How To Optimize An Article For SEO In 2020
You might have seen experts stressing the importance on SEO for blogging. Or, maybe you hear the term SEO all the time but don’t know how to rank your blog on Google.
Arfa, the amazing writer behind She Means Blogging is here to walk us through everything you need to know about writing a blog post that Google will love and readers will find so much easier.
When I started blogging I realized that SEO is a fundamental need for ranking your content in web searches (because it’s basically free advertising).
This is the trick that Google likes. If you are running a blog for a long time now and still haven’t seen a rise in blog traffic then maybe you should give SEO a chance.
WHAT IS SEO
SEO isn’t rocket science. If you grasp the basic elements of search engine optimized content, then you can easily write SEO friendly blog posts that search engines will love.
Translated as search engine optimization, SEO is a process for optimizing the online content for search engines. It works when someone adds a keyword and search engines display results in favor of those pages that have those keywords. As simple as that.
The whole process functions around specific keywords and this makes keyword research an integral element of search engine optimization. This is the technique you need to understand if you want to get traffic directly from Google without any promotion or cost at all.
If you want to master SEO and get free, quality traffic to your blog or website, I highly recommend the Easy On-Page SEO for bloggers eBook. This guide contains practical advice that can help you optimize not only your blog posts but your entire website.
💎 HOW TO WRITE AN SEO-FRIENDLY BLOG POST WITH THESE 7 KEY ELEMENTS
In this post, I will elaborate on the exact steps needed to create an SEO friendly blog post. It doesn’t matter if you have just started blogging or have been doing it for years. You can still implement these SEO tips and refresh your content.
Needless to mention, the optimized blog content needs enough time to rank on the Google. Keep your first priority on building SEO friendly content rather than on getting instant traffic.
1. DO KEYWORD RESEARCH
The foundation of an SEO friendly blog post is a smart keyword research approach. Doing research for a keyword can be a bit tedious but it’s also a fundamental part of any SEO strategy.
Before you hammer out words that you think can be good keywords, you need to focus what kind of keywords your blog post could be ranking for. You can also consider these questions.
- How do I expect readers to find this specific blog post?
- What would I type in Google to search information like this?
- What will people type if they want to have information on this topic?
These sorts of questions and their answers will ultimately guide you to use a certain list of keywords throughout your blog post.
Struggling to find keywords? Check out Keysearch.
💎 How to pick the right keyword
At this stage, you need to find out which keywords have the biggest potential to bring traffic to your blog. Most importantly, you have to uncover keywords that display high search volume but have a low competition.
I understand this can be a bit too challenging. Try to pick those keywords that have low competition (so they are not the most searched words, but there is still a large number of people looking it up). You should be focusing on long-tail keywords (instead of “blogging” try to rank for “blogging tips for beginners”).
💎 Use keyword generating tools
There are plenty of tools to help you in finding right keywords to optimize your content.
If you are writing an SEO friendly blog post, keywords are an essential requirement and using these tools will help you determine the right words. The most popular is the Google Keyword Planner. Another great tool is Ubersuggest.
But as always, the best tools aren’t always free – which is why I invested in an annual plan with Keysearch – and it’s so worth it! Use the code “KSDISC” to get 20% off!
2. USE KEYWORDS IN RIGHT PLACES
After doing comprehensive research on keywords, the next step is to break down the areas on your blog post that need to be search engine optimized.
💎 The headline: The title of your blog content is the main attraction for search engines and obviously, readers. Inserting a keyword in the headline is vital. It’s the first action step a reader takes when he does a web search. Spend some little time polishing your headlines before you move on to anything else.
💎 Subtitle Tags: Other than H1 (usually used as main title), other subtitles like H2, H3 and H4 also have an impact on SEO. If possible, try to use related keywords smartly in H2 tags. However, it isn’t a compulsory step but it helps in content ranking.
💎 The URL: Another important aspect for crafting a SEO friendly blog post is optimizing the URLs. As every blog post lives on its unique URL, it is imperative to add the keyword in the URL as well.
💎 Meta Description: This is basically an additional text that gives readers an insight about the content. It can not be found anywhere in the blog content but it is what readers see in google search results.
- Add relevant information in the meta description that summarizes the overall content.
- Insert the keywords in the meta tags.
- Keep it concise and limited to 155 characters.
- Make sure it is click-worthy and enticing to readers.
- You can edit this on your blog before you post it with a plugin such as Yoast.
3. WRITE EPIC CONTENT
Creating an SEO friendly blog post doesn’t mean you have to compromise the quality of your content. The new algorithm is picking the most meaningful content anyways. Gone are those times when bloggers used ‘keyword stuffing’ to rank content for google. Now, this doesn’t work at all.
As a blogger, your main goal should be to produce blog posts that are engaging, fresh and value-driven. If you write quality content, you are most likely to get a hefty amount of social shares, comments, and email subscribers.
