3 Easy Ways to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Posts
Wouldn’t it be great if every blog post you wrote created droves of organic traffic to your website? The simple answer is yes, yes it would be great. However, the likelihood of capturing organic traffic is not possible without optimizing your content for the best results. Here are three simple steps to help your blog posts rank high in organic search.
Here’s what you need to know
Google (and other search engines) value websites and pages that provide useful and relevant content. So much that Google applies filters to search results in an effort to have the search responses match user intent.
Everything begins with technical and structural factors, or the techie stuff. These foundational elements are the groundwork of your website’s entire online presence. These are very important elements like… Can your website be indexed by search engines, do your pages include necessary metadata, is your page load time too slow, or other website errors. It’s best to have an SEO expert assist with the foundational elements of your site, but you can always run some free and easy tests using Google Search Console.
It’s important to note that SEO is complex. There are many moving pieces and factors to having your content rank above others in the search results. From here, it would be easy to dive into content. After all Content is King. Or Content is Queen… And Technical SEO is the British Government as described by Chrissi Reimer. But I think most marketers have a pretty good handle on creating meaningful and valuable content. So I’m going to stick to what are three easy and often overlooked technical elements to enhance the SEO value of your blog posts.
Remember Your Page Title
This is the most important on-page SEO element (behind overall content), yet it is often overlooked. You’re familiar with the phrase Never Judge a Book by its Cover. That phrase does not apply in the world of SEO. The page title or title tag is kinda like the cover of a book. It’s meant to be an accurate and concise description or the page’s content.
In this case, concise does have an exact definition. Previously, Google provided 512-pixel display for page titles, which generally translated into 50-60 characters. Recently, they've expanded the page title area to 571-pixels, or roughly 65-70 characters. The range in character limits comes from the size of the letter, as initials like w, m, x, take up more space than I, l, t… You get the point.
What your page title should look like:
Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
Have a Simple URL
Google needs to read and recognize your URL. If it’s too complex for you to read, chances are search engines will have difficulty understanding it as well. You URL structure should be as simple as possible. It’s okay to use punctuation in URLs to make them easier to read, in fact hyphens (-) are strongly recommended to separate keywords and make the URL easier to read.
Many blog platforms auto-generate the URL when publishing a new post. Always double check your URL as not all automated URLs will be SEO friendly. And if you notice a non-SEO friendly URL, change it… Change it right away.
What your URL should look like:
What I’m trying to say in my overly generic example is your URL should include keywords about the article that are separated by hyphens to make them easier to read. In and ideal example, the keywords included in your URL will match the keywords that you use in your page title and meta data. There aren’t any hard and fast rules on character limits for URLs, just remember to keep it simple and something that can easily be read.
Always Include Meta Description
Meta description, even the word sounds boring before hearing the more boring definition. For that reason, I’ve created my own definition of meta description. I describe it as the elevator pitch for your blog article. It’s not important to search engine rankings. In fact, this metadata is not even factored into search engine algorithms. The Meta description is important as it’s your opportunity to advertise what’s in your article in 150 – 160 characters. Including a description is known to increase click through rates since the teaser about your article appears on search results pages.
What your meta description should look like:
Remember to think of this as an advertisement for your content. Your meta description should be a readable, compelling description using important keywords. The goal here is to have a higher click through rate on your article leading searchers to your blog or website.