Search engine optimization is very important to marketers, it’s no secret. By optimizing your pages and blog articles, you increase the visibility of your content. Then, when visitors enter search terms related to your product or service into Google or similar search engines, they are more likely to come across your content.
However, especially with Google, it is not that easy to keep up with the ongoing changes and continuous updates. SEO today is mostly about relevance and intent. In the following we answer these questions and more: How can you find out which aspects are relevant and which are not? What Are The Current Tactics For Blog Ranking And What Should You Stop Doing?
Digital marketing is fast moving, which can lead to confusion. We want to help you keep track of things. In this blog post we explain how you can optimize your blog articles for the search terms and topics for which you want to achieve a good ranking. We’ll also share a few other optimization tactics to keep in mind.
Does your blog help with SEO?
Blogging helps you with SEO for your content as it is where you can answer questions from your customers and users. Using a variety of on-page SEO tactics in your blog articles can help you rank better in search results and drive more visitors to your website.
10 Tips for Search Engine Optimization of Your Blog Content
1. Focus on a long-tail keyword or two that match the intent of your ideal reader
Keyword optimization of your blog articles is not about putting as many keywords as possible in one text. Today this even has a negative impact on your ranking, because most search engines punish “keyword stuffing”.
Such texts do not read particularly well and good readability is a ranking factor that has a very high priority for search engines. This is to ensure that you consider your readers’ intentions and needs. You should therefore make sure that your texts do not feel unnatural or forced by too many keywords.
Therefore, you should focus on one or two long-tail keywords per blog post. Of course, you can more than just a keyword use , but you should the topic of your post closely grasp enough to really look at the optimization to focus on a few keywords.
Why actually longtail keywords? Often long-tail keywords are asked in question form and help you to serve the specific needs of your target group. Website visitors searching for longtail terms are very likely to read the entire post and then want more information from you. In other words, it means you can generate the right kind of traffic: visitors who are very likely to convert.
2. Mention one or two keywords in specific parts of your blog
Of course, you should also mention the keywords that you want to serve with an article. But which areas of a post are best suited so that you can achieve a good ranking for the selected terms?
There are four areas in which you should place the terms preferentially: in the title tag, the headings and the body of the text, the URL and in the meta description.
The title (i.e. the headline) is used by most search engines as the main line for search results and gives searchers an initial opportunity to recognize whether a post is relevant to them. So it is very important to place your keyword here.
The keyword should appear in the first 60 characters of your title . Because the remaining parts of the headline are cut off by Google in the search results. Google actually measures the pixel width, not the number of characters. And recently became pixel width for organic search results expanded from approx. 500 pixels to 600, which corresponds to approx. 60 characters.
If your title is very long, you should put your keyword at the very beginning, otherwise the heading could be cut off at the end of the search results. This can then negatively affect the perceived relevance of an article. In the example below we had a long heading with over 65 characters. Therefore we put the keyword for which we wanted to achieve a ranking first: “On-Page-SEO”
Headings and body of text
Throughout the course of your text, keywords should be repeated with natural spacing in the body of the text and in the headings. So your keywords should appear in your text every now and then, but in a natural, reader-friendly way. Don’t overdo it or you risk being penalized by search engines for keyword stuffing. In general, before starting a new blog article, it is a good idea to think about how you want to incorporate your keywords into the text, but that shouldn’t be your only focus.
When creating content, your focus should be on serving the interests of the searcher, not how often you can include a keyword or phrase. Rather, focus on providing help to your readers and answering your visitors’ questions that led them to a particular article. If you stick to it, you’ll optimize your text for the right keywords all by itself.
Search engines also examine your URL to determine what your post is about. In fact, the URL is examined first when crawling. So the URL gives you a good opportunity to further optimize your articles, because the URL is always unique. So add one or two keywords here.
In the example below, we created the URL from our longtail keyword that we wanted to rank for: “Email Marketing Examples”.
With your meta description you give search engines and readers information about the content of your blog article. Make sure you use your long-tail keyword in it so that Google and your target audience know exactly what to expect.
The text itself also has a big impact on click-through rate as it serves the readers’ intentions. The more appealing the text, the better.
3. Mobile device optimization for your blog
Did you know that nowadays search engines are mostly used from mobile devices ?
For these valuable mobile device searches, Google prioritizes the websites that are optimized for different display sizes. Since the introduction of the Penguin algorithm in April 2015, websites that are optimized for mobile devices have been clearly favored by Google.
To optimize your blog for mobile devices, you need the so-called “responsive design”. Websites that are optimized for mobile devices have only one URL instead of two – one for computers, one for mobile devices. This helps your SEO because backlinks pointing to your page don’t have to be split up into separate URLs.
In this way you can centralize the optimization and enable Google and Co. to recognize the value of a post and rank accordingly.
Expert tip: The ranking priorities of search engines are constantly changing. So to stay up to date on what’s new, you should subscribe to the official Google blog .
4. Optimize meta descriptions and use all the space
The meta description is additional text that is displayed on search engine results pages and gives readers an insight into the content of a link. The meta description provides searchers with information about whether your content offers what they were looking for and helps them decide whether to click the link or not.
The maximum length of the meta description has now been increased. You can now use up to 300 characters. Readers can thus get a good impression of whether a result is relevant to them.
Your meta description should not only be reader-friendly (i.e. appealing and relevant), but also contain long-tail keywords for which you want to achieve a ranking.
