Enhance your Blog for SEO with 37 Tried and Tested Tips
Learn how I, a blogger just like you, found a way to write better blog content faster - so I could go to the beach more often!
Yes, I admit it, I love a day at the beach, but who has the time?
Blogging is an online medium to share your thoughts, ideas, and expertise with the world. But for people to find you, you need search engine optimization (SEO) to rank high in organic search, which means understanding what blog SEO is and how it works.
People think blogging is easy, but that's because they don't understand that when you are a blogger, blog SEO is crucial - else, your content might never be seen in the organic search results.
When you optimize your new blog posts for SEO, it can assist you in increasing the amount of organic traffic (visitors to your website) - and, therefore, the revenue-generating potential of your blog!
There are several highly effective techniques you can use for optimizing your blog so that you come higher in Google rankings - and other search engines too. This article explores:
27 tips on optimizing your blog posts for SEO That's 37 tips for you to implement to help boost your blog for search engine optimization!
My preferred workflow uses Surfer SEO to research and plan the post and Jarvis (my AI Copywriter Sidekick) to help me fill it out fast. I use Grammarly to spell check, check for plagiarism and readability, add images with Canva, then I publish and submit to Google & Bing for indexing.
Watch me do this on YouTube...
My Top 10 Tips for Search Engine Optimization with Surfer - How to write a Blog Post Search Engines will love
1. Think before you write!
Before you start, pause for a moment to think about what you are writing and who you are writing it for.
It's too easy to write about something you want to say but doesn't really answer a question or solve a problem your blog readers have.
The quality content on your blog pages needs to include the relevant keywords that people are using on search engines such as Google. That way, you can create blog content that has a chance of grabbing the coveted featured snippet slot and bing the #1 article for that topic!
2. Identify the target audience for your blog.
Knowing the audience is the key component to developing a content strategy that will keep them coming back!
Think about their age, location, and gender.
Who are they?
What do they read online?
Where do they go for information and entertainment?
That's the audience you want to write for.
3. Do keyword research
If you want to dominate search, you will need to learn the exact keywords related to the topics your audience searches for. These are the topics you should write about and the keywords you should use in your blog posts.
Surfer SEO can help you discover new and specific keywords related to your niche to significantly increase organic traffic to your blog.
Doing keyword research in Surfer helps you in 3 highly-effective ways:
Discover topic-specific questions
Create content that answers questions that potential visitors have as soon as they arrive on your site.
Become an authority in your space
Create a list of similar keywords that are closely linked to your main topic and rank together - this is exactly what the search engines love!
Identify new keywords in seconds
Instantly uncover hundreds of related keywords from your topic, along with how many times they are searched for each month.
This means that when you add these keywords into posts and pages on your site, Google will be much more likely to dedicate a whole page to you in the Google search engine data results. This is great for improving search engine rankings and generating revenue for your blog!
How can Surfer help you find related keywords?
So now you know it's all about ranking for as many keywords as possible. But, where do you start?
Luckily, I've got your back with this latest update about the Surfer Keyword Research Feature - you can now find phrases that have the same search results in Google!
You'll get a report of keywords that appear in similar search results in two groups: common search terms and questions. They all come with a keyword volume and relevancy level based on SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page).
This is the quickest way to plan the content structure for your pages and extend existing content so you can rank for more relevant keywords.
The result? More ranking keywords that attract additional traffic!
4. Target the right keywords
When you use Surfer as your Keyword research tool, you'll get a detailed list of keywords and questions based on their search popularity or relevance based on comparison on the SERPs.
You'll know exactly what your audience is looking for, so you can match the search intent - local, informational, customer investigation, or shopping.
You can create SERP Analyzer, Content Editor & Action Plan all from the Surfer Keyword Research module, saving you a significant amount of time messing around clicking between windows and applications - it's all right there at your fingertips! You'll find your focus keyword with ease!
5. Focus on low difficulty keywords
It is a waste of time targeting focus keywords with a high difficulty score - these are going to be very competitive, and you'll find it hard to rank for the on the first search result page.
Instead, you should focus on those focus keywords and don't overlook long-tailed keywords that have a low difficulty score - they're easier to rank for and will be more likely to attract lucrative traffic to your new blog.
6. Focus on long-tail keywords
One of the most important things to remember when you optimize your blog is to focus on long-tail keywords. These are highly specific phrases that look something like this: "how do I make apple pie?"
They're much easier for people to rank for in comparison with short-tail keywords, which might be something like "apple pie recipe."
7. Avoid keyword stuffing
Remember that people use Google to find things on the internet. If you try and stuff your pages with keywords that don't add value, it won't do any good for your rankings, social sharing, or conversions.
One of my most used SEO tips is to avoid keyword stuffing. Sure, make sure to use them in the title tag and meta descriptions, even in your on-page SEO, but don't overuse them! Surfer and other SEO plugins will guide you with the number of times each keyword should be used in your content.
You need to provide a helpful resource for people who are searching online - so it might be a good idea to use a blog as a way to attract traffic and build your brand's authority with multiple blog posts.
