When you were just starting out with your blog, you probably heard people say that with the attention Google pays to content quality these days, SEO in the traditional sense of the word is no longer relevant. Write top-notch content and you will get noticed – this seems to be a pretty widespread sentiment these days. If you tried this out in practice, you probably already noticed that this approach does not work very well – even top-notch posts you spend days writing do not grain any particular traction. In other words, the rumors about SEO’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Perhaps you no longer have to stuff your texts chock-full with keywords, but you have to optimize your blog – and in this article, we will tell you how.
1.Focus on 1-2 most important long-tail keywords
These days, stuffing your texts with keywords harms rather than improves your ranking. The way to go is to choose a keyword or two that best match the most likely search intents of your target reader and using them in your content naturally. Long-tail keywords are the best for that purpose because they better reflect this intent – in addition, they often have much higher search volume than is generally believed and convert exceptionally well.
2.Use guest posting
While guest posting, strictly speaking, is not related to optimizing your content, it pursues the same purpose: increasing your blog’s ranking. These days, one of the primary characteristics Google evaluates when determining a website’s authority is the number and quality of links leading to it. Many links from trustworthy websites mean more authority for you. One of the most straightforward, reliable and effective ways of gaining them is guest posting – i.e., posting your articles on high-authority blogs and linking them back to your website. You can find plenty of guides to doing it properly (like this one to pitching your post idea by www.luckyposting.com, a well-known guest posting service). However, you have to realize a single guest post will not do you much good – you have to run a continuous campaign across a number of blogs, which can be hard to do simultaneously with maintaining a reasonable posting schedule on your own blog. It may be a wise idea to hire a guest blogging agency to take this job off your shoulders. Dealing with blog posting services has an added benefit in that you can start posting right away, without spending time on the preparatory phase.
3. Mobile first
Mobile constitutes more than half of overall Internet traffic, and its share keeps growing. Many people only ever surf the Internet using their mobile devices. This means that optimizing your blog for mobile (or using responsive design) is a must – not just because people prefer websites that look good on their smartphones, but because Google ranks them higher.
4. Publish evergreen content
Content related to hot news can bring you a sharp influx of traffic soon after you publish it. Or it may not – when everybody talks about something, each individual voice is less likely to be heard. However, evergreen content – i.e., content related to topics that will be just as relevant in a year or two as they are today – may not achieve immediate results, but they will continue to bring in visitors for years afterward. Moreover, if you manage to write an exceptionally good post, it can gain traction immediately.
5. Use images and optimize them
Google likes websites that supplement the text with images and other visual elements. To make the most out of them, optimize them using image alt text. The thing is, search engines do not look for images, but rather for their alt text – which means that if you want them to be considered when defining your page’s ranking, you want them to have relevant alt text. In addition to helping search engines, it improves the UX of your website – when an image cannot be loaded, the page will display alt text instead, giving the visitor an idea of what it is about.
Optimizing your blog for search engines may be quite different from what it used to be in the past, but it remains just as important a part of blogging. We hope that the general rules we listed here will be helpful.