Adding a blog to your website can be a great way to increase your traffic and provide useful information to your visitors. However, when creating new blog posts, many websites are not taking full SEO advantage of their work and could actually be doing more harm than good.
Here are 8 important factors to consider to get full SEO points on your next blog post!
The H1 heading for your blog article will be your “post title”. Try to keep these as short as possible while using your main keywords, and providing a sufficient description of the post. It also helps to include your main keywords at the start of the title.
Make sure that you only have one H1 heading on the page and any subheadings should use H2 or H3 tags.
Blog Post Content
All of your blog posts should be a minimum 250 words of unique content. This is essential for avoiding duplicate content issues with your blog posts. 250 words is a bare minimum, and it recommended that each post is closer to 450-500 words. Subheadings are recommended to enhance readability, and should all use H2 or H3 tags.
Look for an opportunity to add at least one internal link to each article using targeted anchor text for terms you would like to rank for. The internal links could point to your home page, services/product pages, or other blog posts.
Don’t get too excited with your internal links; try to limit them to a maximum of 3 per article.
Google attributes having images in your posts as a signal of quality, therefore, each blog post must contain at least one image related to the content of the article. It is usually a good idea to set all of your images not to link to the image URL. Linking to the image URL can cause unwanted duplicate content issues, and unless you would like your readers to be able to view higher quality versions of your images, it is not needed.
Images can also help keep the reader interested in the post. Here’s a funny image to keep you reading my post and a reminder that shortcuts often aren’t worth it:
Image alt tags
Don’t forget about your image alt tags! When search engines crawl your site they are unable to “see” your images – alt tags provide a description of the image to give the search engines an idea of what the image is about.
It is recommended that the main image of your post use the H1 of your post as its alt tag. All other images should use a brief 3-5 word alt tag describing the image.
Don’t forget to optimise your page titles for search engines! Generally your page title should be:
[post name] | YOUR BLOG
However, page titles will not fully display in SERP’s if they exceed the 512 pixel width limit. On some occasions, it may be necessary to shorten your page title slightly to ensure full display.
You can test the display of your page title (and meta description – see below) with SEO Mofo’s Search Snippet Optimization Tool.
Meta descriptions provide a brief description of your post in the SERP’s. A well-written meta description can be a great way to increase organic traffic to your post.
A unique and optimised meta description should be written for each blog post and can be a maximum of around 156 characters to ensure full display in SERP’s. Be sure to include copy that entices people to click through and read the article! Again, use SEO Mofo’s tool to test your meta description length.
Enable Social Sharing
Social sharing buttons are an absolute must-have on your blog! Many SEO’s debate the value of social sharing, but it’s all about making your content easy for readers to share and and increase referral traffic from social sources.
“Like”, “Tweet” and “+1” buttons are essential, and depending on your industry or topic, it can be a good idea to include LinkdIn sharing or a Reddit button.