Site owners have become aware of the importance of a quality blog on their site. Search engines love to see new, fresh, relevant content being produced showing that the site is always being updated. Now what happens often is a website will start cranking out content in the form of blogs just to create content. They have the idea they need to put out lots of blogs to start ranking. This isn’t the case, the content needs to add value along with be properly optimized for search engines. Here are ways to ensure your articles will be seen, and ranked, by the search engines.
Make Sure it’s Properly Set Up
This is a bit vague, but essentially means make sure the blog is optimized for search engines by utilizing title tags, headers, meta descriptions, etc. Often bloggers will worry solely on the content of the article, and not focus on meta tags of the article. Here’s a list of features that need to be optimized,
- Title Tag
- Meta Description
- Header Tag
- H2 Tag
- Alt Image Tags
- Page URL
Don’t skip these, take the time to fill them in properly, it will help search engines determine the relevancy of the article and will influence how it ranks.
Utilize Your Keywords
With any SEO campaign one of the first steps is to do keyword research to learn which keywords you should be using on the site. There are a number of free keyword research tools available that can help streamline the the process and research. Once the proper keywords are determined it’s important to use them throughout your article in the proper ways and places. This means adding them to your meta descriptions, title tag, and throughout the article. Now it’s important to use them sparingly, you don’t want to keyword stuff, in other words over use the keyword. This will appear spammy to the search engines, thus penalizing your site. The trick is to use variations of your root keyword. For example, if your focused keyword is “cell phones” you don’t want to litter the page with “cell phones”. There should be some variations, such as “mobile device” or “cellular telephone”. Search engines will draw connections between the different terms, the page, and the root domain to influence rankings.
Optimize the Images
When uploading images to your site ensure proper meta tags are being utilized. This means adding in title tags and alt image tags which is found in the back end of the site. Most CMS’s will allow for users to set these fields when an image is uploaded, however, many people just skip this. Your title tag should reflect what the image is and utilize keywords if applicable. Alt image tags are created for users who are using browsers that do not load images, so text will show instead. The alt image tag should describe what image would be there, again keep it short and try to use a keyword. When users run an image search for specific keywords your images may pop up, giving users an additional way to get to the site.
Go beyond just adding keywords and tags to your images. Optimize your images to load faster for users, giving them a better user experience. This means using images that load quickly, such as PNG, GIF, and JPEG. Also, in many cases images only need to be a specific size, say the size of how they are displayed. Meaning you don’t need to upload an image that is 5000 pixels wide to fit a spot that is only 500 pixels wide. Leveraging browser caching is an additional way to give users a faster page. This happens by remembering the images on a site so the next time a user visits that page the images are already stored.
Rather than links that are on external sites that point to your site or blog, these are links that reside on your site. They allow for users to move throughout the site by clicking links that are relevant to other pages. Additionally, they are used to spread link juice, or ranking power to other pages. Also, it helps develop a hierarchy to the pages within a site, by showing which pages Google should crawl and in what order.
Let Users Share Your Stuff
Provide users with the option to quickly share your articles on social media. This means having social media buttons available on all your posts, this way users can simply click share and it’s done. Facebook has 2.07 billion active users each month, businesses can’t afford to not allow their blogs to be shared here.
Also under this section we will include adding a newsletter sign up (or RSS feed) option to your blog. This lets followers know when you have new content being produced. It’s uncommon readers check a blog daily, or even weekly, they might forget about your posts. With a newsletter you can remind them that new content has been produced.
Make it Look Good
Design goes a long way. Take the time to create a blog post that will be aesthetically pleasing to your users. With that being said remember to not over do it. If a blog has too much going on it can be distracting for a user and they won’t get the information they need. Provide ways for users to navigate throughout the blog and if they need to back to the main site. Provide a color scheme that works well with your products, logo, theme, etc., and of course beautiful images that are relevant to the information.
A blog that loads slowly will quickly drive users away. It’s important to optimize the blog so it loads at a proper speed, allowing users to access information at a decent speed. Follow our complete guide to increasing site speed to help determine where your blog may be lacking. A slow site can have a drastic impact on your SEO rankings.
Use Proper URLs
Like title tags, URLs can help both users and search engines better determine what the page is about. Also, this is an additional place to use your keywords, again, keep in mind not to over do it.
A common blog URL should appear as follows,
It has the subdomain of blog within the URL and the title (which is Most Common Ecommerce Mistakes) is shortened into the URL. When a user sees this URL they quickly understand this is a blog post about common ecommerce mistakes.
An example of a poor URL would be something like,
It does not clarify what they article is about. It’s confusing to both search engines and the users. Remember to be consistent with all URLs, and that doesn’t mean only the blog, it should be site wide.