How to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Posts for Traffic

How To Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Posts 09012023

Table of Contents

Are you spending time writing company blogs but not getting new leads? The issue might be poor or non-existent search engine optimization (SEO).

When your blogs aren’t properly optimized, they won’t rank on search engines like Google or Bing. Consequently, your content remains hidden from the eyes of potential clients searching for related topics.

Your primary objective is to have your blogs naturally draw in traffic to your website. Not sure how?

Here are our hard and fast rules that will help you optimize your blogs for search engines and drive more traffic and revenue.

But first things first, let’s cover some basic terms.

What is Blog Optimization?

Blog optimization is the practice of optimizing your blog posts to increase visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). The goal of blog SEO is to ensure that your content reaches a larger audience and gets more clicks, which can ultimately lead to more conversions.

Why Optimizing Your Blog for SEO is Important

A study by Ahrefs found that an astonishing 90.63% of web pages receive no organic traffic from Google. The reasons behind this are mainly related to poor content optimization for SEO.

Source: Ahrefs

For a business that aspires to drive inbound leads with blog content, this is bad news. If your content is not discoverable, it has no value. Simple.

However, if you make sure to optimize your blog articles the right way, you have the opportunity to:

  • Reach more people;
  • Get higher rankings in search engine results pages;
  • Drive more conversions;
  • Increase your website’s authority, making it more likely for potential customers to trust and purchase from you.

How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines in 10 Easy Steps

1. Understand E-E-A-T

E-E-A-T has nothing to do with eating. It’s all to do with what Google considers high-quality content. So, before you write anything, you really need to understand E-E-A-T.

Google’s E-A-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a set of quality guidelines that Google uses to assess the credibility and quality of a website’s content.

Content quality is top of mind for Google, especially since the increasing adoption of AI-generated content. Therefore, as a business, you must create content that is not only relevant to your readers but also accurate, highly researched, and factual.

Source: Google

Want to learn more about the E-E-A-T? Check out Google’s Search Quality Evaluation Guidelines.

2. Conduct Keyword Research

The next step is keyword research—a pivotal stage in every piece of content you write.

As a minimum, each blog post should have a focus keyword. For example, the focus keyword in this article is “how to search engine optimize your blog posts.”

If you don’t choose a specific keyword to target, then Google’s bots will have a tough time figuring out what your post is actually about.

So, how do you actually pick the right keywords for your blog post?

To begin, you’ll want a tool that helps you find these keywords. There are well-known ones like SEMRush and Ahrefs.

Once you’ve got the tool, start digging into the data by focusing on the following:

  • Average search volume;
  • Competitiveness of the keyword (the lower, the better);
  • Long-tail keywords (phrases with three or more words that tend to be less competitive and more targeted);
  • Relevancy to your business goals;
  • What the search intent is.

Source: SEMRush data

Of course, there is much more to SEO keyword research. The topic is so broad that it deserves a separate blog post. But you’ve got the basics!

3. Get the Search Intent Right

Choosing solid keywords for your blog post is not enough. You also need to ensure you’re getting the search intent right. This means understanding what people are looking for when they type in a given keyword and creating content that matches their expectations.

For instance, if someone types in “how to start a blog,” they likely want information on creating a blog from scratch, not tips on optimizing an existing one. If you don’t get the search intent right, then chances are your content won’t reach its full potential in SERPs.

4. Write an Effective and SEO-compliant Blog Title

Your titles are the first thing readers see when they come across your blog posts in SERPs.

Therefore, it’s essential to ensure they’re optimized for SEO. You should aim for eye-catching titles and include your focus keyword to draw attention and increase the chances of your blog post ranking in SERPs.

Plus, you need to get the length of your title right. Moz recommends keeping your titles between 51 and 60 total characters.

Here’s an example of a title cut off by Google:

And that’s a good example of an appropriate title:

5. Nail Your Internal Linking

Internal linking is a great way to help search engines understand the structure and content of your blog post. When you include internal links, you show search engines which pages are related and how they can be accessed. This can help increase your page views and keep visitors on your website longer.

For optimal SEO benefits, consider linking out from your best-performing articles that attract the highest traffic and have numerous external links.

Expert tip: Always use descriptive anchor text so readers know where they will be taken when they click on the link.

6. Add SEO-optimized Images

Adding visuals to your blog posts can be beneficial for SEO because they can help make your content more engaging and visually appealing. Besides, search engines can crawl and index these types of media, allowing them to understand your post’s context better.

