If you’re like me, the idea of using SEO to improve content for search engines sounds pretty unappealing. After all, Google has changed its algorithms over 500 times in the past year, and making sure your content is optimized for every one of those changes can be a bit daunting.
And if you’re not exactly a fan of writing, well… it’s easy to see why you might feel overwhelmed. But as much as we’d like to believe that ranking higher in search engines doesn’t matter, it does especially when you want more people to read what you’ve written.
We’re going to run through everything I’ve learned about SEO so far as an SEO professional and writer who used SEO to drive traffic from zero readers per month up to over 100,000 readers per month in less than six months.
This is just the beginning of your journey with SEO, but I promise that this guide will help you reach your goals no matter what they are.
|Implementing SEO strategies is essential for driving traffic to your blog.
|The SEO funnel provides a structured approach to optimizing blog posts.
|Focus on keyword research to target relevant and high-traffic search terms.
|Craft compelling meta descriptions to improve click-through rates.
|Incorporate internal and external links to enhance the value of your content.
|Utilize on-page optimization techniques to improve your blog’s search visibility.
|Consistency in content creation and promotion is key to sustaining blog traffic.
Define Your Target Keywords
The first step to optimizing a blog post is to define your target keywords.
It’s important to understand what problem you intend on solving for the reader before jumping into the solution. Otherwise, you may end up creating content that doesn’t solve their problem.
The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is by setting goals before you start writing your content, and then keeping those goals in mind as you write and optimize it later on.
Think about what kind of improvements or changes your reader needs for them to be satisfied with their results when they finish reading or better yet.
Think about what kind of improvements or changes will make them want to do something specific like click on an ad or share your article with others!
Don’t worry too much about what other people’s goals are; focus on yours and stay ambitious but realistic:
There’s no need for over-ambitiousness here because most bloggers just want more traffic from regular blogging activities than they were getting before starting on the platform (and so do I!).
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Determine Target Keyword Competition Level
Analyzing keyword competition is important because it will help you determine how much effort you need to put into optimizing a particular keyword. If a keyword has low competition, it means that it’s easier to rank for and more likely to drive traffic.
In contrast, keywords with high competition will require more work to achieve a high rank on Google.
To find out how competitive your target keywords are, we recommend using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool. These tools provide estimates of the worldwide search volume and AdWords cost per click (CPC) for each keyword.
They also provide information relating to other metrics such as average ranking position (ARP), which tells you where your competitor ranks yours;
Difficulty score, which indicates how hard it would be for your website/webpage/URL if someone searched for those terms; and estimated clicks per month (ECPM), which can help you predict how many visitors might come from this particular source over time
Create Detailed Outlines For Each Page
While outlines can be used for any type of writing, they’re especially helpful with blog posts. Outlines help organize your thoughts, identify gaps in your knowledge and content, and ensure that you’re addressing the needs of your audience.
Here’s how to create them:
Define Your Audience
Write down who you are trying to reach with this post. For example, if you were writing a piece about SEO best practices for eCommerce sites (which we will), then write down “Online store owners.”
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Develop Content That Fits The User Intent
For the ultimate user experience, you’ll need to consider what your audience is looking for and how you can deliver it in a way that satisfies them. If you know who your target customer is and what their needs are, you can create content that fits those needs.
The first step in creating content that fits user intent is to write using The Five Ws: Who? What? Where? When? Why? And How? This formula helps ensure that all bases are covered and allows readers to get an idea of what they will learn before they read more into the piece.
Here’s an example of how the 5Ws would be used: “We’re here today with our newest product, which will help save time while making grocery shopping more enjoyable.”
This gives us some basic information about both the topic (grocery shopping) and what we’re reading about (the product). Next up comes one of our favorite questions: “Why should I care?”
In this case, we could answer with something like “Because grocery stores have too many products on display.”
Now we’ve established why someone should pay attention to save time by reducing clutter in stores but also why it matters now instead of later: because there isn’t enough shelf space available for new products or anything else customers might want from their local market!
Use Short Paragraphs To Break Up Content And Improve Readability
The goal is to make your content easier to read and digest. The easiest way to do this is by breaking up paragraphs into smaller chunks, which can be accomplished in a variety of ways:
- Bullet points
- Numbered lists
- Images and videos (embedded YouTube videos are only allowed on the first image)
- Links to other articles that relate to the subject matter at hand (see below)
Since you’re reading this article, I’m going to assume that you’ve already written several hundred words worth of blog posts. If so, I’d like you to take a moment now right now to go back through them one by one to improve readability.
