Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical component of every productive website. The ability to be highly visible in search rankings can mean the difference between a successful web presence and obscurity. The major search engines such as Google are constantly working to improve the accuracy and meaningfulness of search results for users. As the chase for optimal SEO continues to evolve, here are some great tips to ensure your blog is ranking as highly as possible.
Keywords are essential to SEO, as Google uses them extensively to locate related content. Every business or industry has their own unique phrases or words that are most often used to describe it. When it comes to keywords or short phrases (known as long tail keywords), it is important to research the most commonly utilized descriptors in your field. There are several online, search tool services that rank the popularity and search strength of both single and long tail keywords for every type of industry. Knowing which phrases or descriptions to use in order to trigger highly ranked search results is the foundation of successful SEO.
Now that you know which keywords are going to result in higher search rankings, it’s time to strategically use them throughout your blog. The first place to utilize keywords is in the title tag, which is the element most prominently displayed in search results and the primary way Google knows what information your blog contains. It is usually best to limit the length of a title tag to about 56 characters. The primary paragraph header, known as the H1, should also contain long tail keyword phrasing as well. Secondary keywords are to be utilized in the H2 or H3 positions, which usually is the placeholder for support content. Lastly, it is very important to track which keywords are used on each of your blogs, as Google frowns upon what they consider to be duplicate content, which will hurt SEO rankings.
The title tag and meta description are critical elements of blog SEO success. While the title tag lets Google know what your blog is all about, the meta description fills in the details by providing a brief but important summary of the content. The ultimate goal of a meta description is to inspire the searcher to click on your blog’s link, so don’t be afraid to be creative and clever. While Google will usually ding a you for having too much duplicate content, it is actually helpful for SEO rankings to have your meta description appear in your blog, exactly as it is written. Ending a meta description with a CTA (call to action) link such as “read more” or “click here for full story” is a great way to draw your searcher into your blog post.
Including images in blogs not only makes posts more entertaining for your readers, but pictures can help boost SEO as well. When including images, it’s very important that they be assigned descriptions (known as alt tags) that contain your relevant keywords. By doing this, not only will Google search your content for targeted keywords, but also the images too. It is also advisable to always process your pictures through an image optimizer such as Kraken.io, which can be a great help in not only compressing their size (which can greatly decrease load times), but also improve quality. Accurately tagging image descriptions is not only good for SEO, but also for ADA (accessibility) considerations.
In today’s fast paced world, people don’t want to take the time to read volumes of material in order to get the information they need. Organizing your blog within a certain format will make it not only more SEO friendly, but also super enjoyable for your audience. Use H1 and H2 headers (made up of your keywords) to introduce each section. Break up long strands of content into smaller paragraphs. Lastly, bullet points are a very effective way to emphasize details and to also stay within the bounds of your readers’ attention spans. The use of headers and these other formatting techniques gives Google the opportunity to more easily crawl your blog, as well as making the post more mobile friendly.
More About The Call To Action
Since you want readers to stay with you during the generally recommended blog length of 600-800 words, you should inspire them to take an action step afterward. What is it you would like your reader to do after finishing your blog? Based on your answer, you can have them take the next step with a call to action button. Maybe you want to send them to your ecommerce page or sign up for a newsletter. No matter what you want to accomplish, keep your readers engaged after the blog is read. If they have taken the time to absorb your carefully crafted post, keep their curiosity going with a call to action prompt. Giving readers this option will greatly reduce exit rates.
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