SEO for bloggers? Nay! I don’t care! SEO FAQs? What even!
Well, if that’s what you think, 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 or SEO web content writer positions vacant in companies.
So, luckily if you are already a blogger or a copywriter, you need to know at least the basics of the SEO process (to feel the pride of claiming the SEO web content writer or blogger and SEO copywriter prefix or suffix with your name).
But why does it matter?
Because it promises ease (read RESULTS)!
For companies, it means no over-burdened SEO team, no team miscoordination headaches, 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, now more than ever.
The following post (and the rest of the series) is dedicated to teaching you the most important (yet the simplest) 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 before we get straight into it, let’s get a taste of the precise menu we have set the table for today.
Here’s this post about content writing for SEO purposes at a glimpse:
But, the thing is, why care about the SEO for blogs?
Why care about SEO for bloggers? Why does SEO for blogs matter?
Skip this part if you already know the importance of search-engine-optimizing your blog posts.
However, If you asked us this question, let us ask you a 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?
Well, to cut the story short. There are two ways you go in front of your target audience; paid and organic. Details on paid marketing are the scope of another discussion. For understanding how to achieve the same goal with organic marketing, keep reading.
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, clicked, and read by your 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, especially when they are not 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!
Now that you are all up for SEO tips for your blogs, let’s head straight to the point now!
What do you need to know to be a good SEO blogger? What do you need to do to make your blogs discoverable by the right people at the right time?
Here’s what has been getting us results:
How to SEO a blog? Demystifying the process for bloggers with SEO FAQs, Tips, and Tricks!
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 and the elements.
What is a keyword in blogging?
A keyword is any word or a combination of words (phrase) that your targeted audience looks up online about a given topic or problem.
In blogging, not only do we optimize our content for these keywords, but also their variants. These variants are called 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 vast 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 finding and choosing 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.
Until you get there, here’s a summary with an example:
- Brainstorm ideas, research, and finalize a topic you need keywords for, based on what your target audience wants to read about or should know about. Say you are an SEO optimizer; the search term ‘SEO blog topics’ would yield good results for you.
- Look for the keywords in your selected niche by one or a combination of these steps:
- Check out the Google trends for the popular phrases on your chosen SEO topic.
- Find on forums like Quora the exact phrases people are looking for relevant to the SEO topic you shortlisted.
- Use Twitter to find the exact trending keywords and phrases about your SEO blog topic.
- Look for Google and Youtube suggestions on the exact terms and phrases people are interested in relevant to SEO.
- Spy on your competitors to find the exact keywords and phrases they are ranking for on your selected SEO blog topic.
- Now that you have come up with a great SEO topic and a list of useful keywords to go with, finalize them based on some factors, including:
- monthly searches,
- difficulty level,
- competition and
- cost per click, etc.
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.
Because you wouldn’t have many people 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!
Here do you use keywords in your content – keywords placement – is coming up next.
Where should keywords be placed in a blog post?
Where you incorporate keywords – keywords placement – 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,
- 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 post’s introduction (preferably at the beginning) and the conclusion is 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 natural and 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, while you can!
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.
What this means and suggests is, use your focus keyword between 10-20 times in a 1000-words long post.
(Our two cents:
- Do not worry about keyword density if that calls for stuffing the keyword unnaturally.
- Don’t overuse just to reach the suggested range if you have already used it naturally in the proposed places (check the details in the previous question on keywords placement).
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 try 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.
The search engine might rank the content that wasn’t your preference higher.
Bottom line: Avoid Keyword cannibalism!
What’s the difference between a keyword and a key phrase, though?
The difference between the two 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?
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 keywords?
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.
Unlike short tail 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 two cents are – find out what works best for you with a little trial and error. You might be surprised, who knows.
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 the position or location of the page in question on the website.
- This link could also guide the visitors about your post’s subject.
- Visitors can use these same URLs for bookmarking your post or sharing it further.
Does permalink affect your SEO?
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. Therefore, 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?
Asking if your blog should contain pictures is like asking if it should be created in the first place or should provide value to the readers. You know the answers to each of these questions well. Right?
Your blogs should have highly relevant rich media, including images and videos, if you want to rank up high in the SERPs.
Why use images in your blogs?
- A picture is worth a thousand words, of course. Looking at a picture to get the gist of the topic is better than looking at a block of words that you do not want to read or do not understand.
- A page without a photo would be too dull for the readers to stay or read on.
- Using relevant images with proper names and descriptions gives you more chances to rank. If your photos rank in Google images, they can fetch you quality traffic.
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. When 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:
What are image alt-texts?
Alt-texts are the descriptions of your images for the search engines and 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 is the process of giving the right size and format to your image without compromising the quality (resolution).
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, the 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 further detailing, PNG should be your go-to option in that case. 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.
Miscellaneous SEO FAQs for bloggers
What is above the fold content SEO?
Above the fold in digital terms is the content you see on a website (or any platform) on the first screen, without scrolling up or down.
Since above-the-fold content gives the visitor your first impression and a taste of what to expect on the rest of the platform, it also requires to be optimized for higher retention rates. That’s what Above the fold content SEO does.