You’ll probably find that there’s some obvious stuff like paragraph length and formatting (e.g., when was the last time you used boldface or italics?) easily fixed with some good ol’ copy/paste action.
Use Clear, Concise Headline Copy
The headline is the first thing a user reads. The headline should be short, yet concise and clear. Your headline should also be compelling enough that it makes the reader want to click through and read more.
The best headlines are simple and direct, but not too simplistic or generic, as they can easily become boring or predictable.
And while we don’t want our headlines to be overly unique or clever, we do want them to draw attention from search engines (and hopefully from humans as well).
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Write With Your Audience In Mind
You should write your content with your audience in mind.
That’s right the kind of person who reads your blog posts or website needs to be someone you can identify with, or at least have a general idea of their characteristics. Are they male? Female?
Young? Old? Do they have kids? What do they like to read about and what do they need help with when it comes to their own lives and the things they’re trying to accomplish? If any of these questions are difficult for you to answer, then it’s time for some research!
The goal here is not just writing something that will appeal to everyone (because no one does), but creating something that will speak directly to a specific group of people who are looking for answers like yours.
These “people” may not even know exactly what those answers are yet…but if you write from a place where there’s no assumption, then maybe the answers will reveal themselves naturally enough.
Incorporate Strategic Internal Links Throughout Your Blog Post Or Landing Page
Remember to use internal links strategically, not just as a way to boost SEO. The goal is to give readers a clear path through the content and help them find what they are looking for faster, which will help increase engagement and loyalty.
Make sure you’re linking internally in ways that make sense for your audience and the content you’re writing about (for instance, if you’re talking about SEO on this page then maybe link out to another article where I discuss SEM/PPC marketing).
Include External Links For Further Reading
One of the easiest ways to optimize a blog post is by adding external links. This can be done in several different ways, depending on what you want to accomplish with your external links.
For example, if you have a lengthy paragraph that explains a concept and you think readers might benefit from additional information about it, break up that paragraph with an external link for more detail.
If you want to provide examples of how someone can apply this concept in their own life, add an external link for examples.
If all else fails, just use as many external links as possible!
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Optimize Title Tags For Better Click-Through Rates (CTRs) And Search Rankings
Use a keyword-rich title tag. The title tag is the first thing that people see when they visit your site. It should be optimized for search engines and make sense to human visitors.
Make sure the title tag isn’t too long. We recommend keeping your titles under 70 characters because Google doesn’t display them all on mobile devices, which means you could lose out on click-throughs if they can’t read your full title tag!
Include the keyword in the first 30 characters of the title tag. The closer to the beginning of your page someone gets, the more likely they are to stay there and read what you have written!
Include a keyword in at least one word of every other line within the content (for example: “keyword 1 phrase 2 keywords 3 phrases 4).
This creates internal links within each paragraph which will help search engines crawl through each section more easily and increase their understanding of how often certain words appear across different pages on your website or blog
Optimize Meta Descriptions For Better CTRs And Search Rankings
Meta descriptions are a great way to entice users and encourage them to click through. They are visible only in the SERPs, not on the search engine results page (SERP).
They aren’t shown with images or videos, so they are often the only way you have of telling people what your content is about.
You should always use short, concise sentences that tell readers what they can expect from your piece of content. You want it to be clear and concise, so make sure it says everything you want it to say, without any excess fluff.
The best-performing meta descriptions tend toward being under 160 characters in length; anything more than this will be cut off by Google when displaying them on mobile devices
Optimize H1 Headings For Better CTRs And Search Rankings
Optimize your H1 headings for better CTRs and search rankings.
H1 headings are the most important on a page, so use them to your advantage by using them to describe the topic of an article and summarize it at the same time.
This is especially helpful in optimizing blog posts because they’re typically longer than other types of content, like a video or infographic. By using keywords in your H1 headings, you’ll make sure that Google knows what it’s about and users will know what they’re clicking into as well!
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Make Sure Every Image Has An Alt Attribute
Alt-text is the text that appears when an image isn’t loaded. Alt tags are used to describe the content of your images, so make sure that every image has one.
