The two key business questions every website must answer

The two key business questions every website must answer

 

I have this place on my website where anyone can sign up for an hour of my time. It’s a lot of fun because I get to meet people from all around the world and help them solve their business problems.

A high percentage of the time, I discover that the underlying problem is FOCUS. My client is having a hard time defining exactly what they do and why they matter. This may seem like a pretty basic issue, but believe me, I have hundreds of data points to prove this is a prevalent issue!

Today I will share the biggest idea I can give you to provide focus to your life, business, and website.

The two key business questions

When I visit a website, I often find it difficult to tell what the darn business does! One person last week spent 30 minutes in conversation explaining her business and I still didn’t understand it. No wonder her website is confusing!

My advice to fix this problem is simple. When I come to a website, I want to see the answer to two key business questions:

  • What problem do we solve?

  • How do we uniquely solve it?

That’s it.

If you can answer those two key business questions, you’ll provide focus and something a potential customer can understand. with abundant clarity. When I visit a website, I should see the answers to those questions immediately without scrolling or moving to another page.

Although the advice I provide is simple, figuring out the answers to those questions can be more difficult.

Here’s what I’ve learned after consulting with hundreds of executives and business owners — They usually KNOW the answers but they’re not listening to their own wisdom. It takes some digging, but we can always unearth the truth. And if we can’t address those key business questions easily … well, maybe there’s not a real business there after all.

Answering the key business questions

Here’s a short example of how this works.

I was helping a chief marketing officer who had been working at a company for about 10 years. He was completely stuck on how to explain the company through his marketing messaging. He could not answer these two key business questions because over time, his company had grown and morphed into so many new areas that he couldn’t bring it together in one statement.

He told me that his company was a marketing agency, based in a major U.S. city.

I asked him, where are you getting most of your revenue?

“We’ve developed apps that help doctors visualize complicated patient data. We’ve also helped medical centers with new administrative software.”

Hmmmm. That does not sound like a marketing agency to me! I continued to probe. It became clear that the company had grown in so many new directions since he had joined the company that it was something beyond a mere marketing agency. They were a software company creating custom solutions for the healthcare industry.

This executive was explaining this to me but just couldn’t hear himself say it. Once I pointed it out, his direction and focus became crystal clear. He was relieved and we were able to start a discussion on an exciting new strategy highlighting their unique capabilities. All w had to do was answer those two questions.

via The two key business questions every website must answer

 

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SEO Writers: Are You Making These 5 Common Mistakes?

Once upon a time, I worked with a fantastic writer who wrote crappy Titles.

Instead of creating something clickable and compelling, she’d pen sleepy-sounding Titles like:

Geriatric Cat Care | Care for Older Cats | Cat Care

Yawn.

This woman didn’t create yawner Titles as a strategy. It was just the way she’d always done it. Once I pointed out that there was a better way to craft her Titles, she immediately pounced on the “new way” — and has created spectacular Titles ever since.

You see, all writers (and especially new SEO writers) make some pretty common mistakes. Some mistakes are more serious and could mess with your positioning. Other may not hurt SEO — but they can mess with your reader.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever made these common mistakes. (No judgement. We’ve all been there!)

Not checking your #1 source

It’s easy to look exclusively at keyphrase research data and get super-excited over the numbers. After all, if you offer a cloud computing product, seeing a 33K search volume for [cloud computing] seems like an awesome opportunity.

Until you check Google and find that product pages aren’t positioning for [cloud computing]. Google considers the search intent to be informational — not transactional.

It’s important to remember one thing when it comes to search intent: Google is always the decider.

That’s why it’s important to always check Google before finalizing a keyphrase choice. What sites are currently positioning? How does Google see the search intent? You’ll even want to click through the top-10 listings and see what the landing pages look like. If you were planning a 300-word article on “dog care” — and all the pages that position are 2,500+-word guides — you’ll want to rethink your strategy. 

Suffering from “topic drift”

Your article topic is about how to change a flat tire. But you find yourself writing about the history of the term “flat tire,” the different types of tires and their propensity to go flat, and the history of the tire-making process. 