However, keywords are to be inserted efficiently for SEO friendly blog post. Try to use keywords throughout the content for the best results.
4. WRITE LONGER BLOG POSTS
The minimum length for writing blog posts should be at least 700 words. The optimum length is anything longer than 1,000 – 1,400 words. The content length allows search engines to crawl and index plenty of keywords to understand what the topic is about.
If you write tutorials or in-depth content then you can write up to 3000-4000 words.
5. OPTIMIZE BLOG IMAGES
Images always add further value to the content and make it more appealing to the human eye. Whether you use one image or multiple visuals in a blog post, make it optimized for SEO as well.
These images should contain keywords in their title that are relevant to your blog post. It might take only a few extra minutes to replace the name from ‘IMG6787’ to ‘productivity-tips-stay-at-home-moms’ for example.
More importantly, the size of the image needs to be optimized as well. Uploading big files on your blog is known to speed down your website loading time, which reflects poorly on your website.
And yes, Google does take website speed into consideration when ranking blogs and articles.
I recommend getting the ShortPixel plugin, that uses advanced compression technology that reduces image size without any before/after difference in quality, thus making your pages load faster.
It comes with 100 free images per month, but you can also buy in bulk and get a one-time plan of $9.99 for 10,000 images, enough to last you years!)
6. ADDING LINKS TO GIVE FURTHER VALUE
Internal linking is a good SEO approach for showing search engines where to look further to find relevant content.
You can also use external links that are relevant and give further information on a certain topic. If the website you are sending people to is on good terms with Google (their content and domain authority are of value) then your blog post has a higher chance of pleasing search engines.
So in each and every blog post you publish, you should have at least 2-3 links to previous articles on your website, and one external link to a niche authority website with a DA of 60+.
You can check the Domain Authority of any website using free tools, such as the one linked here or the Moz.com official one.
7. USE FREE SEO TOOLS
There are some amazing free tools that bloggers can use to improve their blog SEO performance. Crafting an SEO friendly blog post becomes painless if you are using the following tools:
💎 Yoast Plugin – WordPress users can go effortlessly about their blog SEO if they are using Yoast plugin. This free plugin indicates every technique that can help bloggers craft an SEO friendly blog post. It is definitely a recommended tool for every blogger. It makes the complicated process of search engine optimization so simple and accessible.
💎 Google Search console – Another amazing tool for finding keywords. It really helps you figure out what types of keywords people are using and it knows what Goole likes best. Now, that you’ve grabbed the key elements of crafting an SEO friendly blog posts, you can apply these tips and write spectacular content that will be easy to find. But in the midst of all this, don’t forget you are still writing for humans and not computers!
💎 Free SEO Course For Bloggers – Don’t forget about educational tools such as this course, put together by a home decor blogger & SEO expert that gets over 500,000 pageviews per month, with a huge majority of that being organic traffic from Google.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SEO FOR BLOGGERS
If you’re set on using SEO to boost your blog traffic and want to gather a better understanding on how the optimization process works, I highly recommend Debbie’s SEO eBook bundle that covers the two main aspects of SEO (both equally important):
- ON PAGE SEO: An easy, step by step approach to follow to improve your SEO so your articles can rank on Google (and other search engines).
- OFF PAGE SEO: 31+ ways and places to build backlinks without blogger outreach, to help you grow your DA.
As Debbie says “While great content/on-page optimization is key (without it, you are nowhere), you are won’t get very without the other 50%.” So don’t forget to learn about off-page SEO as well, so that you can truly succeed.
Arfa is a passionate blogger who helps aspiring bloggers to grow and expand their online businesses. She knows how to attract readers to her blog through the power of quality content. Navigate to She Means Blogging to read her awesome content and guides.
What is your biggest takeaway from this post?
Thank you for this it’s super helpful for a newbie like me! xx
Sophia x http://sophiawhitham.co.uk
So happy to hear!
I still don’t understand how Google Search Console works. How do I use it for finding keywords? 🙁 x
Emma | http://www.brooklynisburning.co
Hi Emma. The search console helps you set up a few important things for your website so that Google can crawl it faster. (Such as a sitemap.) It also shows you real-time results of what keywords drove traffic to your blog posts, and how those blog posts rank. They don’t help you find new keywords, but they show you what’s working for you.
These are great tips for increasing SEO!
These are some really great pointers and super helpful for someone like me who is trying to increase my views on the blog. I can’t wait to test them out.
So glad this was helpful! Learned a few things myself.
Loved this blog! Some excellent points in this post. Thanks for sharing. Very useful for a newbie like me!
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Great post Ana! I use these tools and while it does take some time to find keywords, the work truly pays off!
These are some awesome pointers. I always forget to rename my images until right before I’m about to publish my post. I need to get better about rename them after I’ve edited the image.
So glad this was a good reminder!