Even if you write the best blogs in the world, the chance of someone finding them is greatly reduced if you don’t optimize your posts for SEO. SEO can be a real pain if you don’t have at least a basic understanding of how to approach it. However, with these five tips, you can optimize your blog posts and start seeing your blog rise in the rankings.

1. Optimize Your Topics

The topics you choose will have a major impact on your SEO. In order to optimize your posts, you need to choose relevant, useful or at least entertaining content that will engage your readers. Your audience will have to want to search this information and read it, so you really have to give thought to your topics to make them resonate with your target. Nothing is more important to search engines like Google than relevancy and the user experience. If your blog doesn’t come across as useful, it won’t even make the first page let alone the top ranking. Having a great topic is where you begin. Your topic is more important than keywords and logically will include keywords naturally anyways.

2. Start a Keyword Master List

A good best practice for SEO is to have a master list of keywords. Don’t just focus on keywords but key phrases that your audience is most likely to enter in their search. They should include the terms most relevant to your business and if applicable, your location as well.

There are plenty of free tools to help with your SEO research, but you know better than anyone what keywords at least from a base standpoint will work. First, get started with a brainstorming session to make your master list. Then, take things to the next level with the assistance of Google’s Keyword Planner or Neil Patel’s Uber Suggest.

These tools will allow you to see how often these keywords are used, how much competition you’ll have and better yet more ideas based on your master list. Just stick to your own knowledge of the business to assess suggestions so you don’t lose relevance.

3. Optimize Keyword Placement

You’ve got your topics, you’ve got your keywords, now you’ve got to tie them together. Using keywords efficiently will provide you with all-important on-page SEO. This is the art of incorporating your keywords wisely.

Your primary keyword should be used often, with a density of about 1 to 3 percent, but no more. There are tools available to calculate keyword density like Yoast if you use WordPress or Live Keyword Analysis if your blog doesn’t offer one. Your primary keyword should be used in your main title, your first sentence (or at least first paragraph), sub-headings and a few times throughout the blog. For example, if you have three to five paragraphs it should appear in the top, middle and bottom sections.

You also need secondary keywords that can encapsulate a broad selection of terms. They can be used where they make sense and where they will flow naturally. You don’t want awkward sentences like “When using your scissors for cuticles to trim your cuticles.” The italicized words are the key phrase. As you can see the phrase becomes repetitive and awkward when used in this way. Instead, you would either not use the exact phrase or write something more like, “Using your scissors for cuticles that are ragged or torn will keep your nails looking their best.”

4. Use Images

Don’t forget the importance of quality, relevant images as part of your SEO strategy. They help break up the text while keeping things interesting for readers. However, you have to ensure they are titled and have alt text and descriptions. Most blog platforms like WordPress or WIX provide tools to help you with these elements.

5. Add Internal and External Links

Although it might seem counterintuitive to add links that will take people away from your blog, they are critical to your SEO strategy. Internal links link to relevant information within your own website whether it is service or landing pages, or your other blogs. External links are used to help support relevance to your blog and should only be used with reputable, timely sources.

In both cases, links are best used to provide supplemental information to bring more value to the reader. For example, in this blog we linked to the tools we mentioned, as well as to two of our own blogs that go into more detail about local search and user experience.

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Trust Outreach Digital Marketing to Improve SEO

These five tips provide a respectable base to help optimize your blog for SEO. Small business owners are often overwhelmed by SEO strategies and can use a little help from a trusted SEO expert like Outreach. We can help create a fully optimized blog and website design that gives your customers the user experience they want. Schedule a free consultation today.

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