Why? Maybe it’s because you found SO MANY COOL KEYPHRASES, and you feel they all deserve a mention. Or, maybe it’s because you think that more copy is better “for Google” — even if it’s not quite on topic.

Yawn. Ain’t nobody got time for that. As a reader, I dislike separating the fluff from the meat…and I’ll often boogie out of an article if I can’t find what I need, fast.

Just like with conventional copywriting, SEO writing is tight. If your headline promise is “The Best Bird Feeder For Woodpeckers,” don’t drift into mentioning other birds because you “have to for SEO.” You don’t.

As a side note: if a client ever asks you to create paragraphs of  “SEO content” for an e-commerce category page, just say no. Why? According to Google, it’s totally unnecessary.

Getting bogged down in absolutes

I understand why people want SEO writing certainty. After all, life would be easier if we knew that a post with 2,734 words, 15 keyphrase mentions, and five backlinks would always position top-10.

Sadly, that’s not SEO reality. 

I’ve seen writers tie themselves in knots trying to work with writing formulas that just aren’t real. If you feel like this now, know you can let it go.

There are no absolutes. There is no secret SEO writing formula.

The key is knowing how to read the data so you can make the best educated guess. That’s why SEO (and SEO writing) is an ongoing process — there are always things to try and to test.

Yes, follow best practices. Yes, track what works for your clients and company — tracking what works for you is the closest you can get to absolutes. Just know that what works for one site (heck, even what works for one page) may not be the perfect formula.

Trying to shove in ungrammatical keyphrases

This one is easy…

Nope. Don’t do this. Even if you think it’s a keyphrase opportunity. Even if it doesn’t sound that bad when you read the copy out loud. 

Why? Easy. How do YOU feel when you read copy like the following?

“Read our lawyer reviews Oregon, and learn more about our estate planning lawyer Portland, Oregon.”

Ouch. That was painful to type. And we’ve all seen web pages that read almost like this. 

Would you give those companies your money? Hard pass.

Ugh. Just…don’t do this. (And, feel free to send this newsletter to that client who insists that ungrammatical keyphrases are OK. You know the one.)

Focusing on size over specificity

Yes, I know that a keyphrase that sees a month search volume of over 18,100 looks so tempting. But if your client offers [construction accounting software] exclusively optimizing for [accounting software] won’t help them. In fact, they’ll never be found.

Plus, circling back to the first tip, the keyphrase [accounting software] doesn’t provide relevant Google results for someone looking for construction accounting software. 

That distinction is important.

The key to keyphrase research is specificity. It’s true that [construction accounting software] only sees a search volume of 1,000. At the same time, the person typing that phrase into Google is a highly-targeted reader — and wants exactly what your client offers.

Here’s more about about long tail keyphrases.

Do you make some (or all) of these boo-boos? The good news is the process change is an easy fix. Once you get used to the right way to write SEO copy, everything else gets way easier.

via SEO Writers: Are You Making These 5 Common Mistakes?

 

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Don’t Know Code? You Still Need to Know Google’s Core Web Vitals

If Google SEO is important to your site, this summer is the time to update for the core.

In mid-June, Google will start using page experience as a ranking factor. It won’t make its full impact on the ranking systems until August.

Now is the time to check Core Web Vitals, those elements important to user experience. You need to make them strong so Google can pick them up.

User experience (#CoreWebVitals) enters as a @Google ranking factor this summer. Is your site ready? @ab80 @CMIContent #SEOClick To Tweet

Even if you’re not the webmaster or coder, you should understand what it all means and the terminology so you can advocate for improvements and work closely with your tech team to make it happen.

And if you’re on the tech side, this can be a helpful refresher with a section devoted to optimization written for you.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals encompass page experience elements. Unlike other data from your site crawled by Google bots, this data involves user behavior taken from Chrome usage.

