Blog post SEO are search engine optimization techniques you use every time you write and publish a new post.
These include headline, URL, text, media, meta data, and speed optimization. Here you’ll learn how to tackle them for best results and a higher ranking in search.
There’s a number of best SEO practices when it comes to headline (h1) and here you’ll get the list of them all.
- Use only one h1 on a single page. If you need more headlines, try using h2-h6. If your WordPress theme is coded properly, the headline you write above the main text field is your h1. You should therefore restrain from using h1 within the main text field.
- Keep your headlines under 60 characters. Everything above 60 characters risks to be cut off by search engines or social media, crippling your headlines. Keep in mind that, if you have set your site’s name to appear as a part of the page title, the total length will be greater than what you write in the headline field!
- Make sure all your headline structures are optimized, including Archive pages and similar. You can achieve full customization of your titles’ structure by using a plugin as All in One SEO (see available settings below).
- Use all important keywords in your headlines, starting with the most important one. It’s, however, important that you focus more on making your titles intriguing than on stuffing them with too many keywords!
- Make sure your headlines are not misleading! While misleading titles might give you a short boost in traffic, your pages’ SEO will suffer in the long run due to consequent high bounce rates! It’s a must to deliver on your promises!
- Use always unique headlines and optimize for unique keywords! If you optimize multiple pages for the same keywords, you risk that search engines can’t figure out which page to return upon a search query. Furthermore, you miss the opportunity to rank for other relevant keywords that might bring you valuable traffic.
- Do not use All Caps, many exclamation marks or symbols! It’s best practice to either capitalize all first letters or use simple sentence case.
If you need some inspiration, here’s the guide to writing great search engine optimized headlines.
Optimizing Page Content
Page content isn’t only text, so there’s much more to do than just find the right keywords and optimize for them. Here’s what you have to do in order to optimize your page/post content:
- Include different types of content. Mixing content is good for SEO as different content types supporting the same topic speak strongly about relevance and depth. They’re also a good way to engage your site visitors – and thus lower bounce rates – by providing them with their preferred content type (text, video, sound, images, etc.).
- Only-text pages should get at least one image.
- Images and videos should be optimized by adding the necessary meta data, most importantly the ALT attribute. The ALT attribute is important because it provides browsers with the opportunity to “understand” the media, even when an error in reading occurs.
- Each page needs a certain amount of text in order to help search engines classify it. The absolute SEO minimum is 300 words. However, if running a content-driven website, you should aim at 1000+ words. The reason is simply that the higher the number of words, the deeper your content, according to search engines. Be though aware that, unlike search engines, site visitors aren’t fond of endless articles, especially if you don’t really have something to say with all the words you use.
- It’s important that you structure your content properly. No matter whether it’s text or, for example, a video, you must have an introduction, a presentation, and a conclusion. This is crucial to help people understand your message and take the most important points out of it easily. Be aware that your introduction is what makes the difference between bouncing and engaged readers! Tell people clearly – and attractively – what they can expect to get out of reading/watching.
- One of the most important elements of on-page SEO are keywords. You have to use the right ones and to use them correctly. Your main keywords should appear already in the first paragraph, preferably in the beginning of the very first sentence. As a rule, you should aim at keyword saturation of 2-4 %. Best SEO practice is to use one main keyword (single word or long tail keyword) and a few variations. Keep in mind that all keywords count, including those you use in meta data!
- Formatting your content correctly is a must in order to avoid the spam-like associations. Use maximum 2 different fonts on one page and preferably the same fonts site-wide. Avoid coloring your text or overusing Bold, Underline, and Italic! Apply font size that is easy to read but not unnaturally big. Between 10-18 should be fine for the different fonts.
- Popups, widgets, and commercials have their importance and can’t always be avoided. Try to limit their use though, as they bother site users and slow down page load times. Remember that Google is taking user experience and page speed pretty seriously!
- Using Google Fonts, Font Awesome or similar is good as it helps deliver the same experience to all users, regardless of their location, device, software, language, etc. It does, however, slow down performance as it requires an additional download of data every time your page is accessed. Therefore you should avoid using it, if your pages are slow to begin with.
SEO Meta Data
Meta data that you should pay attention to, are page title as it appears in search, page description, and keywords, the page should be associated with.
While you can’t edit meta data in WordPress out of the box, you can easily add this functionality to your site by installing a SEO plugin. I recommend All in One SEO and Yoast SEO that set the standard within the SEO plugin industry at the moment.
You optimize your meta data by following these rules:
- Include your keywords in your meta title, meta description, and meta keywords without overstuffing them. Once is enough.
- Remember that keywords used in meta data count as regular keywords on your pages and are thus included when calculating keyword saturation. Keep in mind that too many keywords are just as bad for SEO as too few keywords!
- While you should keep your meta title as close to the headline on your page as possible, it’s important that you modify it in such a way that it simply entices people to click on it. Good headlines are more conservative ones, while good meta titles are a call to action of sorts. Here’s more about boosting your CTR (click through rates) by crafting the perfect titles.
- Your meta description should be short and very sharp description of what one can expect when clicking on your link. Concentrate on what people get out of reading, for example, increase sales, become better at something, learn something exceptional or a secret, etc. Practice shows that describing the type of content you offer boosts CTR. Write therefore whether you offer a list, a guide, screenshots, text or video, etc.
- Meta keywords are, according to Google, not a part of their search algorithm. You should, however, not ignore them. You don’t know whether or when keywords will be important again and it’s better to be prepared instead of to have to go back and add keywords on hundreds of posts at the same time. Adding meta keywords doesn’t damage your SEO score.
- In all meta elements, remember to be relevant and sharp. Misleading internet users backfires eventually.
Page Speed Optimization
Page speed is one of the important SEO factors. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do, even when your server is slow. Here’s what you must pay attention to:
- As mentioned above, compression is a must. So is proper cache. These are site-wide settings but should be mentioned for the purpose of this post. Here you can learn how to enable gZip and cache.
- If your pages are too slow, no matter how much you optimize, there’s still something you can do about it – use a CDN. Read here about the pros of cons of using a CDN.