You do this by creating content that gives people the information they want - it needs to be helpful, relevant, and written with the keywords in mind. This will help Google understand what your blog is about and give you better rankings accordingly.
8. Plan your content based on keyword research
Once you have identified which topics your target audience is interested in using keyword research data, the next step is to plan the content around issues the audience is seeking help for.
I know this can sound pretty daunting, but this is another reason I love working in Surfer so much - Surfer Content Planner!
Once you have identified a seed keyword and long-tail keywords to focus upon for your blog content, Content Planner will suggest dozens of articles to write that will help you rank your blog as an authority for that topic.
The more broad the keyword, the more suggestions for your articles and landing pages you'll get. All of this can be found in the time it takes you to blink an eye... OK, maybe a few minutes at the most.
Some of the suggestions may seem a little 'out there, but this data is based on an analysis of the top ranking blogs for the same keyword.
In other words, if you want to rank your blog post higher, you need to deliver the same variety of content - but better!
9. Use Surfer topic clusters to organize your content
The Surfer Content Planner can sometimes return hundreds of content clusters to you, so choose the ones that match your blog intent first. i.e. if your blog is informational, choose the informational clusters.
This intent is identified using machine learning.
There is no other product quite like this on the market, and having tried many, I'm confident in saying so.
You'll dominate in your niche quickly - speed depending on how many articles you can publish, of course - and have a plan for your content for the weeks and months ahead.
10. Focus on the main keyword and related keywords in each post
Each Content Planner Cluster contains multiple keywords that the search engines prefer to be together in the same article - and you want to give the search engines what they want!
Choose your Content Cluster and turn it into a Content Editor to get the most up-to-date and relevant criteria to help your content shine.
Here are 27 tips on optimizing your blog posts for SEO so that more people can find them
Blog SEO Tips from an actual blogger who writes - with Surfer and Jarvis - every day
Did you think bloggers just write what comes into their heads? Hands up, that's what I used to think! In fact, that's what many bloggers do - because they don't understand blog SEO.
We've already covered how vital keyword research and content planning is - and how easy Surfer makes it! - but what else can help you optimize your blog posts?
1. Make your blog posts easy to read
Readability makes a significant difference to your place in the search engine rankings.
Use short phrases, shorter paragraphs, punctuation, head titles, and bullet points. Use images and white space to make writing easier to read!
It is best to use a good hierarchy when using headings, and the main title must be H1, the Subheading must be H2, and include multiple H3 and even H4 headings.
Use keywords in your article titles and headings, but not too many…
Make sure you use variations of the main keyword, and related words throughout the article - Surfer will help you with this in the Content Editor, where you are given an exact number of times each keyword and phrase should be used in the content.
Include the keywords Surfer tells you should be used in headings (indicated by an orange H) to reach a higher content score.
Your content must be user-friendly to rank well. Readers will find your post if they can easily read it, so write for your readers in mind first and the search engines, and SEO second.
2. Create a structure for your post
This means that every post should include sections that are easy to navigate. You should include an Intro, Body, and Conclusion and media such as images and videos.
Don't forget to save your SEO-optimized images with the main keyword in their filename.
3. Use paragraphs, lists, and headings
Segment the text with headings and paragraphs so that it is easy to navigate.
Many people will quickly scroll through a blog post until they see a heading that jumps out at them. So make sure your headings are attention-grabbing!
Paragraphs should be short, no more than 2-3 sentences - this makes it easier to read.
Use lists, especially if you are discussing tips on how to do something.
Dividing your content into easy-to-digest sections makes it easier for the search engines and your readers!
4. Make your blog posts comprehensive
Don't shy away from including all the information you can about a given topic.
This way, you are showing the search engine's robots - and your readers - that your post covers everything important - it makes indexing your posts easier!
Surfer will guide you on the content to include, and the Brief feature in the Content Editor will help you with the content you should include in the post to rank higher than your competitors.
The Guidelines in the Content Editor tell you how many words, headings, paragraphs, and images your blog post needs for SEO success!
5. Use your keywords naturally, but don't stuff
As you are writing about a topic, it is natural to use your chosen keyword several times - however, Google hates it when people' stuff' their articles with exact match keywords or related words.
You should aim to include the keywords the number of times indicated in the Surfer Content Editor guidelines; They will turn from red to green once you have hit the required keyword density for each term.
6. Optimize the length of your article
Surfer will guide you on your content length based on your competitors.
Longer is not always better! Follow the guidelines to ensure you don't dilute your keywords and end up with thin content just because you wanted to write more.
7. Write insanely good unique content
By writing good quality, unique content, you will ensure that readers find what they are looking for on your site and find value that builds trust and loyalty.
The content should be informative and engaging. It needs to be suitable for the site and draw in potential customers – but it cannot all be about you.
Your goal is to provide value and educate your visitors, not always to make money directly from every visitor (although if they like what you write they may become a customer eventually).
8. Use an effective blog post title and meta description
Every web page has a set of HTML tags, called "Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions," which are small pieces of code. The meta description is a short statement of what the blog post is about. This indicates what the content will be in a preview format.
