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5 Blogging Best Practices to Rank High in Search Engines
You won’t convert any visitors if they can’t find your blog in search results, so...
Rank on the first page.
You can be found on page 1, 10, or 100 by organic search results, but serious web traffic won’t come from page 2. Follow these fundamental blogging best practices for SEO and your posts will have a better chance of ranking higher.
Research related keywords to your topic
Before you type a single word of your blog post, do keyword research. Keyword research will help you identify keywords that:
- Your prospects use in search engines, and…
- You have a better chance to rank for
Look for both short-tail keywords (3 words or less), to understand the demand for the main topic, and long-tail keywords (four or more words), to narrow the search so it attracts higher quality traffic looking for something specific.
Include keywords in your blog headings
As a blogging best practice, put some keywords in your headlines for maximum SEO punch.
Imagine headlines in a hierarchy of importance.
The most important heading is the H1. More times than not, this is your blog’s title. Because your topic branches off your keyword, it only makes sense to match your message with the title. So, put the keyword in the H1.
The subheadings start at H2 and shrink in SEO importance down to H6. You don’t have to cram keywords into every heading, but you want them seen in the most visible spots that tie back to the main message.
Never heard of H1 before? Ask your webmaster or check out Yoast’s breakdown of headings.
Use natural keyword variations in your blog content
In informal conversation, we don’t repeat the same word or phrase over and over because it doesn’t sound natural. So don’t do it in your blog posts.
Use relevant variations of a keyword rather than sticking to a single phrase. Use synonyms, plural forms, and long-tail variations of the keyword.
This is not only the way we speak, it’s also the way we search...
For example, if you’re looking for “project management software”, you might search for it in different ways:
- Project management software
- Software for project management
- Project software
- Team project software
Use natural keyword variations as a blogging best practice for easy reading. Your writing for humans first, search engines second.
Include Keywords in Image Alt Text
Alt tags were created to help visually impaired readers understand what’s an image is all about.
Search engines can’t see or read images either, so alt text helps them identify the content and meaning of the image. Because the image should relate to your blog topic, each image should have an alt tag that includes your keywords.
If your images are irrelevant to your content or you force keywords into alt text (or even the copy) when they don’t belong, search engines may flag the page and hurt your chance to rank.
The images should fit the post, the alt tags should fit the images, and the keywords should fit the alt tag.
Optimize the URL Title
Include the keyword you’re targeting in the URL title of the blog post or web page.
Search engines will rank posts higher if they have keyword optimized URLs. Here’s one of our clients ranking with a niche, long-tail keyword in the URL:
Blogging Best Practices for SEO Are About Doing Many Little Things Right
Good SEO is about implementing all the little details consistently. From doing keyword research to target the right keyword, to placing that keyword in your headings, alt text, and URL title, optimizing your blog content will give it the potential to rank better in search engines.
After you’ve published a blog post complete with SEO, your next step is to share the content and perhaps even do some backlinking.
If you find these blogging best practices useful, take a look at our post on how search engines work and more advice on SEO.
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