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If you’ve been frustrated by a lack of hits on your latest blog posts, you might be wondering if you need to improve your writing skills. Surely, if you create fresh and exciting content, new readers will start to flock to your blog, right?
Not necessarily. Even if you’re a pro at blogging and you consistently generate great content, you might not be getting the blog traffic that you seek. Simply put, even the best blog posts might be virtually invisible to potential readers if your SEO strategies are not on point.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is the single most important factor in boosting the search ranking of your blog. If you want to attract new readers and get them to become loyal visitors, you’ll need to make sure that your SEO practices are honed in and tuned up.
Check out the following tips to make your blog posts more visible and easier to find when potential readers enter key phrases into popular search engines.
The Essentials for a Better Search Ranking
- Relevant and Concise Title Tags
Your title tags are the single most essential part of your SEO ranking. Why? Because, when people input search terms into Google, they will be shown a list of results with the titles prominently displayed. This is important for two reasons:
First, search engines return results based on the relevancy of a blog title to search terms. If your blog post title closely matches a search term, it will show up higher on the results list.
Second, searchers are more likely to click on a blog title that seems to provide an answer to their search query. Make sure to include relevant title tags on each blog post and limit them to 55 characters or less so that searchers can see the entire title of each post.
- Meta Tags
Think of the meta tags on each of your blog post as the “who, what, when, where and why” that will tell readers what they need to know quickly and efficiently. Although meta descriptions don’t affect your search ranking directly, they are the short blocks of text that will appear below your blog titles on search results pages.
If readers can quickly scan these meta descriptions and find something relevant, they’re more likely to click through and land on your blog.
Keywords are incredibly important for boosting your search ranking because search engine algorithms hunt for these words to determine the relevancy of your posts. Shoot for two to five uses of relevant keywords in each post but don’t simply stuff them in. Use them naturally for the best results.
- Additional Relevant Phrases
You can’t boost your ranking with keywords alone. Use other phrases and words that are semantically related to your keywords to show that your entire posts is relevant to your keywords and titles.
- Header Tags
You can use the <h1> header tag to craft an eye-catching, value-adding headline to each blog post that searchers can see on results pages. The right heading will boost your click- through rate.
SEO Tips for Engaging Readers
- Additional Headlines
Increase the relevance of your primary headlines by using secondary headlines which contain keywords, key phrases and other snippets of text that boost the apparent value to readers and searchers.
Readers and searchers love relevant images. If your articles are shared on social media, your primary image is usually displayed along with the link so make sure that it’s relevant and captivating.
No one like to stare at huge, unbroken blocks of text on a blog post. Format the post with subheadings using <h2> and <h3> tags to make the text easier to scan and to highlight the most important sections.
- Numbers and Bullets
Using numbered lists and bullet points makes your content easier to read and remember. Lists are your friend so use them to showcase your content.
- Friendly Formatting
Avoid long, unbroken blocks of text by using subheadings but also focus on using clear and direct formatting. Short paragraphs and simple, direct language are the key to engaging readers.
Search engines boost pages with relevant links because this shows that a page is well-sourced. You can link to relevant blog posts of your own or other useful resources to add value for readers and increase your search rank.
- Relevant Quotes
If you simply write your opinion on your blog, it won’t be as compelling as a post that is backed up by experts, influential people and qualified commentators. Use quotes to add relevance and believability for readers.
If you make claims in your blog posts, you will need to include or link to some proof or evidence to back up your claims. Readers are more likely to remember and share posts that are backed up by hard facts.
- The Next Step
When searchers find and read your posts, that’s only half the battle. Include a call to action to lead your readers to the next step, such as subscribing to a podcast, watching a video or signing up for your email newsletter.
- Author Info
Let your readers get to know you! Include an author box with each post that contains links to your social media accounts, biographical information and a photo to turn readers into followers.
Making Your Blog Posts Interesting and Memorable
- Additional Images
You need to keep your readers engaged throughout your posts. Use additional images after your title image to drive a point home, make an example or highlight an important statement.
- Include Videos
If images are powerful, videos are king! Include videos in your post to get your readers to engage with your content and hang out on your site for longer periods of time, which can boost your search ranking.
- Audio Content
Podcasts and audiobooks are exploding in popularity and you can create your own for a minimal investment of time, effort and money. Consider using audio files to engage your readers and increase your subscription rates.
- Involve Social Media
Social media is incredibly powerful for boosting the visibility of your posts. Got an interesting and shareable sentence in a blog post? Give readers the ability to “click to tweet” an eye-catching sentence and invite readers to share your posts on other social media platforms.
- Increase Value For Readers
Offer your readers something more than just a blog post. Advertise your email list or podcast with a free offer. Provide something of real value to your readers in return for their time and subscriptions. This will increase your audience and also convince readers that you are providing a useful service.