The power of informative, beautifully written content cannot be overstated. But when it comes to search engines, your writing ability isn’t what gets you noticed. In order for your blog post to be SEO friendly, you must know how search engines like Google think. What do they look for? What makes them tick? It can be tricky to master their ever-changing algorithms, but with some best practices, you can come up through the ranks.
- Do your keyword research.
To kick off the process, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Which words or phrases would they use to find the subject you’re writing about? For more quantitative data, consider using a tool like Google AdWords to see estimates on volume and traffic for the keywords you’re considering. Then select at least four and pepper them in all the right places of your post, including:
- Title – Your headline should include a keyword within the first 65 characters.
- Body and Subheads –Remember to use your keywords in a natural way. Avoid keyword “stuffing,” which may turn off the reader and put you at the risk of being penalized.
- Meta Data –These HTML elements tell search engines and visitors what your blog is about. Title tags should be a max of 70 characters, including spaces; meta descriptions should be about 150.
- Images –Because search engines can’t see your images, they rely on a carefully worded description of the image.
- URL – The URL is one of the first areas the search engines “crawl;” a unique URL should be created for each blog post.
- Mind the word count.
Search engines need enough text to crawl to determine what your post is about. Be sure to write a minimum of 400-500 words. Google likes long posts, so 1,000 words is nice….but cap it off at 5,000. Any longer than that and most readers will click away.
- Get responsive.
Recognizing our on-the-go society, Google has adopted a mobile-first approach to search. That means your blog must be mobile friendly to have any chance of landing on the first page of results. Make sure your website is responsive. This way, searchers can find your blog post when they’re looking for it and have the best viewing experience on any device.
- Don’t miss a link.
Inbound links attract visitors to your existing content, give search engines a heads-up to previous posts and establish you as a thought leader. Search engines also appreciate outbound links to trusted websites and will reward you with higher rankings for your demonstrated willingness to help searchers.
Search engines increasingly depend on social media to deliver quality content. So, don’t just post to your blog – spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+. To encourage sharing, place social buttons prominently on the blog post and invite visitors to share.
- Post regularly.
No matter how good your content is, you won’t build traffic if you don’t post consistently. Without fresh content, your visitors – and more importantly, the search engines – assume your blog isn’t a reliable resource. Aim for one new post per week.
Don’t just dream of a Page 1 position – make it happen. Using the latest “white-hat” strategies, eMazzanti can ensure your blog is the authority in your industry. And if you’re looking to climb the ranks quicker, we can show you how search engine marketing (SEM) and pay per click (PPC) advertising can take you to the next level. Partner with us today.