You need a blog for your small business, it’s essential, you are never going to cover all the keywords you need to rank just by using your website. So if you want to start blogging (which you do) then you need to be optimising & have an SEO strategy behind your blog. There is no point just creating blog posts out of thin air, that’s not going to get you anyway fast, or get you found on Google. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to optimise blogs for SEO with this completely free step-by-step guide
- Does blogging help with SEO?
- How to do keyword research & what platforms are best
- How to write a powerful blog post title.
- 12 steps to optimizing your blogs for SEO strategy
Does blogging help with SEO?
So the short answer is YES, blogging improves SEO by providing your website with the best possible answers to your visitor’s questions.
When you blog, you are essentially adding more pages to your website which gives you more opportunities to rank for different keywords.
Not only that, but each time you write a blog post, you are increasing the amount of fresh content on your website which is one of the things Google looks for when determining where to rank your website.
How often should you blog?
This is a question I get asked a lot and unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer.
It really depends on your industry, how much time you have to dedicate to blogging and how competitive your keywords are.
As a general rule of thumb, I would say aim to blog at least once a week and build up from there. If you are in a competitive industry, then you may need to blog more frequently than that. And if you are just starting out, then once a week is a great place to start. It’s important that your blogs are more than 1000 words, this is also dependent on your focused keyword & how difficult it is to rank for that keyword.
Where to find inspiration for your blog posts?
Coming up with ideas for blog posts can be one of the hardest parts of blogging, especially if you are just starting out.
Here are three of my favourite places to find inspiration for blog posts:
Quora is a Q&A platform where people ask questions about anything and everything under the sun.
All you need to do is type in a keyword related to your industry into the search bar and see what questions come up.
For example, if I type in “SEO”, I get questions like:
- What are some tips for SEO?
- How can small businesses improve their SEO?
- What are some common mistakes people make with SEO?
As you can see, these are all potential blog post ideas that I could write about.
2. Google Trends.
Google Trends allows you to see what topics are trending in your industry.
This is a great way to come up with blog post ideas that are timely and relevant to what is going on in your industry right now.
For example, if I type in “SEO” into Google Trends, I get results like:
- Search engine optimization tips
- SEO tools
- On page SEO
- Off page SEO
Again, these are all potential blog post ideas that I could write about.
Answer Sorcrates is a website where you can find questions that have been asked on forums like Reddit and Yahoo Answers.
All you need to do is type in a keyword related to your industry and see what questions come up.
For example, if I type in “Online Personal Trainer”, I get questions like:
- Is online personal training effective?
- What does an online personal trainer do?
- Why online fitness training is better?
Now that you know how to find inspiration for your blog posts, it’s time to start your keyword research. Just because these might be well-searched blog posts doesn’t mean they are going to be the best posts for you to rank on Google with.
How to do keyword research & what platforms are best
Keyword research is the process of finding keywords that you can rank for on Google.
There are a few different platforms that you can use to do keyword research, but my two favorites are Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest.
Both of these platforms have their own unique benefits, but I would say the main benefit of using Google Keyword Planner is that it’s free to use.
Ubersuggest, on the other hand, has a lot more features than Google Keyword Planner like search volume data and keyword difficulty score. You can get three keyword searches for free with Ubersuggest & its monthly is very low compared to other paid keyword research tools.
Let’s talk about keyword research. Keyword research is no different from hashtag research, it’s finding the best-focused keyword to rank on Google. Depending on your industry & niche, long-tail keywords may be easier for you to rank.
What’s a long tail keyword?
A long-tail keyword is a keyword that is more specific and usually has less search volume than a head term.
For example, “SEO” is a head term & “How to do SEO for small business” is a long-tail keyword.
Are long-tail keywords important?
Long tail keywords are important because they allow you to be more specific with your audience. When you use a long tail keyword, you are targeting people who are further down the buyer’s journey and are therefore more likely to convert into customers or clients.
