How to Optimize Your Blog Content

Many businesses create a blog section on their website because everyone’s doing it. However, updating the blog quickly falls by the wayside once business takes off.  

There are many reasons to use blogging as part of your overall marketing strategy. Business that blog attract 97% more visitors to their webpage. Also, 66% of B2B marketers who incorporate blogs into their marketing strategy are more successful in generating leads than those who don’t.   

Optimizing your blog posts will help improve your website’s visibility among people typing keywords that are related to your business offering.   

If you publish unique, insightful and relevant blog content regularly, your brand’s reach will grow. Blogging is important for SEO because it will present your website as a relevant source of information to the questions or issues people are searching. However, while blogging content does improve your page’s ranking, navigating Google’s algorithm updates is a delicate task. 

There are several ways to optimize your blog content – many of them are technical in nature. You have to know what’s important and what you should avoid. But don’t worry; anyone with a little patience and care can increase their content’s rankings on Google. 

Target Long-Tail Keywords

Long gone are the days when marketers would include as many keywords as possible into their content. Referred to as keyword stuffing, this strategy will undoubtedly hurt your ranking on Google. It also made the texts virtually unreadable. 

Today many digital marketers make other types of mistakes when trying to rank their brand for the most popular keywords directly related to the business. They try to go for the most popular keywords, but this isn’t the best course of action. For instance, if you sell fishing gear, then you want your company to rank for “fishing gear”.  

However, unless your business has a virtually unlimited marketing budget, this strategy won’t give you the desired results. This is because there are large companies competing for the best keywords. In short, you don’t stand a chance.  

Instead, what you should do is focus on more precise keywords commonly referred to as long-tail keywords. These types of keywords make up 50% of all searches. The challenge is to incorporate them into your content because they can be a little clunky. However, you should use them in your blogs. So, going back to our example, instead of targeting “fishing gear”, you should instead aim for “reliable fishing gear for cold weather”.  

Not many businesses are targeting these keywords but they can be effective because you’ve narrowed down your target audience to people who know what they want and are now looking for the best offer. This means that they are more likely to look through your website for an offer. It makes more sense to rank on top of the page for long-tail keywords, then to be on the 6th page for a general term. 

Narrow It Down to 1-2 Long-Tail Keywords

If you use at most 2 long-tail keywords, you’ll have an easier time optimizing your blog post for those keywords you selected. People who are searching for long-tail keywords are the most likely to go through your entire post. 

Once you’ve settled on the keywords, then you have to decide where to add them in the blog post. There are 4 main places where you should insert the keywords:  

  • Title tag 
  • Headers & body 
  • URL 
  • Meta description 

Let’s now take a detailed look at each of these 4 places which are crucial for SEO. 

Title Tag

The headline of your blog post is the first stage when search engines gauge the relevancy of the post. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that you include a keyword here.  

Your title shouldn’t have more than 60 characters, because that’s the cutoff point on the search results. If you absolutely cannot come up with a title that is limited to 60 characters, then be sure to include the keyword at the start of the title tag. 

Body

Include the keyword into your content organically, when it makes sense and fits well with flow of the text.  Don’t forget to place the keyword in the headers of your content as well. 

However, the purpose of your blog post is to answer your readers’ questions and offer them valuable content, and not just to engage in keyword stuffing. This means that while you should draft an outline before writing you shouldn’t worry too much about where exactly you’ll place your keywords. Instead make sure that you are producing insightful content and the keywords will fall into place naturally. 

URL

The URL of your blog post is another place where you should put your keyword. For example, let’s say that you’re writing a blog on how to attract traffic to your website. Include the keyword in the URL so that search engines will understand what your post is about.  For instance, let’s say that your post shows the different ways to attract traffic to a website. You should include the keyword into your URL without engaging in keyword stuffing – use the keyword only once. 

However, make sure that your URL is not only a string of symbols and numbers. These automatically generated URLs not only look ugly, but will harm your ranking.  

Don’t forget to use hyphens in your URL, which will help search engines to determine where new words start. Also, your visitors will be able to read the URL.  

Meta Description

The brief block of text right under the URL in the search results is called a meta description and provides a quick overview of the content. This is another place where you should include your keyword to help your visitors understand what to expect from the content. Google cuts off the text after 160 characters, so try to entice your audience within that limit.  

Since your URLs should be concise, you should avoid using articles such as: and, the, an, or and so on.  

Meta descriptions are important for various reasons. For starters, they raise clickthrough rates and visits from organic searches. Simply put, meta descriptions are your chance to get people to click on your link because you’ve promised them useful content.  

