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How to Optimize Your Blog Posts for SEO

Blogging is a fantastic way to improve your brand’s reputation in its industry and attract more people to your company’s site. But it takes more than just great content to get people to visit your blog. You need to make the most of your content with the right search engine optimization (SEO) tactics. By optimizing each blog post using the methods below, you’ll increase the visibility and reach of your blog.

1. Conduct Keyword Research

Every blog post needs one primary keyword. This is the subject of your post, and you can also use a couple of variations on it. Good keywords are those that align with both the content in the blog post and your target audience’s purchasing intent. The most important thing to remember about keywords is that they should be a natural part of your post.

It’s almost always better to target long-tail keywords, which are longer, more precise search terms. There are two big benefits with these keywords. First is that visitors searching for long-tail keywords are often more ready to buy something than those just looking for general information. Second is that there’s less competition in the search results for long-tail keywords, making it easier to rank your page higher.

There are many tools that can help you choose the right keywords, such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs and Moz Keyword Explorer. When considering a keyword, make sure you look at how many searches it gets per month, how competitive it is and if there are any competitors of yours with high-ranking pages for that term.

2. Use Keywords Throughout Your Post

When you’ve chosen a target keyword, you need to use it correctly to get the best results from an SEO standpoint. A good keyword density target, which is how much you use the keyword in the post, is about 1.5 to 2.5 percent. Let’s say you write a 1,000-word article. You should have your target keyword in the article about 15 to 25 times.

This may sound tricky at first, but there are actually a few key places you should include your target keyword. These places are the title, the page URL, headings and sub-headings, the meta tag, and the introductory sentence and concluding paragraph. Sprinkle it in through the body, as well.

The two most important places are the title and the URL. Keep your title to 65 characters or less since Google will cut off longer titles. If your title is longer, make sure to include your keyword at the beginning, as seen in the example below.

The key here is to produce reader-friendly content. Don’t sacrifice this just to slip the keyword in a couple of more times. You may end up getting a penalty from Google for keyword stuffing.

3. Optimize Your Meta Description

When web users look through the search results, the meta description is the text displayed underneath the title to your page that explains what the page is about. They can read this and decide if they’ll check out your content or not.

After the page title, the meta description is the second-biggest ranking factor, which makes it imperative to use your target keyword in it. What you write is also crucial here, because you’ll only get people to visit your site if the meta description is engaging them.

4. Be Careful with Topic Labels

Topic labels, also known as tags, are a way for bloggers to categorize their posts. Although these can better organize the content on your blog, they can also cause problems if you overdo it with them.

You’ll run into issues with your topic labels if you put too many on a post or if you have several similar tags. For example, if you write a post about blogging and tag it “blog,” “blog posts” and “blogging,” the search engines could punish you for using similar tags.

Your best bet is to come up with a list of about 15 to 25 tags that fit your blog. When you write a post, choose up to three tags to use.

5. Optimize Your Images

Images spice up your blog posts, which is why content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images, according to CMO Council. Large walls of text can turn off readers, and images break up the monotony. Of course, your images need to fit the content of the post to be effective.

When you put images in your posts, there’s a simple way to boost the post’s SEO. Put your target keyword in the alt text of the image, as that’s what search engine bots look at to determine the content of the image.

6. Include Internal and External Links

If you’ve ever found yourself spending hours on Wikipedia jumping from page to page, then you know why you should put internal links in your blog posts. Some benefits of internal linking include increased page views, reduced bounce rate, and better crawling and indexing (it surfaces your other relevant and authoritative pages to search engines). These internal links must be natural and not forced.

It’s also good for SEO to add a couple of external links on each post. Your readers will appreciate being able to get more information or see your sources.

7. Promote Your Blog Posts

Social media is an excellent tool for getting your blog posts in front of a larger audience so make sure to share all your posts on your own social media. To get your content shared more, include social sharing buttons on each post, allowing readers to easily share it across their social network of choice.

Keep in mind that your blog posts aren’t going to be ranking in the top 10 immediately. That kind of search authority takes time. But if you publish new posts often and optimize them with the tips above, you’ll gradually improve your search rankings and the amount of search traffic your site gets.


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Jen McKenzie is an up-and-coming author from NY. She usually writes on business, marketing and HR subjects. When not at her desk, you can find her taking long strolls in the countryside or enjoying her free time brushing up on photo editing. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie on Twitter.

 

5 Popular Content Marketing Myths You Shouldn’t Believe in 2018

As internet trends come and go, they can cause you to abandon your current content strategy and adapt to new practices. By the same token, many of yesterday’s tactics have lost their effectiveness. Protect yourself by learning about five popular content marketing myths that you should ignore in 2018.

Any content will do

Avoid the mistaken belief that practically any content will help you achieve your goals. Instead, you need to understand the people who comprise your audience and use that knowledge to create an online experience that matches their expectations.

Additionally, you must avoid the myth that quantity matters more than quality. If you get in a rush to publish online content, its quality might be diminished, and fewer visitors to your site will have the experience that they’re looking for.

Rather than taking a hasty approach to content, plan your editorial calendar, including the topics and titles that you will cover in coming months. Plan your content and then make sure it has the quality and information needed to engage your audience.

Content Marketing isn’t for “boring” industries.

Sometimes industries and products are so exciting that the words practically leap from your mind onto the page. Other times, you might not understand why anyone would be interested in your content. In either case, what you write matters, as well as how you write it.

In other words, content marketing works for every business that wants to engage their audience and build relationships. The key is to publish high-quality material that solves real-world problems for prospects and customers while adding value to the marketplace.

Anyone can create great content.

Try thinking of content creation as you would think about working on your vehicle. You can do simple things with your car such as inflate tires and refill fluids. However, when the time comes for an engine overhaul, you instinctively look for an expert mechanic.

So, consider involving yourself and your team in the production of basic content while allowing expert employees or freelancers to do the “heavy lifting.” For a freelancer, you can expect to pay between $20 and $30 for each article.

If you get your employees to do the work, consider offering them a chance to work remotely. Doing so can reduce your overhead while substantially increasing employee productivity.

Content marketing ROI can’t be measured.

Every business wants to get ample returns on the money they invest at every level. Unfortunately, many business owners and managers believe the myth that they can’t track the returns generated by content marketing. This isn’t true.

In the end, the goals you set determine how you will measure ROI. So, when you execute a content marketing strategy, you have the responsibility to set goals that contribute to your mission. Also, you need to define relevant metrics that allow you to measure progress.

You can always measure things like page views, downloads, visitor time on site, gathered leads and conversion rates since it’s the engaged website and social media visitors who will contribute the most to your profitability.

Good content is all you need

Don’t believe the notion that, by publishing high-quality content, you can forget about other content marketing issues and SEO.

Even if you have created the most valuable content on the web that precisely meets the needs of your audience, you will still need to promote it. Needless to say, content promotion is a specialized field of its own. In other words, you can’t just promote a Facebook post or tweet and consider the job done.

Instead, spend time optimizing your content to meet the queries of the search engine users that you want to reach. Furthermore, when the time comes to expand your audience, you can utilize PPC and guest-blogging campaigns to promote it.

In conclusion, you have a lot of myths to ignore in 2018, if you want to succeed in content marketing. As you adjust your beliefs, remember that creating a new and successful strategy takes time and effort.


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Jen McKenzie is an up-and-coming author from NY. She usually writes on business, marketing and HR subjects. When not at her desk, you can find her taking long strolls in the countryside or enjoying her free time brushing up on photo editing. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie on Twitter.