By now, we’ve all heard that old adage which tells you that content is king, right? Yep, and this is part of the reason why blogging has taken the world by storm. Blogging is no longer simply about people looking to wax lyrical about things that matter to them by establishing their own little soapbox in some corner of the internet. These days all of the best businesses see the value of blogging as a way of building traffic, acquiring new customers, developing brand awareness, and establishing a reputation for being a trusted industry voice.
However, as is often the case, there is a downside. While having a blog full of interesting, well-written content is great, unless your articles rank well on Google then you really aren’t capitalising on the full potential of your blog platform. Developing a solid understanding of SEO is essential for anyone looking to have their website stand out from the crowd, especially in the oversaturated information space that is the internet these days.
In order to accomplish this and ensure your well-researched and meticulously blog content doesn’t fall on deaf ears, here are some proven tips that’ll help boost your Google rankings:
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
This might sound like we are stating the obvious here but it’s worth reiterating. The foundation of any good SEO strategy rests on optimising the right keywords.
The importance of finding the right keywords can’t be underestimated. In fact, you could go as far as to say these are one of the central pillars of on-page SEO.
However, getting your keywords right is often easier said than done. For a start, you need to establish what keywords are best for each individual blog post. So before you get writing, you’ll need to put on that detective hat and conduct some keyword research and use the results of this as a basis for your crafting your content.
Include Keywords In Your Title
Now that you’ve done the keyword research and have that information, it’s time to use your findings effectively.
The most basic way to optimize content for your chosen keyword would be to include it in the title of the post. Best practice also states that the closer you place it at the beginning of the heading, the more likely it is to rank well on a Google search.
So say, for instance, your keyword was ‘Bitcoin’, a blog post titled ‘Bitcoin – 5 Ways To Win Big With Cryptocurrency’ would likely rank higher than one titled ‘Investing in Cryptocurrency – 5 Reasons To Choose Bitcoin.
Utilise Headings To Your Advantage
Breaking your blog post up into bite-sized chunks using headings is not just great for user engagement and readability because it makes the piece easy on the eye, bearing in mind that readers generally have a shorter attention span when it comes to reading content on the web. Headings also help Google’s web crawlers get a better understanding about the subject matter of the post and the sections within it.
A good way to think about web crawlers are as readers who skim the post looking to gauge the main points it covers and a feel for the piece. So your H1 and headings will help provide them with an overview of the subject covered in your blog post and subsequent H2, H3 and H4 headings will further break down the topics within the content.
It is therefore wise to ensure your headings are optimized to reflect the content included in the body of your post. Using high-intent keywords, in other words, the terminology used by your target audience will help your post rank higher on Google.
Incorporate Keywords Organically Into Your Content
Keyword stuffing is an old SEO technique that was once common practice when writing web content is no longer recommended. In fact, overloading a piece of content with keywords can actually act to your detriment as Google will penalize websites that do this and push you further down in their rankings.
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It’s, therefore, important that blog posts are written with real people in mind rather than for a computer. With that being said, if you find natural opportunities to include your keyword then do so – organically! It’s a fine balance but try to find a way to use the keyword strategically without going overboard to the extent that the content loses its value and the engagement of a reader.
There aren’t really any concrete rules about the number of times you need to include a keyword. That’s your prerogative. Although, slipping that keyword in at least once, somewhere close to the beginning of your piece can help. It’s more beneficial to create a piece that is well-written and captivating.
Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords
As we mentioned, Google has become smarter over time and it now penalizes you for keyword stuffing.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are terms that are related to a particular keyword. Google recognizes these in your blog post and uses this as an indicator to determine the quality of the content that you’ve posted.
For example, if you are creating a post titled: ‘Finding A Meaningful Relationship In The Age of Tinder’ using phrases such as ‘love’, ‘dating apps’ and ‘online romance’ can be considered to be LSI keywords because these would indicate to Google that this is a quality piece of content that is relevant to the subject matter in the title.
At the end of the day, creating blog posts that rank well on Google won’t happen overnight. It’ll certainly require a lot of hard work and patience as well as an element of trial and error. However, by implementing certain rules, you can really boost SEO in ways that’ll help your blog posts rank higher on Google..
Remember chances are that you’ll only see your rankings improve incrementally rather than suddenly jumping to the top of the search page so don’t be disheartened if you don’t see immediate results. It is, however, possible to see whether your SEO efforts are on the right track by checking your stats on Google’s Search Console or by using a variety of online tools designed to track your rankings.