You should know that Facebook also shows meta descriptions of published content. Facebook uses an “open graph” to display the most important information on a webpage, which also includes a meta description. A well-written meta description will increase your social media traffic as well! 

Make it Responsive

It should come as no surprise that the majority of people today view content on the internet using their smartphones instead of computers. As a result, Google prioritizes mobile-friendly content. This change happened in 2015 when Google revised their Penguin algorithm. 

This is an easy requirement to meet, since you all you have to do is make sure your website is designed responsively, which most pages today are. Responsive blogs will have one URL, instead of two – a computer design and a smartphone design. This means that any inbound links that direct traffic to your webpage will not be separated.  

Use Image Alt Text&nbsp

Your blog post should include some images that not only provide a visual break from lines of text, but also provide support and be related to the content. The way search engines look for images is through image alt text. This is the way Google indexes images and includes them in its Image Search.  

So for example, if you add a picture of people in a business meeting, you should describe the image as “people discussing a project in a business meeting”. You probably don’t need to be reminded to not engage in keyword stuffing here as well. Make sure that your description is limited to 125 characters and uses your keyword. Also, avoid writing things like “a picture of…” 

Your image alt text should be clear and straight to the point. Alt text is important because it allows search engines to “view” the image by describing it. This will allow it to rank in the SERP.  

However, there is another added benefit to alt texts – they improve user experience and accessibility for visually impaired people. 

Next, offer context for your image. This means that if you the text in which the image is embedded mentions or describes the image in some way. This will help search engines to understand better your image.  

Therefore, use similar words to the alt text close to the image. Going back to the aforementioned example, you could include something, “to the left you can see how people in our company effectively and professionally”. 

Don’t include images with embedded texts because Google won’t approve. This is because not everyone will be able to read the text in the pictures, and will lose out on potential information. As a result, always include your descriptions in the HTML. 

Finally, add only high-quality pictures to your blog, which will give your content a professional image. Also, clear-looking images are better at generating inbound links when displayed on sites like Pinterest. Place them above the fold of your website, so that visitors don’t have to scroll in order to view them. This is just a good rule of thumb that will improve user experience. 

Guard Your Images

Sharing images on the internet is very simple and common. So, if you might need to take some steps in order to protect your original images. This is important because the original source of the image can be lost in the sea of copies, which will harm your ranking. In fact, if a webpage with a copied image has more contextual text, then it’s more likely to be ranked higher than the original source.  

The best way to prevent others from sharing your original images without proper credit is to post them under an attribution license. This will require people to attribute you as the source of the original image and also include link to your website. You will then have another way of generating backlinks to your blog. 

Use Internal Links to Boost Ranking

Linking internally to other pages of your site is another great way of showing that your content is relevant and popular. If when writing a blog you mention a topic about which you have written extensively elsewhere, then add a link to that page.  

Organize Your Content with Topic Clusters

Many successful blogging websites use cluster model to organize their content creation. If you don’t have a streamlined structure, then you run the risk of publishing blogs that contain similar or even the same information. As a result, your own URLs will be competing against each other.  

The topic cluster model is now favored by search engines and will help you to provide useful content organized properly and improve your ranking at the same time. The model is based on one single “pillar” page that contains the main topic, with many different pages containing content related to that overarching topic. These pages link back to the main topic and to each other.  

This is how HubSpot organizes their blog writing to improve their ranking. The idea is to have Google recognize the pillar page as the authority, which will increase in authority and ranking for that topic over time: 

Image Source: HubSpot

 So, once you’ve settled on a general topic, create blog posts that will be a subset of that topic and will link to the main content. This model allows for an easier consumption of content by letting readers to find information on your website more easily. 

The Bottom Line

All of these tips won’t help you a lot if you don’t publish relevant content frequently. Set up a schedule of relevant topics which will provide useful information to your target readers. This will allow you to easily update the information without having to write up an entirely new blog post. This is important because a piece of content can’t gain authority over night; it takes time and resources for a newly posted blog to rank on the SERP.  

In other words, your blog posts should be timeless – you’ll generate more leads via the steady traffic streaming in and you’ll rank over a long period of time, not just in the immediate future. 

Also, make sure that you don’t have outdated or irrelevant content hogging up space on your website. This usually means removing old statistics or product information that is no longer relevant.  

You need to understand the goals and pain points of your target audience. Once you know what they want, you’ll produce content that’s relevant to them and your blog will gain authority and ranking on all search engines.