Let’s check these SEO blog tips one by one!
While this is extremely important, there’s another often overlooked factor you must always bear in mind: you’ve gotta optimize for the best user experience, taking your audience into account.
Now, what that means is a bit tricky, as it differs depending on your blog’s target audience. It’d be easy to tell you to write in a light, breezy manner.
However, the type of language and approach you go for has to be influenced by your audience. Indeed, a blog about engineering can never contain the same language as a blog about agriculture, or economics, or types of pomegranate, etc.
What do I mean by this?
That you need to become acquainted with some honest realities in order to monetize efficiently.
Ready for some truths and tips?
Let’s read up!
Here are some of the tips you’re gonna need to optimize your blog like a royal master!
#1 Get to Know your Audience
First of all, you have to know your niche and your audience. This isn’t exactly a stroll in the park when you’re first starting out, but be sure to always encourage interaction between yourself and your audience.
Always have a call to action for your readers to comment with suggestions, opinions, or their experiences. If you can really foster this culture of involved audience, it will help you in the long run and your readers will feel appreciated.
While we’re at it, why don’t you go ahead and take a look at these examples? As you can see, you can have a call to action for likes, shares and even one to make sure users subscribe to your newsletter.
You might even include an occasional survey, if you feel like it. Don’t be pushy, though. Your audience is willingly giving you their time. This means you shouldn’t waste it on meaningless self-promotion or other stuff they don’t need, or even care about.
#2 Optimize Loading Time or Die Alone
This is something people don’t usually think about but it’s fundamental, especially because a lot of blog owners/writers aren’t tech-savvy.
You should always optimize your blog’s loading time and design it so that it looks perfect on both mobile devices and computers. Amazon has reported an increased revenue of 1% for every 100 milliseconds of improved loading time. No joke!
This isn’t too hard to do.
Because now there’s a whole lotta WordPress plugins and third-party services that can help you such as Google PageSpeed.
As an added bonus, it’s also not a bad idea to understand where the majority of your audience is located, so that you can pick your hosting/servers accordingly.
You can easily find a lot about your target demographics by using Google Analytics, or any other analytics software you feel like using.
Trust me: the world is changing. In fact, it seems obvious that marketing for mobile users is super crucial. Indeed, more than 80% of the users who now navigate online use smartphones on a daily basis.
Half of online traffic is already coming straight outta smartphones!
This should be your warning: either you make sure to create a mobile-friendly website or you better say goodbye to the game before you even start to play. What’s cool is that this adaptation won’t cost you a thing.
You now can find a huge range of resources online that’ll definitely help you adapt your website and create pages that are mobile-friendly with ease.
Again: you can use plugins available on WordPress. These are awesome and shall help you in the optimization process and renovation your website must forcibly experience.
#3 Make it Easy with WordPress SEO Plugins
There are a bunch of awesome plugins that can really make your life easier in this SEO adventure!
These will definitely help you do your thing and allow you to implement good on-page SEO practices.
Yoast is the most common and a super popular WordPress plugin.
Indeed, Yoast SEO is actually one of the most full-throttle, complete WordPress SEO plugins that are alive and well today for all you eager WordPress users.
Because it really does incorporate everything from a snippet editor and the so-called real-time page analysis functionality which clearly helps you optimize the pages of your content, the title of your images, the meta descriptions, XLM sitemaps and a gigantic list of cool optimization options for you to explore like a freeloader!
This plugin allows you to insert any keyword you wanna optimize for (notice that you are able to insert only 1 keyword with the free version of Yoast).
After inserting the keyword and all the content, you can follow its instructions.
Let me show you a few important Yoast features:
- Focus keyword: the keyword you want to optimize for the page. This plugin will thoroughly check your content to see whether or not you’re using the keyword often enough and on the right locations.
- Keyword density: the number of times a search term shows up in a text in relation to the number of words it contains. In case a keyword appears 4 times in a 100-word text, the density of the keyword will be 4%. You should be careful with this value: if your keyword appears all over the place, search engines will know you’re desperately trying to rig the system in your favor. This means your page will be lowered in search results.
- Alt attributes: the description of any image on your post. It should describe the image using your keyword.