Your site’s #CoreWebVitals data comes from real user behavior on your site, says @ab80 via @CMIContent. #SEOClick To Tweet

To check the Core Web Vitals for your website, log in to your Google Search Console account, and go to Experience > Core Web Vitals report:

TIP: To dig deeper, open the report and click on the issue line you want to investigate.

The report reflects two use cases – mobile and desktop. Though Google hasn’t said which one carries more weight, the placement of the mobile report above the desktop report could be a subtle indicator. Plus, though not a ranking factor, Google is keenly interested in AMP – accelerated mobile pages.

Keeping that in mind, a mobile-first approach probably would be more helpful for your website’s Core Web Vitals impact, though that doesn’t mean you can ignore the desktop version.

Learn the lingo

The page analysis provides four important metrics: first contentful paint (FCP), largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS). It also conveniently shows the metric’s performance as good, needs improvement, or poor.

First contentful paint

The first contentful paint (FCP) measures the time from when the page starts loading to when any part of the content appears on the screen.

Largest contentful paint

Largest contentful paint (LCP) measures the loading speed of a page – the time between a click on a link and the first view of the biggest content element on the page. Unlike FCP, LCP is a better indicator of total page load speed because the largest element usually is one of the last to load.

First input delay

First input delay (FID) measures the page’s interactivity and responsiveness – the time between a user’s interaction and the browser’s response to that interaction on the page. This metric cannot be simulated because it requires real user interaction.

The impact of FID scores depends on page types. For example, an FID metric for a blog page wouldn’t be that important because blog pages aren’t created for interaction. But the FID score for a subscription or download page would be important because they require input from the user. Those are the pages where you should strive to get to green in your FID score.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulative Layout Shift shows the page’s visual stability. It helps you see how often users experience unexpected layout shifts. For example, page elements could change places as they load, leading visitors who click quickly to be taken to a page they didn’t want.

Learn your page scores

You can look at your Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console or input the URL PageSpeed Insights tool to see this analysis.

Here is an analysis of the mobile edition of CNN’s international home page (http://edition.cnn.com):

TIP: If you use Core Web Vitals report to check your metrics, click on the affected URL to go to PageSpeed Insights to get the information below.

The PageSpeed Insights report identifies opportunities for improvement:

When you click on the down arrow symbol on the right, you’ll see the recommended fix – as shown in the preload key requests category above.

Your @Google PageSpeed Insights report identifies opportunities and diagnostics with recommended fixes, says @ab80 via @CMIContent. #SEOClick To Tweet

The analysis also gives a diagnostics report. Similar to the opportunities report, when you click on the down arrow symbol, more details and recommendations appear:

TIP: In PageSpeed Insights, you can only check one page at a time, thus analyzing all website’s pages and saving the results could be challenging. For quick bulk checks, you can use SEO tools like WebSite Auditor (disclosure: I work for the company) and Screaming Frog that collect Core Web Vitals data for each page of the site.

Image source

Read this if you’re the webmaster (otherwise, skip to the end)

Most of these fixes require knowing and having access to the back end of the website. If that’s not you, got to the last section. If it is, read on to learn some optimization tricks for LCP, FID, and CLS.

Optimize for LCP

Given LCP measures the loading time of the biggest content element of the page, optimize that element so it isn’t too heavy.

Make sure you have meaningful elements (the first biggest content element) near the top of the page (headings and svg elements don’t count.) Otherwise, the loading time for LCP will be a lot longer, hurting your LCP score.

Minimize JavaScript and CSS as much as possible as they slow down the page. Do a similar reduction or elimination of third-party scripts. (Each third-party script slows the page down by 34 ms.)

Set up lazy loading. This feature lets browsers load the contents like images and videos only when a user scrolls down the page, thus making LCP achieved much faster.

Optimize for FID

Heavy JavaScript is the most common hurdle to a good FID score. Get rid of excessive JavaScripts. Among the other options:

  • Break up the long-running code into smaller, asynchronous tasks.
  • Optimize the page for interaction readiness.
  • Get rid of excessive third-party scripts.
  • Use a web worker.
  • Enable page caching for a faster response.