This is especially important for SEO purposes because it helps Google index your site and can also help with accessibility, making sure that people with disabilities can see what you’re trying to present in an image.
The alt tag should be descriptive, concise, and written in plain English so it makes sense to everyone who reads it (this means no technical jargon!).
For example, if there’s a logo on the page, use the company name as an alt tag; if there’s a photo of someone smiling at you from their laptop while they’re traveling through Europe, use that person’s name as an alt tag (that way if someone searches for “Jane” you’ll show up).
The goal is for anyone reading it whether they have vision issues or not to understand what this particular picture shows without having to see it first-hand!
Write Engaging Alt Text, Captions, And Image File Names
Write Engaging Alt Text
Alt text, also called “alternative text” or “alt attribute,” is a snippet of information that appears when you hover over an image in your browser.
It allows users who are visually impaired to understand what the image is about and decide whether or not to click on it. If you leave this field blank, search engines might not show your page at all and it will certainly hurt your SEO!
To Write Effective Alt Text For Your Images
Describe the image in one succinct sentence (no more than 150 characters). This should be as close to a verbatim description as possible without being overly wordy or repetitive (e.g., “I am an illustration of what I do best: writing blog posts that help people solve their problems!”).
Include relevant keywords here if possible; for example, if you’re writing about SEO strategies for small businesses on medium-sized budgets, include words like “SEO strategy” or “small business.”
You could also include things like “small business budget” if those were two things mentioned in the article itself but aren’t necessarily related topics themselves (i.e., both are mentioned in passing within different paragraphs).
Remember: keep it short but sweet! Don’t go overboard here you don’t need long paragraphs; just enough information so potential readers know what they’ll find inside before clicking through themselves.
Leverage High-Quality Multimedia When Possible
If you have the budget to hire a graphic designer, that’s great! But if not, there are some things you can do to make your content more readable and engaging.
Use high-quality images and videos. In general, use images in your blog posts that are relevant to the content at hand and not just for decoration. If appropriate, consider using videos as well this will add another dimension of engagement for readers.
Use captions correctly: If your image has text on it (e.g., “This is what happens when”), but that text inside the image tag so search engines can read it too!
Otherwise, they won’t be able to index those images properly which means less traffic from those pages.
Since search engines don’t know what they say unless someone else has typed this out manually the first time back before any SEO efforts were made on them which might have been done by accident.)
If you’ve never run your content through an SEO funnel before, this is a great place to start.
There are plenty of tools out there you can use to perform these steps, but it’s usually best to start with Google Search Console or an all-in-one software like SEMrush that will help you keep track of your progress throughout the process.
Here are some additional resources for further enhancing your understanding of optimizing blog posts for better traffic:
Increasing Blog Traffic: 15 Proven Strategies Short Description: Explore 15 proven strategies to boost your blog’s traffic and engagement, helping you reach a wider audience.
How to Optimize a Blog Post for SEO Short Description: Dive into the essentials of optimizing your blog posts for SEO, ensuring your content ranks well on search engines.
Getting Blog Traffic: The Ultimate Guide Short Description: Unlock the ultimate guide to obtaining consistent and targeted blog traffic, driving more visitors to your content.
Here are some common questions related to optimizing blog posts and driving traffic, along with their answers:
How can I increase traffic to my blog posts?
To increase traffic to your blog posts, focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that resonates with your target audience. Additionally, implement SEO best practices, share your posts on social media platforms, and engage with your audience through comments and discussions.
What are some SEO techniques to optimize my blog posts?
Optimizing blog posts for SEO involves using relevant keywords, crafting compelling meta descriptions, optimizing images, using internal and external links, and ensuring your content provides value to readers while being easily accessible to search engines.
How important is social media promotion for driving blog traffic?
Social media promotion is crucial for driving blog traffic as it helps you reach a broader audience and encourages sharing. By sharing your blog posts on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can attract more visitors and foster engagement.
What role do backlinks play in improving blog traffic?
Backlinks are external links pointing to your blog from other websites. They not only contribute to your blog’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines but can also drive traffic from those external sources if the content is relevant and valuable.
How can I maintain consistent traffic to my blog over time?
Consistent traffic requires a combination of regular content creation, ongoing SEO efforts, engaging with your audience, and staying updated with the latest trends in your niche. Building a loyal readership and promoting your content consistently will help sustain traffic levels.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.