Interested in writing SEO friendly blog content this year? Learning SEO best practices is critical if you’re looking to expand your business. In this post, we’ll show you how to optimize blog posts for SEO in 2019, and include 5 best practices.
Search Engine Optimization is the #1 best way to succeed at marketing your business blog online. However, often times it can be an intimidating and confusing marketing term for a lot of business owners and bloggers.
A majority of us are aware that SEO is important when it comes to website traffic. However, often times we don’t know what it covers, or the proper steps to take to get started.
Then, there’s another issue-
Keeping up with Google’s latest search algorithm changes.
I’ve got good news- absolutely anyone can get a grasp on their blog’s SEO with just a few, simple, and actionable practices.
Even doing a few of these things will shoot you way ahead of your competitors, as most bloggers get this part completely wrong.
Once you come to terms with the basics, learning the ever changing SEO landscape will seem like a much less monumental task.
(It doesn’t change as much as you think.)
Ready to learn how to optimize blog posts for SEO in 2019?
Wonderful! Let’s get started.
How To Optimize Blog Posts For SEO In 2019
Over the last few years, we’ve noticed that search engines such as Google are shifting their focus on what they consider to be relevant content. In 2019, Google cares about delivering useful, relevant, and high quality information to its users.
Gone are the day of simply keyword stuffing your post wiht keywords you want to rank for.
In order for Google to do any of that, it has to understand a number of things about your blog post
- Quality – Are you an authority in your selected niche? Does your post reflect this?
- Relevance – Does your post answer the query the user had? In other words, does it solve a problem for a specific person?
- Usefulness – Is your post easy to read, in-depth, and helpful?
These SEO Best Practices are some tried and true techniques that I’ve used to help search engines like Google understand the answers to those questions. In turn, your blog stands a better chance of ranking on page #1.
Although it’s not possible to completely predict how an algorithm will change in the next 2-5 years, these methods are relevant today, and will likely remain so for the near future.
What’s the best part? This is pretty easy! It’s not rocket surgery. Just read on to see how you can start optimizing your blog for SEO.
1. Optimize Your Meta Tags
Your meta tags are the literal skeleton of your SEO process.
Meta tags tell search engines what your blog posts are about. Therefore, it should be the beginning of your SEO campaign.
We’re going to go over 4 important meta tags you should focus on. These are Title tags, Header tags, ALT image tags, and meta descriptions. I’ll break everything down for you and explain each type of tag and how it applies to SEO in an easy to understand way.
After reading this, (And maybe sharing with your friends?) you’ll immediately be able to implement it to your own blog for better exposure and higher index changes in search engines!
What is a Title Tag?A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result, and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing.
The title tag is the cream of the crop of tags. It also carries the most weight.
Usually, we see title tags in two places:
- In search results (As the top hyperlink)
- In certain browser tabs
In Google, we get about 70 Characters for the title tag. It’s important to try to take up all of the available space without going over AND include the keywords you want to rank for are in there. (Make sure it still reads naturally.) If you go over 70, it will appear cut off in search results.
There’s a simple way to add a title tag to your blog posts. If you use WordPress, I recommend you use the Yoast SEO Plugin. (It’s what we use!) You will then see a new window below your standard editor on your blog post edit screen. Click on the snippet preview, and then type your title tag into the SEO Title field.
What is a Meta Description?
A meta description is the small amount of content that shows up in the search results underneath your post’s title tag.
While meta descriptions no longer provide SEO value, they are important when it comes to people clicking on your search listing. This, in turn will benefit your SEO in the long run.
Consider this: Your meta description lets people know what your post is all about. If it seems to answer a question they were looking for, then a greater number of people will click to read it. (This is called CTR, or click through rate.) The more people that click it, the more Google thinks your post is highly relevant to their query, and consequently will move you up in search results.
Try to write compelling and engaging meta descriptions for your blog posts. Make sure to use 300 characters or less. (Google has changed this a few times. Prior to December 2017, the meta length was 165 characters, but has since increased.
It’s easy to add a meta description to your post. Just type what you want to see into the Yoast SEO field below the title and slug fields.
