When, you start mentioning SEO some people run a mile. In this article I am going to show you the SEO best practices checklist for you blog posts. By the time you have read through to the finish you will feel much more confident about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how you can use it to gain higher rankings and more traffic.
Not got a blog yet ? No problem. You can start to build your blog for free and be up and running within just a few minutes. Then you can use these tasks on every blog post as you build your blog and your business.
I am going to break it down into six sections, so let’s get cracking with section one, Keywords.
1. Search for Relevant Keywords
Finding good keywords will be your most important task. You are looking for what I call long tail keywords which have low competition and that people are actually searching for.
Using tools like Jaaxy for keyword research can make life easier, you can even use the power of Google itself.
2. Include Keywords in an H1 Tag
Adding your chosen keywords to your blog title will in turn add an H1 tag (heading one) which is a must. If you can get your main keywords at the beginning of the title that would be more beneficial in Google’s eye. You can have it anywhere within the title but make sure that it reads and flows correctly.
3. Add to Your First Paragragh
It was once thought that you needed your keywords throughout your article, but recent reports have stated that having it once within the first paragraph or two is all you need.
4. Use LSI Keywords
Latent semantic indexing (LSI) is a system search engines use to analyze the other words people use surrounding a given topic. LSI keywords are words and phrases with a high degree of correlation to your target topic. Google’s algorithm uses them to help determine content quality and relevance to the search term.
5. One Keyword Per Post
Do not try to add more than one main keyword to each post. Although in time your post will rank for many words and phrases, concentrate on just one.
6. Meta Title
Add your keyword to the meta title. Meta titles are what the search engine shows in the search engine. An optimal length for this is under 60 characters.
7. Meta Description
The same goes for the meta description as with the title it is shown by the search engines in their results.
To enable you to add both the meta title and description you will need to add a plugin to your WordPress site. Two great ones are All in One SEO and Yoast SEO. Both are free to add and will appear at the bottom underneath your post editor.
Add at least one internal link to another page within your blog. Be sure that the anchor text (the text you are linking from) is relevant to the page your are linking to.
9. External Link
Add at least one external link to your post. This will be a link to another website ideally a high authority site. Wikipedia is always a good one if you are not sure where to link to.
10. Link To Older Posts
Direct people to your older posts again use good anchor text for this, which will help when the search engines crawl your site.
11. Your URL
Have your main keyword phrase in your URL, ideally at the beginning.
12. Short Is Good
Keep your URL as short as you can, long URL’s are less likely to rank high, but not impossible thou.
13. Image File Name
When, you add an image to your post then change the image file name before you upload it. This also can be done with images that you download from royalty free sites such as Unsplash or Pixabay.
14. Add ALT Text
Google is great but there is something that it can’t do and that’s read pictures, well unless we tell them what the image is about we can do this by adding a title in what is known as the alternative text (ALT Text for short). If you have more than one image on a post then don’t just stuff the same keywords in these areas. Use a good title of what the picture is about. Let’s face it if the picture has nothing to do with the post then why is it there in the first place.
15. Size Does Matter
Try and upload your images to the correct size that you want in your post. This will not only keep your media library tidy but when you load your post it will load quickly. There is nothing more annoying than a site that doesn’t load quickly most will just click away. And we don’t want that.
16. Keep It Unique
You will get penalized by the search engines for having duplicated content, so never just copy and paste text into your post. Make it as unique as you can and you will be rewarded for it.
17. Focus On Quality
You want to make your post quality for your reader if they like what they see and read they will be back for more and most probably be telling others about it too. When, you write however possible do this as if you are speaking to a friend one on one. The reader will then feel that you are talking directly at them. This can take time to perfect but keep trying 🙂
18. Does Word Count Matter?
I see this question all the time on forums and site like Wealthy Affiliate. There was a study done recently by Backlinkio and MOZ about the optimum length of a blog post. I won’t bore you with all the details but in brief 500 words is a minimum when it comes to ranking the optimum ranking length is between 1,000 – 2,000 words (Phew currently at 1010 lol) anything over 2,000 then the rankings start to drop slightly. Of course there are loads of other factors too so could you write 300 words and still rank possibly, but all I will say is hit the optimum level and you have a better chance.
19. Add a Video
As most people know nowadays video is BIG, people love it. There are videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and that’s just few sites, but You Tube is the oldest and largest video platform in the world… SHhhhh’s and if you didn’t know it is owned by Google.
With that in mind on some posts maybe embed a relevant You Tube video studies have shown this can help influence your rankings. Worth a try in my book.
I trust you have found these tasks helpful, and when you add these to your blog posts they will make a difference to your rankings and your traffic. As we know Google and the other search engines are always updating and changing things but if you follow these hard core principles then you should not go far wrong.
If you have found anything that works for you, or doesn’t work then feel free to share by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear from you.