Blog SEO for Beginners: Top Tips

Blog SEO

Sometimes, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can feel a little bit like waving a wand and hoping for the best.

As abstract as it may seem, it really isn’t magic; SEO is a science, and when you do the right things for long enough, you’ll start to see the results of your hard work.

What Is SEO for Blogs?

SEO for blogs describes the process of optimising a blog’s structure and content to improve its ranking ability on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

The aim of SEO is to make sure your blog is search engine friendly and human friendly, so that Google will be more likely serve up your website in the results page.

The ultimate end goal of SEO?

Increased organic traffic.

Why Is Blog SEO Important?

Blogging is such a great marketing tool because anyone can do it. All they need is a website and something to say.

But not all blogs will be successful in getting readers.

Optimising your blog for SEO makes it more likely that your website will get traffic.

Need more convincing?

Here are the top reasons why should optimise your blog for SEO:

  • Increased traffic
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate more leads
  • Improve site authority
  • Establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche

Now that we’ve established why blog SEO is important, let’s get into how to do it.

1. Plan Your Topic

You could write about whatever interests you, but if other people don’t find it interesting or useful, no one will read it.

So how do you find out what people want to read?

Even as an SEO beginner, you don’t need to rely on blind guesses.

This is where keyword research comes in.

There are plenty of free keyword research tools available to help you narrow down a blog topic, like Ahrefs Free Keyword Generator, SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool, and Moz Keyword Explorer.

Targeting keywords that have a reasonably high search volume and low competition is ideal.

You should make sure that enough people are searching for the thing you’re going to write about, but that the question hasn’t been answered a thousand times in a thousand different ways already. If the search volume is very high and the competition is also high, it’s unlikely that you’ll rank anywhere near the first page of the SERP.

Check out this post for more tips on how to pick a topic, keyword and title.

2. Understand the Search Intent

Now that you have your keywords, make sure you create a blog title that is suitable for the search intent.

Search intent is the why behind the search query.

Satisfying the website user’s search intent is central to Google’s purpose; Google wants to connect each person who is looking for something with the most useful and relevant answer.

Search intent is usually:

  • Informational
  • Commercial
  • Transactional
  • Navigational

Blog content typically falls into the Informational category, so titles with modifiers like Who, What, When, How, Why, Guide and Tips work well.

Before settling on a blog title, do a live check of the SERP to see what kind of content is served up in the top results. If your keywords bring up similar blog style content, then you’re on the right track.

3. Quality Content

If you want to be at the top of the SERP, your content needs to be top-notch.

Google prioritises content that is:

  • Easy to Read. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short so that you don’t overwhelm the reader. Word choice matters too – so put the thesaurus down and speak plainly.
  • Satisfies the Search Intent. Make sure that the content of your blog is appropriate for the search query and user.
  • Well Organised. Organise the page with headings and subheadings and use bullet points where appropriate.
  • Original and Fresh. Your blog post shouldn’t be a copy and paste mash-up of other blog posts. Readers should be getting something from your blog that they can’t find elsewhere – even if that’s just your unique voice and opinions.
  • Error-Free. Proofread, proofread, and proofread again!
  • Following Google’s E-E-A-T Guidelines. E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.

Experience: Does your content feature first-hand experience of the topic?

Expertise: Is your content author well-established? Do they have relevant skills and expertise?

Authoritativeness: Is your site or author a trusted authority on this topic? Are you a go-to source for knowledge?

Trustworthiness: Is your content and site trustworthy? Is it accurate, correctly attributed and sourced?

4. On-Page SEO

Include your focus keyword in these places:

  • Title Tag
  • URL
  • Meta Description
  • Blog Title (H1)
  • The first paragraph
  • Image File Names and Alt Text
  • Subheadings
  • Once or twice throughout the body text, including secondary keywords

Keyword stuffing is not recommended; instead, include these terms naturally in the blog post. Search engines are adept at understanding synonyms and variations of keywords, so don’t feel like you have to write that exact keyword every time – this will end up sounding repetitive.

Read also: On-Page SEO: Ultimate Guide

Keywords are important – but remember to write for a human audience, not Google!

5. Rich Content and Alt Text

Scattering images and videos throughout your blog breaks up the text into smaller, more easily digestible chunks.

But adding visual content to your blog posts won’t only make them more engaging and interesting for your readers, it can also help with SEO.

Some estimates show that blogs with images get 94% more views than those without. Including some relevant photos or videos in your blog could go a long way to increasing your organic reach, and even increase time spent on page.

Use high-quality compressed images so that they don’t slow down your page load times.

Make sure to get the most out of your images by adding alt text.

Search engines can’t see images the way we do, so they rely on alt text to understand what’s in an image.

Adding alt text is not only great from an accessibility standpoint, but it also allows Google to index the image. This means there’s a chance people will come across your image in Google Image Search – which can lead to more traffic to your website too.

If your image is directly relevant to your topic, make sure to include your keyword in the alt text for extra SEO points.

6. Internal Linking

Internal linking is simply the process of including links on one page of your site to another page on your site. They’re often used in blogging to direct users to another relevant blog page, a product page, or a contact page.

Internal linking is beneficial for three reasons:

  1. It improves user experience and help users navigate your site.
  2. They pass authority.
  3. It helps search engines understand your site’s structure (in a process called indexing).

Aside from the SEO boost of having more indexed pages, internal linking creates a positive feedback loop by encouraging blog readers to click through to other pages on your website, which signals to Google that your website content is high quality, and therefore Google will give your website a boost in the SERP and recommend it to more searchers.

7. Update Old Blog Content

As time passes, the popularity of keywords changes, and search intent can change with them.

This will cause your rankings to drop.

By reformatting, re-researching, and in some cases rewriting your old blog posts, you can give them a new lease on life.

Revising the search intent and changing your keywords is the best place to start.

From there, you can edit and revise your old blog post with the new search intent in mind.

If new research has become available on the topic, make sure to include it. Add in some internal links for an extra boost.

8. Be Mobile Friendly

Our search habits are changing, and Google is making changes to reflect that.

In 2022, mobile phones accounted for 58.22% of internet usage, compared with 39.75% for desktop.

Read also: Mobile SEO: Everything You Need to Know

As a result, Google made the transition to mobile-first indexing at the end of 2023.

Previously, Google would get information about a website from the desktop version of the site first. Now, the indexing system will look at the mobile version of a site rather than the desktop version.

Indexing plays an important role in the process Google uses to recommend websites to internet users.

This means that you could be in trouble if your website isn’t optimised for mobile use.

Choosing a responsive web theme and a reliable web host are essential for a good mobile site.

Ensuring fast loading times will show Google that your site has a great user experience, and as a result they’ll give you an SEO boost – not to mention this’ll also help your bottom line.

So there you have it – our top tips for improving your blog’s SEO.

If you’re serious about increasing traffic to your website, contact us today.

Sarah Giblin
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