Optimising individual blog posts for SEO is just as important as the SEO of your overall site. It can be a lot to get your head around but once you do, you’ll get into a routine of publishing blog posts without even thinking about it.
Again, the following only applies to self-hosted WordPress blogs, as this is what I have.
Keywords are super important for your SEO. There are two ways to do this; the easiest approach, and the one I use, is to work out what I would type into google to search for specific content. The second, ‘proper’ way of doing keyword research is by using tools like Google Keyword Planner. This also helps you find out how your posts will rank.
Keywords can be trial and error but when you get it right, it’s a game-changer. Once you have your keywords you need to put them to work.
A word of caution: Don’t engage in keyword stuffing, which is the act of filling your content with so many keywords that it becomes difficult to read. Not only will this irritate your blog followers, it will also get you penalized by Google. A couple of strategically placed keywords will do the trick.
Writing blog posts that are well-structured and SEO-friendly at the same time can be challenging, but the Yoast plugin makes it so simple. It’s one of the most valuable (and popular) plugins; Not only is it a really powerful tool, it’s widely popular because it’s so easy to use, particularly for non-technical people, like myself.
Whether you’re running a personal blog or you’re a SEO professional managing a website for a client, Yoast is a powerful tool that can help you make your site as search engine-friendly as possible.
You can add keywords, create an SEO approved URL (slug) and create a meta description. It also has a feature to track readability and offers tips on how to help the post score better on the Flesch Reading Ease test.
Yoast uses a traffic light system which is a brilliant reminder of which parts of a post still need improvement. Red is terrible, orange is okay and green is great!
Ideally you want every post to be green, like below, which means your SEO has been done properly, but in some cases, orange will suffice.
My next post will be detailing 8 free plugins every blogger needs.
There are two types of links you need to include in every blog post – internal and external links. You should be adding internal links to other posts you have written, as well as adding links to external sites too.
To take it a step further, you should consider anchor text; these are the words you click on to take you to the other content. Ideally, you don’t want to use the keywords that are in your post but you also don’t want to use “click here” either.
I try and use the post title within the blog post and that becomes my anchor text. For the external link, it might be a company name or if its a sponsored post I’ll use the keywords provided for me. Yoast is great at reminding you to include links and will flag up a warning if the links you’re adding include your keyword.
In some instances, this is unavoidable so I would suggest you ignore Yoast and do it anyway. Sometimes I’ll alter my keyword so that it’s not a match, so for example, if my keyword is ‘apple’, I might use ‘apples’ as the anchor text if I can.
4. The Content
Each blog post should be a minimum of 300 words (again, Yoast will tell you if it isn’t) – but bear in mind that it can’t be 300 words of drivel. Good, relevant content is just as important as everything else.
Essentially it needs to be of use to the reader; this post for example should be helpful for bloggers or some small business owners. I wouldn’t use a post titled ‘SEO for blogs’ to review the latest MAC lipstick. I wouldn’t even write a 300 word waffle about how I don’t understand SEO with that title.
It goes without saying that you should always consider what you’re writing – and how you can make it useful and relevant to your audience.
5. Alt Text
Many people often look over the Alt Text when writing blog posts for good SEO. When uploading images on WordPress, you’ll see a field titled Alt Text. This text is beneficial for screen-reading tools that describe images to visually impaired readers and also allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website.
Essentially you want to be as descriptive as possible in under 125 characters.
To get an idea of what I mean, this is the alt text I would use for the image on the left:
Flatlay with iphone, diary, pen, gold stationery and pink flowers on a pink marble surface.
I hope this post helped you see how important SEO is for blog posts. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
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