Great content might be an important part of running a successful blog, but search engine optimization is just as critical. To that end, here are the three things your blog absolutely must have in order to rank.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a pain for any blog owner. And on the surface, it seems a bit unnecessary. After all, you’re a writer, not a marketing professional...right?
Thing is, if you want traffic - if you want to be successful in the long run - you need to optimize it. If it helps, think of your blog like a restaurant.
You might serve the best food in the city, but if you don’t have a sign out front, if you don’t have any marketing or advertising, if you don’t have any way of spreading the word about your business, you’re not going to have any customers. By that same vein, you might be an artisan with the written word, but that doesn’t matter without SEO. Makes sense, right?
Don’t worry. SEO is actually a lot less complicated than you might expect. Here are a few essentials you should start with.
SEO Component One: Long-Tail Keywords
First thing’s first, let’s talk about keyword optimization - because keywords are at the heart of successful SEO, blog or no. Every post you publish should focus on one or two long-tail keywords, and incorporate them in such a way that they feel neither forced nor unnatural.
Let’s say, for example, your keyphrase is “Great deals on cars.”
Right: Everybody likes a great deal - especially if you’re purchasing a car. Learning where to look is the first stage.
Wrong: Great deals on cars are really important. But where can you find great deals on cars? .
In addition to popping up a few times in the body of your post, you should also include keywords in your headers, your URL, and your meta description.
SEO Component Two: Mobile-Friendly Design
It’s old news by now that mobile-friendliness is considered a ranking factor by Google. To that end, if your blog isn’t easily navigable on mobile devices, it simply isn’t going to rank. Simplify your blog’s layout, study responsive design, cut down on rich media and post length, don’t overuse large images, and tweak your backend to optimize load time.
SEO Component Three: Good URL and Link Structure
Ask yourself how the average visitor to your site will browse. What information are they looking for? Does your link structure provide them with the quickest path possible to that information? Are your categories and topics organized in such a way that it’s easy for your audience to find whatever they’re looking for?
What about internal linking? Do the pages and posts on your site all link to other, related pages and posts? Are you using topic tags effectively, and are the tags you’ve chosen distinctive enough from one another that they won’t create confusion?
All this stuff is important for more than just your users, mind you - it’s also crucial because it helps search engines index your blog more effectively.
Remember, Content Is King
One last word of advice before we wrap things up. At the end of the day, SEO and content are two sides of the same coin where success is concerned. Put another way, it doesn’t matter how well you optimize your blog if you aren’t creating quality posts.
SEO is critical, but content is king.