In the example above, we searched for “Landing page examples”. The terms used are highlighted in bold in the meta description so that readers can see the connection between their search query and the result displayed.
Note: There is no guarantee that your meta description will always appear on search engine results pages. As you can see above, Google may also show other parts of an article that include the keywords that were searched for. Presumably in order to show users the exact connection with their search query.
Here’s another example: We see two different search queries that show two different text snippets in the search results. The first result comes from the “Edit Photos” search. The original meta description is displayed:
In the second example we searched for “image processing” and received the sentence in which the specific keywords were mentioned for the first time in the blog article as a description:
You don’t have much control over what text is displayed, but you should still tweak your metadata and text so that search engines display the best content from the article. You can do this by creating reader-friendly content in which the keywords are naturally integrated into the text flow. This is how you make it easier for Google to show the relevance of your articles on the results pages.
5. Optimize ALT texts of images
Blog articles should not only contain text, but also images that support what you are saying or provide additional information. When crawling, search engines do not recognize the images themselves. They search for images with so-called ALT text.
Since search engines cannot capture the content of images, use the ALT text to “see” images. It is also possible to achieve a good ranking in the Google image search with images. ALT text also improves the user experience as the text is displayed in place of an image if it cannot be found or loaded. This also improves accessibility for people with poor eyesight who use screen readers.
From a technical point of view, ALT-Text is an attribute that is added to an IMG tag in the HTML code. This is what a complete IMG tag looks like (bold text is used for clarification):
You can also add keywords to your ALT text, even if that doesn’t do a great deal to improve your ranking either. But the little extra minute that you need to turn “IMG23940” into an apt description such as “puppy-in-wicker basket” is well worth it.
In this blog post , you will learn more about on-page SEO tips for keyword optimization of the most important parts of your website.
6. Don’t use too many similar tags for topics
Topic tags help you organize your blog content, but if you overdo it, you will be hurting yourself. If you use too many similar tags, you may be penalized by search engines for having duplicate content on your website.
Think of it this way: when you create a topic tag, you also create a new page that shows content with the topic tags. If you use too many similar tags for the same content, it will appear to search engines that you are listing the same content multiple times on your website. For example, tags like “blogging,” “blog,” and “blog article” are too similar to use in the same post.
If you are concerned that your current blog posts may have too many similar tags, you should take the time soon to clean them up if necessary. Pick 15-25 topic tags that are important to your blog and that aren’t too similar. Then only use these to label your articles. You no longer have to worry about duplicate content.
7. Use url structures that help your visitors
The URL structure of your pages (which are different from the URLs of your blog articles) should make it easier for your visitors to understand the structure of your website and the content they will see. Search engines prefer website URLs that make it easier for them and visitors to understand the contents of a page.
If you now want to read a certain article, such as: “When it has to be done quickly: Keyword research in 5 minutes”, then we see in the URL structure – research ideas – that it is an article from the field of marketing.
So the URL structure here is a categorization system for the readers. This way they know where they are on the website and how to get to other pages. This format is also preferred by search engines because it makes it easier to determine what information searchers will find in different areas of your blog or website.
8. Maintain internal links
Backlinks (also: inbound links or incoming links) to your content are evaluated by search engines as proof of the validity and relevance of your content. The same applies to internal links to other pages on your own website. Whenever you refer to a topic in a blog article that is covered in another post, e-book, or on its own page, you should link to it.
In this post, too, we have already linked to several other pages because we assume that the information will be of interest to our readers. Internal links ensure that visitors stay on your website and show search engines other relevant pages with high authority.
9. Use the Google Search Console
Google’s free Search Console includes a “Search Analysis” report . You can use this report to analyze clicks from Google searches and determine which keywords people are using to find your blog content. You can find more information on how to use the report on this Google support page .
If you want to optimize your older, popular blog articles for more traffic and leads , you can use this tool as well.
Many content marketers find it difficult to optimize their blog articles for search engines. Your blog posts won’t rank better immediately either. Building authority on search engines takes time. However, if you publish blog articles frequently, continuously optimize them for search engines and pay attention to good readability and added value for the readers, you will soon be rewarded with more traffic and leads – and in the long term.
10. Use topic clusters
Many blogs are still structured in such a way that bloggers have to optimize every single post for search engines in order to achieve a ranking for certain keywords. The HubSpot blog was also structured like this until recently. However, this often leads to a confusing situation and users find it difficult to find exactly the information they need. Also, if you publish multiple blog articles on similar topics, then your URLs are competing for search engine rankings.
A better solution to achieve a good search engine ranking and to do justice to the typical search queries of today is the topic cluster model. To do this, you select broad core topics for which you want to be found and then create content based on specific, more detailed keywords that deal with a core topic that is subordinate to or ancillary to a core topic. The posts are linked by the core topic, which creates a broader authority in search engines.
This model makes use of a certain page architecture that helps to achieve a better ranking on Google and Co. through the organization and linking of URLs. It also makes it easier for visitors to find information on your site. Our architecture consists of three components: pillar content, cluster content and hyperlinks.
Of course, you don’t have to go through all of these SEO tips at once. But as your website grows, so should your ambitions for high search results. Then you can do link building to get other websites to link to your blog!
Once you’ve identified the goals, needs, and intentions of your ideal readers, you’ll be well on your way to consistently creating relevant content for them and you’ll be found organically.