Last week we showed you how to find new ideas for blog articles with ease. Now that you’re a content producing machine, this week we’re going to show you how to optimise your blog article for maximum impact.
Blog SEO isn’t difficult. A well-optimised article will give your content maximum exposure and let people find the answers they are searching for. So, now that you have your blog topic and you’re ready to start writing, where do you begin?
At the time of writing this article, Google is processing approximately 70,000 queries per second! Let’s just take that in for a second…
If you want your content to stand out and outrank your competitors, you need to use the correct keywords so they can find your site first. Creating new content is a great opportunity to target long tail keywords. Although long tail keywords have less search traffic, they are more specific, are less competitive than short tail keywords and result in a higher quality of visitor.
This is where you can hit the sweet spot and target your ideal audience.
For keyword research, we like to use a combination of Answerthepublic.com and Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools are great for discovering long tail keywords and what your audience is actually searching for. Take a look at our recent article giving you a step-by-step guide on how to use these tools.
Once you’ve got your target keyword or phrase, it’s time to add them to your blog article.
Integrate Your Keywords Naturally
We’re way past keyword stuffing and you need to remember that you’re writing for humans, not Google. The most important element of blog SEO is to make it natural and easy to read. Don’t obsess over how many times you’ve used your keywords throughout your article (keyword density), it’s not as relevant as it used to be.
Here’s where your keywords should appear.
- Blog title
- Meta description
- Alt text (for images)
- Throughout the content (naturally)
In addition to your target keywords, you should include variations. For example, if your chosen keyword is “mobile”, you can use variations such as “phone” or “smartphone”. Google analyses your article as a whole topic. So, if you’re using keyword variations plus associated words such as (keeping with our “mobile” example), tariffs, brand names, operating systems etc, Google will have a better understanding what your article is about.
Scannable, Long Content
If you want your reader to reach the end of your article you need to make it scannable and easy to read. To achieve this you need to use the following techniques.
- Short sentences
- Short paragraphs
- Structured content (subheadings)
- Bullet points 🙂
- Break up large bodies of text with images
Not only will these techniques allow the reader to scan your article but it will improve its readability. Readability is measured using the Flesch reading ease scale. Unless you’re a university professor and producing a paper you want to be aiming for readability of above 60, which is understandable by teenage students.
Although there are no rules regarding the length of an article, there is evidence that longer articles do generate better rankings in Google and more shares on social media. Creating long-form content gives you the opportunity to explore the topic fully and include more or a mix of keywords.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend a minimum of 500 words. If you’re new to blogging it’s good to have a target to check that you’re on the right track. But substance is the most important factor.
Internal & External Links
Now that your audience is reading your article you can offer them more content by including internal links. By linking to other sections of your website, such as your home page, useful articles, case studies or relevant products, you can increase the time spent on your website. In addition, internal links help Google to crawl your website and create a more accurate sitemap.
Don’t be afraid to link to external websites. Linking to reputable and trustworthy websites not only offers your readers additional reading material but also signals to Google that you’ve done your homework. If you are quoting stats or linking to influencers, it will back up your articles credibility and who knows, you might get a backlink from the influencers.
Amplify Your Article
So you’ve got the perfect blog post. It’s a good length, your researched keywords are in the correct places, it’s all formatted and tidy. So now what do you do? It’s time to amplify!
Each time you create a new article you need to execute an amplification plan and get it in front of as many people as possible. If you’ve put the time and effort in creating a great article you don’t want it to be overlooked.
Here’s a list of ideas to amplify your content.
- Post on social media channels at the best time.
- Targeted paid promotion on social media channels.
- Share in relevant groups (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Forums).
- Use the correct hashtags.
- Email your subscribers.
- Outreach – email influencers about your new content.
- Social bookmarking sites (Stumbleupon, Reddit, Quora etc).
If you apply all the techniques above you will start to see a rise in your website visitors.
We started the article stating that blog SEO isn’t difficult. It might be a challenge at first but once you’ve got a few articles under your belt you’ll start to optimise your articles much quicker. If you’re putting in the effort to create a great piece of content please don’t forget to amplify. Creating a target audience on your social media channels and use paid promotion is a great way to increase your visitors and shares.