SEO can be a little overwhelming. When I first started in my digital marketing career, I always hired SEO help and then about a year ago I finally learned it for myself and what a great decision that was!

SEO is crucial when it comes to content marketing. It allows your brand to rank high in organic search when done well. With consistent content creation and proper SEO optimization, you have the ability to be a SEO rockstar–you just don’t know it yet!

This post isn’t going to get too technical. My goal is to give you strategies that you can implement right away to improve your blog posts so that they are SEO worthy. Afterall, you put a lot of time and effort into your blog posts so why not make them easy to discover with SEO best practices?

Keyword Research

The first step to executing a smart SEO strategy is to do keyword research. There are plenty of tools out there that will help with this including SEMrush, Moz and Google Keyword Planner just to name a few.

When choosing the right keywords, a delicate balance comes into play. You want to identify keywords that have high search volume but low competition so that you’re not competing with giant brands with big budgets to rank.

Once you have identified your target keywords, you want to include them in a few areas of your content for the biggest impact. These places include:

  • Blog titles
  • Meta description
  • Image alt text
  • URL
  • Authentically sprinkled throughout your blog posts

If you “keyword stuff” or use keywords that don’t flow naturally in your content, it can actually hurt your page authority so be mindful of this. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 1%-2% keyword density.

For those of you who use WordPress, the Yoast plugin is great when ensuring your blog posts will rank well.

Make Sure Your Posts are Mobile Ready

More people than ever search for topics and posts on their phones. Therefore, Google favors mobile friendly blogs and ranks them higher so it’s super important that you make your blog posts responsive.

Be Smart About Internal Links

Linking to relevant posts and pages from your website in your blog posts clues search engines in on your best posts and helps readers navigate your brand.

Be strategic about your anchor text and don’t use more than 5 words in your hyperlinks.

For maximum benefit, go back and link to newer posts in older posts. Many marketers only link to older posts in new posts but if you reverse engineer that process, it’s a simple way to enhance your SEO efforts.

Prioritize Readability

Search engines rank for readability so it’s super important to embrace readable blog posts. I use a plugin called Yoast that rates the readability of my blog posts. Components of a readable blog post include:

  • Structure
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Bullet points
  • Images and videos
  • Concise format

Implement a Skyscraper Technique

The skyscraper technique embraces the fact that like-minded brands are creating great content and you need to create similar content but better. Your content should rise above the clutter like a skyscraper.

This technique is easy enough to understand and consists of 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Find the top performing content in your niche. You’ve identified your keywords so perform a search for these keywords and read the blog posts that come up in the first 2 pages of your search results.
  • Step 2: Create something better. Glean some inspiration and write a better blog post than what has shown up in your search results.
  • Step 3: Reach out to the right people. Reach out to colleagues, influencers, professional connections, etc. and ask them to help you promote your new blog post. It always helps if you offer to promote something of theirs in exchange.

You may notice that the skyscraper technique might add more time to the content you produce. But guess what!? That’s okay! It’s always best to think of quality over quantity. Producing blog posts that are well thought out, free of fluff, promote thought leadership, and are accompanied by a smart promotion plan are the types of blog posts that will rank well so take your time and be sure that you’re only publishing epic blog posts.

What Does Google Look For When Ranking Blog Posts?

Google’s search algorithms are constantly changing and they’re a lot of work to stay up to date on so I’ll just go over the basics. Google tries to rank authentic, high-quality content higher than content stuffed with keywords or content that was created for content sake. There are a few things Google looks at including:

  • Fast load time
  • Mobile optimization
  • High click-through rate
  • Low bounce rate
  • High average time on page
  • Social shares

Do you have a tip to share when it comes to creating SEO worthy blog posts? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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