Make your blog posts SEO friendly: Get your posts ranking in 10 simple steps.

Dec 15, 2021
How to make your blog post SEO friendly

After spending all those hours writing what probably felt like a novel, the most important thing you need to do before you press publish is make your blog post SEO friendly.

If you don’t take a few minutes to check everything is just right, your post won’t get found by the people who really need to see it, and all that time you invested will have been wasted.

I know I sound like a doom merchant, but it’s true. 

It breaks my heart to see so many online entrepreneurs spending hours and hours creating really amazing content that never gets seen - just because they don’t take a few simple extra steps to make sure it’s their blog post is SEO friendly.

The steps I’m going to share here can make the difference between your post languishing unread on page 57 of Google’s search results and getting on to Page 1.

Did you know that only 0.78% of Google searchers click on results from the 2nd page?

If that’s news to you, carry on reading to find out how to make sure your blog is SEO friendly!

1. Plan your blog post based on keyword research

Before you write a word, make sure you’ve done your research and found a good keyword for your blog.  

Make sure your keyword has some decent volume and isn’t going to be too hard for you to rank for. 

If you need some help getting started with keyword research, read this blog I wrote for you a few weeks ago.

Keyword Research

Once you’ve got your keyword, make sure you use it strategically throughout your blog post.

MAKE SURE YOU PUT YOUR KEYWORD IN YOUR:

  • Blog title

  • Headings and subheadings 

  • Introductory sentence

  • Concluding paragraph

2. Give your blog a good title.

No pressure, but your blog needs a good title!

So how do you write one then?

Well, keeping it short and including your keyword is a good place to start.

Also, try and include a power word, an emotion word and keep “common words” like how, to, and get to around 20 to 30% of your title.

If you need more help, I’m linking through to an amazing article from the team at coschedule all about creating stellar titles and headlines.

Also, check out the chrome extension from the same guys. You can add it to your toolbar so you can check your title as you write.

3. Use headlines to make your blog easy to read.

Google wants to make their user’s experience as good as possible, so if you write your blog in a clear, logical way that lets them get the information they need as quickly as possible they’ll reward you with better rankings.

Google’s bots will also be able to index your content more easily, so again, you’re more likely to be put on the first page of the search results.

And, most importantly, the people reading your blog will be happy!

The structure you create with headings and subheadings will signpost them through the experience of reading your blog.

Keep your main heading, your H1, for your blog title, then work your way down the heading sizes. 

Headings and SEO

Use H2s for subheadings and, if you want to add the title of a list, or make separate points in that section, use H3s.

Also, make sure you keep your paragraphs short.

It’s best to make one point per paragraph so anyone scrolling through your blog can easily find the information they’re looking for.

Use bulleted lists and allow plenty of white space around your text. It makes reading easier.

4. Aim for a word count of 1000+ words.

Don’t be put off by a 1000 word count. It’s much easier than you think.

Look, here’s how you could break your blog into sub-sections to easily achieve a word count of over 1000 words.

Introduction - 100 words

Point 1 - 200 words

Point 2 - 200 words

Point 3 - 200 words

Point 4 - 200 words

Point 5 - 200 words

Conclusion and Call to Action (CTA) - 100 words

Google wants to make sure that the content you create is worthwhile reading.

They want you to deliver real value to the people using their technology to find the answers to their questions, and they think you need at least 1000 words to do that.

Don’t get hung up on always creating posts that are 1000 words or more, but make sure that any blog you publish is at least 300 words long. Otherwise, Google will have a hard time indexing it and won’t show it to anyone, or in other words, it will never rank.

5. Link to other pages on your website. 

Google loves it when you make life easy for their bots, and linking to other pages on your website does just this.

The bots go out into the vastness of the internet and map out or index websites.  These maps are important for SEO as they set out what kind of content you’ve got on your website and what information people will find when they visit.

Linking to other relevant pages or blog posts creates a more comprehensive structure that the bots can map more easily, and, of course, you’re adding more value to your readers if you can signpost them to other helpful content you’ve created.

Here’s an example of how I link to other blogs and resources I think my readers might find helpful using hyperlinks.

You can also hyperlinks to other blogs on your own site.

Links to other pages

6. Make sure your blog has some great images.

If you include some great images in your blog, you’re more likely to achieve featured snippet status!