- Page title: the title is super important. You should use the keyword and strong words such as “ultimate”, “immediately”, “exclusive”, etc. Utilize the keyword as soon as possible at the beginning of your text.
- Use of focus keywords in the subheading: titles that appear throughout the post. They should contain the focus keyword (do not overuse it; only use the focus keyword in one or two subheadings.)
- URL on your site – focus keyword: your URL should contain the focus keyword.
- Post titles and meta descriptions: in the Yoast SEO meta box you’ll be able to optimize your meta description and page title. You shall use the snippet editor functionality to check what it looks like in Google. You can and should take advantage of the fact that Yoast SEO lets you set some templates for titles as well as meta descriptions.
- Robots.txt configuration: don’t want Google to index your page? Yoast SEO is here for you! You can even tell Google not to follow your pages’ links. You can edit your .htaccess and your robots.txt files from the Yoast plugin’s Files editor and make sure everything is clean and good to go.
- Readability check: Yoast can check how SEO-friendly your post is and analyze its readability. It’s gonna check sentence and paragraph length. It also tells you whether you happen to be using the passive voice too freely. Finally, it calculates a reading ease score for you to know how easy your content is to read.
- Canonical: this plugin sets the correct canonical on each of your different pages.
- Breadcrumbs: this plugin allows you to have more granular control. You get to select what is the title you wanna use for the specific breadcrumb of each page and post.
- Categories: it allows you to select the main and/or sub-categories.
- XML Sitemaps: this will create a Sitemap. Moreover, by using an XSLT stylesheet, it makes your XML Sitemaps look great. These are thirteen of the most important features of the plugin. Want more? Get a premium account and then you’ll have access to more cool features. One of my favorite premium features is the multiple focus keyword. This allows me to optimize different long tail keyword variations for the same page or post.
#4 User Experience Matters
Keyword research is essential, but not a be all, end all. It’s still important, and it very well should be, but modern search engine algorithms are turning more and more towards user experience.
What this means is that Google looks more into how long visitors actually stay on your blog, and how many pages they go through, than how optimized your site actually happens to be.
Again: this doesn’t mean SEO is completely useless, as it can greatly increase your Google ranking. It just means that the whole process is much more natural, and actually easier nowadays.
#5 Focus on the so-called long-tail keywords
These are more specific, longer sentences than your usual keywords. For example, instead of writing an article with the keyword “car insurance”, try to build it around a keyword “cheap car insurance in the US”. This should be fairly easy, if you know your niche and your audience.
What the heck is that, anyway?
It means Google attempts to figure out what your post is all about based on what you’re writing.
This is the proof that long tail keywords are crucial in case you wanna rank like a master!
In fact, you shouldn’t try competing for a keyphrase such as “best hotels”. You should instead try to go further by creating a super long tail keyword such as “good hotels in East Anglia”, as an example.
What’s awesome about these so-called long tail keywords? The fact that – since you’ve got to deal with the LSI – you won’t have to constantly repeat the full sentence or even type it in the same old order – Google will deftly pick it up as the text progresses.
Here’s another thing that should help you with this LSI business: LSIgraph. This tool allows you to type any keyword you feel like. Then, the tool will give you different search queries related to that specific keyword!
Don’t forget: select a niche that’s connected to your promoted products. It seems obvious that’s gotta be something both your readers and you must be well-acquainted with.
You should also understand how you should implement keyword research so as to optimize your page efficiently and become the best!
Interested in learning the steps you’ve gotta take to make this happen? Check this 10-step Keyword Research Process!
Your title is extremely important! You’ve gotta make it short (6-12 words, ideally. Google shows a maximum of around 70 characters in search results). Plus: try putting your keyword closer to the beginning. Your URL should be short, too. Don’t forget to do all of the basic SEO HTML markup as well to make sure you’re telling Google what is a title and what is a headline!
From an SEO perspective, your content’s ideal length should be well over 1500 words. Even so, don’t lose sight of the priority: your audience. If you feel that shorter content is more appropriate, go for it.