Follow these steps to optimize your blog images for SEO:

1. Image File Name

Image SEO kicks off with the filename. You want search engines to grasp the image’s context without needing to view it. To achieve that, you must incorporate your target keyword into the image’s filename.

Let’s break it down.

Imagine you’re crafting a piece about biodiversity, and you include an image depicting a lush rainforest teeming with life.

Instead of naming your file something like “IMG1234.jpg”, opt for something like “Rainforest-Biodiversity.jpg”.

2. File Size

Google considers page loading speed for ranking websites. Quicker sites rank higher, enhancing visibility and attracting more organic traffic. However, large image files mean slower page loading time.

Do this:

  1. Resize images to the size you display them at;
  2. Reduce image file size.

We recommend using online tools such as HDTiny or for both of these steps.

3. Alt Text

Finally, add alt text to your images. An alt tag or attribute is a short description that’s included in the HTML code to explain what an image is about on a webpage.

This is really useful for SEO because it helps search engines figure out what the image is showing and why it’s there. This is not only great for people who can’t see well, but it also makes the webpage more likely to appear higher in search results.

7. Perfect Your Blog Structure

Poor blog structure hurts your SEO. Nail your H1, H2, H3, and H4 headings to ensure they flow logically. By doing so, you can facilitate reader navigation and comprehension.

Additionally, search engines rely on this structure to understand the information hierarchy. Optimizing blog structure can improve the chance of ranking higher in search results and drive more organic traffic to your blog.

How do you structure your blog? HubSpot’s example sums it up:

Source: HubSpot

8. Optimize Content to Win a Featured Snippet

Featured snippets are the top sweet spot on Google. They provide a concise summary of information from a web page that is displayed at the top of search results, offering quick answers to user queries.

Like this one here:

Source: Google

Winning a featured snippet with your blog content can provide lucrative organic traffic opportunities. A survey by EngineScout discovered that featured snippets receive 35.1% of total clicks.

All featured snippets share one thing: they give the best answer to a search question. So, to optimize your blog content for a featured snippet, make sure you:

Step 1: Research keywords, target question-based ones;

Step 2: Study existing featured snippets for your keyword (Determine whether they are presented in a list format, a paragraph, or a table. Analyze the information they contain);

Step 3: Create clear, structured, and factual content with concise answers.

9. Add Blog Metadata

Something businesses tend to overlook but is quite significant is ensuring you fine-tune the blog metadata.

Blog metadata refers to the information that provides context and additional details about a blog post but is not directly part of the main content of the post itself.

Here, we talk about things such as:

  • Title tag;
  • Meta description;
  • URL slug;
  • Featured image.

Now, we break down how to optimize each of these elements:

ElementHow to OptimizeExample
Title tagWrite a title tag under 60 characters and include your focus keywordHow To Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Posts for Traffic
Meta descriptionWrite a meta description under 160 characters and include your focus keywordRead our blog to learn the ins and outs of how to search engine optimize your blog posts for more traffic
URLUse descriptive keywords related to the content, keep it concise, and avoid unnecessary characters or
Featured imageEnsure it has a descriptive filename using relevant keywords and includes an alt text with concise, keyword-rich descriptionDescriptive file name (e.g., “best-summer-recipes.jpg”)Alt text (e.g., “delicious summer recipes: grilled vegetables and fruit salad”)

All of this metadata collectively helps search engines understand the content and context of the blog post, making it more discoverable to readers searching for relevant information.

10. Think About User Experience

Lastly, we’ve got a bunch of other factors that affect blog SEO. Namely, mobile friendliness and page speed. These elements fall under technical SEO; thus, you might need specialized help for this.

But, in a nutshell, here’s how each of these elements affects SEO and user experience:

  • Mobile friendliness: Given that 58.33% of traffic originates from mobile users, it’s crucial to optimize blogs for mobile devices. This ensures a smooth experience and enhances engagement for this significant user segment.
  • Page speed: Search engines give preference to pages that load quickly, as this enhances the overall user experience.

Getting these elements right adds to a seamless user experience and can positively affect your rankings.

Start Optimizing Your Blogs Today

Optimizing your blog posts for search engines isn’t something you can do once and forget about. It requires regular maintenance and updating to continue reaping the benefits it brings. Follow our 10-step guide to get started.

Is your blog not ranking, and you aren’t sure what the issue is? Do you need help navigating on-page, off-page, and technical SEO? At Salteq, we craft and deploy data-backed winning strategies for companies that want to grow their online presence. Want to be our next success story?

Book Your Free SEO Consultation Now