Having your post show up as a featured snippet is like getting into position 0 in Google - i.e., above the first spot, so it is a good thing.

There are lots of different kinds of snippets, and getting Google to make your post into one is a bit of an art, but adding great images is a great start, so make sure you lace your post with relevant ones.

7.  Add alt text to all your images.

Talking about images, make sure you add alt text to them. 

It’s super simple. 

Just find the alt text box and type in a description of your image.

Back to that image from Step 3. I added Headings and SEO to the alt text section.

This improves accessibility for visually impaired visitors to your site and improves the user experience, which is super important to Google.

It also helps with SEO, so make sure you describe one of your images with your keyword but only use it once.

8. Check your page speed is up to scratch.

Fast pages mean happy visitors!

Google is super hot on page speed at the moment, so you need to make sure your posts load quickly.  

Readers will abandon clunky posts that take an age to load, so take a moment to a moment to avoid creating them in the first place.

HOW TO AVOID PAGE SPEED ISSUES

  1. Use jpegs in blog posts - NOT pngs.

  2. Keep images small. Of course, make them visible, but don’t overdo it on image size.

  3. Make sure your website host is optimised for performance. Basically, are their servers fast?

  4. Try not to use page redirects and if you have to, keep them to a minimum.

  5. Compress any big videos you use.  Here are links to a few of the best video compressors around.

You can easily check your page speed by typing your blog’s URL into a speed checker. Google has its own, so you might as well get the verdict from the horses’ mouth.

Here’s the link to check your page speed.

9. Make sure your blog is set up for mobile responsiveness.

More than half of all web searches are now made from our phones, so Google wants our sites and content to be easily read on mobiles.

So, with that in mind, Google expects your blog posts to be set up for mobile responsiveness. 

Your website needs to change the layout of your blog post so that when someone is reading it on their phone, they’re not seeing a miniature version of your website and having to zoom in to read your content. 

Most sites do this automatically these days, but if you’ve got an older site i.e., built before 2015 (when mobile responsiveness became a big thing), make sure you check your site.

Google has a great tool for testing how mobile-friendly your site and your posts are. 

Just pop the URL in this checker, and you’ll get your score and tips for fixing things if you need to.

10. Add your page title and meta description.

Don’t forget to fill out the strangely titled boxes at the bottom of your blog post!

Whether you’re using Squarespace, Kajabi, WordPress, Shopify, or any other platform, every one of them has a space where you can add in your SEO details.

It’s super important that you take the time to fill in these boxes as it’s SEO gold.

It only takes a minute, and it will turbocharge your rankings.

ADD A PAGE TITLE

Your page title, or SEO title, will show up in the search results, so make sure it shows potential readers that you’ve got the information they’re looking for.

Page title

Include your keyword, and make sure you keep the character count within the limits you’re given, so it doesn’t cut off on the results page.

ADD YOUR META DESCRIPTION.

Your Meta description, also known as your SEO description or Page description, is a super important little piece of text that tells Google what your blog is all about, so make sure you take a moment to complete it. 

It’s also the text potential readers see in the search results which will help them decide whether yours is the post they’ll open.

So, make sure it’s to the point and includes your keyword.

And, stick to the character count you’re given. 

CUSTOMISE YOUR URL SLUG

What?

Yup, you need to customise your slug! 

Your slug is your blog’s address, and you need to make sure your readers look at that address and know it will take them somewhere they want to go.

If you wanted to learn how to optimise your blog and your website for the search engines, would you feel confident you were headed in the right direction if you saw this address...

https://www.sbuchanansmith.com/blog/how-to-optimise-your-content-and-your-website-for-seo-in-10-simple-steps

Or this address….

https://triceratops-plum-da46.squarespace.com/config/pages

To fix this kind of dodgy URL slug, go to the Post URL, Slug, or Custom URL section of your blog post and edit it so that it tells people what your blog post is about.

Have any questions?

So I’ve walked you through 10 simple steps you can take to make your blog SEO friendly and you’re now ready to get Google to notice all the hard work you’ve been putting in to writing your blogs.

If you’ve got any questions or some help with any of these steps I’m running a live webinar on Thursday 25th November. I’ll walk you through all these steps in a bit more detail and I’ll be on hand for you to ask any questions.

Save your spot on the webinar by clicking this link.

See you there!

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