Optimize CLS

CLS is probably the most content-related Core Web Vital. To reduce the CLS score:

  • Set size attribute dimensions for any piece of media (images, GIFs, videos, etc.) to tell the user’s browser how much space each element should take/
  • Reserve a place for on-page ads so they won’t appear suddenly in the middle of a loading page.
  • Put new UI elements below the fold so the already loaded part of the page doesn’t shift.

For those who want to delve into all the technical CLS optimization details, Google’s John Muller recommends The Almost Complete Guide to Cumulative Layout Shift. It carefully explains all the peculiarities of CLS and may be of good use for SEOs and webmasters.

Optimize from a strong position

While the execution of page experience optimization is super technical, all content marketers can benefit by knowing the language and the elements of what’s important and why.

And the truth is that Core Web Vitals optimization is a tweaking step. Content quality and backlink profile remain the most influential factors. After all, load times and user experience don’t matter much if searchers don’t want to read your content.

via Don’t Know Code? You Still Need to Know Google’s Core Web Vitals

 

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9 SEO Best Practices for Blog Traffic and Engagement

Millions of bloggers around the world publish fresh content every day.

With so many other companies blogging too, why should you invest time and resources in business blogging? Is the blogging market totally saturated?

Business blogging is no longer a nice-to-have for your company, it is necessary for several reasons.

Google is the most-visited website in the world, with each visitor spending an average of 11.4 seconds on the search engine. In the U.S. alone, 3.5 billion web searches are conducted each day.

A graphic of a table listing the world’s most visited websites along with their time and pages per visit, showcasing the importance of SEO for blogs.

DataReportal

Blogging is important because it provides your potential customers useful information to inform their buying decisions, which helps improve your company’s credibility and thought leadership.

As well, 79% of companies who blog reported a positive ROI in their inbound marketing efforts. Marketers who invest in blogging efforts also see 67% more leads compared to their peers who do not blog.

Now that you have enough reason to start blogging, what can you do to help your posts stand out from all the noise out there? By making your blogs more SEO-friendly and relevant to search engines, you’ll be able to increase your blog visitors and traffic.

Quick takeaways:

  • Search engine optimization is a critical part of every blogging strategy. It’s the only way to drive organic traffic consistently.
  • SEO is also essential for your blog because it helps you explore topics and ideas that your audience is talking about and interested in learning about.
  • For blogs, SEO is something that requires consistent attention as part of your overall strategy. Follow best practices to ensure your content is on track to rank and deliver results.

What is SEO? Why Should You Care?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of best practices to help improve the ranking of your blog on a search engine’s results page, such as Google.

SEO involves using common keywords that web users search for when using search engines, as well as linking to other websites and social media channels. All these practices increase the relevance of your blog to search engines, which helps your posts climb in the rankings and ultimately drive more traffic to your site.

If you don’t prioritize SEO for your blog, why bother with the investment? SEO ensures that your content appears in the right searches so you can reap the benefits of blogging like:

  • Cost-effective organic traffic
  • Highly targeted and relevant traffic
  • Quality leads, visitors, and engagement
  • Establishing your brand’s authority
  • Earning trust from your audience
  • Building a strong brand image

9 SEO Best Practices for Blog Traffic and Engagement

How then do you ensure your posts are SEO-friendly? Here are nine simple tips to help you optimize your blogs for SEO.

1. Choose the Right Keywords

Search engines rely on keywords to determine what is and isn’t relevant to a web user’s search. A web user typically types in words or a series of words into the search engine related to the topic of their choice. The search engine then lists the top results that it determines to be most relevant to the topic.

To optimize your blog, you should identify and incorporate keywords that are highly relevant to your given topic into your post. Google’s Keyword Tool is one of the many resources out there you can use to look up a keyword’s average monthly searches, relevance, and competitiveness as well as similar keywords.

Make sure the keywords occur organically throughout your post. Don’t try to “force” keywords into your blog, as this will not help boost your post’s relevance.

