SEO FAQs For Bloggers – Ace The Optimization Process

A magnifying glass magnifying the words Frequently Asked Questions.

SEO for bloggers? Nay! I don’t care!

Well, guess what. You’d have to care!

That’s because Copywriting is a thing of the past now. If you are pursuing a career in copywriting (or blogging for that matter), you’d only find SEO copywriting positions vacant. 

So, luckily if you already are a blogger, you need to know at least the basics of the SEO process for blogs.

But why does it matter?

Because it promises ease!

For companies, it means no over-burdened SEO team, no team miscoordination headache, and bloggers alone are held accountable for what they do!

All the more reason every blogger out there needs to gear up for the cutting edge competition. 

The following post is dedicated to teaching you the most important (yet simple) steps to optimize your blog posts for Search Engines. Along with the process, you’d learn smart tips, tricks, and expert advice, too, to ace the optimization process.

But, the thing is, why care about the SEO for blogs?

Why care about SEO for bloggers? Why does this matter?

Skip this part if you already know the importance of search-engine-optimizing your blog posts. 

However, If you asked us this question, answer this question first:

Who are you creating these blog posts for? Strictly for yourself?

If you nodded negative, you probably are writing for people – your targeted people. You are writing for people who need your company’s services or products. 

And you do know how most of your target audience would be able to see your posts. Right?

Search engines allow you to present your content in front of your targets when they need it. You just have specific criteria to fulfill. The better you comply with the rules, the higher you land on SERPs, and more are your chances to be seen by the targets.

The same applies to your blog posts.

Your blog posts likely present the solutions to the problems your target audience faces. Therefore, they help boost the SEO (read visibility) of your website.

But, they won’t be discoverable themselves, unless they are among the top few results at SERPs. And they won’t make their way to the top unless they are optimized for the search engines and searcher’s intent.

(And we just learned that the companies want you to take care of both the writing and the SEO yourself.)

So, this leaves you with no excuse not to learn SEO for bloggers – if you are one!

And now that you are all up for SEO tips for your blogs, let’s head straight to the point now!

How to SEO a blog? The process of SEO for Bloggers Demystified with FAQs, Tips, and Tricks!

Scrabble squares making the word SEO.
Let’s dive into the process of SEO for bloggers right away. We’ll make it simple and better understandable by answering the most searched for questions about the process.

The Keywords

What is a keyword in blogging?

A keyword is any word or a combination of words (phrase) that your targeted audience looks up online. 

In blogging, not only do we optimize our content for these keywords, but also their variants. These variants are related keywords.

How many keywords should a blog post have?

In a post like this one (you are reading right now), you might be explaining a group of very closely related elements or a huge process. In such cases, the recommended practice is not to exceed 2-3 long-tail keywords.

If you increase the number of keywords you want to optimize the content for, your post might turn out too broad for the given topic. The better targeted it is, the better would be the SEO (for the given keyword).

However, you might like to read the exciting take, Eric Sui, at Single grain has on the number of keywords.

How do you find and choose keywords?

We have covered the whole keywords research process here. You’d learn about how to find and choose the keywords and the tools you can use for the process.

You might also like to learn smart tips and tricks to make big out of using keywords here.

How do you use keywords in a blog?

When you have chosen a keyword to optimize your blog post, it is evident that you have the searcher’s search intent in mind. If not, that won’t be a genius move. 

Why?

Because you wouldn’t have many to read what you wrote!

Bottom line: Write for your readers. Know their problem and give them a solution. Know the searcher’s intent before creating the post. Don’t stuff!

Where should keywords be placed in a blog post?

Where you incorporate keywords in your blog post is probably the most critical question. 

The recommended best practices are to use your keywords (or their synonyms) in the following areas:

  • Blog’s title, aka SEO title (preferably in the beginning).
  • Meta-description (preferably in the beginning).
  • At the beginning of your H1 heading
  • In the slug
  • In a few of the sub-headings.
  • Anchor texts
  • Images names (which also calls for keeping the images highly relevant, or you won’t get to use the keywords. Remember! Neither Google nor the searchers appreciate unnatural stuffing).
  • Image Alt-texts.
  • Blogs’ body – used naturally (keyword stuffing penalizes), spread all across the post.
    • Using the focus keyword in the introduction of the post (preferably at the beginning) and the conclusion is especially recommended.
    • Formatted text. Incorporating the keywords (naturally) in your bold or bulleted text is a recommended SEO practice for bloggers you shouldn’t miss. (Whoa! Look at us! But this one was totally unplanned).

Pro-Tip: Incorporating your keywords in most of these places makes a huge difference. Not many bloggers know about the keyword placement trick. Many who know would conveniently ignore. So, make the best out of this knowledge!

How many times should I repeat a particular keyword?

How many times a keyword appears in content is called keyword density. 

While different experts have different opinions about this, Marketing Manager at Alexa, JENNIFER YESBECK, suggests 1 – 2% as the optimal keyword density in your blog content.

 

However, if you use the Yoast SEO plugin, it would recommend you the number of times you need to have a keyword in your copy. The plugin measures this number based on the length of the copy (which might not be a very reasonable way to look at it, some might think!).

How many blog posts can I have for the same primary keyword?

When you are trying to optimize more than one post for the same primary keyword, you call the process Keyword Cannibalization.

Practicing keyword cannibalism is discouraged in SEO because this means you are competing against yourself.

What’s worse?

The search engine might rank the content higher that might not have been your preference.

Bottom line: Avoid Keyword cannibalism!

What’s the difference between a keyword and a key phrase, though?

