Do you have a solid blogging strategy? I’m here to put it to the test.
You don’t have one? Continue reading.
Creating the right blogging strategy – and optimizing it on a regular basis – is critical.
This is why: You require an efficiency strategy. However, when strategy trumps creativity, the value is lost.
If you’re preoccupied with finding keyword synonyms, perfecting keyword placement, and selecting the best anchor text for internal links, your blog will devolve into a word game (read: boring).
Instead, focus on user intent and provide valuable answers to the questions your audience is asking.
That’s where high-quality SEO content shines. Everyone benefits when you do it correctly: search engines, your target audience, and, of course, you.
What Determines the Success or Failure of Your Blog?
Let’s start with the elements that are absolutely necessary for your blog’s SEO.
These are referred to as blog busters because any one of them has the potential to make or break your blog.
Take out your to-do list.
Blog Buster Number One: Desktop First, Mobile Second
Mobile devices account for more than half of all search traffic.
Blog readers expect mobile-responsive blogs, and Google is well aware of this. That is why mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor.
A blog should provide an exceptional user experience for both desktop and mobile readers – not one at the expense of the other.
It exemplifies how pleasing readers and search engines go hand in hand.
Slow Page Speed in Blog Buster 2
Readers have short attention spans, so if the page doesn’t load almost instantly, they’ll leave.
Moving on to the next SERP runner-up is less aggravating than waiting.
Make certain that your visual elements do not slow down the page speed.
Remove any extraneous code, plugins, or other extraneous baggage from the page that may interfere with loading.
Google can tell if your page is slow and people are leaving quickly. As a result, load time is critical for getting people to read your article and climbing the SERP rankings.
Blog Buster 3: Putting Content-Length Before Quality
Very short blog posts are easy to read and may receive a large number of views. But how much useful information can you fit into 300 words?
It will always be merely a teaser. (Fun fact: you’ve already read over 400 words.)
If you provide relevant insights, longer posts will increase the value of your content.
Here’s a little secret trick (that’s no longer so secret): If you prefer short posts, organize them into clusters of short articles centered on the same topic and interlink them.
Readers can easily jump from one post to the next, and you’ve killed three birds with one stone.
Blog Buster 4: Inadequate Quality Backlinks
Google is interested in knowing who your friends are. They know pretty much everything, but you get the idea.
Creating an optimized blog entails more than simply writing relevant, engaging, and informative content for your target audience.
As part of the content marketing strategy, it necessitates promotion, networking, and distribution.
You must build trust in order to gain a loyal readership.
Google is on the side of the reader, and backlinks are a significant ranking factor. They are regarded as evidence that you are a recognized authority on a subject.
To rank well, you’ll need established sites to back you up.
Blog Buster 5: Inadequate Domain Authority
Let’s stick with gaining the readers’ trust for the time being.
How can a random searcher tell if you know what you’re on about?
They’ll trust Google before they trust you. If your company sells computer accessories, the search engine will not direct people to your skincare page.
The question you must ask yourself is, “What expertise can you offer your audience?”
What your brand stands for should be emphasized in your blog content.
If you understand that, authority follows as a logical consequence. The search engine recognizes your industry based on the relevance of keywords to your domain’s URLs.
Blog Buster 6: Targeting Incorrect Keywords or Search Intent
Keyword research remains the holy grail.
If you target the wrong terms, your keyword strategy will be ineffective. You must identify and effectively target the keywords that your target audience uses to find what they need.
It entails imagining yourself in their shoes.
Evaluating search volume and keyword competitiveness alone will not suffice.
Consider why and what your audience wants to read and learn about.
How does search intent influence how people use keywords?
What purpose does your blog serve?
Which keywords bring the most traffic to your blog or website?
These are the questions you want to answer for your blog as a whole, as well as for individual articles.
There is no better time than the present. Take a look at the top keywords in the United States right now (i.e., what people are searching for):
7th Blog Buster: Write Without Optimizing
Before you create the first piece of content, you must consider “optimization.” and never give up.