2. Optimize Your Title

80% of readers don’t actually make it past the headline so it’s extremely important to create a compelling title. You must pique a reader’s interest and capture the essence or key concept of your blog.

Try to keep your headline under 66 characters if you can, as this allows the entire title to fit on a search page. You’ll also want to incorporate top keyword phrases you’ve used throughout your blog in the headline to increase its relevance.

3. Only Create and Publish Original Content

It’s important to create original content that provides useful information to your readers. Google loves original content because it helps its algorithms do their job. No one wants to click on three blogs offering the same tips word-for-word when they need nuanced answers. Google knows this.

When writing your blog, use subheadings to help break up your copy and to also help search engines scan and index your post more easily. This will tell Google what your blog is about and help you squeeze the effectiveness out of your original copy.

Where appropriate, include at least three links to other sites, social media channels, or pages on your blog to help drive additional traffic to your post. When you link to other sites, they may also link their content to your site, which helps increase your traffic as well – but only if it’s original.

4. Copy Should Be Long but Scannable

Longer form content – posts of over 1,000 words – tends to rank better on search engines. In fact, the top-performing marketing blogs are around 5,700 words. Generally, articles over 3,000 words get:

  • 3x more engagement
  • 4x more shares
  • 5x more backlinks

But if your blog is one large block of text, viewers who initially see it may be discouraged from reading more. Small tricks help you avoid that. For example, you can show a short preview of your blog and use “read more” tags or buttons for readers to click through to continue reading.

Most people also only read about 28% of the words in a blog post during an average page visit. To make your post more scan-friendly, use short paragraphs, bullet points, number lists, and block quotes to help your readers pick up the key points quickly and find the information they need.

Don’t forget to include call-to-action in your post, such as promoting your social channels or other blogs, as this helps generate more traffic for your site.

5. Always Include Relevant Images

Generally speaking, blog posts with images tend to be more popular than those that do not have images. More importantly though, images help break up your copy and can make your blogs more memorable as people remember images 6 times easier than text.

Even more importantly, Google wants your images. Apps and search engines are upping the image recognition game with visual search elements and in-SERP snippets. In other words, you should follow their lead and include more images.

Don’t forget to add titles or image captions using your top keywords along with ALT tags and credit your sources.

A bar graph depicting the percentage of internet users using image recognition tools on mobile devices highlighting their importance in SEO for blogs.

DataReportal

6. Consider Your Meta Description and Tags

Adding a short meta description to your blog makes it easier for search engines to find your post. A meta description should accurately summarize your blog and include your top keywords.

You’ll also want to create relevant categories and tags to help organize your blogs, so readers can find specific posts quickly from your homepage or main blog screen. Tags can also organize themselves by popularity or other factors with the right WordPress plugin.

7. Include Autocomplete Synonymous Keywords and Questions

Run a search on Google and you’ll unlock dozens of keyword and topic ideas – synonymous ideas. Google is providing valuable information here.

The search engine wants to answer every user’s inquiry as quickly as possible. Ergo, if you can answer more relevant questions and synonymous queries, SEO for your blog will improve. See why the long word counts are so beneficial?

8. Pay Attention to Your Subheadings and Bulleted Lists

As you browse those synonymous keywords and questions, consider them as subtopics for your blog’s subheadings and bulleted lists.

Subheadings are good for more than breaking up your copy – they also help Google see what’s inside your blog and scan the copy just like a human. Same goes for bulleted lists and numbered lists. Why not give Google what it wants?

9. Be Picky About Your Links

Don’t throw links into your blog just because they’re somewhat relevant. Google wants to see links in your blog because it proves you’ve done your research and you’re citing your sources.

But Google doesn’t want you researching and citing any old source. No, Google wants quality. Generally, sites that enjoy a low Alexa score are best for SEO for your blog.

However, lower popularity websites with a high Alexa score might mean high relevancy and high authority in your industry, so don’t count them out if they’re important – like professional organizations or niche authorities.

An infographic displaying an on-page SEO blog checklist.

Semrush

Always Prioritize SEO for Your Blog If You Want Serious ROI

Ask yourself why you bother with your blog. What’s it all for?

