5 Key Steps to Optimizing Your Blog Posts for Search Engines

5 Key Steps to Optimizing Your Blog Posts for Search Engines

Search engine optimization is extremely important for every inbound marketer and there are quite a lot of tactics to be implemented in order to increase search engine visibility and boost one’s online presence. Due to a number of SEO practices that are considered essential for online success, many inbound marketers often find themselves in quite a conundrum when it comes to taking the right steps towards implementing the right tactics for letting search engines know about their business.

Make no mistake, it can be confusing at times, especially if you are a newbie and have no idea where to start, let alone how to boost your online visibility and attract new leads. You are not alone in this, as a number of business owners don’t quite understand what SEO means and how big of an impact it can have on their business.

Have no fear, because you’ve come to the right place, where you can learn how to get started on improving SEO for your blog and gaining the upper hand among your competitors. Read on to learn about the key steps towards optimizing your every blog post for search engines in order to ensure your website is visible to your target customers and that it attracts quality leads and conversions.

Focus on 1-2 Keywords per Blog Post

Keywords Optimization For Blogs

Trying to incorporate as many keywords as possible into your every blog post is never a good choice for optimizing your content. For starters, your content would not seem to have a natural flow and it would come off as forced. It would seem as if you are trying hard to sell your content without even thinking about making it relevant to your readers.

If you do that, not only will your readers find your content irrelevant and unuseful, but search engines will also see your content as stuffed with keywords only for the main purpose of increasing your ranking in organic search.

Therefore, you should always focus on including one or two keywords per blog post, since that way, you can clearly focus on your main goal and make sure you communicate the right message to your readers. As a result, you will improve your readers’ user experience, which will positively impact your SEO ranking.

Using long-tail keywords is perhaps the best way to go, since it will help you attract just the right type of blog visitors, that is, attract the right type of traffic. Again, one or two are more than enough for a single blog post, as that way, you can optimize your every post for those particular keywords and bring in quality leads.

Note that it is crucial that you include your keywords into your headline, the body of your post, the headers, the URL and the meta description of your blog post. These four places for your keywords are essential for optimizing your content for search engines, so you need to make sure you follow those rules, since search engines will definitely rank you higher in SERPs and you will significantly increase your conversion rates.

Optimize Your Meta Descriptions

Meta Description Optimization for Blogs

Meta descriptions help the readers determine whether or not they will actually click on the link above the description to read the content, as it provides them with additional information about the content they searched for.

Therefore, if you provide them with relevant information in your meta descriptions that concisely explains what your blog posts are about, not only will your readers be compelled to click through, but Google will also find your posts more relevant and rank you higher in SERPs.

You should not forget to include your keywords into your meta descriptions, since they will make your meta descriptions more effective, as well as further help you with SEO, as they are the representatives of your blog posts that help the readers make the connection between the terms they searched for and the results of their queries.

Optimize Your Images

Image Optimization for SEO

Since you are running a blog, you are certainly aware of the importance of implementing relevant and visually appealing images in your every blog post. They further engage the readers and improve their user experience, which helps you improve your SEO  and gain a better ranking in the SERPs.

However, search engines cannot actually “see” those images, can they? How, then, can they index them to rank your website?

Search engines actually look for images with alt text, which lets them know what a particular image is all about, thus they can more easily be found in searches. Images with alt text can also improve the user experience, because, when a particular image cannot be displayed, the alt text is displayed inside the image container.

Alt text is an image description that is added to an image tag in HTML and it should look like this:

<img class=”alignCenter shadow” src=”image.jpg” alt=”image-description” title=”image tooltip”>

You may not think that optimizing your images by including alt text is going to greatly improve your ranking and you may be right, because it will certainly not have as much impact on your ranking as the other aforementioned steps, but you can be sure that it is definitely worth the time, no matter how small of an impact on your ranking it has – the impact will still be seen.

Add Internal Links to Your Content

Internal Linking for Blogs

Internal links can help search engines determine the relevance of your content, not to mention that they can provide your readers with additional information about the topic of your every blog post.

Therefore, whenever you think some of your other blog posts, your other web pages or, for instance, your eBook can provide your readers with an additional information that they would find relevant and helpful, you should include the links of your other internal resources in your content.

Not only will implementing internal links help you improve user experience, but it will also present your other relevant web pages to search engines, thus helping you improve your SEO ranking.

Nevertheless, it goes without saying that you should always add internal links naturally and only when they offer additional relevant information to your readers. Never force them into your content, but use them only when they can actually help your readers learn more about the topics you write about.

Optimize Your Blog for Mobile Devices

Mobile Device Optimization

It is no longer merely an option to have a mobile-friendly website, since Google will penalize you if your website is not optimized for mobile devices. Therefore, make sure you make your website mobile-friendly and include all the elements of a responsive web design; not only will that provide mobile users with a seamless mobile experience, thus improving your site’s user experience, but it will also help you in terms of SEO and search engine rankings.

Since Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites over those which are not optimized for mobile devices, your ranking in search engines can be increased significantly by having a responsive website. When your website is responsive, the pages on your blog will have one URL instead of two different ones, which will further help Google recognize the value of your blog posts and rank them accordingly.


When you start optimizing your blog posts for search engines, you cannot expect immediate results, because building up search authority definitely takes time. However, if you publish new blog posts on a regular basis and remain consistent in making them relevant and user-friendly, you will be on the right track towards increasing your search engine visibility and bringing in traffic that will result in quality leads for the long haul.

How to Interpret Google’s Public Statements About SEO

Google tends to be very cryptic when it comes to statements related to ranking. After all, we can never know all of the existing ranking signals, and how much each signal benefits the ranking of a particular site or page; but, we can always speculate and test out the theories.

