you know the feeling of having an incredible idea for a blog?
To do justice to that idea you came up with, you’ll spend hours writing the best possible blog, ensuring that the right words are used and that it conveys your message in a powerful way. While that effort may result in an incredible blog, it won’t guarantee that anyone will read it. To do that, and truly do justice to your blog idea, it’s vital that you set it up for success on Google.
The Importance of Optimizing Your Blogs
Sending a blog out into the internet without being optimized is like sailing a ship that’s not prepared out into the ocean. Without the meta descriptions, readability, and proper links, the blog simply won’t get the attention it deserves. The truth is, every piece of content you write for the internet should abide by best SEO practices because doing this will vastly improve its chances of success.
Four Ways to Set Your Blog Up For SEO Success
If you’re going to take the time to create a compelling blog, it’s worth taking the few extra steps to ensure that it will rank well on Google. By simply following these steps, you’re not guaranteeing that your blog will go viral, but you’re at least giving it a fighting chance. Consider these SEO steps to help your blog get the recognition it deserves.
1. Quality of Content Affects Your Rankings
In SEO, quality content is king. If your blog thoroughly explains a topic and is well-written, it will show from an SEO standpoint. For example, people staying on the page longer means the bounce rate will be lower, thereby improving its rankings. If it’s seen as an authoritative source, Google will acknowledge that, and it’ll rise even higher up the rankings.
Use an Editor to Help Improve Your Content
a proud writer, finding an editor to make suggestions on improving your content
might seem like a tedious and unnecessary step. However, it’s important to
realize that no matter how good you are as a writer, an editor can clean up your
content and cause you to look at it in a different way.
Getting in the habit of having all of your content edited will hone your writing skills over time because you’ll start to think about these common edits and apply them during the writing process.
Turn Writing into a Habit
cliches are more overused than “practice makes perfect,” but when it comes to
writing, the best way to improve is to do it often. This practice will be most
effective if you’re doing it with a feedback
where you can see comments from people, have it accepted by clients and editors,
and see how it performs after you’ve posted it.
Using these metrics, you can see how the rest of the world perceives your content and refine your skills from there.
2. Fill Out the Meta Description and SEO Title Tag
If you’re unsure what the meta description and SEO title tag are, it’s worth learning about these because it’s one of the simplest ways to enhance your rankings. Basically, when someone searches for your content, the meta description and title tag are what pops up in the results. Ideally, every web page and blog will have an optimized meta and title tag that accurately describes it.
Creating a Strong SEO Title Tag
find the option to write your SEO title tag and meta description towards the
bottom of your backend in WordPress. The rule of thumb for blogs is typically to
write your site name, followed by the vertical pole symbol, and then the name of
your blog. For this blog, that would look like this:
Residuals | Four Ways to Set Your Blog Up for Success”
you can see, that SEO title tag is simple and concise, and since it’s under 60
characters, the whole line will display properly in search results. Other
formats you can use for the title tag include:
- Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name (Recommended by Moz)
- Company | Page Name | Location
- A full sentence containing the keywords you want, including the location.
Writing a Powerful Meta Description
below the SEO title tag, you’ll find a spot for the meta description. This is
the part where your writing skill will come into play, especially since you have
only 160 characters to work with. The goal here is to accurately explain what
the content is and hint at why anyone would want to click on it.
A good way to look at both of these tools is to consider how they combine to give all of the relevant information you want to convey about your blog. Remember that your SEO title tag and meta description combo is essentially a listing in itself, and it’s contents convince readers to either click on your blog or ignore it.
Example as Seen in the Search Results
you view this example as it’s seen in the search results, you can see how the
SEO title tag and meta description combine to give valuable info about the blog.
This example is from a blog for Dental
and although the site name had to be abbreviated, you can still see it in the
URL below. The subject of the blog, including its title and the name of the site
it’s hosted on are all included.
Drinking has both positive and negative effects on our teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have to abstain forever. Learn how to minimize the damage to your teeth.
3. Make it Easy to Read
you click on a link, and a wall of text pops up with no spacing, are you going
to read it or look for another option?
The truth is, most people will skip any content that is difficult to read.
For the most part, this means limiting your paragraphs to five lines or less and writing in short, easy to understand increments.
Avoid the Temptation to Flex Your Writing Skills
Unless you’re writing for a peer-reviewed journal or the board for your college, it’s always best to use everyday language that is approachable for the common man and woman. It can be tempting to use big, unusual words, but if readers aren’t following what you’re saying, they’ll tune out and look elsewhere. The only goal when writing your blog should be conveying your idea as powerfully, clearly, and concisely as you possibly can.
Use a Variety of Media in Your Blog
thing that makes a blog more attractive is when you use various formats to get
your point across. This can include images, videos, bullet lists, numbered
lists, embedded Tweets, and proper use of headings. By employing a wide range of
media in your blog, you’ll make it deeper, easier, and more interesting to read
for the average person.
This is the simplest tip on the list, yet it’s often overlooked.
4. Choose Your Links Carefully
Links are one of the most powerful tools for SEO, but it’s crucial to know how and where to use them. That’s because the excessive linking or linking to poor quality sites can hurt your blog’s chances of ranking well. However, the right links can boost the rankings of not only your blog but any other pages you link to. Explore these tips on effective linking for your blog.
Create Internal Links to Your Other Blogs to Boost SEO
Internal links include linking to your other blog posts or other pages on your website. These are useful for your blog’s SEO, because they distribute the rank equity across multiple blogs, allowing them to be acknowledged by Google as well. Note that there’s an art to smart linking, so if you’re writing about a topic that you explained in another blog post, it may be an excellent place for an internal link.
External Links Can Be Valuable in Moderation
links are simply links you create to sites or blogs that aren’t your own.
Generally, a typical blog post will have 2-5 links total, and it’s important to
choose these carefully. For example, if you’re making a claim that involves a
statistic, you’ll want to provide a reliable source, but just mentioning a
concept may not warrant a link. Here are some crucial tips on external links
that will help your blog rank well on Google:
- Note that you’ll have to check and make sure your links are still functional over time. If your blog is full of broken links due to sites shutting down after a few months, it will greatly hurt your rankings.
- Linking can expand your connections as a blogger. Let someone know you linked to them and throw in a compliment on the quality of their blog, and they may return the favor.
- The quality of the site you’re linking to matters and can help or harm your rankings. For example, linking to well-established sites like Forbes or CNN.com can help the credibility of your blog, but linking to lesser-known sites that lack domain authority can do the opposite.
Send Your Blog Out Optimized for the Best Results
The best-written blog on the planet will go unnoticed if it’s jumbled together or not optimized for SEO. Simply following those steps will greatly increase the chances of your blog ranking well. In fact, they’re so important that they should be used every time you write something online. While being a skilled writer is a valuable skill, only when it’s combined with basic SEO practices can you become a successful blogger.
About the Author
Nick Napier: After serving 7-years in the Navy and traveling to 22 countries, Nick settled in San Diego where he earned his MBA. He currently works as an SEO Specialist while hosting the Rogue Writers Podcast and writing a wide variety of content on a daily basis