Is your website lost at sea? Floating in the abyss of competitor websites and drowning in search results? Then, you need to learn how to optimize blog posts for SEO on your small business’s website! Because at the end of the day, it’s not enough to just publish content. Your blog posts need to be strategic, posted on a regular schedule, utilize SEO data, include keywords, and stay true to your brand guidelines. Here’s how you can do just that.
1. Use Keyword Research for Blog Post Headlines and Content Ideas
In life, one should never assume. That’s true for organic SEO blog content too! You may think your audience searches for certain information, while in fact they do not. That means you’ll waste time and money on blog content nobody asks for. That’s where an SEO audit comes in handy. With an SEO audit, you’ll get a list of keywords and competitor keywords that users actually search for. Then, you can create content around those ideas. Bam! Instant traffic. Well, as instant as organic SEO goes, which is about six to 12 months. Slow and steady though wins the SEO race.
Just make sure you use exact keyword phrases and longtail keywords in your blog headlines. You also want to use these keywords in the front end of your blog posts—meaning the words your audience reads. On the backend, use SEO keywords in your images and videos in the alt and title tags. Learn more about how to DIY search engine optimization for your small business website.
Here’s one more tip! You can use your Google Ads keywords for your blog posts as well.
2. Start with Evergreen Content that’s Central to Your Business Model
If you’re just starting a business blog, then begin with your core, evergreen content. This is content that’s educational and foundational to your business offerings. For instance, Charm School’s foundational content is around our services: SEO, social media marketing, advertising, branding, etc.
Evergreen content is necessary to start spinning your SEO web—or hub and spoke content strategy. This is the broad content you’ll link to from more drilled down, niche topics. For instance, you may start with a blog about CBD for overall health. Then, you can write an article about CBD or nutritional supplements for fibromyalgia or CBD for athletes. See how the content gets more specific and targeted, but the evergreen content is a constant cornerstone of those pieces? That’s what you want to do to optimize blog posts for SEO and cast a wider net for customers to find your business organically.
3. Set Unique Keyword Phrases for Every Blog
Every single blog you write needs a keyword phrase. This should be unique and never repeated on your website—or you’ll compete with your own traffic. For instance, this blog—and the reason you found us in search—uses keyword phrase, optimize blog posts for SEO. Make your keyword phrase specific to the ultimate point of your blog post. Use keyword research to set this! You want a data driven approach to keyword phrases.
4. Always Write a Meta Description for Blog Posts
You need meta descriptions for all of your blog posts! This is a piece of content that tells search engine algorithms what your content is about. When someone searches for related information and keywords, Google will use this information to rank your blog posts. Your meta description should be short and include your focus keyphrase.
5. Use Images and Video to Break Up Your Blog Content
Picture books aren’t just for kids. The majority of internet users prefer content with video and imagery. So does Google.
Lucky for you, you don’t have to spend all of your marketing budget on asset creation. Smartphones can shoot high-quality video. Plus, you can get a studio lighting kit for under $100). We recommend doing a quarterly photoshoot for assets, but if you don’t have the time, here are our favorite stock photo sites for imagery and video.
6. Make Your Blog Content Scannable
The amount of time someone spends reading your content and bounce rates (how quickly a user leaves your page) impact your organic SEO. Make your blog posts user-friendly and scannable to decrease bounce rates and increase time on page. The better these metrics, the better your website will be in the eyes of Google, and the higher your ranking will be!
Use bullet points and H2s, H3s, and H4s to break up your content. Don’t let sentences or paragraphs get too long. Doing so will improve your scannability and optimize your blog posts for SEO.
7. Cross Promote Your Content
Don’t rely all on search results to bring traffic to your small business website. Promote blogs on your social media posts and email campaigns too! Doing so will increase your blogs’ reach and help you maximize your content marketing budget.
8. Write Longer and More Informative Content
The optimal length for a blog post is 800–1,200 words. Writing posts shorter than this won’t give people enough information for their search. Plus, you’ll get higher bounce rates and lower time on page stats, which we mentioned above are big SEO killers.
That being said, longer content has to have a purpose. You don’t want to lose your audience’s attention, make it difficult for them to find an answer to their search question, or overwhelm them with a wall of words. Like we mentioned above, use bullet points, H2s and H3s, images or gifs, creative formatting, and color variance to break up your content and help readers find what they’re looking for quickly.
9. Post Regularly!
Search engines reward websites that publish content regularly. Immediately optimize your blog posts for SEO by publishing them in a regular cadence. One per month is minimum, but one per week or more will fast track your way to the top of Google search results.
10. Use Free SEO Tools
There’s an app for that. There’s also probably an SEO tool for that! If you’re doing DIY SEO, then download SEO tools to make your job easier.
11. Interlink Content
Use your blogs as an opportunity to link to other content on your website! This will spin your SEO web and keep people on your website—decreasing bounce rates and increasing your odds of making sales or generating leads.
12. Link Out to Other Content and Do Outreach for Your Blogs
Just like you should include links to your website content, you should also link out to websites with high domain authorities too—when it makes sense. This helps tell search engines that your content is credible. If you provide an external link, make sure it’s set to open in a new tab!
As far as outreach goes, contact editors and journalists to see if they will link to your content. For instance, if you have a resource that you think would benefit a publications’ readers—and overlaps with your demographic—send this to them! Always approach outreach from a “what you can do for them” perspective. It’s all about the publication, but you benefit from it too. Manual outreach takes time, but it’s worth it for the link value and boost to your organic SEO and search rankings.
If you need help with link building and outreach consulting, get in touch!
13. Publish Content Regularly and Update Old Content
Old content isn’t dead. Oh, contraire! Google loves to see you update old content with new stats, information, and imagery. Just make sure you add an editor’s note to the bottom saying when the original post was published and that you updated it. Also, make sure to change the publish date on your blog to the day you republished it with new information. Here’s a sample of a great editor’s note to include on revamped blogs.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on XX/XX/XX. As of XX/XX/XX it’s been completely updated with relevant facts and information.
Go through your content annually to learn which pieces got the most traffic. Focus on revamping and republishing those blogs. You can and should delete old blogs with low traffic too. Just make sure you 301 those pages so they don’t result in 404 broken links! That’s a major buzzkill for organic SEO.
14. Improve URL Structures
You want all of your blogs to have the same URL structure, i.e., websitename.com/blog/title-blog-post.
Make sure the blog posts title in your URL includes a keyword synopsis. For instance, this URL is https://charmschoolmarketing.com/blog/optimize-blog-posts-seo/ and not, https://charmschoolmarketing.com/blog/how-to-optimize-blog-posts-seo-and-increase-website-traffic/
The latter is too long and clunky. So edit those URLs and make them consistent!
15. Set Long-term Content Strategy and SEO Goals
It’s so important to set longterm SEO goals to effectively optimize blogs for SEO. For starters, you’ll need an annual content strategy plan complete with content buckets. You need a content calendar to keep this information organized. Your SEO strategy should also include a plan for distributing your content. Without concrete SEO strategy, you’ll waste time and money on efforts that will fall flat.
Charm School Marketing is a full service SEO agency and would love to help improve your search results! We’re a content focused bunch and would love to hear from you today.