Are your blog posts search engine friendly?
Have you taken the time to optimise your pages for Google search?
If not, then this article will take you through the basics of editing your page so the search engines like Google and Bing will index your page for the correct terms.
This isn’t a golden bullet to get your page to the top of Google, however the practices mentioned in this article will point your website in the right direction.
Identifying key terms
When you are thinking about a topic to write about, you should always think about the needs of your audience.
This will keep your posts relevant.
However you should also identify which keywords you would like your page to appear within Google.
To do this, think about a 2 – 5 word phrase that describes your topic e.g. “email latest post“.
Once you have your term, go to the Google Keyword Tool.
From here you can enter your keywords and see a list of similar terms, with their monthly search statistics.
This allows you to identify other keywords and phrases that you can enter into your post.
The article should then be ranked amongst the other pages for those specific terms, so try and choose ones with a large number of monthly searches, but a low competition rating.
Only pick 2 – 5 terms as you don’t want the content of your website to only be made up of key phrases.
Editing your content
Believe it or not, the way you write has an impact on your Google rank.
Search engines will promote the pages that gain the most traffic, this is because they believe your content is relevant to the users search terms.
If your content is written in a way that people can’t read, they will quickly leave and not come back. This means a lower visitor rate which is not only bad for business, but bad for your Google rank.
Make sure your content is grammatically correct and spell checked.
Everyone makes mistakes and will overlook a couple of errors, but if your content is full of them, your reputation will suffer.
While editing, check that the keywords you have identified are within the document in a natural position.
This means that the keyword or phrase should flow smoothly with the rest of the sentence, not stand out like something that has been dropped in there for the sake of it.
Creating internal and external links
Links both internally and externally are extremely important.
This is because it helps search engines to link similar articles to each other.
This makes them more likely to categorise your posts for the correct search terms.
These are links between content on your website.
They might be to a previous blog post on a similar topic, to your contact page or a landing page.
By adding internal links to your website, you provide your readers with the opportunity to head to another article on your website where they can learn more.
This keeps people on your website for longer, which in turn makes your website appear more relevant to search engines.
The more internal links a page receives, the more authority you are giving that page. This makes Google and other search engines believe that the page is of high importance compared to the pages on your website with fewer links.
If you would like to see which of your pages is currently linked to most, you can take a look at Google Webmaster Tools. Once you are signed in, go to Traffic > Internal Links. (This might take a couple of days to update if you have only just created the account).
These are links to other resources that aren’t on your website.
By linking to other high quality websites, it makes your website look authentic.
A high quality website is one that has lots of visitors, great content, very little spam and is related to the topic you are discussing.
Updating the Metadata for Google search
The Metadata is a small section of code that search engines use to describe your page to other people.
When you search for anything in Google or Bing, you are presented with various titles of pages and a short description; these are pulled from the Meta tags on your pages.
The two main ones you need to be aware of are the Meta title, and the Meta description.
Personally, I prefer the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin as it identifies other areas of your content you can improve when editing.
Both of these allow you to easily update your Meta title and description within the WordPress editor screen.
If you don’t use WordPress, you will need to edit the code for the generated pages. You should find the Meta tags within the <head> of your website.
The Meta title should be no longer than 70 characters.
The description should be no longer than 156 characters.
If you go over these amounts, the search engines will cut your title and description short and add a ‘…’.
Make sure you add a keyword or phrase into both the title and description.
Write for people, not search engines
The final thing you must always remember:
You are writing for people, not search engines.
Everyone wants to be up the rankings; however your readers are more important. So create content for them, not search engines. (Plus it’s more enjoyable to write for people!)
I hope you found this article useful. What techniques do you use to get your pages into Google? Where do you promote your content? Let me know in the comments below!