Now that you know how to do keyword research, it’s time to decide on an SEO optimised title for your new blog post.
How to write a powerful blog post title.
Your blog post title is the first thing people will see when they find your blog post on Google. Your blog title needs to include your focused keyword but it also means that your title needs to be attention-grabbing and make people want to click on it.
Here are a few tips for writing powerful blog post titles:
– Use numbers or lists – a listicle blog post or a blog that uses numbers like “5 easy steps to” is more likely to be clicked on than a blog post without a list or numbers
– Use power words – words like “free”, “guide”, “checklist”, etc.
– Be specific – the more specific your title is, the more likely people are to click on it
– Keep it under 60 characters – you want your entire title to show up in the search results
All you need to do is type in your focused keyword and Copy.AI will give you a list of potential blog post titles.
How To Optimise Your Blogs for SEO
If you’re serious about blogging & ranking on Google then the best software to invest in is SEOSurfer.
SEOSurfer is an all-in-one SEO platform that will help you optimise your blog posts for Google Search Engine. It will give you an SEO score out of 100, you want to aim for the score to be over 80. It will give you a list of related keywords to add to your blog post, questions to answer in your blog, and ideas for headings & titles. It will also tell you how many words your post needs to be, how many paragraphs you will need to include, links & images.
SEOSurfer also has a built-in keyword research tool that will help you find low-competition keywords that you can rank for on Google.
It is well worth the investment if you are serious about building a successful blog.
Some of the features that SEOSurfer offers are:
- On page SEO analysis
- Competitor analysis
- Rank tracking
- And much more!
The Best WordPress Plugin For SEO
RankMath is the best WordPress plugin for SEO. It includes all the features you need to optimize your website for Google search engines. The best part is it’s completely free, you can choose to upgrade to the pro version but it’s not essential.
Here are some of the features that make RankMath the best WordPress plugin for SEO:
- It allows you to control what appears in the search results – you may not want every page on your website to be accessible to visitors so you can use RankMath to opt-in for no indexing.
- It automatically generates a sitemap – a sitemap is a file that tells Google (and other search engines) about the pages on your website. RankMath generates this file for you to submit to your Google Search Console account.
- It has built-in support for Google Analytics – so you can see how well your website is doing and what needs to be improved
- It allows you to control the breadcrumbs on your website – breadcrumbs are the links that appear at the top of your website when you’re on a specific page. They help visitors navigate your website and they also help with SEO.
- It makes adding redirections super easy – if you ever need to change the URL of a page on your website, RankMath will automatically create a redirect for you so that visitors (and Google) can find the new page.
- It has a built-in 404 monitor
- It allows you to control the way your website appears in social media
- The pro version includes support for WooCommerce
I could go on and on about all the features that make RankMath the best WordPress plugin for SEO but I think you get the idea.
12 steps to optimizing your blogs for SEO strategy
When you’ve uploaded your blog now it’s time to go through the below checklist to make your post SEO friendly.
- Includes your focused keyword in your SEO title.
Your SEO title is the most important part of your blog post, it needs to include your focused keyword but also be attention-grabbing. Your SEO title needs to be less than 60 characters for it to be readable on Google.
2. Include your keyword in your permalink.
Your permalink is the URL of your blog post, you want to make sure that it includes your focused keyword. For example, if my focused keyword was “SEO” then my permalink would be something like “yourname.com/seo-title“. Make sure your permalink is less than 75 characters long.
3. Include your keyword in your meta descriptions.
Your meta description is the short paragraph of text that appears under your blog title in the search results. You want to make sure that your meta descriptions include your focused keyword but also entice people to click on your blog post. For example, if my focused keyword was “SEO” then my meta description could be something like “A guide to SEO: How to get your website to the top of Google’s search results.” Make sure your meta description is not more than 160 characters long.
