How to Optimize your Blog Posts for SEO

optimize your blog posts for SEO

It is no secret that optimizing your blog posts for SEO is the smartest thing you can do for your SaaS business.

Blogs are an excellent way of building brand authority, getting quality backlinks, and answering user questions. And when they are optimized for SEO they boost your search engine rankings and get you quality organic traffic.

Optimize your blog posts for SEO

Here are a few techniques that you can apply, even if you are not an SEO expert, to make sure you optimize your blog posts for SEO so they are discoverable by the right audience, generate traffic, and helps you get more users.

Install an SEO plugin (if using WordPress)

If you are using WordPress for your blog, SEO plugins are one of the easiest ways to optimize your blog posts for SEO. They help make your content more crawlable by search engines and based on your target keyword, offer meta tag suggestions. They can also help you follow SEO best practices, like making sure to include an external link, avoid duplicate content and optimize images for SEO, among other SEO-friendly blog post suggestions.

Of course, no SEO plugin can get you better rankings, but they do serve as a guide to set you up for blog SEO success.

There are several SEO plugins to choose from, but here are some that we’ve tested:

If you are not using WordPress (or even if you are), you can use KatLinks On-Page audit tool to get a lot of good suggestions on how to improve your blog search engine optimization.

KatLinks audit tool will check for loading speed, rich snippets, social sharing buttons, outbound links, inbound links, image file size, and other technical elements that have an impact on your search ranking.

Find your best keywords

There is no SEO without keywords. Keywords help you understand your audience and what they need. When used to optimize your blog posts for SEO, they help you match search intent which will improve your chances of showing up in Google organic search.

Keywords also help Google search (and your audience) understand the type of content you are sharing on your blog.

You may ask yourself if you need to create a list of keywords when preparing for content creation, and the answer is, yes! But keep it simple. You can start with figuring out what your focus keyword will be. Usually, that will be something related to your product’s category or the features you offer.

Once you have your target keyword you can use a keyword research tool to discover other relevant keywords that you can use in your blog content.

There are a lot of keyword research tools out there, but of course, we invite you to try KatLinks 😁

When trying to decide on what focus keyword you will use for your blog articles, keep keyword difficulty in mind. If you choose search phrases with high keyword difficulty, you may have a hard time and end up spending a long period of time trying to rank for them, so you may want to focus on something different, for example, on long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are descriptive phrases related to your primary keyword. They are usually less competitive than broad keywords, have lower keyword difficulty, and help you bring in targeted audiences with specific user intent.

If you need help finding the best keywords for your content, read this awesome blog post.

Use your keywords correctly

Once you have your primary keyword and your list of secondary keywords, the next thing you need to do to optimize your blog posts for SEO is to use them the best way possible. Keyword stuffing is not a content strategy, and it will confuse the search engines as well as your users, which could have a negative impact on your SEO rankings and search traffic.

I wouldn’t call it an ultimate guide, but here are some suggestions on where you should use your keywords when you write a blog post for SEO:

Blog post title – The meta title is one of the most important elements that will help you rank (or not) on Google search results. Your SEO title has to be appealing in order to attract search traffic. But catchy titles are not enough, you also need to include your focus keyword phrase.

And now that Google is rewriting page titles, you need to make sure that your blog title is showing relevant content.

H1 tag –  H1 tags are also an important part of blog posts SEO. It is recommended that you include your focus keyword, ideally to match user intent. H1 tags help search engine algorithms understand the main topic of your content, thus helping improve your SEO rankings.

Meta description – This meta tag is used to provide a description of your content on search engine results pages. Even though the meta descriptions have no direct impact on rankings, if written correctly, they will help attract users and increase click-through rates. Meta description fields should have between 120-160 characters of content, which should give you enough space to explain what your blog content is about.

Secondary heading tags (h2 – h6) – Heading title tags help search engines understand the structure of your content and the topic distribution. It is recommended that your secondary and long-tail keywords be included in the secondary heading tags in order to increase your topical relevancy.

