How To Optimize Blog Posts For SEO – Best Practices

How To Optimize Blog Posts For SEO - Best Practices
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link!*

This post will be sharing how to optimize blog posts for SEO from the very beginning.

If there’s one thing I’ve mastered in the last 12 – 18 months, it is optimizing my blog posts for SEO. Technically, I’ve been content writing for almost a decade but when it comes to Digital Marketing, the learning never really stops. It’s an ongoing continuous process which I’m more than happy to do.

Making the transition from hobby blogger to professional blogger comes with its own challenges. One of which includes learning to write and optimize your blog posts for the search engines. You can’t just write randomly like you are used to. You need to be intentional about your content so that you can achieve your blogging goals. So, the first thing you need to do is to create an SEO Content Strategy that involves identifying your blogging goals, brainstorming content ideas, undergoing keyword research and populating your blog content calendar. After strategy comes the next stage which is writing and optimizing your blog post.

The first thing you need to do is to download the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. Although, these days, a lot of people are going for Rank Math as it provides everything Yoast Premium offers for free. Personally, I’ve been using Yoast for years and I tend to stick to what works for me until I’ve mastered it and I out-grown it. But if you’re a bit more advanced with SEO, you can try out Rank Math and see how it goes. Either way, you need an SEO plugin that will steer you in the right direction.

Here’s How To Optimize Blog Posts for SEO + All The important Steps You Need To Pay Attention To.

Like I mentioned earlier, the first thing you need to do is to install the Yoast SEO plugin. But just because you’ll be using a plugin doesn’t mean you shouldn’t educate yourself on the best SEO practices. This way your content will be a lot more humanized and sound less robotic just because you want to cater to the search engines.

Without further ado, here are all the important signals that tell Google to send all of that sweet traffic your way.

Title Tags

Before getting to this point of writing your blog post, I’m sure you must have undergone keyword research and used your chosen keyword to create a title. That is the first thing you need to do before writing your article. Obviously, you can always go back to adjust it where necessary but make sure your keyword is the first few characters of your title.

Check out all the resources I Use To Make Money Blogging

Permalinks

While a lot of people might not consider this important for SEO, it’s a habit I’ve imbibed since I started using WordPress almost a decade ago. Anytime I create a new WordPress site, I make sure I adjust the Permalink in the Settings to ‘Post Name’ alone. This ensures that my posts remain evergreen and are not de-ranked by Google for being old content. Also, for each post I write, my permalinks only reflect the keyword I want to rank for. So, I edit the title and just leave the keywords.

How To Optimize Blog Posts For SEO - Best Practices

Headings & Subheadings

Just like title tags, your headings and subheading are very important especially now in the age of Structured Data and Featured Snippets. Your blog posts are not essays so they shouldn’t be written like one. Break down your content with the heading tags. H1 is your title. H2 headings and H3 – H6 subheadings so structure your content accordingly. Also, make sure each heading doesn’t have more than 300 words. Otherwise, you’ll need to break it down into further subheadings. Also, write with all these in mind. The more structured your content is, the easier it is for Google to pick up your content as a featured snippet. Also, don’t forget to use your focus keyword in your headings and subheadings. Once or twice is fine. You don’t need to overstuff your post.

Internal & Outbound Links

You want to make sure you’re tieing up your content with each other by linking to your previous posts. As you can see in this post, I currently have three internal links linking to RELEVANT posts and three outbound links also linking to RELEVANT posts. You don’t want to link to just about any post or any website. It ruins the user experience and your audience loses trust in your content. Make sure you’re using the right anchor text – preferably a keyword that best describes the article – rather than just a generic text when interlinking.

How To Optimize Blog Posts For SEO - Best Practices

Keyword Density

This is where the Yoast SEO plugin comes in very handy. As it will tell you the number of times your focus keyphrase which you want to rank for is found in your post. This is very helpful as it will prevent you from overstuffing your post with keywords. Obviously, the longer your post is, the higher the keyword density so just bear that in mind when writing. in my experience, the more you write the easier it is to naturally slot your focus keyphrase.

Text Length

Before now, you could get away with a 300 – 500 word article. But those days are long gone. Right now, you should be aiming for 1500 – 2500 word long-form articles which is now the standard. But don’t let that scare you especially if you struggle with long-form content, you can still rank with 1000 – 1500 word articles. At least I do. Just make sure the content is quality and well-optimized.

Images & Videos

Another important signal you must pay attention to when learning how to optimize your blog posts for SEO is your images. As much as possible, get original images. It is one of the factors that has helped me rank super quickly. I take my photos for my lifestyle blog and pay for stock photos. Try not to use popular free stock photo sites if your goal is to rank. Either take your photos, design vector graphics on Canva or purchase a stock photo bundle. As for videos, you can easily embed relevant YouTube videos to your posts that will increase dwell time and reduce your bounce rate.

Meta Descriptions

A final but key aspect you should not forget is your meta descriptions. While you can actually forget it and Google will pull out any part of your post to use, it is another avenue to slot in your keyword that you’ll be missing out on. So, craft a convincing meta description with your focus keyphrase to further optimize your post.

In Conclusion,

I hope you have found this post on how to optimize blog posts for SEO useful. The idea is to send as many signals to Google as possible organically to increase your chances of ranking your posts.

How To Optimize Blog Posts For SEO - Best Practices

When you’re done with your post, you should aim to get the Green on the Yoast SEO traffic light system. Red means it’s badly optimized. Yellow means it is moderately optimized and Green means it is well optimized. Follow the directions provided by the plugin to reach Green. Remember, don’t try to focus it. instead, try to sound as human and natural as possible.

Here’s to more quality blog posts!

Ebun Oluwole
SEO Specialist & Blogger with nine years of experience with B2B & B2C brands in various industries.
%d bloggers like this: