Blog post writing is an essential element of having your website show up in Google. Whether you have a large or small marketing budget blogging, with keyword rich content with topics your audience actually cares about is one of the best long term strategies a business can have in place. So how do you make sure your blog posts are effective for SEO? In this post, I’ll take you back to the very basics of SEO.
This is one of the top questions we are asked by our clients and partners.
How do you optimize a blog post?
1. It starts with Keyword Research
Keywords research should be the first step in your blog post strategy. Figure out what terms you want to rank for and also what your competitors rank for today. This can be a bit of a daunting process, so we recommend you really try to get into the head of your audience and why and how they would try to find services you offer. Besides the right keywords you need context around those keywords. For example: What is the intent of the user initiating that search? The more you can drill down on long tail phrases the better it is to ensure the right intent is there, not just keyword traffic.
2. Use that Keyword
This may sound straightforward but most people forget to mention that target keyword beyond the title or first few sentences of the post. Using (not overusing) the target keyword will help Google "get it". Avoid spammy posts or keyword stuffing. Focus on the user first and Google second. If it doesn't read well to a potential customers, don't write it; no matter how much you think it will help your SEO efforts. Overzealous SEO is just bad marketing. Aim to shoot for a keyword density of around 2-3%. So mention that keyword several times ideally in the first sentence and first paragraph if it makes sense.
3. Optimize Your Headings
The title of your blog post is extremely important to the performance of that post. Make sure your target keywords are mentioned in the titles, headings and sub-headings. Google takes a close look at these to make sure they are relevant to your overall post.
4. Snippets Matter
The snippet is what Google will show in the natural search results. It’s the title of your post and a short description. Yoast SEO is the most common plugin that we use with Wordpress websites to optimize posts and create snippets. If you have a Wordpress website, we highly recommend you download it. Its difficult to tell whether or not Google will show that specific snippet that you pre-select. However, creating a top notch snippet preview should a very important part of optimizing a blog post. Of course, don’t forget to use that focus keyword again.
*See Yoast SEO example screenshot
Optimizing blog posts is absolutely essential to gaining more qualified traffic to your website. Have more questions about SEO and content optimization for your website? Contact Banyan Creative today to schedule a strategy discussion on how to drive more revenue through your website.
Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative and focused on SEO and search strategy and digital marketing for small to mid sized businesses in Charlotte, NC.
Sam Casey is the Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner at Banyan Creative.