How does one write a SEO friendly blog that will keep potential readers coming back and search engines ‘crawling’ back?Get it? Because Googlebot crawls! Okay enough of the non-sense, here are some things I have learned in 2015(Post Penguin).
1. Long-tail Keyword Research
After extensive trial and error I have learned that before you put your pen on your paper(or fingers on your keyboard) you should decide which keywords you want to focus on. I personally use Google’s Keyword Planner and so does just about everyone else on the internet. Contrary to intuition it is very important not to pack your articles full of keywords. Reasoning behind this is because search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.) will see it as spam and send you to the hundredth page of their rankings.
Now you might be thinking why long-tail keywords, wouldn’t it make sense to rank higher for the keyword ‘dress’ rather than ‘Chanel Summer Knit Dress 2015’? Simply put, visitors who searched for the Chanel dress will be more likely to convert(make a purchase).
The following are the most crucial places to include your keywords:
Google and search engines alike will first take a look at your URL to get an idea what your content is about. To keep it SEO friendly your Permalink should be similar or a shortened version of your title – just don’t cut out your primary keywords.
Hint #1: Remember to use hyphens to replace spaces and not underscores as Google treats underscores as additional characters to a word.
Hint #2: Lower cases in URLs, top dogs don’t use it for no reason – for the curious it is because google.com and GoOGle.com are seen different from a search engine perspective. With that said two different URLs but duplicate content will always be penalised.
It should go without saying that your title must include the keyword, but I have discovered it is best to keep your long-tail under 75-80 characters. The title is just as important if not more important than the URL in determining how relevant and SEO friendly your post is.
Hint: Google your competition and check out what they wrote for their title! That’s what I did and I simply tailored it to fit my topic.
As mentioned previously don’t jam pack your article full of keywords. In this fabulous year of 2015 any and every resource you see online will say content is king(if they don’t it is definitely outdated). Therefore there are no shortcuts, best way is to write good, reader-friendly articles for your blog.
Now that we have established a strong URL, title and body there is only the description left. You know the saying ‘Hook, Line and Sinker’? The Title is the hook, Body is the Sinker and your Description in search engines is the Line. So be sure to have an enticing meta description so that your potential reader simply MUST click it.
2. A Proper Introduction
To optimise your search engine results you are essentially trying to make Googlebot’s life as easy as possible. You want the search engine to crawl and determine what your page is about as soon as possible. Take a look at the first sentence of my post, I was quite cheeky and snuck in my keywords ‘SEO friendly blog’ there.
3. Optimize Images in Your Blog
This one I have definitely overlooked for a long time and regret it terribly. My friend and I were discussing SEO strategies that we were both testing and she mentioned that a lot of her traffic comes from Google images. I immediately shrugged it off as she writes a travel blog therefore very visual – however when I removed the Web search query on Google Webmaster I realised majority of my impressions(not clicks) are from Google Images as well.
Now that I mapped out the importance of optimising images, here are some steps I personally took to improve Google Image Indexing:
I) Only Upload Google Compatible Images
Google indexes the following: .jpeg, .bmp, .gif, .png and .svg. Simple as that, strictly use these formats it shouldn’t be too hard.
II) Descriptive File Names
I am guilty of this from naming folder names to naming images. An Image named IMG59237.jpg means nothing to us humans let alone search engines. If you want another example, right click the image at the top of this post and copy image URL – it is something descriptive and includes my keyword: how-to-write-seo-friendly-blog-content.png. Very simple and extremely effective.
III) Fill Out Alt Text for Images
We have eyes to interpret images whereas Google reads ALT text of the images. The official definition can be found here amongst other helpful terms. If you’re using WordPress like I am, there will be a section under Media for ALT text/tag. The more descriptive the text the better.
ALT = “” < ALT = “seo” < ALT = “SEO Friendly Blog”
4. Internal Linking
Something I have been doing quite consistently is internal linking and I highly recommend everyone in doing so. It essentially creates your own map within your site as well as shows Google that you are ‘upvoting’ your site.
5. Google Webmaster Tools
Made by Google, made for Google. I have spent so much time playing around with their tools and I must say I absolutely love it. If you had any questions reading this, it can and will be answered after a couple days on that site.
Next time you discuss SEO friendly blogs or content you will know that it means it is easily interpreted by Google and other search engines. At the end of the day, many factors come into play which will either hurt or improve your rankings. I have only highlighted SEO friendly blogging practices but I plan on writing another post regarding offsite SEO in the near future. I will end with a video I believe explains some other concepts quite well.
If you have any questions or believe I have missed some crucial parts, feel free to email me!