Don’t write long articles just for the sake of length, especially if there isn’t enough material to build it around. If you write long articles, try splitting them into several posts, creating a series. It helps the experience, and improves your SEO indirectly since you can do cross-article linking and have more chances for users to link to them.
#6 Write Comfortably
Your writing style should be suited to your audience. More importantly, it should be something you’re comfortable with. Know your limitations, and work around them. If you can change and adapt your style with ease, more power to you.
There are tons of blog-writing guides floating around, but take them with a grain of salt.
Yes, brevity is key. Short sentences and easy readability are a must, but again (and I can’t stress this enough) what’s infinitely more important is what your audience thinks of your writing.
Don’t try to please some over-indulgent, self-proclaimed expert. Try to speak to, for and of your audience.
Since the internet has effectively created a culture of text skimmers, you should make your text easy to read by breaking it down into short passages with a lot of white space around. Split it into sections that have advantage-driven titles (if possible), and use bolding, italicizing, and other modifiers judiciously.
Think about using bullet lists.
Because they not only make it easier to read but also help readers understand the article’s structure and composition.
It’s also relevant to actually write about what you know. Don’t start typing away about how D. H. Lawrence’s work has influenced you if you’ve never read a novel in your life. Write about subjects and themes you know and that your readers will be easily in tune with.
Don’t follow stupid trends and always try to provide valuable content readers are yearning to read!
Another thing you should be aware of is the fact that Google now has implemented RankBrain. This is a super developed machine-learning artificial intelligence system. It’s utilized to aid with the process of search results.
Why is it important to you?
Because it will impact the way Google does its thing. RankBrain can basically search for the right stuff even if a query is indirect and confusing.
Imagine: if I type “Donald Trump’s first wife” the search engine will immediately show me an image of Ivana Trump.
How’s it possible?
Because Google has an enormous amount of data it can work with to come up with a result even though my search was almost like a question and not clearly defined. The website is pretty confident that it can give users the answer they’re ultimately searching for with an increasingly shadier and confusing number of disperse info.
Moreover, since RankBrain has the ability to evolve and learn, this tendency to provide the correct answers to seemingly impossible-to-answer questions shall become common.
#7 Be Valuable, Not a Drag
Be of value to your readers. Bring something new to the discussion and make your content the best it can possibly be. That extra mile you go is the only thing that can separate you from your competition.
Try to write unique content, not “technically unique content”. Put something there of your own. Indeed, readers wanna experience your general attitude, your real opinions, your actual take on the subject and not some lazy platitude anyone could come up with.
Use the commonly-referred-to skyscraper technique. If there’s already something written on a topic you’d like to cover, do it better.
How to develop a piece of content and make it better and more informative for your audience?
Try to make it longer, more comprehensive, filled with more thorough, scientifically perfect, fact-checked, increasingly detailed research. You can add your own opinion and personal experience to it, if it makes sense.
#8 Multimedia is Bangin so Don’t Lag Behind
Images speak more than a thousand words. There are numerous sources of free images out there so there’s really no excuse to have an unappealing blog.
An illustration, schematic, or an infographic can be tens of times more beneficial to your audience than long passages of descriptive text.
The same goes for other multimedia, such as videos, animations, gifs, and interactive forms like quizzes, polls, and surveys. It’s becoming increasingly easier to build any of this content. In fact, there’s really no excuse to give something mediocre to your audience.
Conclusion – The Audience has Spoken
If you wanna be a killer blog writer there’s one sacred rule you must follow: it’s not about you, it’s about your audience.
Yes, there’s a bit of technical and SEO voodoo at play, but it’s mostly aimed at attracting users and getting those super fresh, remarkably exciting page views.
Remember the word “quality.” It’s the only thing that’ll retain users and actually help you grow your audience. Quality. Plain and simple.
Here’s an important warning I’m gonna give you right now: once you’ve made your awesome piece of content and hit publish, your work is only at the beginning.
In fact, the promotion of your content should take up at least 70% of your time and effort.
Keep using these SEO blog tips like a pro and seeing those profits jump high into the sky!
Feel like it’s question time?
Go for it with a loud bang!
I’ll answer all your questions!
João Aguiar - SEO Manager at Mobidea