It has been well established that SEO is just as essential to a blog writer as it to is to a website content writer. If your blog content is not garnering a good readership despite the high quality of content in the post, it could mean that search engines are not finding your blog. On the other hand, sacrificing quality for the sake of SEO is not prudent, either. Ideally, striking the balance between quality and SEO would not only open your blog post to discovery, but can even lead to and sustain a loyal readership
Here are a few tips you can follow to make your blog post SEO-friendly:
1. It starts with the keywords
Contrary to popular belief, keyword research when done right can improve the relevance of your content while still retaining the quality. It’s a good idea to decide beforehand what keywords are relevant to your content and use them in your post in some of the following areas: title, url, and most importantly, in the body of the post. If you are worried that insertion of keywords can make your content feel forced, take your research a little further and look at variants of your keywords, and strive to use them in your post in a way that flows more freely with your content. However, in your enthusiasm to make your content search engine-relevant, don’t overdo it with the keyword insertion. Search engines penalize blogs and sites that resort to keyword stuffing to increase their ranking.
2. Don’t alienate your mobile users: go responsive
With a majority of Internet users being almost surgically attached to their mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly blog design is of the essence. A responsive design, in addition to conforming to the device on which it is viewed, displays the exact same content that is visible on the desktop version of the website. In contrast, a separate mobile website (“m.” website), not only keeps a duplicate of the content of the main website, but may or not be a faithful reproduction of the desktop website. A responsive design also helps your SEO by keeping your inbound links confined to one single domain, instead of being dispersed across multiple domains.
3. Meta descriptions: to ignore or not to ignore
The two lines of description that you see under every search result link are usually the first thing your users will read before they decide if your article is worth checking out. In essence, the meta description tells your potential readers and to an extent, the search engines, what they can expect to find in your article. While Google has specified that meta descriptions do not largely impact SEO, it is still considered good sense to ensure that your meta descriptions are optimized to include at least one long-tail keyword. And as stated earlier on, keyword-stuffing your meta-description is a sure-fire way to get the search bots to ignore your post. Bottom-line: keep it short, but succinct.
4. Images : not just about the pretty
A picture may speak a thousand words, figuratively. But in terms of SEO, they are a potential means to drive traffic to your site. Search engines cannot see images, so it is up to you to make your images visible to them. How? By optimizing them with the appropriate alt-text and image file names. The alt-text is the text you see when you hover over an image in the post. This alt-text is what the search engines see when they crawl your website. Therefore, including the descriptive relevant keywords in the alt-text and the file names of the images allows the search engines to find them and display them for those keyword searches.
5. Inbound links: Draw more readers to your blog
To increase the number of quality inbound links to your website, you need to make your content shareable. The more your content gets shared, the more the chances of amassing inbound links. Include social share buttons to make it easy for your post to be shared across various social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Guest blogging on other quality blogs that will provide link-backs to your posts in exchange for articles relevant to their readers is another way to gain quality inbound traffic to your blog. Additionally, linking to other blogs in your posts can also be beneficial, as it could prompt those blogs to return the favor.
In conclusion, remember that the key to the ideal blog post is to write for your readers, without losing sight of the search engines. Not vice-versa! SEO is great, but it is not going to be enough, if your content lacks quality.SEO
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