One of the common questions I encountered is how to make a blog post SEO friendly. There are a lot of tips out there on how to rank high on search engines but many find it difficult to understand. On this post, I’ll try to make it easy to understand so next time you hear SEO again, you won’t find it scary and technical.
SEO is a broad topic. But basically it is about having a user friendly website and SEO friendly articles. But, how to make blog posts SEO friendly? This post is about that. This isn’t only for WordPress users, so I’m also sharing tools that bloggers whose blogs are hosted on other platforms such as Blogger and Squarespace may use.
So here are the things you basically need to do to make your blog post SEO friendly.
Know your focus keyword
Focus keyword is basically the main topic of your blog post. It consists of one or few words. Many internet marketers use keyword planners such as adwords to search for keywords that are popular on the internet, that has less competitors and has more potential to reach bigger audience. Planning the best keyword is another broad topic, but the strategy is worth knowing if you are planning to monetize your blog.
Make your blog post keyword dense
Once you know your focus keyword, you must use this word several times on your content to make your content keyword dense. There is no recommendation by Google regarding what exact percentage is best to have SEO rich content. But some internet marketers recommend 1-3%. It is highly recommended to use the focus keyword on the following:
- Meta description
- First paragraph of the blog post
- End paragraph of the blog post
- Headings (H1, and H2)
- Add an image and use the keyword as alt text
You may also bold and italicize your keyword if appropriate. Make sure you don’t repeat a focus keyword that you have already used on other blog post so you won’t end up competing with your own blog.
Blog post content must be at least 300 words
The minimum recommended length of an article is at least 300 words with quality and value. Google likes lengthy articles but if readers don’t like reading too long articles, so try to limit your article at around 600-700 words.
Add meta description
Meta description is the short snippet that shows when you share your blog post link. It must be between 120-156 characters. Make it catchy so the readers will click your link. If you are using Blogger, do this tutorial on how to add meta description on your blog post. How to add Meta Keywords on Each Blogger Post?
Limit your post title count.
The page title should be between the 35 character minimum and the recommended 65 character maximum.
Add links to your previous articles (internal link) as well as to someone else’s article (external link). Make sure to link only relevant and avoid adding too many links.
Make your content readable
Have your article tested for a high Flesch Reading Ease to check if it is readable by your audience. Having a higher score means your article is more readable. At the end of this post, I’ll add links you may use to check your score.
Add content regularly
Adding content regularly will give Google a signal that your website is live and active. If you don’t publish content regularly, Google will crawl your website less often because it will perceive that your website as inactive. This might make less chances for your website to appear on search engine.
Use the tools
If you are using WordPress, I highly recommend installing Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin will check whether or not you are following all the tips I mentioned above. It will guide you in making your blog post SEO friendly. You may check my presentation slide on how to use this plugin – How to use YOAST SEO plugin?
If you are not using WordPress, don’t worry! Follow the tips I mentioned above and you may use the following tools:
For Flesch Reading Ease Score
For Keyword Density
- Do not focus too much on keyword density or else your readers will go away from your blog.
- Prioritize readers not Google. You should ask yourself, “Will my readers understand this content?” and not, “Will Google notice my post?”
- If it doesn’t sound right, don’t do it just because you want to follow the SEO rules I mentioned above.
- If it is not relevant, don’t add too much focus keyword on the content
- If it makes the title grammatically wrong, don’t add the focus keyword on the the title
- If your article is meant to be a news, literature, book review, speech transcript and such formal articles, don’t change your article just to score high on Flesch Reading Ease Score. Aim for a high score only if you want your article to be understood by at least 11 years old!
I’m using WordPress Yoast SEO plugin, I applied the rules mentioned above and got this result.