1. Include 1-2 keywords in a specific section of your post.
Now that you have your one or two keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your blog posts. What are the best places in your post to include these words so that you rank high in search results?
There are four important places you should try to include your keywords: the title tag, the headline and body, the URL, and the meta description.
The title of your blog post (i.e., the headline) will be the first step for search engines and readers to determine if your content is relevant. Therefore, it is crucial to include a keyword here. Google calls this the “title tag” in search results.
Be sure to include your keyword within the first 60 characters of the title, which is exactly where Google cuts off the title on the SERPs. Technically, Google measures by pixel width rather than number of characters, and it recently increased the pixel width of organic search results from about 500 pixels to 600 pixels, which equates to about 60 characters.
Long title tags? When you have a lengthy title, it’s a good idea to put your keyword at the beginning, as it may be cut off at the end of the SERP, which may affect the relevance of your post.
In the example below, we had a long title over 65 characters, so we prefaced it with the keyword we wanted to rank for: “on-page SEO”.
Search engine results links with keyword optimized titles
Title and Body
Mention your keywords in the body of your post and in the title at a normal pace. This means including your keywords in your copy, but only in a natural, reader-friendly way. Don’t overuse it so you don’t get penalized for keyword stuffing.
Before you start writing a new blog post, you may want to think about how to incorporate your keywords into your post. This is a smart idea, but it shouldn’t be your only focus, or even your main focus.
Whenever you create content, your main focus should be on what’s important to your audience, not on how many times you can include keywords or keyword phrases in that content. Focus on providing help and answering any questions your customers may have to reach your post. By doing this, you will usually find that you naturally optimize for the keywords that matter, no matter what.
Search engines also look at your URL to see what your post is about, which is one of the first things it crawls on a page. You have a huge opportunity to optimize the URL of every post you publish, because every post has its own unique URL – so make sure you include one or two of your keywords in it.
2. Focus on 1-2 long-tail keywords that match the intent of your target readers.
Keyword optimization for your blog posts is not about including as many keywords as possible in your posts. Now, this actually hurts your search engines because search engines see this as keyword stuffing (i.e. including as many keywords as possible with the sole purpose of ranking high in organic searches).
It also doesn’t lead to a good reader experience – a ranking factor that search engines now prioritize to make sure you’re answering the visitor’s intent. Therefore, you should use keywords in your content that don’t feel unnatural or forced.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on using one or two long-tail keywords per blog post. While you can use more than one keyword in a post, keep the focus of the post narrow enough to allow you to take the time to optimize for one or two keywords.
You may be wondering. Why long-tail keywords?
These longer, often question-based keywords keep your article focused on a specific goal for your audience. For example, the long-tail keyword “how to write a blog post” is more impactful in terms of SEO than the shorter keyword “blog post”.
Site visitors searching for long-tail keywords are more likely to read the entire article and then seek more information from you. In other words, they will help you generate the right type of traffic – visitors who convert.
3. Optimize your images with image alt text.
Blog posts shouldn’t just contain text – they should also include images that help explain and support your content. However, search engines don’t simply look for images. Instead, they look for images with image alt text. This means that in order to make sure your images are good for your blog’s SEO, you need to make sure you include the alt text of the images.
You may be wondering why this is. Because search engines can’t “see” images the way humans do, the alt text of an image tells search engines what an image is about. This ultimately helps those images rank in the image results pages of search engines.
An image’s alt text also leads to a better user experience (UX) – it is displayed within the image container when the image cannot be found or displayed, and can improve accessibility for people with poor vision who use screen readers. Technically speaking, alt text is an attribute that can be added to image tags in HTML.
4. Create and publish new content on an ongoing basis.
When planning and writing blog posts, make sure that their content is evergreen. Meaning, the content deals with topics that are bound to remain relevant and valuable over a long period of time (with only minor changes or updates). Let’s look at a few reasons why evergreen content is so important.
It can help you rank over time, not just in the near future.
It helps to keep a steady flow of visitors to your blog (and website) since long after the date of publication.
It will help you generate leads over time due to the constant traffic it generates.
All blog content (whether it’s long posts, how-to guides, FAQs, tutorials, etc.) should be evergreen. Even the images you use in these posts should be evergreen. Check out this blog post for some examples and ideas on evergreen content in blogs.
5. High Quality External Links
We already know that a large number of high quality external links are very good for your website ranking, here are some of our very high quality links that you can use as a reference.
We don’t expect you to immediately incorporate all of these SEO best practices into your content strategy. However, as your site grows, your goals for search engines should grow with it. Then, you will be able to do some link building to get other sites to link back to your blog.
Once you have determined the goals and intent of your ideal readers, you can then provide organic content in a sequence that is always relevant to them.