and not by the character count. It recently increased the pixel count for search results from 500 to 600, which roughly translates to around 65 characters.
- Headers and Body – mention the keyword at the right tempo throughout the post and in your headers. The keywords must be included in the copy, but you need to make sure that they are used in a natural way. Do not go overboard or you stand the risk of being taxed for keyword stuffing. Whenever you create original content, you must focus on what matters to the target audience, not the number of times you can stuff a keyword or a phrase in the content. Be helpful and answer the question that the customer asked to land at your post. If you do that, you will find yourself naturally optimising for the keywords.
- URL – Search engines tend to look at the URL to find out more about the post and it is one of the first things that crawls up on a page. Optimise the URLs with the posts you publish and make sure that you include a couple of keywords in it.
- Meta Description – Meta descriptions are meant to give the search engines and the readers more information about the content of your blog post. So, make sure that you use the long tail term so that your audience and Google are clear about the contents of your post. Also, keep in mind that the quality of the copy is the defining factor when it comes to click rates – the more engaging it is, the better your results will be.
Make sure that the blog is mobile-friendly
More people use search engines on their mobiles than on the desktop. Google tends to display the mobile friendly results before the desktop sites. Ever since Google updated its algorithm earlier this year, it has heavily favored mobile friendly websites. While mobile friendliness and a responsive design have always been important when it comes to the user experience, they are becoming increasingly important for SEO too. If you have been lax on the mobile experience, you better get on track now or it might inevitably affect your search rankings.
If your website has a responsive design, the blog pages will have just one URL instead of having two separate ones for mobile and desktop. This will help boost the SEO value of your post as the inbound links that come back to your website will not be divided between separate URLs. The SEO power that you get from these links will be completely centralized, which will help Google in recognizing the value of your post and rank it accordingly.
Optimise the images
Blog posts should not only contain text. You should try and include images that explain the content. But keep in mind that search engines do not just look for images. They look for images with alternate text.
Since search engines cannot view the images like human beings can, the alt text is an invaluable pointer to what the image is all about. This will ultimately help those images turn up in a search. It also makes for a much better user experience as it will display the container of the image when it cannot be displayed or found. It also improves the accessibility for people with poor vision who use screen readers.
For all technical purposes, the alt text is an attribute that you can add to the image tag in HTML. Adding keywords to the alt text might seem minor to you and does not really impact your ranking as much as the other things that we have talked about so far. But it is worth the extra effort to change the name to something more descriptive and accurate.
Do not use topic tags that are too similar
Topic tags help you organize the content of your blog, but if you end up overusing them, they do more harm than good. If you have a lot of similar tags, you will get penalized by the search engines for having a lot of supplicating content.
When you create a tag, you also create a new page where the content for those topic tags will turn up. If you use tags that are similar to the same content, the search engines will think that you are showing the content more than once on your website. For instance, you cannot use topic tags like “blog”, “blog posts,” and “blogging” for the same post.
If your current posts have a lot of similar tags, make sure that you take time to clear them up in the future. Have a list of 20 tags that are important to the blog and are not similar to each other. Make sure you only tag the posts that contain those specific keywords. That is the best way to make sure that search engines do not penalize you for duplicate content.
Make use of URL structures to help the visitors
Your web pages’ URL structure makes it easy for the visitors to understand how your website is structured and helps them navigate the content better. Search engines tend to favor URLs that make it easier for both them and the visitor to understand the content on your webpages.
The visual differentiation is also incorporated into the URL structure of the blog. For instance, if you want to go the “Case Studies” section of our website from the main page, you would go to the http://www.webtorque.co.nz/case-studies/. If you want to go to the “What we do” section, all we have to do is change the “case-studies” in the URL to “what-we-do”. This structuring helps the visitor understand that these two are smaller sections within the larger site.
The URL structure is a categorization system for your readers and lets them know where they are on the site and how they can access new pages. Search engines also appreciate this, because it makes it much easier for them to tell what information the visitors will access on the different pages of your website.
Inbound links to the content you put up on your website shows the relevance and validity of your content to search engines. The same applies for linking internally to some other page on your website. If you are writing about a topic that you have made a mention of in another blog post, web page or e-book, provide a link to that post. Internal linking helps to keep the visitors on the website and it surfaces other authoritative and relevant pages to the search engines.
Content marketers across the globe struggle to optimise their blog posts. You need to understand that even if you follow all the above practices, the posts will not start ranking immediately. It takes some time to establish search authority. If you publish posts frequently and optimise them for search engines while making sure that the site is reader-friendly, you will reap more traffic and leads in the long run.
If you need any help with your SEO or blogs you can contact us here