Stay up to date with SEO for blogging
Keep your blog fresh, dynamic and compliant with Google guidelines.
When it comes to SEO, it’s hard to keep up with what’s best practice and what’s outdated; Google's never-ending algorithm updates tends to keep marketers guessing.
What always remains important is relevancy and intent, meaning Google bots favour long-form blog style posts over quick metadata tweaks or Tweet-length updates to existing content. As ever, high quality content is always relevant and will help keep your site optimised.
We’ve gathered a handy list of the major nuggets to be aware of when creating written content, to keep your blog fresh, dynamic and compliant with Google guidelines.
While blogs often wax lyrical about keeping content brief and to the point (which is important for retaining your reader’s attention), the latest research finds that search engines actually give long form copy preference. Web pages with less than 300 words almost certainly won’t rank so it’s best to aim for articles over 600 words at a minimum.
Make your headings informative
If you’re worried about short attention spans and bounce rates, consider experimenting with the structure. Include meaningful headings and subheadings to make it more digestible. Section headings that provide clarity will help guide your readers towards information that is most relevant to them, and are also important for SEO purposes if they’re H2 or H3.
Write with intent
On that note, if you plan to feature longer pieces, it’s important to consider your content carefully. To hold your reader’s attention, first consider what they care about and find a topic from there. Include information that’s genuinely helpful and, ideally, unknown to your target audience to make it infinitely shareable.
Keywords and SEO are often uttered in the same breath but it’s imperative that marketers don’t sabotage their own content with outdated methods. Stuffing too many of the same keywords into a blog piece could invite penalties from Google and hurt your optimisation. So do your research—find out what search terms and phrases people use when looking for content similar to yours using Google Trends or one of the many keywords sourcing tools online.
Varying your keywords will also ensure the tone doesn’t feel unnatural and will enhance the overall reader experience. Make sure you include your researched keywords not only in the body copy but also in the headers, metadata and finally, your URL—one of the first things search engines will look to on your page.
Pepper your piece with relevant links
When it comes to blogging, marketers differ on whether outbound or inbound links rule. The truth is that both serve a purpose in relation to SEO. When it comes to outbound links, the page you’re referring to must be a high authority source. Linking to well-known and well-visited sites will optimise your blog piece. Make sure outbound links are designed to open in a new window so you don’t lose traffic.
Internal links are also helpful for increasing traffic and decreasing bounce rates; even if a particular piece isn’t what your reader is after, they might see something else to entice them within an internal link.
A picture is worth a thousand words and reader’s eyes will always scan images first before starting on copy—make sure you don’t lose them at this stage with bad quality or irrelevant images. Good imagery also makes text infinitely more digestible.
Most importantly, they also have an impact on SEO when used correctly. Search engines will crawl the file name of the image, as well as any alt text you include, so this is a good opportunity for including your keywords (separated by hyphens for a meaningful file name). Image alt text tells search engines what your article is about, so it’s another way to get their attention—this is also important for users using screen readers.
Let your audience know what to do next
Never forget to include a call to action at the end of your text article, whether that’s subscribing to your newsletter or sharing the article on social media—both of which will ultimately enhance traffic and build your audience.
If you’re struggling with SEO tactics, it might be time to hire an expert. The content management team at ALHAUS can help. Contact us to review your strategy today.