We will go over a couple of recent statements and see just how much validity they contain. Bear in mind that these statements were found online, so they might not be one hundred percent word perfect.

So, here are some statements made by Google’s representatives and how SEO specialists should interpret them.

If something is omitted

It’s not certain exactly who said the following statement – “301, 302, 307, don’t worry about it. Use whatever makes sense for you. They all pass PageRank.”

In other words, it doesn’t matter what type of redirect you are using, since Google is passing Page Rank through them with the same efficiency. However, this statement provoked a lot of discussions, since the evidence tends to point to a different direction. If you change your redirects to 301, which is the permanent redirect code, it appears that organic search traffic sends more visits to those redirected pages. So, the question is, why did they say it doesn’t matter if such thing clearly has some impact on traffic.

Google SEO Information Analysis

A good explanation is that the phrase “PageRank” plays a crucial role here. It could be the case that the pagerank remains the same, but it doesn’t mean that the same amount of traffic will be sent there. Since there is no completely accurate tool for measuring pagerank, and it is something Google keeps hidden, it may very well be the case that, in terms of numbers, the PageRank remains the same, but this does not mean that the redirect method does not impact the traffic.

Google uses their own original formula for measuring pagerank, and maybe Google’s machine learning system is not calibrated the way we think. So, even if the ranking is the same, the choice of redirect method plays a different role. Regardless of the case, it seems that using 301 redirect is a better method for getting more visitors, so feel free to rely on that.

If something is untrue

A few years ago, we encountered this statement – “The mobile-friendly update will be bigger than Panda and Penguin combined.” After the update was released in June 2014, people were quite puzzled, since almost nothing changed. The influence and ranking of the websites, more or less, remained the same.

Google explained how a lot of sites actually went through with the update, so there was no need to change things, etc. In other words, there is no need to be alarmed or stressed out when Google says that changes are coming, since there’s a chance that the entire hype caused by the announcement is for nothing.

Sometimes you need to wait for clarification

One time when Eric Enge, from Stone Temple, had an interview with Matt Cutts, he asked Matt an interesting question. It was about 301 redirect, or more precisely, whether pagerank is lost to some degree due to a 301 redirect. It was a good question, since people wanted to know if there are any risks for moving a page, and whether these actions can harm rankings. Matt answered in the following way – “I am not 100% sure whether the crawling and indexing team has implemented that sort of natural PageRank decay, so I’ll have to go and check.”  Matt then kept his part of the deal and he indeed checked and gave a response that there is indeed a loss in page rank through 301 redirect.

This is actually the best case scenario when it comes to these statements. If someone is not one hundred percent sure, it’s good to have the information checked to get his facts straight. This way, we get the most accurate information; we won’t end up with a statement somebody just said on the spot because he or she felt pressured.

When the answer is unclear

On one occasion, someone said something interesting about external links – “External links to other sites isn’t specifically a ranking factor, but it can bring value to your content, and that in turn can be relevant for us in search. Whether or not they are followed doesn’t really matter.”

This kind of statement is really difficult to interpret since it says in the first sentence that external links are not a ranking factor, but in the second one, it says the exact opposite. So, it’s unclear what we are supposed to take from that. If something like this happens, you can do some of the following things.

Testing Your SEO Practices

Analyze the answer – Basically, think about how the statement can be true, despite the fact that on the surface level it is technically wrong. For example, maybe external links are not used as a ranking factor on their own, but in combination with other signals, they add some value. So, if someone says for example: “A does not equal C”, it can imply that maybe B or D equals C or A. So, do not assume anything from the very start.

Give it some time – Maybe someone needs to check the information in order to provide a more accurate statement. Furthermore, it’s not impossible for a claim to be amended or modified after a short period of time. Lastly, let’s go back to the first example, where presumably the type of redirect does not affect the pagerank, yet only 301 affects traffic in a positive way, so it’s also possible for external links to have no impact on ranking, yet they will influence engagement and traffic in a more positive way.

Get to the bottom of it – You should always prefer solid proof to opinions and public statements. In other words, if you don’t know who to trust, simply conduct an experiment on your own. Robot Online did a study on external links. They simply created a couple of fake words, and created new web pages. Some of these pages had external links, and others didn’t, and they got their results.

It appears that Google, in fact does rank pages with external links better than those without them. So, long story short, it appears that this statement was, in fact, false. Your page does need external links if you want it to rank better.

Don’t take it too seriously – First of all, we all make mistakes so, it is possible for a person to accidentally say something wrong, or to simply say something hastily if the information is sensitive and it is not supposed to be shared. Google is a massive corporation, with all kinds of departments, and you cannot expect anyone to know everything there is to know about link value and rankings.

There are teams responsible for Core Ranking, teams for Web Spam, teams for Crawling and Indexing, for Search quality and of course, teams for Webmaster tools, etc. Additionally, these are only teams that we know of; there are probably a lot more ins and outs when it comes to Google, so it is quite possible that the person in question could not adequately respond to the question.

To sum up, we are going to hear a lot of contradictory or vague statements on this matter, because it’s not in Google’s interest to give people the tools that they can use to take advantage of the ranking algorithm. If you hear something that perfectly makes sense, then chances are that it’s true, and if you hear a statement that seems ambiguous, then you should test it out, and try to interpret it from as many angles as possible.

It can also be useful to wait for a bit, since clarification might be around the corner, or to simply assume that the person made a mistake and that nothing changed. I hope you found this piece insightful and that it will help you with your SEO campaign.

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