If you’re like most, you want to reap the benefits of organic traffic instead of paying for ads. You want to earn traffic from Google, engage visitors enough to stay, and eventually convert them into customers.

You can’t do any of that without SEO for your blog – consistent SEO. SEO isn’t something you do once or every few months. You must integrate SEO into your overall blogging strategy. From your topic selection down to publishing, SEO must play a starring role.

via 9 SEO Best Practices for Blog Traffic and Engagement

 

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9 SEO Best Practices for Blog Traffic and Engagement

Millions of bloggers around the world publish fresh content every day.

With so many other companies blogging too, why should you invest time and resources in business blogging? Is the blogging market totally saturated?

Business blogging is no longer a nice-to-have for your company, it is necessary for several reasons.

Google is the most-visited website in the world, with each visitor spending an average of 11.4 seconds on the search engine. In the U.S. alone, 3.5 billion web searches are conducted each day.

A graphic of a table listing the world’s most visited websites along with their time and pages per visit, showcasing the importance of SEO for blogs.

DataReportal

Blogging is important because it provides your potential customers useful information to inform their buying decisions, which helps improve your company’s credibility and thought leadership.

As well, 79% of companies who blog reported a positive ROI in their inbound marketing efforts. Marketers who invest in blogging efforts also see 67% more leads compared to their peers who do not blog.

Now that you have enough reason to start blogging, what can you do to help your posts stand out from all the noise out there? By making your blogs more SEO-friendly and relevant to search engines, you’ll be able to increase your blog visitors and traffic.

Quick takeaways:

  • Search engine optimization is a critical part of every blogging strategy. It’s the only way to drive organic traffic consistently.
  • SEO is also essential for your blog because it helps you explore topics and ideas that your audience is talking about and interested in learning about.
  • For blogs, SEO is something that requires consistent attention as part of your overall strategy. Follow best practices to ensure your content is on track to rank and deliver results.

What is SEO? Why Should You Care?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of best practices to help improve the ranking of your blog on a search engine’s results page, such as Google.

SEO involves using common keywords that web users search for when using search engines, as well as linking to other websites and social media channels. All these practices increase the relevance of your blog to search engines, which helps your posts climb in the rankings and ultimately drive more traffic to your site.

If you don’t prioritize SEO for your blog, why bother with the investment? SEO ensures that your content appears in the right searches so you can reap the benefits of blogging like:

  • Cost-effective organic traffic
  • Highly targeted and relevant traffic
  • Quality leads, visitors, and engagement
  • Establishing your brand’s authority
  • Earning trust from your audience
  • Building a strong brand image

9 SEO Best Practices for Blog Traffic and Engagement

How then do you ensure your posts are SEO-friendly? Here are nine simple tips to help you optimize your blogs for SEO.

1. Choose the Right Keywords

Search engines rely on keywords to determine what is and isn’t relevant to a web user’s search. A web user typically types in words or a series of words into the search engine related to the topic of their choice. The search engine then lists the top results that it determines to be most relevant to the topic.

To optimize your blog, you should identify and incorporate keywords that are highly relevant to your given topic into your post. Google’s Keyword Tool is one of the many resources out there you can use to look up a keyword’s average monthly searches, relevance, and competitiveness as well as similar keywords.

Make sure the keywords occur organically throughout your post. Don’t try to “force” keywords into your blog, as this will not help boost your post’s relevance.

2. Optimize Your Title

80% of readers don’t actually make it past the headline so it’s extremely important to create a compelling title. You must pique a reader’s interest and capture the essence or key concept of your blog.

Try to keep your headline under 66 characters if you can, as this allows the entire title to fit on a search page. You’ll also want to incorporate top keyword phrases you’ve used throughout your blog in the headline to increase its relevance.

3. Only Create and Publish Original Content

It’s important to create original content that provides useful information to your readers. Google loves original content because it helps its algorithms do their job. No one wants to click on three blogs offering the same tips word-for-word when they need nuanced answers. Google knows this.