The click-through rates (CTRs) on Google pages are also ranking factors for your new blog post. In order to have high search traffic and remain relevant to the top ranking, you must create an effective blog title and meta description for your own articles.
Using the focus keywords you want to rank for in your blog post title can boost your rankings significantly!
You should also include a URL slug that relates to the post, e.g., 'SEO-tips.'
In August 2021, Google announced a change to the way they generate web page titles "designed to produce more readable and accessible titles for pages".
This means that the blog post title you use in your meta description (HTML title tag) may not be the one that Google displays in search results.
How long should a blog post title tag be?
55 and 70 characters (600 pixels) is the maximum length of a Google search page title tag. The variation is due to the size of the letters used in the text. For example, the word 'little' takes up fewer pixels than the word 'bigger,' even though they contain the same number of letters.
Typically you will see advice that says use 60 characters to leave a margin or error.
Having problems writing Meta Titles for your blog posts?
Get help from Jarvis - an AI copywriter who writes engaging page titles that encourage clicks to your blog posts!
How long should a meta description be?
Writing a good meta description means more visits to your blog, and optimizing for your focus keyword here can help drive people to your relevant content.
When a webpage does not have a meta description tag, Google may utilize the text it has discovered on the page instead. This might not be entirely relevant, or at least not what you want to show to entice people to your blog post.
The ideal character length for your meta descriptions is between 120 and 150 characters.
Let's take a quick look at how I do it in with Jarvis...
With over 50 Marketing templates, Jarvis makes everything easier - including blogging!
9. Use evergreen URLs
URLs for blogs are usually too cryptic and are very bad for search engines. The URLs should be human-readable and meaningful; keeping them short is a bonus to help your Page Rank.
Data shows short URLs lead to higher page views on Google versus longer URLs.
Many blogs automatically generate the URL structure from the name, but it's easy to modify the URL and shorten it.
Make sure you include in the URL any crucial qualifiers that will enable the search engines to better classify your site, like the main keyword!
Evergreen URLs will make your link-building strategy easier too!
10. Write to rank for featured snippets
Featured snippets appear on Google results pages (SERPs) at the top of the page. They may appear as bulleted lists, short how-to guides, or short questions and answers. If you write a content item that gets chosen for inclusion by Google, you will appear at the top of the search results.
Make it a priority to practice clear, concise copywriting with clever headings.
How do you check featured snippet opportunities?
"No featured snippet" means that the main keyword's SERP does not contain a featured snippet. This implies there is no opportunity for you (or anyone) to take the "0" spot.
"Featured snippet with the red X" refers to a featured snippet in the primary keyword's SERP that you do not own and are not in line for the "0" spot. This might imply that you are not eligible for the snippet because your page does not rank high enough or that your material is not consistent with what Google desires.
A Green checkmark in a featured snippet means that your page is the primary keyword's featured snippet owner.
If you see Featured Snippet with the yellow wrench, you are near to getting the prized featured snippet position, and the correct SEO strategies - like the ones in this blog post - will help you get there.
11. Use Schema markup
Schema Markup helps Google understand what your blog post is about. It works with web browsers, and it appears as rich snippets in Google's search results.
If your blog post is about a recipe - you can mark up the code so that when people see your website, they know it is about recipes!
The markup helps people find more answers than they would on a regular webpage and builds value and trust for you and your visitors.
12. Incorporate rich media types on-page
Include rich media types like stock photos, videos, and custom infographics. Video content encourages a user to stay on a webpage for longer and therefore decreases your bounce rate.
13. Optimize your images to drive more traffic
Optimizing your blog post images can help you get more organic traffic from Google Search results.
Add a relevant description in the alt-text box so Google can see what the image is about.
Apart from having a relevant alt-text, ensure your image loads quickly. You can use a WordPress plugin like EWWW Image Optimizer or ShortPixel (available at Appsumo) to do this. They compress your image and increase load speed.
14. Add internal links within your content
If you're writing on a similar topic and make a reference to a topic that you've already written an article about - link back to it. If you have expertise in this area, your new article will appear more credible when validated by similar content.
Linking to other pages encourages users to explore your website. It also helps search engines locate other relevant authority pages you have to offer.
Choose a relevant focus keyword or phrase for internal linking and use fewer than five words. The value the content provides determines the ranking in search engines.
Ensuring any internal links are logical is a great way to highlight your authority.
LinkWhisper is a popular SEO plugin for identifying internal links in your copy even as you write the article. It helps you manage your content and understand relations between different content within your site, and Google will thank you for this.
Surfer Audit can help you identify missed internal linking opportunities and will even suggest the exact text fragment for the link. This is super useful to revisit your existing content and boost your page SEO further.
15. Make internal link building a habit
Internal linking is a valuable way to build contextual relations between new and older posts. Making regular internal linking habits will ensure that your SEO on a website is good and that older pages on your site keep getting new links.
Keep the number of internal links on a page under 100. Google will restrict the number of links in a webpage to just below 100 for user experience purposes.
User experience is a more important consideration now, than ever before, when it comes to SEO strategy.