As a blogger, you know SEO serves as the lifeline of your blog, and blogging is critical to the success of your website. When gone bad, however, blogging puts the kibosh on your painstaking SEO efforts.
Bloggers are strongly recommended to keep SEO considerations in sight when they blog. Here are five ways all bloggers—even those who blog books—can improve the SEO on their posts:
Write Long Content
Try writing long posts. Some content marketers portray the-lengthier-the-better formula as a rule of thumb, which it is not. Short content gets shared and liked by many. The idea here is not to scribble for indefinite period of time but to stuff information, consider alternative points of view and reflect a crisp and conversational tone. When bloggers do all these collectively, the content length automatically increases.
There’s no consensus over the optimal post length. Some believe it should be 1,500 words long while some believe it should have 2,000+ words. The figure below sheds some light on this:
The optimal content length, according to the figure above is between 1,400 and 1,800 words, given users read 200 to 250 words a minute. The reason online readers can read this many words a minute is because they scan content, titles and subheadings.
An excellent article by Brian Sutter in defines scannable content as something that resembles the old-school journalistic content where headlines capture the attention. Today, readers will probably pass on blog content that is not easily scannable.
Long form content helps you create authority in an industry. Thought leadership is the mantra of success and unless you write lengthy content stuffed with details, you’ll have a difficult time achieving it. There’s a long held belief that long form content doesn’t offer any benefit. But a study done by serpIQ proved otherwise. Below, you can see what the study revealed:
All search engine results from 1 to 10 had more than 2,000 words.
While a 2,000+ words long article may not get read in its entirety, a 1,200 to 1,500 word long post will positively be read and accept Google’s favor.
Write Opinionated Content
Any idea how many blogs are published each day? More than 2 million.
There’s nothing exclusive when it comes to online content. An article or a blog post can be original and unique, but the topic it covers is the same topic found on thousands of other blogs. The factor that determines the uniqueness of a post is your opinion, which you express in the content.
Unless you foist your opinion onto the content, it won’t rise above the fold and end up as a boilerplate item. Search engines don’t give unslanted content any value. As a result, your blog will never show up in top Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Opinionated content is applauded by search engines and readers alike. From the reader’s point of view, opinionated content is better than non-opinionated content. The former is backed by research, posits new angles from which to look at subjects while the latter is just cookie-cutter reiteration.
Do your research and review resources, but always have a unique take on whatever subject you tackle. Use the research and the insights obtained from it to back your opinion.
Use a Numbered Title
Numbered titles have immense power. A numbered title not only delivers readers a definitive idea of what the article is all about but also persuades search engines to showcase the article on top in the result page.
I did a search on Google with the keyword “buying grocery” and almost all of the top results displayed in the SERP had numbered titles. See for yourself below:
The screenshot above is the proof that numbered titles are important from a SEO point of view. Google loves titles that have numbers in them. Bloggers who want their sites to rank top on Google should apply this strategy.
Add Multimedia and Graphics
In a time when media elements dominate online communication, text content appears boring to many. If your blog has only text-based content, no images or videos, it might be snubbed by readers. To make sure that never happens, add images and multimedia elements to your blog posts.
Some social channels are dedicated to uploaded graphic content. Instagram and Pinterest are two such channels, and both account for a decent level of user-engagement and ROI. Using Pinterest fetched brands 25% more sales in 2013 than the previous year.
Such is the power of visual presentation. Search engines love content packed with multimedia and graphics. An article on Moz explained how infographics and video benefit link building. Social share has been Google’s favorite metrics to assign high rank on websites, and both infographics and videos can generate millions of shares. Thus, posts scant with images or videos have low odds of high search engine ranking. Besides search engines, users also love to see content heavy with multimedia elements, provided the media elements are relevant.
Include Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords offer a range of SEO benefits. Incorporate them in your blog posts, and this practice is bound to garner traction from search both the engine’s and user’s ends. Long tail keywords are important for SEO because the meaning remains the same, only the wording differs. Google loves them as the keywords look naturally inserted in the content, not forced.
Hence, adding long-tail keywords to content is something you should do to earn your blog a better placement in the SERP. From a writer’s point of view, long-tail keywords ease the task of content development as the writer has an extended vocabulary, full of words, similar in meaning.
If you haven’t been following these five SEO tips, then don’t waste time. Start following them today. These strategies help your blog secure an excellent ranking on Google and put your site ahead of your competitor’s blogs.
About the Author
Mike Dane is a digital marketing professional currently working as a PR manager at TruConversion.com. He truly loves online marketing and anything digital. He is very focused on his clients. Once he starts work, he is fully committed to his duties and responsibilities at that company.