When writing your blog, use subheadings to help break up your copy and to also help search engines scan and index your post more easily. This will tell Google what your blog is about and help you squeeze the effectiveness out of your original copy.

Where appropriate, include at least three links to other sites, social media channels, or pages on your blog to help drive additional traffic to your post. When you link to other sites, they may also link their content to your site, which helps increase your traffic as well – but only if it’s original.

4. Copy Should Be Long but Scannable

Longer form content – posts of over 1,000 words – tends to rank better on search engines. In fact, the top-performing marketing blogs are around 5,700 words. Generally, articles over 3,000 words get:

  • 3x more engagement
  • 4x more shares
  • 5x more backlinks

But if your blog is one large block of text, viewers who initially see it may be discouraged from reading more. Small tricks help you avoid that. For example, you can show a short preview of your blog and use “read more” tags or buttons for readers to click through to continue reading.

Most people also only read about 28% of the words in a blog post during an average page visit. To make your post more scan-friendly, use short paragraphs, bullet points, number lists, and block quotes to help your readers pick up the key points quickly and find the information they need.

Don’t forget to include call-to-action in your post, such as promoting your social channels or other blogs, as this helps generate more traffic for your site.

5. Always Include Relevant Images

Generally speaking, blog posts with images tend to be more popular than those that do not have images. More importantly though, images help break up your copy and can make your blogs more memorable as people remember images 6 times easier than text.

Even more importantly, Google wants your images. Apps and search engines are upping the image recognition game with visual search elements and in-SERP snippets. In other words, you should follow their lead and include more images.

Don’t forget to add titles or image captions using your top keywords along with ALT tags and credit your sources.

A bar graph depicting the percentage of internet users using image recognition tools on mobile devices highlighting their importance in SEO for blogs.

DataReportal

6. Consider Your Meta Description and Tags

Adding a short meta description to your blog makes it easier for search engines to find your post. A meta description should accurately summarize your blog and include your top keywords.

You’ll also want to create relevant categories and tags to help organize your blogs, so readers can find specific posts quickly from your homepage or main blog screen. Tags can also organize themselves by popularity or other factors with the right WordPress plugin.

7. Include Autocomplete Synonymous Keywords and Questions

Run a search on Google and you’ll unlock dozens of keyword and topic ideas – synonymous ideas. Google is providing valuable information here.

The search engine wants to answer every user’s inquiry as quickly as possible. Ergo, if you can answer more relevant questions and synonymous queries, SEO for your blog will improve. See why the long word counts are so beneficial?

8. Pay Attention to Your Subheadings and Bulleted Lists

As you browse those synonymous keywords and questions, consider them as subtopics for your blog’s subheadings and bulleted lists.

Subheadings are good for more than breaking up your copy – they also help Google see what’s inside your blog and scan the copy just like a human. Same goes for bulleted lists and numbered lists. Why not give Google what it wants?

9. Be Picky About Your Links

Don’t throw links into your blog just because they’re somewhat relevant. Google wants to see links in your blog because it proves you’ve done your research and you’re citing your sources.

But Google doesn’t want you researching and citing any old source. No, Google wants quality. Generally, sites that enjoy a low Alexa score are best for SEO for your blog.

However, lower popularity websites with a high Alexa score might mean high relevancy and high authority in your industry, so don’t count them out if they’re important – like professional organizations or niche authorities.

An infographic displaying an on-page SEO blog checklist.

Semrush

Always Prioritize SEO for Your Blog If You Want Serious ROI

Ask yourself why you bother with your blog. What’s it all for?

If you’re like most, you want to reap the benefits of organic traffic instead of paying for ads. You want to earn traffic from Google, engage visitors enough to stay, and eventually convert them into customers.

You can’t do any of that without SEO for your blog – consistent SEO. SEO isn’t something you do once or every few months. You must integrate SEO into your overall blogging strategy. From your topic selection down to publishing, SEO must play a starring role.

via 9 SEO Best Practices for Blog Traffic and Engagement

 

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