Throughout the post – To have the best chances of ranking in organic search, you need to include your search phrase in the body of your entire post. You are not going to do keyword stuffing, but you do need to include your list of keywords several times. How many times? According to the recommended keyword density of 1% to 2%, which is the average amount of times you should mention your top keywords based on your content length, you should include one or two keywords for every 100 words of content.

If you want to make sure you’re using your keywords correctly when optimize your blog posts for SEO, we recommend trying KatLinks On-Page audit tool with a set focus keyword. It will suggest proper keyword usage as well as recommend the ideal keyword density based on your content length.

Go for the best content-length

How much content do you need to write to have a better chance of ranking on Google? We’ve all heard that a minimum of 600 words per single post, but above 2,000 words for highly competitive keywords, but the truth is that you will need as much content as those websites that are ranking in the top 10 of Google already have.

If you write a 1,500 word blog post, but the websites that are ranking for your top focus keyword phrase have over 3,000 words of content, then you are going to have a hard time competing for a spot on the first page of Google. In order to optimize your blog posts for SEO, you need to figure out how much high-quality content you need by looking at your competitors, then write accordingly.

If you want to make this process easier and faster, KatLinks Rank Tracking tool already gives you that information. When you add a keyword to the rank tracker, we will check the top 10 websites and give you the average content length you need to write.

Don’t forget your image optimization

The written words are not the only types of content, there are also visual ones. Adding images to your blog posts makes them more engaging and easier to digest. But while you are doing that don’t forget to add the ALT text. Because just like the content, you want to make sure the crawlers understand what the images are about. Good image optimization is part of your overall SEO blog optimization.

Instead of uploading a picture that reads DC_098.jpg, give them a title and alt text description that includes your keywords. This will have a direct positive impact on your search ranking results.

Optimized SEO images can also help you rank on Google Image search, which can be a good source of additional organic traffic.

Make internal linking a habit

Internal linking your content is something you need to should do as part of your blog strategy. You know which content would keep your users engaged, and bring them clarity. Internal links help build a contextual relationship between pages and pass on the link juice.

You can either link the relevant blog posts at the end of the page or suggest them while they are reading about a related topic. Internal links will also help reduce the bounce rate because they can keep users engaged with your related blog

Of course, don’t go overboard with your internal links as they can come across as spammy. If you are writing long-form content, you could include between 5-10 internal links.

If you are not sure what to link to internally, try to analyze the searcher intent. What did they search when they found your content? Based on the user intent, what other topics could the person be interested in?

Avoid linking to outdated content, since the user may not get many benefits from that. Links to fresh content and evergreen content are the best options for inbound links.

Your internal anchor links are also important if you want to optimize your blog posts for SEO, so try to use the exact keyword or even a long-tail keyword when linking to other internal pages.

Link out to trusted sources

A lot of people don’t like adding outbound links because they have the idea that it will dilute their authority or PageRank. Even though this is true, if done correctly, outbound links can provide some interesting benefits. For example, linking out to high-quality external sources helps Google better understand your niche and the topic of your content.

Outbound links also provide additional resources to the user, thus creating a good user experience and generating trust, and that should always be your goal when you optimize your blog posts for SEO.

Check your blog URLs

Your blog post URL, or permalink, also has to be optimized. SEO-friendly blog posts permalinks should be short and include your target keyword, and even your long-tail keyword. URL optimization should happen when planning your blog content because once published and indexed by Google, it wouldn’t be a good idea to change them, as it would result in a broken page and broken links or requiring a 301 redirect.

Be mobile-friendly

If you check your Google Analytics data or any other analytics tool you are using, you will notice that most of the traffic comes from mobile devices. If you want to optimize your blog posts for SEO you need to make sure that your website is responsive and provides a good user experience. Avoid popups or ads that could be difficult to close or intrusive on mobile screens.

Conclusion

If you want to blog for SEO, you have to remember that even though you are writing for humans, you are also writing content for SEO. Of course, your priority always has to be the users, but even if you have the best blog post ideas, it’s worth nothing if people can’t find them on Google. That’s why blog posts SEO optimization is really important if you want to drive organic traffic to your SaaS website.

The best time to prepare your blog post for SEO strategy is before you start writing. But you can also apply these blog SEO tips to your old articles and make them as good as new.

 

Sonam Gulati