What exactly do I mean by optimization? After all, there’s SEO optimization, conversion optimization, image optimization, and just keeping your content relevant.
Simply put, optimization is the process of making something optimal – higher quality, more effective, or simply better.
The bottom line is that you want to optimize both new and existing content to meet your objectives. That most likely includes everything mentioned above, plus a few extras.
You should include the focus keyword in your title and metadata.
Select secondary keywords from H2s and weave them naturally throughout the text.
Create titles with a clear message that entices readers to click and continue reading.
Include visuals that complement the written content, and optimize those images with the appropriate keywords in the alt text.
Give your CTAs some thought and research. Make them interesting and, most importantly, understandable.
If you have old content that is no longer relevant, you can update it in accordance with best practices for on-page SEO and see powerful results with a lighter lift.
Related: What to Blog About?
Top 10 SEO Tips for Your Blog
If I had to pick just one SEO tip, it would be this: Consider your blog to be a key component of your digital marketing strategy.
We used to consider blogging to be extraneous content. Those days are long gone. And gone are the days when blogging meant simply writing freely about a topic of interest.
1. Put People First – Identify Your Target Audience
Every SEO expert will give you this piece of critical advice.
Many blog managers believe they know their audience but never assess how accurate their assumptions are.
Go the extra mile and analyze your actual audience vs. your target audience if you want to get (and keep) your blog ahead of your competitors and improve your audience targeting.
We use our audience analysis tool to identify demographics, interests, and behavior as part of our SEO strategy.
Examine what your web analytics software has to offer, and then collect and track data about your blog’s audience.
You won’t make any earth-shattering discoveries, but you will fine-tune your SEO strategy to generate more qualified traffic and reach more relevant readers.
2. Put in the effort – Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is your foundation, no matter how you turn it.
The most sophisticated SEO strategy will not produce results unless it is based on the right keywords, which is why I believe in conducting keyword research (or any other research) in the context of the market landscape.
Examine the search volume for keywords, but also look at it from the other side.
How? By beginning with the destination rather than the term.
The goal is to determine which keywords drive the most traffic to sites like yours.
It aids in determining user intent and identifying relevant audiences.
Investigate how keywords perform and the type of content to which they drive traffic.
If your chosen keyword generates traffic to sites that address completely different issues, reconsider.
Data that is relevant, current, and accurate should be researched
The amount of data available on the internet can be overwhelming. What are the most important metrics? How come different analytics tools provide contradictory information?
This is due to the fact that each has its own definition and measurement method. What is best for you is determined by the nature of your business and its objectives.
But one thing is becoming increasingly important for all blogs and websites: real-time data research.
Averages from previous months are not indicative of what is working now. The performance and rankings of keywords change rapidly. You want to identify the most promising trends so that you can develop new content and improve existing content.
Pro tip: Determine whether your target keywords are primarily driving organic traffic or generating paid traffic. This allows you to zero in on the most relevant terms and avoid losing traffic to advertisements.
3. Pay Attention to the Details – Polish the Meta Description and Alt Text
Your closest competitors are most likely targeting the same keywords that you are.
Searchers are presented with SERPs that are crammed with similar page titles. When this happens, your potential reader will look to the meta descriptions – those 160-character summaries of your blog content – to see if the article answers their question.
Clarity is a driving force in this situation. Make it clear what they will gain from reading your blog.
Make sure the meta description is interesting and emphasizes the benefit to your target audience.
Google may now rewrite the search snippet. However, if you’ve provided them with a high-quality meta description, there’s a better chance they’ll use it.
Alt texts are equally important, albeit for different reasons.
Google’s algorithms are incapable of deciphering what is in an image. It is your responsibility to inform the search engine.
Alt text is an important accessibility aid that may be read aloud to the visitor; therefore, it must be descriptive and make sense.
Do it in a clever way that incorporates keywords and explains what’s in the image.
4. Choose Your Team Wisely – Hire the Right People
Your content creators, managers, and SEO experts are your most valuable resources.
Find people who know what they’re talking about and want to create amazing content. Create a team of enthusiastic professionals who are willing to put in the effort and pay attention to the details.
