So, you’ve been busy blogging and now you want to know how to optimise your blog posts so they rank on google. First things first, way to go! Actually blogging is the hardest part. Now that you’ve got some posts to work with, the process of SEO for blogging can be broken down into a simple step-by-step process.

SEO for blogging – easy as 1,2,3…

Let’s use my blog post, 10 fail-safe ways to come up with awesome blog ideas, as a case study. Here are the steps I followed:

Step 1: I wrote the post! Duh, right?! Well, actually, no. A lot of people get this the wrong way around – starting with optimisation, then cobbling together some uninspired content. Write your post first, and make sure that it’s going to be of use to your readers. That’s your number 1 priority. Once that’s done, then we start the process of optimisation…

Step 2: Have a look at your post and pick out some general keyword ideas (by keyword, I’m also talking about key phrases that consist of multiple keywords). For my post, I came up with: blog topics, blog ideas, blog subjects, blog prompts, blog post topics, blog post ideas, blog post subjects, blog post prompts.

Step 3: Next, log in to your Google Analytics account, navigate to ‘Keyword Planner’ under ‘Tools’, and select ‘Search for new keyword and ad group ideas.’ Then, paste your list of keyword ideas into the ‘Your product or service’ field and click ‘Get ideas.’

Step 4: Next, navigate to the ‘Keyword ideas’ tab. In the first table, you’ll find your keyword ideas. In the second table, you’ll find a list of other suggestions that are similar to the ideas you inputted. Now, it’s time to lock in a keyword for optimisation! To do so, you need to consider three factors:

  • Relevance: Is this keyword relevant to my blog post? You’re going to weave your chosen keyword into your content and need to be able to do so naturally.
  • Search volume: How many average monthly searches does this keyword get? The higher, the better. There’s no point optimising your blog for a keyword that nobody is searching.
  • Competition: Is there much competition for this keyword? Chances are: the higher the search volume, the higher the competition. So, we need to strike a balance – decent search volume AND low to medium competition. No point trying to optimise for something if you’re never going to beat the competition.

A quick tip that will inform your decision making. Go to google, and type in ‘allintitle: <enter the keyword you’re considering here>’ and hit ‘Search’. Then, take note of the number of results, which will be listed at the top of your results list. This figure tells you how many sites have this exact keyword in the html title tag, which suggests they’re actively optimising for that keyword (and are therefore your competition). The lower the number, the better. Also take a look at the first few results – have they done a good job of optimisation? Could you beat them?

For my blog post, I selected ‘blog post ideas’ as my chosen keyword, with 140 average monthly searches and low competition. It was tempting to go with ‘blog ideas’ (with 260 monthly searches), but an ‘allintitle’ comparison showed that ‘blog ideas’ has 1,110,000 active competitors versus 14,800 for ‘blog post ideas.’ So, I have a much better chance of ranking for the latter. Secondly, it’s more relevant to my post which is very specifically about ideas for individual blog posts versus ideas for starting a new blog.

Step 5: Next, I got busy optimising across the following elements:

URL: sallycameroncopywriting.com.au/awesome-blog-post-ideas.

+ Keep it short and simple

+ Use hyphens to separate your words

+ Incorporate your chosen keyword

Title tag / Meta Title: ‘Blog post ideas: 10 fail-safe ways to write awesome blogs’

+ Put your keyword phrase at the start of your tag

+ Keep your title under 70 characters (including spaces)

+ Use this tool to check your length is okay

+ To shorten: replace ‘and’ with ‘&’, hyphens with colons, written numbers with numerals and remove or abbreviate branding

Meta description tag: ‘Have you run out of blog post ideas? Hold up! Here’s my 10 fail-safe tips for writing blogs that engage your readers and keep them coming back for more.’

+ Whilst your meta description tag doesn’t count towards ranking, it is important for click conversions

+ Keep your description under 155 characters (including spaces)

+ Make sure it’s catchy and includes a call to action (think of it as a two-line sales pitch)

+ Do not use quotation marks!

Body content: Have a look at the post here to see how I’ve weaved it naturally throughout the content.

+ Focus on one keyword per page

+ Use the keyword phrase at least once in your headings (H1 and H2), body copy, and bold copy

+ Use your keyword in the first 100 words of your content

+ Use sparingly and naturally

+ Use keyword synonyms and write around your subject matter

+ Include around 500 characters (including spaces) of substantive, unique content that will provide value to visitors

Alt Text / Tag: ‘Coming up with new blog post ideas is hard. Here are 10 fail-safe tips.’

+ Use a photo that’s relevant to your post

+ Max 150 characters (including spaces)

+ Include your keyword

And, you’re done! See, not so hard, right? Once you’ve uploaded your content, give google a little while to find it and hopefully you’ll start seeing your ranking rise (and traffic increase!).

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Feel like you’ve mastered the process of optimising your blog posts? Or still feeling a little lost? Hit me up with any questions in the comments.

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