4. Include your keyword in your H1 Tag & only use the H1 tag once on your page.
Your H1 title tag is the biggest heading in your blog post, it needs to include your focused keyword. For example, if my focused keyword was “Dubsado Proposal” then my H1 title tag could be something like “How To Design Your Dubsado Proposal.”
5. Include your keyword throughout your blog post.
You want to make sure that your focused keyword is mentioned a few times throughout your blog post but don’t go overboard with it as Google will penalise you for keyword stuffing. Include internal links – Internal links are links from one of your blog posts to another one of your blog posts. You want to include a couple of internal
6. Include internal & external links.
Internal links are links from one of your blog posts to another one of your blog posts. External links are links from your blog post to someone else’s website. You want to include a couple of internal & external links throughout your blog post as it helps with the SEO of your website.
7. Include images
Images help break up your blog post and make it more visually appealing. You want to include at least one image but you can include more if they are relevant to your blog post. Also, make sure you save your image file name with your focused keyword.
8. Include alt text.
Alt text is the text that appears when you hover over an image. It is a good idea to include alt text as it helps with the SEO of your website & try to add in your focused keyword where possible. Also make sure you are also saving your image title with your focused keyword before uploading onto your website & compress your image with a tool like tinypng.com.
9. Table of Contents
A table of contents helps your readers navigate your blog post more easily. It is also a good idea to include a table of contents as it helps with the SEO of your website.
10. Include a call-to-action
A call-to-action is a sentence or phrase that tells the reader what you want them to do next. For example, if you have written a blog post about email marketing then your call-to-action could be something like “Sign up to my email list to get my free guide to email marketing.” That’s it!
11. Use more than 1000 words
Google prefers longer blog posts as it shows that you are an expert on the topic. Depending on your focused keyword you may need more than 1000 words, but the least amount should be 1000 for well optimised blogs for SEO.
12. Include social share buttons
Social share buttons make it easy for people to share your blog post on their social media channels.
Now that we have covered on page SEO it’s important that you factor in Technical SEO & off page SEO. So let’s talk about technical SEO.
What is technical SEO & why do you need it?
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website for Google’s search algorithm. It is a complex and ever-changing process but there are some basics that every website should follow. The first step is to make sure that your website is accessible to Google. This means that you need to have a sitemap and submit it to your Google Search Console account. The second step is to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Google now ranks websites based on their mobile-friendliness so it’s important that your website looks good on all devices. The third step is to improve your website’s loading speed. Google wants websites that load quickly so visitors aren’t left waiting.
It’s important to set up the following
- Google Search Console – this is a free platform that will allow you to submit your sitemap to Google so that it can be indexed
- Google Analytics – this is a free platform that allows you to track your website traffic & understand where you website traffic is coming from
- Bing Webmaster Tools – this is a free platform that allows you to submit your sitemap to Bing so that it can be indexed
Technical SEO is a fundamental part of SEO and it can also include things like:
- mobile responsiveness
- structured data
I suggest working on technical SEO before starting to create your blog. Let’s take a quick overview on what off page SEO is.
What is off page SEO & why do you need it?
Off page SEO is all about building backlinks to your website. A backlink is when another website links to yours. Backlinks are important because they show Google that other websites are vouching for your website. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher you will rank in Google’s search engine results
So off page SEO includes things like:
- building backlinks
- getting traffic from your social media accounts
- brand mentions
- directory listings
Off page is slightly more difficult because you’re relying on other people to link to your website but if you create great content, the backlinks will come.
Setting up a blog isn’t as simple as deciding to write a topic and uploading it onto your website. You need to take other key factors into consideration like optimising your on page SEO, technical SEO & off page SEO.
If you want to learn more about mistakes you are making with your website just download my free guide here. It’s a 5-day email challenge that will go through everything you need to know about setting up your website.
If you are serious about optimising your blog SEO then check out my blogging packages which include blog setup, optimisation, uploading & writing the blogs.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to writing a blog post that is optimized for SEO and will help you rank higher on Google.
Want to know how to drive traffic to your website for FREE? Check out this blog