Header tags, (H1, H2, H3) serve not only to tell Google what your post is about, but also to segment your article for easier reading.
These are the only tags that are visible on your blog to your readers, so make sure that they read naturally for your visitors, and also contain your most important keywords.
While there is no set character limit for this, make sure it’s not too long or too short. These are mainly for the user to better navigate your post, and Google likes a good user experience!
Image ALT Tags
What Are ALT Tags?
Alt Tags help explain to search engines what your images are about. They also help with website accessibility. (For example, a visually impaired person using a screen reader)
Make sure to include your keywords, and be descriptive of what the image is about. WordPress makes this easy- Simply select the image you want to use and fill in the feilds on the right hand side. Be sure to also fill in the title, and caption fields.
2. Consistently Publish Content
Be consistent with the content that you publish. Google considers your website more authoritative when businesses frequently update their websites with fresh, unique, relevant content.
The frequency at which you publish changes based on your industry, and what your competitors are doing. A good rule of thumb is to publish 1-2 blog posts every week starting out. If that’s too much for you, ( Hire Us 😉 ) try publishing every 2 weeks.
Alternatively, you can accept guest posts on your website. This will help you streamline the content creation process by allowing other people to create content for you.
Consistent content will not only increase your traffic, but it will allow you to target different key phrases with each newly published post. This makes it easier to grow and expand your audience.
3. Optimize Your Body Copy
Now for the fun bit. You’ll want to make sure your content is optimized to its full potential. Yoast makes this easy with the readability analysis and focus key phrase analysis.
Consider what your post is about, and pick your target keywords. Keep a list of them, and refer to it as you start editing your copy.
Without stuffing your keywords, place them strategically within your content so search engines will pick up on it.
Keep in mind, however, that SEO is about appealing to your readers as much as it is appealing to search engines.
At the end of the day, you are writing for human beings. Being #1 on Google is useless if nobody wants to read your content.
Develop an appropriate keyword density (Yoast will help you with this). You should combine them into your copy, your title tags, your header tags, etc. to really strengthen each post your website publishes.
4. Sprinkle in Some Internal Links
In addition to optimizing your copy, you’ll also want to add a few internal links (links that link to other places, such as a blog post on your website)
This will help your readers jump around from one page to another (Which helps reduce bounce rates), and signals search engines that other pages on your website are also important.
Don’t add too many, but select a few key phrases that can be linked to additional content your readers might be interested in.
5. Don’t Forget High Quality Backlinks
After all this on-page SEO you’ve done, it’s time to focus on off-page SEO. This will help bring everything together.
It’s time to focus on link building.
Building natural backlinks from quality sources can boost your rankings significantly. Proper backlinks will increase overall search engine rankings by increasing your domain authority.
A simply effective link building strategy is to write guest posts.
Contact relevant websites in your business’ niche, and ask if they’re accepting guest articles. If they are, you’d then write an article for them, and include a link that points back to YOUR blog in the content.
Once they publish, you’ve just easily given yourself a natural backlink that Google will like.
The reason this isn’t considered black hat SEO is because of the amount of effort that must be put into the process. As long as you’re not plagiarizing yourself or writing bad content, this is a good way to produce high trust links to your website.
You’ll be surprised how effective guest posting can be at boosting your rankings.
You might, however be tempted to cut corners when it comes do this. Don’t.
Link building should be a monthly approach to see optimal results. In order to outrank your competition, you must put a lot of effort into this. Most results for blog posts you see on the first page of Google have high domain authority and a LOT of quality links.
SEO strategies and algorithms are constantly changing and evolving. These tried and true methods, however, will generally always matter to Google. By taking action on the techniques I’ve provided, you can start making progress in SERP’s, grow your business, increase readership, and be better equipped to compete.
So feel free to bookmark this post, or share it with your friends. If you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below. We hope these tips have shown you how to optimize your blog posts for seo in 2019. These same tips above are exactly what allow my blog to see noticeable growth each and every month, and if they work for me, I know they’ll work for you too!