The following post is from James of Google+ Tutorials:
Learning to SEO optimize your blog posts can make the difference between having a blog that gets tons of traffic, and having a blog no one else – except maybe your friends and family – will ever see.
One of the best ways to search engine optimize your blog posts is by using keyword phrases people might actually use to find information on the kinds of things you write about.
Here’s a crash course on using keywords to get more traffic to your blog:
Choose the Right Keywords
Keywords and keyword phrases help to determine how well your blog post will rank in the search engines. The better it ranks the more visits that post, and your blog, will get.
Keywords are the words and phrases web surfers use when searching for specific information. To find out which keywords are getting a lot of searches in your niche, use the free Google Keyword Tool. Under “Match Types,” uncheck “broad match” and check “exact match.” The more searches a keyword has, the better and the fewer words there are in a search term, the more competition there will be.
For example, you’d have an easier time ranking well for “third party car insurance” than for “car insurance.”
Use Keywords the Right Way
Once you have a keyword that’s highly searched, but has low competition, you want to use it in the right way. Try to work your keyword phrase into the title of the blog post, and the post’s very first paragraph. You can also try to work the phrase into the last paragraph, although there’s some debate over how important this really is. You should also try to work the keywords into the H1 tag and the H2 tags, which are usually used for subheadings. But only do this if it looks natural, many have abandoned this practice because using keywords in every subhead can be difficult to do naturally.
What you don’t want to do is use the keyword too many times in your post. This is called “keyword stuffing”, and search engines don’t like it. So if your keyword phrase appears 20 times in a 500 word blog post, some pruning is in order.
Use Images Wisely
Using images can add a nice, visual element to a blog post, which will appeal to your readers. Images are also another way to SEO optimize your post.
If your keyword phrase is “car insurance online,” you can use that phrase as the name of your image. You can also use the phrase in the image’s alt and title tags, but only do this if it fits. If you have an image of people frolicking on a beach, giving it the alt tag “car insurance online” would be misleading. Instead, choose an image that fits the keyword. For example, an image of a computer with a car on its screen would be perfect for a “Car Insurance Online” blog post.
If you want more traffic, you need to SEO optimize your blog posts, and while there are more advanced ways to do that, using keywords is a relatively simple method that gets results. I hope that these tips will help you to get more targeted search engine traffic to your blogs!
Do you have any other tips for SEO optimizing blog posts? Why not share them in the comments below!
|James Brooks is a professional blogger, web designer and social media consultant based on the South West coast of England. As well as being a co-founder of GPlusTuts, a blog about Google+, James also enjoys blogging about technology, food and tea!|