Content creators, such as writers and designers, are included.
They, too, require a firm grasp of SEO best practices. Invest in SEO training for your top content creators; it’s a win-win situation.
5. Stay Informed – Keep Everyone Up to Date on SEO
Search engines like to keep us guessing.
It only changes when you get used to something that works well for your blog’s SEO.
To stay on top of things, your team needs a natural curiosity, which you can help them develop.
Help them by providing resources and training.
Encourage them to look for best practices, tips, and guidance that will help your blog’s overall SEO operation.
Create a culture in which these insights and new industry updates are shared.
6. Take a Comprehensive Approach – Consider Your Blog as a Whole
Don’t look at each post separately. Each article is part of a larger SEO story – and, for that matter, a larger company story.
You know your market and what your audience wants; now divide it into blog topic categories.
Determine the top keywords for each topic to help guide content creation. Your blog should address a wide range of specific questions centered on a central theme.
Interlink posts to assist search engines in identifying connections and to make it easier for readers to find additional information.
7. Organize Yourself – Build a Structure Using Pillars and Topic Clusters
Categorize and list the keywords that are relevant to your blog.
Your pillar is the main keyword or search query for a topic. Each related or long-tail keyword serves as the foundation for an article, forming a ring around the pillar piece.
Consider the following example: You’re working in cybersecurity. One of the most popular search terms is [what cybersecurity is] and another is [why cybersecurity is important].
You’ll write an in-depth but general article about each.
Investigate related and long-tail keywords now. For instance, [how to explain cybersecurity] or [what cybersecurity means for fintech firms]. Make content for each one. Continue to add long-tail keywords and write articles.
Your blog will branch out in various directions without ever deviating from the main topic.
Do you see how this improves the overall SEO position of the blog?
You can create multiple articles around the topic by using keyword clusters, with each cluster focusing on a different long-tail keyword.
You provide a wealth of useful information while also preventing posts from competing with one another.
To keep track, use a planner as we do. It can be perplexing, believe me.
8. Maintain Relevance – Make each piece valuable to your intended audience
The structure proposed allows you to provide relevant content to a larger audience.
In what way? Don’t make every post aimed at everyone.
A post must be relevant to a single search query. As you add more articles, you’ll cover more related questions and become more and more relevant to searchers.
Make it clear which specific question each post answers, and include the keyword in the title and description.
9. Can’t and Won’t Stop – Never Stop Optimizing
Change is the only constant in SEO, just as it is in life.
Algorithms are dictated by search engines, audiences create trends, and competitors challenge your position. You never know what is going to happen next.
SEO is a never-ending process.
Here are some pointers to get you started:
- Continue to track results and make changes to your content on a regular basis.
- Posts that perform well should be updated with current information.
- Posts that aren’t read should be removed.
- Repurpose articles or other content, for example, by converting webinars into blog posts.
- Recognize new trends and develop compelling new content.
- Try out different titles and images to see what boosts your ranking or piques the readers’ interest.
10. Go for Featured Snippets if you want to be at the top.
Google considers featured snippets to be the best answer to a specific search query.
Making it into a featured snippet is like getting extra credit for good SEO.
If you can figure out how to answer the questions that people search for, your content will be more likely to be featured. If that occurs, you have succeeded.
But, in order to keep that top spot, you must constantly optimize.
Finally, some thoughts on blog strategy.
Your blog can be a great way for your customers to get to know you better. Or it can be both a powerful SEO tool and an exceptional learning portal.
It is entirely up to you. If you go with the latter option – and I hope you do – go all in. Your blog SEO is similar to a continuous marketing campaign that you plan, execute, and measure.
Don’t be discouraged if the outcome does not appear to be worth the effort at first. It takes time to grow, but once it does, you’ll see long-term benefits and be able to pop the bubbly.
The tips above will assist you in growing your blog around a solid SEO framework, but the work is entirely yours.
So get to work! If you run into any problems, refer back to this article.
Learn more from Content Marketing and read A Complete Guide to Content Repurposing for Travel Brands,