The difference between the 2 is the same as the difference between a word and a phrase.

The keyword is a (single) word, while a key phrase is a whole phrase (a group of words) that you optimize your content for.

A key phrase might have more than one keyword in it.

What is an appropriate Keyphrase length?

Yoast SEO suggests keeping it to 4 words at the most.

But why?

That’s because if your focus keyword is longer than that, you will find it hard to optimize your content.

What is the fastest way to rank a keyword?

While this post is all about how you can rank for a keyword fast, the key to remember is:

  • Dive into your subject, as deep as possible. 

The more comprehensive your information is, the more likely readers are to stay with you, and more likely, Google will recommend you higher in results.

  • Do not let the deep dive change your route. All the rules mentioned in this post form your path. Stick to them.

Which is a good option to optimize for, short, or long-tail keyword?

Short tail keywords are not very specific and do not convey the searcher’s search intent well. Also, despite the high search volume for them, it is often difficult to rank for them as the competition is high.

As opposed to shorttail keywords, long-tail ones have low search volume but high conversion rates because of high search intent.

Many experts, including the marketing ninja Neil Patel, recommend using long-tail keywords.

Our 2- cents are – find out what works best for you with a little trial and error. You might be surprised, who knows.

Permalink

What is Permalink?

Permalink or permanent link is the link to or address of your content page. Each website content page has a unique permalink.

What is the use of a permalink?

Asking about the use of permalink is like asking about the address of your house.

Here’s the thing:

  • When created properly, your permalink could tell the visitors and search engines about your post’s subject.
  • Visitors can use these same URLs for bookmarking your post or sharing it further.

Does permalink affect your SEO?

Neil Patel suggests that permalinks hold a vital role in the SEO of your site.

He says that Google counts the permalink as an important ranking factor. 

What are the permalink best practices?

  • The auto-generated permalinks are vague and do not communicate the topic to the readers. Generate your permalinks, keeping search engines and readers in mind.
  • Avoid using stop words and dates in permalinks.
  • Keep the slug short, explanatory, and relevant.
  • Lowercase letters and dashes (-)instead of underscores (_)are recommended.

Images & their description

Should blogs have pictures?

Your blogs should have highly relevant rich media, including images and videos.

Why use images in your blogs?

Here’s why:

  • A picture is worth a thousand words, of course.
  • A page without a photo would be too dull for the readers to stay on.
  • Using relevant images with proper names and descriptions gives you more chances to rank. If your images rank in Google images, they can fetch you quality traffic.

A person taking a picture with his cellphone. The image itself reflects the power of pictures, so it holds an important position in the SEO process for bloggers

What are the best practices of using images in your blog?

  • Keep your images highly relevant.
  • Use relevant Alt-texts to have better chances of ranking. 
  • Use high-quality photos only (or don’t use any, at all).
  • When you have to show a process, explain a concept, or refer to a source and downloading an image is not an option, use screenshots.
  • Use faces – relevant ones, where appropriate and manageable.
  • Compress your pictures before using them. Heavier images slow down your speed, which might increase your bounce rate. 
  • Resize images if they are too small or too big.
  • Use free image creation tools like Canva and Pablo to own what you use.
  • Don’t drag just any image from a random source. 
    • If using your own photos is an option, don’t give it a second thought.
  • If you don’t own a relevant image, use stock photos with both free and paid options. Some options of licensed images include:
      • Splash
      • Pixabay
      • Pexels

What are image alt-texts?

Alt-texts are the descriptions of your images for the search engines, for people or browsers that can’t view the pictures.

What is the best appropriate size of images to be used in blogs?

  • The size for a WordPress featured image is 1200*628 pixels – appropriate for most themes.
  • While the size recommendation for the images within a blog varies, here’s an exciting idea to remember:
  • To keep scanning through your content quickly, try to use images with more width than the height (and keep the height to a minimum, without killing the purpose of the picture by random trimming) – suggests a blog on Hubspot series
  • We don’t see a good reason not to comply.

What is the difference between image size and image resolution?

Image size is about the space it occupies while the resolution is about the quality.

An image with a huge size takes more time to load, thus slows down your speed. In that case, you’d better compress such photos before using them in blogs. 

Higher-resolution ensures that the image retains sharp details. An image with sharp details has more pixels per inch (PPI).  

What is image optimization?

Image optimization gives the right size and format without compromising the quality (resolution).

A high-resolution image showing fine detailing of top layer of skin cells.

How do I resize an image without losing quality?

While you can use Photoshop and other tools to optimize your images, there always are online options available to get the job done in one click.

Which tools you pick depends on what you want to do, i.e., change the format or size, etc.

How can you compress images?

While there are a variety of free and paid tools available, following are some of the best options:

What image format should you use in your blogs, JPG or PNG?

Whether you use JPG or PNG depends on what your image is about.

For instance, if your image has some text on it, and it requires more detailing, PNG should be your go-to option. PNGs are high quality, but they are heavier and might slow down your site speed.

When you are concerned about the speed, you need to go with jpg. JPGs help improve your load speed.

Is that all?

Actually, not all! But if you plan to learn it all in one go, you might miss out on essential details and practice.

So, our recommendation is to go through the post and point out areas where you need practice. Fix what you need this week. Next week, we’d continue from here to take care of the other SEO areas for bloggers.

Spoiler alert: Prepare for real gems you’d find in the next post.

Meanwhile, could you make improvements with any of the information here? Don’t forget to share your feedback and progress. 

Also read: Signs you need professional SEO services.

Happy Optimization, y’ bloggers 🙂

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