For years, I never worried about SEO at all, and my sites continued to stay at the top of the SERPs (search engine result pages.) It wasn’t until I started focusing on SEO, that I experienced challenges. I will cut to the chase and tell you what I have come to learn:
SEO strategy should be used as a foundation only. Instead, focus on keeping readers on your page, and having them return. This is what results in the higher rankings. When paired with a strong backlink profile, even the smallest of blogs, can outrank the competition.
Now let me explain…
Google consistently says, “Focus on user experience.” Yet, we tend to dismiss this as “ya ya ya, but how many times should I use a keyword in my blog post?” Trust me on this, please do not worry about SEO beyond a few basics.
Note: This applies to MOST posts, however different posts will have different requirements for ranking. The best way to figure this out, is to take a look at who is ranking for the phrase currently, and applying their approach to your own blog, but in a unique and improved way.
The Basics for Blogging and SEO
- Use keyword research first. Not for search engines, but to understand what your readers REALLY want. Make it a habit to research keyword phrases on your blog topic. This will make content creation and meeting the needs of your writers, so much easier over time.
- Use Yoast SEO or your preferred SEO plugin. I prefer Yoast personally.
How to SEO a Blog Post and Page
- The keyword phrase should be in your title, url (minus stop words), in 1 header, and 1 x in your content itself. This is a general rule of thumb, however, I prefer to write it completely without thinking about keywords- then, go back and make sure they are included. You can take a look at who is ranking #1 for the phrase and view their use of the phrase as a guideline. If you do not rank well over time, you can test with small changes- 1 at a time. You can read my in-depth tutorial on keyword research here, and also how to SEO a blog post here.
- Create Longer posts, with rich content. I have seen a number of SEO experts say “Google likes 1800 words” – it’s actually, PEOPLE that like the longer posts, because of the amount of information provided. Google likes that they are staying on the page, and finding the information they searched for.
- Use Videos. I have also seen SEO guides say “Google loves videos.” Again, it’s PEOPLE that love videos. Google likes that they are staying on the page, engaged and finding the content useful.