If you're writing regular content for your blog, you will want to make it all worthwhile by optimising your blog posts, articles and content for SEO.
Now, you don't need to optimise ALL of your content, only content that matters. For example, if you produce a blog post about a team member's birthday or a run of the mill update, then these don't really need to be ranked on Google.
If you're looking to produce content that users will find useful, insightful and is something often googled (like this post), then you will be wanting to make sure your blog post is optimised for SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is a deep subject, that can get quite complex - so we will take a look at the basics in order to get your blog posts ranked.
Standing for Search Engine Optimisation, SEO is the process you do to your website and content in order to rank on search engines such as Bing and Google. The end result of your content will be analysed and ranked by SEO algorithms, such as Google's algorithm.
The more SEO-friendly your content is, the increased likelihood you will be ranked high. There are other factors outside of the scope we will look at in this post, such as website speed, but for now we will just focus on how to optimise your blog posts and content for the best chance of ranking high on search engines.
How can I make my Blog Posts and Content SEO-friendly?
There are many ways to make your content SEO-friendly, all of which should be taken into account, and we will look into these points. It is to note that algorithms secrets are never revealed, but through extensive and collaborative research, along with a few hints from Google here and there, we have some pretty good pointers!
Without further ado let's break it down, in no particular order.
Keywords & Key Phrases for your Blog Posts
Keywords and phrases are essential to your strategy, they tell algorithms what your content and blog post is about!
Now you can't just go and slap your keyword or phrase here, there and everywhere. It has to be structured - used enough for it to be recognised as your keyword, but sparingly enough so it's not seen as forced, and that there's enough quality content to back it up.
Tip: It's a good idea to have two keywords or phrases to focus on in your content.
How to choose a keyword?
Choosing your keyword is not as easy as it sounds. You will need to do some heavy research. Using tools such as Moz and SEMRush can help us discover what we should focus on. As an example, let's say you're a dog grooming business and you want to do a blog post about your services.
You may think to use 'dog grooming' as your keyword, but let's analyse it:
As you can see from the monthly volume, dog grooming gets searched quite a lot, which is great! However, we must compare this to see if it's worth using.
The difficulty of the keyword is 50. This is pretty high and as a new site, it would be extremely hard to compete or even rank for this word on the first few pages of a search engine.
In the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) analysis, we can see who takes the top three results on Google and there is some strong competition such as Wikipedia and Argos, who are incredibly strong brands and have high DA (domain authority). These companies are more likely to be favoured when your content is compared.
Not to fear, this just means looking at long-tail keywords, or key phrases and using them instead. Long-tail keywords are more than just one or two words and more of a phrase.
For example 'How to groom a small dog at home', the volume is significantly less - 30 per month, but you have a much greater chance to rank for it.
The idea is to find a sweet spot in high volume and low difficulty. If you find a keyword, which gets around 1000 searches and the difficulty is rated between 0-25, you should definitely be targeting those words.
Tip: You should implement your keyword in your main heading, as well as in your subheading.
For our blog post 'International Marketing & brand strategy', our targeted keywords were international marketing, and also transnational strategy, as it was targeted toward the US market. You can view this page and Ctrl F to find out where we have placed these keywords.
Blog Post Length for SEO
Search engines LOVE quality content. Now quality doesn't always mean lengthy, but lengthy articles and blog posts usually have more information, which is considerdc more valuable.