If Content is King, SEO is his Queen… and she is a fickle mistress. If you’re looking to find out how to improve your SEO ranking for each and every post you publish, you need to focus on keywords, quality writing and links.
Although the Google algorithms that determine your search rank are constantly adapting and evolving, these time-tested techniques that will always work.
Here’s how to improve your SEO ranking for each blog post.
Keywords are critical. Search engine spiders crawl your content and determine its relevancy by the type and frequency of keywords you include.
You need to know exactly what your audience is searching for so you can target your content to the perfect keyword. That’s why there are so many excellent free SEO ranking tools available for you to use… but don’t get overwhelmed. We narrowed it down to the top three free SEO tools here.
Once you’ve identified the perfect keyword, it’s time to put it to work. It’s not enough to use it a few times and hope for the best. You need to put that keyword in the right places and use it at the right frequencies to maximize your SEO ranking.
At the very minimum, you should work that keyword into your URL, headline, meta description, subheadings and image alt tags. You should also aim for a reasonable keyword density within the content of the post itself.
In my experience, it’s best to write the content as a draft and then fit the keyword into the content wherever it sounds natural.
Great writing is also important. Keywords alone aren’t enough. Your articles also need to be written well.
Remember to structure your posts with an introduction, body and conclusion. Use paragraphs and subheadings to make your article easy to read and skim. Use transitions and varied sentence structure. You know, all those things that everyone hated in English class? They’re super important if you want to be a successful blogger.
Include links to valuable content both on your website and on other websites. In addition to boosting SEO, creating inbound links in my Low Income Relief posts has tremendously improved my reader retention and reduced my bounce rates.
In addition to your own site, be sure to link to quality, trustworthy websites. Linking to less-reputable sites may damage your SEO.
Use Yoast SEO. If you’ve been following my tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog, you’ve already installed the Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin is a powerful partner in optimizing your website for SEO. Simply insert your keyword into the focus keyword box and Yoast will give you clear instructions on how to improve your content.
Yoast SEO also allows you to customize your meta titles and meta descriptions, which show up in Google searches and social media shares. Without editing, the description will simply be a snippet of text from your content and may not include your keywords. You will need to edit the meta description for each and every post you publish.
In addition to SEO, Yoast SEO will also grade your writing based on the Flesch Readability Score. This is a great way to ensure that your writing is accessible to all your readers!
These critical mistakes will DESTROY your SEO ranking!
Do not overuse your keywords! Keyword stuffing is overenthusiastic and will damage your SEO ranking. Google bots associate keyword stuffing with spam. Be sure to include variety and synonyms to prevent you from overusing the keywords you are targeting.
Edit your permalinks to avoid using numbers. Even when you publish a list, like 50+ Blog Post Ideas, remove the number from the permalink. This will ensure that your permalinks are always accurate and relevant even if you update the article later with more tips.
Do not wander off-topic! Use the keywords as a guide to frame your content. Be sure to keep your writing tight, concise and on-topic at all times.
Do not scrape, duplicate, self-plagiarize or use content spinners. Ensure that your content is all unique, original and valuable to your audience.
Many bloggers create tags that are excessively similar to one another, which creates pages that are essentially duplicates. You can get penalized for this, so make sure you don’t create new tags that are essentially the same as existing tags.