Plain and simple, if you don’t optimize your blog posts for search engines, you will miss out. You may have some great information to share with pet parents, but if the content is not optimized for search engines, your potential reach is much smaller. If Google can’t figure out what your blog is about, they won’t prioritize your content. Consistently publishing relevant, high-quality content and performing basic search engine optimization will expand your reach. Keep in mind; your content must be written for your audience first – this means it’s well structured and easy to read.
Investing in a blogging strategy helps you consistently generate organic traffic to your website for months and years to come. Over time, this will help grow your website authority. Each blog post must be well-written and optimized carefully and strategically. There are 200+ ranking factors considered by Google when deciding which piece of content to serve for each search query.
1. Keyword Research and Planning
Keyword research is the most critical part of your blogging strategy. Don’t just pick a random keyword. For example, writing a blog about “Best Dog Breed” is too broad, and you are now competing against high-authority websites. While this may be great content to share with your customers, it will be tough to rank due to the competitiveness of this keyword. Instead, find a longtail keyword that is more niche or local. The quality of traffic you will receive will be better, and Google will more likely serve your content higher. Do your research and use tools like SEMrush or ahrefs to find those hidden gems with the highest search volume and lowest competition.
2. Use Primary Keyword Strategically Throughout Post
Now that you have established your main keyword, it is essential to use that keyword strategically throughout the content. The keyword should be used in the following:
- Title of the Post (H1)
- The first sentence in the body of the content
- Headings and Subheadings (H2 and H3)
- Summary/Concluding paragraph
- Image filename
- Image ALT text
- Title tag and meta description
- Naturally throughout the content without keyword stuffing
3. Find and Use Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are terms that are related to your main keyword and used in search queries. These are like little helpers that strengthen your main keyword by providing context to Google to understand your content better. These aren’t necessarily synonyms but similar phrases or terms with a high degree of relevance or strong correlation to the main keyword. Strategically integrating semantic keywords to your content helps your SEO and gives you a competitive advantage as it carries a heavier weight than keyword density. To find semantic keywords, go to Google and type in your keyword.
Example: I searched “benefits of dog walking” then scroll to the bottom of the page, and you will see a group of related terms. Now you have words to strengthen your blog post for “benefits of dog walking”
4. Makes Blogs Easy to Read
Readability is an essential factor that is considered by Search Engines when determining which content to serve. Content that is easier to read, and user-friendly is likely to rank higher. We love Grammarly! It helps improve the quality of content. Some other ways to improve the readability of your blogs are to:
- Write in small paragraphs
- Use heading to break up paragraphs
- Use short sentences
- Use transition words
- Keep difficult words to a minimum
- Write content with at least 300-500 words
Take advantage of SEO plugins like Yoast and RankMath. They both are excellent resources to help improve the readability of content.
5. Optimize Your Images
You should only use high-quality and optimized images for your blog posts. Resize images before uploading them to your website. Use a program like Photoshop or Canva. Uploading a large image that needs to be scaled in the post effects the user experience and slows down the page. Name images descriptively, and utilize ALT text to include a brief keyword-rich description of the photo. Take advantage of image optimization tools like ShortPixel. ShortPixel will not only compress your images without losing quality, but it also will serve images in WebP format on supporting browsers.
6. Internal and External Links
Adding quality internal and external links gives your blog more credibility, especially when referencing high-authority websites. Links also help Google understand the context of your content. This is a great opportunity to guide your visitors to older posts that may be relevant. If you are referencing someone else’s content, it is good to link the source to provide more context. Links should be used with descriptive anchor text and not terms like “Click Here” or “Read More.” Quality links are valuable but never exchange money for links.
7. Title Text and Meta Description
Your title text should be descriptive and attention-grabbing. Try using power words to help increase conversions. A meta description is what you see in the Search Engine Results pages when you make a query. While this may not affect your SEO directly, well-written meta descriptions entice a person to click on your website. When writing a meta description, you want to keep it under 155 characters, so the text doesn’t get cut off.
8. Finally, Drive Traffic to Your Blog Posts
You can’t just post a blog and expect traffic from Google just because “you blog.” You first need to prove to Google that you are “worthy.” To do this, you need a blogging strategy to drive traffic to your website. You can broaden your reach by sharing the blog on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Groups, Ads, Newsletters, email marketing etc. Your blogging strategy must include both driving traffic to your website and Search Engine Optimization to see results.
There is a good chance that your blog is not reaching its full potential. Implementing these tips into your blogging strategy can help improve your website’s organic reach in general. If you build high-authority with your blogs, this will carry over to other pages on your website and improve visibility, traffic and overall results. If you need help with your blogging strategy, we have content marketing plans custom-designed for you! And when writing, always keep in mind specifically what audience you are trying to reach.
Erika Godwin is the President of Barketing Solutions and the Co-Founder and CMO of ProPet Software, an industry-leading kennel management software. Erika has over 8 years of experience with WordPress and graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a BS, Business Administration- Marketing and Management.