Across the marketing industry, content marketing has been deemed as the new SEO.
If you’re not producing relevant content in the form of blogging, your website will be buried alive.
This can be in the form of Written, Verbal (podcasts) and video. For the purposes of this post we will be concentrating on Written form of Content.
In the last few years we have seen Google actively refining their algorithm to prioritize content that is created for real users. Blogs are a staple of every marketing strategy. Contrary to what you may think, blogging is in fact a viable business model and a practice you should be adopting if you haven’t already.
It’s simple, really:
Would you rather go through 100 cold calls a day or post 1 blog a day? We thought so.
Do you have a new blog, or planning to start one?
Fortunately, we have done the dirty work for you.
We have compiled the ultimate checklist that will help bloggers in 2020 to optimize their blog posts for search rankings.
High-Quality Original Content
This goes without saying. If you are hoping to rank for keywords, it’s important that you write content that is fresh, useful and relevant.
With that being said, don’t just write. Blogging is all about your buyer persona. You have to be able to provide value to your prospective customers, answering their questions.
Study your buyers persona beforehand and find out what they are interested in reading and target them with your content. Think of your blog as a tool to educate and engage with your new reader, rather than mindlessly discussing trends.
If you are pulling content from other blogs or just rehashing your old material. Beware you are tempting fate and the wrath of Google. There are legitimate penalties that apply to sites that implement regurgitated content that will negatively impact your ranking efforts.
You can always hire a content writer for that. They are significantly distant from your business and in many cases, represent your topic better than you can! Check out our other blog post where we cover this topic more deeply. (Content Is King)
Consistency is key
When you’re actively creating fresh blogs, you’re producing more indexed pages to be picked up by Google.
Perhaps not all your audience is reading your every single blog post, but they are all using Google to find information. If your blog is addressing your buyer problems, they will eventually discover your brand.
Be the resource they have been looking for in their time of need and beat your competitors to it. As an online marketer would preach, all your customers simply started as a visitor to your website.
The evolution of search algorithms has caused it to change most of the time, but backlinks and keywords remain the kryptonite of rankings.
The best place to find your keyword is Google’s keyword planner. Target the main keyword with low competition and high search volume.
No one is going to find your blog if it is not optimized for search engines.
To be fully optimized, your focus keyword should permeate all areas of your on-page SEO including: URL, Page Title, Section Header, Subheaders, Main Content, Image ALT text and Meta Description.
To better illustrate this, suppose you are creating a new blog centered around the keyword Search Engine Optimization
Page title (H1): Search Engine Optimization Through Rooted Digital.
Aim for the placement of your selected keyword toward the beginning of your title, or as close to that as you can get. Ensure that the name of your article is included in your title tag.
Section Header (H2): How can Rooted Digital help your Search Engine Optimization?
Check that all your subheadings are wrapped in H2 tags.
Page URL: www.domain.com/search-engine-optimization
Customize your URLs instead of using the default. Use the keyword that you are targeting as the URL. Avoid using dates and conjunctions like for, and, or, etc.
Main content (in the first 200 words): Search engine optimization is key in ranking on Google’s front page.
Image ALT text: search-engine-optimization
News flash! Google doesn’t have a clue what your image is about unless you specify. That’s what ALT tags are for. Write a description of your image that web crawlers can understand. Not only is it key for content, but it helps you rank in Google Images, sending more traffic your way.
Meta Description: Ready to boost your Google rankings? Learn about how Rooted Digital can help you with search engine optimization in Dubai
Your meta description is the text that your users will see second to your headline in the SERP. It’s important to have a solid meta description that is telling your readers what your blog post is going to be about if you want to entice them enough to click.
Also known as, latent semantic indexing keywords.
Back in the day, bloggers would stuff the content with keywords as many times as they could get away with. Bloggers in 2020 can kiss goodbye to that. What you can do now is insert related keywords into your blog that better reinforce what your content is actually about.
Run a search on your primary keyword and see what keywords are similar. Sprinkle them evenly across your blog and they will help you rank for your main keyword.
Optimize for Mobile & Speed
Google recently passed a rule that practically obliges websites to be mobile-friendly if they are interested in ranking at all. With mobiles being in many hands and most content being read on the go, it is imperative that your site is responsive and is able to deliver a good experience.
You can use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. Don’t be penalized for not responding to a huge portion of your audience.
Besides that, your audience’s time is sparing and you don’t want to keep them waiting for your turtle speed blog to load. Reduce load-time by identifying the culprits that are slowing you down; in some cases, it could be large size images.
To rank for a competitive keyword, aim for a blog of at least 1000 words. It’s a no-brainer, longer blogs are seen to have more value than shorter blog posts. However again just having a long piece of content is only valuable if if is unique and seen to have useful information people want to read. Googles most recent updates doesnt seem to worry too much about the length of an article, but more on the relevance of it to the search term the end user is looking for. But statistically speaking, Long form content still ranks better on search engines and get shared more often.
Link In & Out
With regards to your link architecture, there is a lot you can do for web crawlers to scan your website and index your posts.
Where relevant, be sure that you are linking to previous articles that you’ve written that perhaps go more in-depth about a topic or can offer the user a next insightful read.
You can also link out to other relevant articles or case studies. This shows Google that your information is trustworthy and valuable. It also backs up your main message.
This boosts your relevancy and chances of ranking for keywords.
Call to Action
Give your readers some relevant direction for after they read your insightful blog. A clear and compelling CTA is the best way to maximize the potential of conversions and push your readers down the sales funnel.
We know – it’s no surprise that the competition is fierce. But that doesn’t mean you should turn your head on opportunities in blogging for perceived low readership.
We all want results ASAP, but usually our expectations need a quick reality-check.
But if you keep at it, you will sow what you reap – and we can tell you, it’s sweet.
Keep in mind:
Practice makes perfect. Just as you exercise a muscle at the gym, writing is an exercise that over time will grow stronger. Give the process the respect it deserves. You will get more strategic following our checklist of best practices.
If you are struggling to write, you can always record your ideas on a given topic on audio and transcribe later.
Or maybe the blank screen is intimidating you. So, outline your ideas to know exactly what you want to cover and in what order. Jot down the major headlines, sections you want to cover and the final key takeaways.
Remember that you are writing for your audience, not yourself. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas to write about, you can always crowdsource your ideas. Comb through social networks to see what your audience is interesting in reading. What challenges are your buyer personas encountering? Social media is brimming with ideas and finding the questions that need answering.
The more blogs you write, the more leads you’ll generate and traffic you’ll drive.
Don’t believe everything you say. Blogging is easier than it is made out to be. Think of all the potential benefits: you’ll be driving high-quality leads in massive quantities.
It will take perseverance, but if you did right, your SEO will kick in.
Just be sure to establish a value proposition; in other words, know you’re why.
Once you reach that sweet spot of between 50-100 blog posts, you are bound to see a boost in your organic traffic.
If keeping up with a blogging website sounds like much, contact Rooted Digital today to see how we can help you