Checklist For SEO Friendly Blog Posts

You know that your need to use search engine optimisation or SEO skills as much as possible but with Google updating their algorithms on a regular basis, it can be difficult to know what is best practice and what used to be useful but should now be avoided.
Here is a checklist to ensure that you create blog posts that are SEO friendly.

Place your focus on 1-2 long-tail keywords

One of the worst things you can do with a blog is stuff it full of keywords. You should look to use one or two long-tail keywords in every post. If you use too many keywords, search engines will penalise you and if you use too many keywords, you will lose focus. There is nothing wrong with having more than one keyword in use in a blog but using one or two to create the focus of your blog post will help you to create a concise and tailored blog post.

Research indicates that long-tail keywords are more effective and efficient in drawing website visitors as these are more qualified. In short, this means that these words bring the right sort of visitors in. When it comes to ranking well, there are four parts of your post that matter so focus on:

A) Title –  The title should have your keyword but it should also be under 70 characters. This is the first place where the search engines and look to see what you are offering, so it needs to be relevant.

B) Body – Your keyword(s) should be used in a natural and reader-focused way throughout your post. If a search engine believes that you are using keyword mentions purely to rank, as opposed to inform the user, they will likely penalise your site in the rankings.

C) URL – The URL of your page should reflect the title so having a keyword in the URL can be of benefit. Even if you have to trim your title down to a shorter length, do what you can to retain the keyword.

For Example:

D) Meta Description – The meta description provides readers and search engines with information about the content of your blog so you definitely need a long-tail keyword term but it must also be engaging.

Use a responsive design

In the modern era with people accessing websites from all manner of devices, you need to be confident that your site can be viewed, read and enjoyed by everyone. This means you should be looking to build your site with a responsive design as this will provide a unified experience for all of your users. It can boost your SEO rankings but the real benefit comes with helping users enjoy what you have to offer.

A study undertaken by Google showed that 61% of mobile users returned to Google if they found a site to be unreadable or difficult to view. You will also benefit from the fact that a responsive design will ensure you have one URL which means that all inbound links will be going to the one domain.

Optimise meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are importance because they provide important information to users and search engines. You need to have the long-tail keyword involved here because they will appear in bold if a user uses these terms when searching.

Canonical Tags are important

It has long been stated that you shouldn’t have duplicate content on your site but there will be times when you use duplicate content to assist users in navigating around the site. If you have duplicate content but you are keen to keep both of the pages live, canonical tags can be of great benefit.

These tags allow you to communicate with search engines, informing them what pages should be indexed and what shouldn’t. This information will ensure that you are not punished for duplicate content and it will help the search engine link to the dominant or main resource.

To use canonical tags:

  1. Select the page that needs to be indexed and then record the URL
  2. Go to the pages that are duplicates and shouldn’t be indexed and place this code into the section: <link rel=”canonical” href=”INSERT INDEXED PAGE URL”/>
  3.  If you need anymore help, here’s what Google say..

Make sure your images are optimised

While text is vital for SEO purposes on a blog or your site, you should also look to use images to boost your SEO rankings. Search engines aren’t looking at images, not yet anyway, but they are looking at the alt text of your images.

You can see the alt text for an image by placing your cursor on an image and you will see a small box on your screen that provides you with a description of the image. This description assists the search engine in interpreting what the image is. If you think of alt-text as an interpreter that provides a service for a search engine, you will quickly understand the importance of adding alt-text to your images.

Do not use an excessive amount of topic tags

While topic tags can play a big role in helping to organise blog content and allowing people to find what you offer, too many topic tags can harm your site with respect to search engine rankings.

Similar to using too many keywords on a site, if you stuff your topic tags with variations on a theme, a search engine will assume you are trying to stuff keywords. If you use too many topic tags that are not linked or themed, your post will lose focus and search engines will become confused on what you are offering with the post.

If you have misused topic tags in the past, you can still clean them up now or in the future. It can be helpful to think of around 15 to 20 topic tags that are right for your business and then use then sparingly at a time for relevant content.

A good URL structure will help your guests and search engines

Your website should have an URL structure that simplifies the process of helping them navigate your site and finding the content that they are looking for. With respect to SEO, search engines prefer URLs that simplify the process of knowing what is on a page. Like most steps, you’ll find that making life easier for the user also makes life easier for search engines, which means you will benefit in two ways.

Use internal links where you can

If you can legitimately link to previous content on your site, do so, because this will help guide users to content they may be interested in, but it also strengthens your image or identity for a search engine. If you want to be considered as being the natural choice for a certain topic or focus, showing that you have numerous posts on that topic will make it easier for search engines to recommend you.

Use Google Webmaster Tools

If you are keen to learn more about SEO and how to use it properly, be sure to check out the Webmaster Tools that Google provides you. You can find out great ways to optimise your site so be sure to check back on a regular basis for more tips and ideas.

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