Here are the crucial points to keep in mind for above the fold content SEO:
- Use your primary keyword, preferably at the beginning of the content.
- Give them what they need in a way that appeals to them. Optimize the theme of the website, especially for the content above the fold. While your theme has huge image slideshows above the fold, your topic and page might not require it.
- Avoid running flashy images, announcements, or ads above the fold, unless you are on your competitor’s side to increase your bounce rate.
How do people find my blog?
How do people find your blog is an interesting process. Yet, newbies often find it confusing to understand. Therefore, here’s a simplified version of the process that helps people find your blog.
- When you have written and posted a blog post, the search engines would crawl and index it. Brace yourselves. Patience is in order here. You might be at the far end of the longest queue you could think of.
- Once you have been indexed, you’d appear in the search results for the queries or keywords you have optimized your blog posts for.
Posting your blog on multiple platforms and/or running ads increases your blog post’s chances to be found by people.
What is a plugin? What are some useful SEO plugins for bloggers?
A plugin is any part of the software that enhances a web browser’s practicality and functionality when added to it.
Here are a few popular SEO plugins for bloggers:
- Google XML Sitemaps
- All in one SEO pack
- Broken link checker
How do you attract people to your blog?
Here is a combination of strategies that answers this famous search query, ‘how do you attract people to your blog?’
- Look for the topics your target audience is highly interested in reading.
- Create unique, worth reading content on the chosen topics.
- Optimize your blog with the most relevant long and short-tails keywords.
- Look for ways to promote your blogs, such as:
- Repurpose for other platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) and link back to your original post.
- Guest post in your niche to bring a new audience to your site.
- Respond to relevant queries on platforms like Quora, Reddit, etc., with links to your blog post.
How to get blog readers is more of an art that you need to master for continued success. Using these strategies can help you to get blog readers in the short and long run.
How to get people to read my blog?
Getting traffic to your blog is one thing and retaining that traffic until they have read the blog post is another. Here is how to get people to read your blog once they are at your site:
- Hit them up with a value punch bag in your headline.
- Make your introduction short and concise yet interesting, relatable, and value-loaded. Prefer to begin with a question, a stat, or a story.
- Summarize the most important points or give the reader an idea of how you can or are helping them with their pain points. – preferably somewhere in the beginning.
- Use bucket brigade words to keep pushing them down the post.
- Make your headings and sub-headings benefit-driven to keep them hooked to each element.
How to get your blog noticed?
How to get my blog noticed is amongst the major concerns of bloggers and business owners today. Your content is useless no matter how wonderful it is if it is not discovered. Here’s what you can do to get your blog noticed, visited, and read:
- Search engine optimize (SEO) your blog. That’s the best favor you could extend to your business to get it discovered.
- Use social media to boost the reach of your blog content. Leverage paid and organic avenues.
- Whether on your official business handles and profiles or otherwise on social media and public platforms, indulge in useful, relevant discussion to increase your brand awareness and authority.
If I am concerned about how to get my website noticed, the combination of these strategies will help with that too.
How to grow a blog?
Your content marketing efforts go down the drain if you are not concerned about how to grow a blog. Fortunately, there are easy and lasting ways to grow your blog. Here’s what you need to do to attain this goal:
- Increase your networking and PR efforts to make your name known.
- Ensure quality content to associate your name with, with a consistency.
- Optimize for search engines to ensure higher organic visibility through that route.
- Use social media to grow followership and engagements.
- Ensure gated content and other valuable lead magnets to increase subscribers.
- Make sure your website is user-friendly, mobile-optimized, and has great speed.
These are only some of the ways to grow your blog, but they are guaranteed to fetch results.
How to gain blog followers?
Getting blog followers is a matter of patience and strategy. With a good strategy, you can achieve good followership with fewer efforts than your competitors. Here are a few things that help you get more blog followers in less time:
- Set your unique image to distinguish yourself from others. It could be your tone, ideas, presentation, or the consistency of valuable information.
- Extend efforts to SEO your blog to make it discoverable.
- For first time visitors and followers alike, build a website around an experience that keeps bringing them back.
- NETWORK more and more:
- Use social media to increase contacts.
- Use the power of forums, like Quora and Reddit, to increase awareness, authority, and ultimately followership of your blog.
- Start a strategic lead magnetic and call to action for subscription pop-ups to convert your visitors into subscribers.
Where do you start now?
So, is this all the information we have for the bloggers to optimize their blog posts?
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 this post again and again.
- Point out areas where you need practice.
- Fix what you can and need to, this week.
Let our free SEO content writing tutorials help you get quality traffic, more subscribers, leads, sales, and profits. (This blog itself is one of the exclusively crafted SEO writing examples. However, should you need more help or more SEO writing samples, feel free to contact our SEO copy and content writers and search engine optimization experts to guide you through the way.
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 content writing for SEO posts for bloggers.
Meanwhile, could you make improvements with any of the information here? Don’t forget to share your feedback and progress.
Happy Optimization with SEO FAQs, y’ bloggers 🙂