Step by Step Marketing for Small Businesses
Case Studies: Local SEO Goodies
7 Marketing Goodies – are you using them?
I asked a colleague recently if he had $1000 to spend on advertising, what would he do? I thought he would put most into paid advertising, but I was wrong. He said “I would put $900 into SEO and the rest toward PPC advertising.” This answer came about because in the past year, their investment into SEO has put them on the first page of Google results for their business.
This may not work for everyone and it is good to mention that they were trying to rank locally, not nationally. So if you fit this kind of description, here are some ideas to do a little SEO work yourself. (You can find the original article by Optimizer Pros here.)
( I wanted to compile several “goodies” to help our marketing efforts. In doing this, I collected several articles by others to facilitate this goal. All original articles are cited.)
Learning How to Write an Optimized Blog Post Can Really Boost Your Sites SEO!
I’ve spent the past year and a half researching, digging, and learning everything that I possibly could in order to boost my websites google ranking. There is a LOT of info when it comes to search engine optimization, which can be overwhelming, but one thing has become abundantly clear . . . Content is King!
Or in other words, the more well written articles you have, the more Google will see your site as an authority. It’s that simple.
But writing a truly optimized blog post will give you that boost that you need to take your website or blog to the next level!
(Want the meat and potatoes? Scroll to the bottom for the infographic)
So how exactly do you write an optimized blog post?
I’m going to give it all to you right now. I’m a big fan of helping others, and I hope that this helps you. If you have suggestions on how to improve this list please let me know!
There are a few simple steps to writing an SEO optimized blog article, but there are also some crucial SEO tips that you’ll need to know as well. It may seem a little tedious at first, but I promise that if you do this every time you write an article you’ll be well on your way to ranking higher on Google.
I highly recommend copying these steps and using them as your posting checklist . . .
#1 Remember that content is king.
Write as many articles as possible. The more the better! 3-5 per week is a good cadence. Remember to write about what you love, what you’re passionate about, and something that you feel confident sharing. Finding and knowing your niche will help you do this. Writing for the sake of writing will get old REAL quick. So write from the heart!
Niche = Something very specific that you love and know. Avoid main stream topics such as “sports”. Instead get detailed, perhaps “football plays that convert” or “how to become a better volleyball player”.
We give you all the goods in our blog post how to choose the best niche (coming soon!)
#2 Pick the main keyword for your article.
Knowing your key words is just as important as writing lots of content. Content and Keywords are critical for SEO. So if you haven’t already chosen the keywords for your site, be sure to do that first. But don’t fret, keywords can change and adapt as your site grows, so don’t stress if you’re worried about choosing the perfect keywords the first time.
We lay it all out for you, based on personal experience, in our our blog post on how to choose the best keywords for my site (coming soon!)
Then pick 1 main keyword for your blog post that relates to your topic.
#3 Choose supporting keywords for your blog post.
Next, choose 4-7 supporting keywords that relate to your topic. These may be long tail keyword phrases with 5-7 words that help to describe your topic further.
#4 How many words should a blog post have?
This is an important one. The more words your article has, the more Google will see you as an authority on the subject. Be sure to write blog posts with at least 500 words. I highly recommend writing articles with more than 1,000 words when possible.
Just be sure to keep it engaging and natural.
#5 Do NOT stuff keywords into your article!
Keyword stuffing is a big no-no in the SEO world. Search engine bots that crawl our sites have become more intelligent than ever before. It’s important to strategically use keywords in your article, but in the proper way (which we cover in this article).
Basically, when you’re writing an article, be sure to write it naturally, to a human reader, and not a search engine bot.
#6 Always use catchy post titles!
I’m still learning this myself, it’s definitely a skill that comes with practice and time. Whenever you write a post title, be sure to address the solution to a question. When someone reads the title they should know exactly what you’re offering.
Your title should always be heading 1 (H1) which Google sees as more important. So be sure to ALWAYS put your main keyword for your article in the post title, and be sure that it’s natural.
TIP – Only use one H1 heading per article.
TIP – Keep your post title under 60 characters (we’ll tell you why shortly)
TIP – Write out 5-10 example post titles using your main keyword and then pick the one that you like the most!
#7 Use different sub headings in your article.
It’s a great idea to add at least a few different headings (H2’s and H3’s) to your blog post. Again, Google ranks these in order. H1 is the most important, H2 is next, etc. So be sure to place your supporting keywords in both H2 and H3 when and where possible. Again, ensure that it sounds natural when you read it.
TIP – Use sub headings that focus on the benefits and solutions that you offer.
#8 Write Epic Content! . . . and be sure to use your keywords too.
As you write your blog post, write from the heart, tell a story, and engage your readers! But, as you do, don’t forget to implement keywords that you’ve chosen where appropriate. This will help Google know what you’re writing about, and then send more readers and potential customer to your site!
TIP – Use your main keyword in the first and last sentence of your article. Use supporting keywords throughout.
#9 Check your Grammar and make adjustments.
Not much to say about this one, again, it takes practice. Check your grammar at least a few times. Read over your article, make adjustments, and then read it again!
