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Blogging and SEO: A step-by-step guide

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

Optimise your blog post with these seo tips and tricks.

Regarding blogging and SEO, it’s essential to create well-written blog posts while taking the necessary steps to ensure your posts are optimised for search engines. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) refers to processes that improve your website’s visibility in search engines to boost organic traffic. It’s about optimising your content to match users’ needs by creating high-quality and relevant blog posts that keep them engaged, on the page, and taking action.

Bear in mind that content optimisation alone isn’t the only thing that can help you rank; you also need to have unique content in the first place while staying authentic to your brand style and tone. Ensure you avoid copying and pasting similar text, or Google and other search engines will punish you, and your website will be relegated to the lower depths of the search pages.

Once you know how to optimise your text, starting is relatively simple. Here’s our step-by-step guide for crafting successful SEO-optimised blog posts that will rank on search engines.

Find your topic

The first way to optimise your blog post is by finding a trending topic related to your niche. There are several simple ways you can do this:

  • Use a tool like Google Trends to see what people are talking about

  • Jump on the back of news stories, opinion pieces, explainers, and how-tos

  • Find inspiration in blogs written within your industry and sector

  • Get in the mind of your audience by understanding what they search for and finding relevant keywords

Ensure that the topic you’re writing about resonates with your audience rather than jumping on every random trend. To begin your optimisation, use SEO search tools to find relevant keywords, which will form the basis of your blog post. Some effective (and free!) tools are Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest.

Format your blog post with headings

Once you’ve got your topic, your blog should be well-structured, easy to read, scannable, and engaging so that visitors read to the end. When visitors spend a long time on your blog post, it indicates to Google that your content is valuable, increasing its chance of being pushed up the ranking.

To achieve this, add H1 H2 H3 tags, headings, headings, and subheadings in your blog to break up the text into digestible chunks for easy scanning. It also helps Google to read and understand your content and create a hierarchical structure for the page. Add keywords to your titles for an extra SEO boost.

Here’s how headings and subheadings work:

  • H1: The first and most important heading tag in the structural hierarchy of the page. It’s the page’s title, so H1 tags should always be at the top of your content.

  • H2: These are your subheadings that classify the main points of your paragraphs and separate sections.

  • H3: These subsections further clarify the points made in the H2 subsection.

Add CTAs

CTA stands for "call to action", and when you place a CTA in blog posts, you’re inviting your reader to take a specific action, such as subscribing to a newsletter or clicking through to a landing page. A CTA turns a potential client into a lead, usually in the form of a button that entices your web visitors to click, normally with a short and snappy text like ‘book now’ or ‘learn more’.

Although CTAs are often added at the end of blog posts, they encourage readers to go to other articles or book services.

Here are some quick tips for a successful CTA:

Make it short and snappy

Be concise

Inspire action

Make it compelling

Use emotive words

Know your audience

Conduct keyword research and analysis

The first step to make a post SEO friendly is to create a comprehensive keyword strategy by gathering as much data as possible about industry-specific keywords and then narrowing down the list to the target audience. Keep the following in mind:

  • Look for a keyword with a high volume

  • Check how hard it is to rank

  • Look for context keywords that let the search engine AI know what the post about

  • Try to think about how the user will search.

Both meta titles and descriptions are a core element of creating SEO-optimised blog posts and can directly impact how search engines understand and crawl your posts and are the first look users will have before deciding to click on your content. They provide a snapshot that users will see when browsing through Google search results, helping them understand what your content is about while also helping search engines understand what your website provides for users. As such, your meta content must be SEO-friendly, eye-catching and engaging.

Meta title

Your meta title is different to your blog post title and is used to help search engines understand the relevance of your content for users. To ensure your page appears for the right audience, optimise your meta title with a focus keyword to improve the ranking and increase the chance of clicks. Users can then see the title in their search engine browser and decide whether to click.

Keep the following in mind:

  • Each page needs a unique title

  • The title should describe what the page is about

  • Use a maximum of 60 characters

  • Put the main keyword at the beginning

  • Add details that give you a competitive advantage

Meta description

The meta description is found underneath the meta title and summarises the page. It’s an opportunity to let users know what the page is about and entice them to click through. If you don’t create a meta description, Google might take an irrelevant snippet from your page to generate a description instead.

Here’s what to consider when writing a meta description:

  • Each description should be unique

  • Keep your meta description between 140 and 160 characters

  • Describe what the page is about in an engaging way

  • Incorporate keywords into the description to boost ranking, but don’t overuse them

  • Add useful data that will help you stand out

Add image alt tags

Alt text (short for alternative text) is the text used to describe images on a web page or in a blog post. It tells users and search engines what the image shows, offering context for anyone using a screen reader and search engines. Reading alt text allows search engines to determine its relevance and understand your content better.

Why is alt text important? Around 22% of all searches come from Google Images, making image alt tags a powerful way to boost SEO traffic. Google also frequently displays images at the top of the search page, allowing you to boost your web traffic. It’s also crucial to provide alt text to make content accessible for the visually impaired.

Alt text best practices

  • Keep your text up to 125 characters. Thereafter, it gets cut off

  • Include a focus keyword for context

  • Don’t include alt text for decorative images, such as page breaks

  • Don’t waste characters on writing “image of” or “picture of”; jump straight in

  • Provide context beyond the caption

Decide your URL

Like a home address, a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) defines where your blog post lives online, helping visitors find your site. You can easily adapt your URL to optimise it for SEO and help Google understand what it’s about. Blog post URLs always contain your site’s domain name, and the following text categorises your page. They comprise a protocol (HTTP://), a domain name and a path (the exact location and category).

URLs also appear in search results, so it’s a good idea to adapt them and make them look clean and easy to read to encourage clicks. The structure also indicates to Google what different pages are about and how they relate to each other, helping it to read your content.

Here’s how you can adapt your URL for SEO:

  • Use relevant categories

  • Add keywords to provide context

  • Make it easy to read by keeping it simple

  • Use three to five words

  • Be descriptive

  • Redirect old URLs

Anchor text is the clickable link of text that appears as a hyperlink. It’s designed to stand out, add further context to your post and help Google understand your blog content, allowing you to optimise for SEO. By optimising the text to make it relevant and descriptive, anchor text can help you improve your blog post’s search engine ranking.

Here are some ways you can optimise your anchor text:

  • Keep it brief

  • Ensure it’s relevant to the page you’re linking to

  • Don’t stuff it with keywords

  • Make hyperlinks visible

  • Use online tools to help

Focus on internal and external linking.

Include both internal and external linking for SEO-optimised blog posts. It’s good for cross-referencing articles on your website and taking your readers on a journey, adding more context and demonstrating that you’re a trustworthy source. Linking helps Google to find your posts, and internal links give Google a better idea about the structure of your website.

Internal links

Internal links connect any page on your website to another so visitors and search engines can find content. Users use these links to navigate your site and read more content. Within your text, these links are called contextual links, and they point your readers to interesting and related content, which can be related blog posts.

How many links should a blog post have?

The more links a page receives, the more valuable it appears to Google, so good Internal linking can boost your SEO.

External links

External links direct users from one page to another via a hyperlink. They point users to a linked page on another domain outside your website.

These external links can also be backlinks built on other sites and point back to your domain, leading users to your website. Good backlinks are among the most important ranking factors, so creating backlinks is essential for increased web traffic and improved ranking.

Need help?

The Contese agency SEO Writers team is here to help if you require support creating SEO-friendly content. Contact us today, and one of our account executives will talk you through our process.


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