TIP – NEVER accept the first draft of an article.
TIP – If needed, consider using a free tool to help you out such as Grammarly (they also have a Chrome Extension)
#10 Always link to at least one other article on your site.
Keep readers engaged, and keep them on your site as long as possible, by hyperlinking to other articles on your blog. Again, Google likes this, the longer a customer is on your site, the more it will help to increase your site ranking.
TIP – When creating a hyperlink for other blog articles USE KEYWORDS. Instead of “click here”, make the hyperlink more detailed, perhaps use the article title.
#11 Add post labels and categories.
Not too much to say here, but be sure to ONLY use 1 label per post. This helps to avoid duplicate content. Every label you add creates a new URL path to get to your article (which is silly but it’s true), and Google sees it as duplicate content since the same article can have different URL’s based on how a customer got there.
For example by clicking on the tag vs the post title.
TIP – Avoid this by setting the canonical URL (which we show you later on)
#12 Use great images! And optimize them . . .
Always use a featured image, as well as images throughout your article. It’s a great way to keep your readers engaged, and is a cool way to increase your sites SEO.
Be sure to always do the following when adding an image to your blog post:
- Make sure it’s both relevant and high quality.
- Don’t just grab images off of Google, purchase them when possible.
- Download the image to your computer and rename the file itself using keywords for that article or image, and use dashes to separate each word. For example “strategic-football-plays.jpg”. Google reads file names, and is a little trick to increase optimization.
- Compressing your images will increase site speed, so do it every time. Use the Tiny PNG plugin, or go to the Tiny PNG site directly to manually compress your images. It is a must.
- If you have a WordPress site, or even Wix or Weebly, you can go into your image settings to create a custom image alt text and image description. Be sure to do this every time. It does not have to be perfect, but use keywords to describe your images. Again, Google reads these.
#13 Add cool media to your article!
Keeping a reader engaged can be a challenge. So do yourself a favor and add a video or infographic to your blog post! Readers and Google loves this. They don’t have to be fancy, as long as they are valuable and to the point.
TIP – Looking for an easy, free way to create a nice looking infographic? I use Piktochart, but there are others as well.
#14 Always ask your readers to take action with a CTA.
A CTA (Call to Action) is a great way to get your readers to stay engaged! It could be asking them to like your facebook page, enter an email address, comment, read another article on your site, or purchase a product or service.
Whatever it is, make sure that it’s relevant, and be sure to add a CTA to each and every post.
#15 Set your permalink to a simple to read version.
Google reads permalinks in a very specific way, so it’s important to ensure that they are written properly.
In WordPress you can edit this at the top of your edit post page. If you’ve chosen a good post title, it may not need to be changed, but here are a few tips for you:
- Keep it somewhat short. 10 words is definitely too long.
- Separate words with a dash – (which should be done automatically, at least in WordPress)
- Use keywords in your permalink every time (again, if you chose a great title, this will already be done)
#16 Create an optimized title tag and description tag.
If you use WordPress, be sure to install the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s a great way to adjust different portions of your site in order to enhance your SEO.
Writing an optimized title and description tag is absolutely crucial. But once again, if you’ve chosen a great post title then most of the work is done for you. Go to the “edit snippet” section of your Yoast SEO toolbar on the edit post page to access the title tag (SEO title) and description tag (meta description).
Here are a few tips:
- Always use your main keywords
- Keep it short and readable
- Keep your title under 60 characters
- Keep your meta description tag around 250 characters
- Separate your blog post title and website (or company) name with a pipeline |
#17 Set your canonical URL to avoid duplicate content.
Another quick and simple fix to Google thinking you have duplicate content is to set your canonical URL for each page and blog post. Simply do this (if you’re in WordPress) via your Yoast SEO plug in. Click on the gear icon (advanced settings), copy your permalink url, and paste it into the canonical url section.
#18 Post every single blog article to social media.
This should go without saying, but every time you write an article, post it to your social accounts such as Google + (always use Google plus which helps you rank higher), LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter.
TIP – Always add an image and the direct link to your article.
#19 A few extra SEO tips to help your article to rank higher.
If you’ve read our article on best SEO plugins for WordPress (coming soon!) you’ll know about caching and sweeping. Increased page speed is important for SEO. So, after every article, be sure to purge all of your cache, and run a site sweep.
#20 Ping your site or Fetch and Render
So now that you’ve written an incredible article for the entire world to see, what’s next? Well, we need to make sure that people can actually find it. Google needs to know that your article exists so that they can crawl it for keywords, and index it.
You can go into your Google search console under the “crawl” section on the left hand side, then “fetch as Google”. You can also ping your site at Pingler.com
If you don’t have a Google Search Console account or Google Analytics it’s time to take the plunge. Take a look at our article on Free Google Tools for SEO (coming soon!).
Now you know exactly how to write an optimized blog post! So what’s next?
Rinse and repeat. As I mentioned, content is king, and key words hone your content for SEO. So keep writing, and keep researching! Keep going, and don’t give up.
Organic search engine optimization (non paid) takes time, and work, but it’s worth it in the end!