5 ways to optimise blog posts for SEO in 2020

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An effective blog page should be about regular, great quality and engaging content for your readers.

But you might also be interested to learn just how much a blog section can do to help drive traffic to your site as well as boost your Google and other search engine rankings.

To make the most of your blog and improve your search engine ranking, follow these 5 top tips on how to better optimise your blog content for 2020:

1. Make your content relevant to your audience

First and foremost, the golden SEO rule when writing a blog is to create good quality content that will interest your readers.

Think of a blog article as being a tool to answer a specific question that your audience might need answering.

Avoid duplicating content that you’ve found elsewhere on the internet as this may result in your article being penalised by Google. And what’s more, you want to give your visitors a genuine reason to read your blog post over those your competitors are offering. 

In terms of length, according to Yoast a blog post should be a minimum of 300 words in order to start ranking effectively.

However, a 1,000 – 2,500 word blog post – also known as long form content – will really help to grow your organic traffic.

If you’re planning to create a blog post this long, it must be well-written in order to keep your readers’ attention the entire way through. Avoid filler copy just to get your word count up, as this is ultimately a waste of everyone’s time. 

2. Include relevant keywords

Blogs are designed to both engage your customers and drive traffic to your website.

Adding relevant, SEO-optimised keywords to your content is therefore important in helping readers find your blog organically. So it pays to do your research beforehand to find search terms that are going to be relevant to your content objectives.

Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs Keyword Explorer are both great keyword tracking tools to get you started.

The important thing to remember here is not to ‘keyword stuff’ your article. Google defines keyword stuffing as loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results, which can actually create a negative user experience. This type of optimisation went out of fashion a long time ago as soon as Google started to spot it, so only add keywords where they fit in naturally with your content. 

Also, try to have your focused keyword term appear as early on in the article as possible – definitely within the first 60 characters of your title.

Adding keywords to your subheadings is also another great way to capture these search terms, as it helps with the overall readability of your blog post. 

3. Optimise your header tags

Header tags are essentially signposts that guide readers through your article and are generally used to define what your article is about.

Search Engine Journal defines heading tags as:

“HTML tags used to identify headings and subheadings within your content from other types of text (e.g., paragraph text).

“The hierarchy goes from H1-H6, historically in a sense of “importance.” H1 is the main heading of a page (visible to users unlike meta title), and the most prominent tag showing what the page is about. H2-H6 are optional tags to organize the content in a way that’s easy to navigate.”

Search Engine Journal

Header tags are often overlooked, but they are thought to contain some benefits when it comes to increasing your site’s chances of being found through a search engine.

This is because they improve your article’s accessibility, show text structure and give you the chance to add in your long-form keywords.

The copy used in your header tags is actually more important than the rest of your article, as search engines will crawl your site for headers, picking up the content that sounds relevant. 

When it comes to the individual tags, the H1 tag needs to contain the targeted keywords that explicitly infer what your blog is about.

H2 tags should be used as a subheading, containing relevant keywords that match to your H1.

The H3 tag is a subheading to H2. This is also the order of their importance, so use them wisely – and consistently. 

4. Add internal and external links where possible

A blog post forms only one part of your customer’s web journey. Inbound links to other content on your site, for example a relevant blog post or web page, helps to strengthen the validity of your content. It also keeps visitors on your site for longer, reducing the risk of that dreaded increased bounce rate. 

Don’t stuff your blog post full of internal links – adding about 1-3 good quality links will be enough to tell Google and other search engines that your content is some of the best out there.

You’re also winning that all-important link authority, which can do wonders for your overall, long term SEO ranking.

External links are also really useful when it comes to improving your site’s ranking. SEO expert Rand Fishkin says that linking to high quality, well-trusted sites (what we call ‘authoritative’ websites) has “the potential to attract important, relevant, valuable eyeballs when we link.” By linking to a series of high-ranking websites, you’re actually working to build your reach.

Remember to link using natural, relevant keywords to improve your chances of ranking.

Also, for best SEO practice and to keep readers on your site, open all external links in a new tab so that your reader can easily go back to your original blog post – the last thing you want is to lose them completely from your own page to your linked site. 

5. Don’t forget the importance of an optimised URL 

Your web page’s URL (uniform resource locator) essentially tells Google or similar search engines what your article is all about.

It is also one of the first things a search engine will look at, so it is important that you configure your blog’s URL as effectively as possible to let the search engine know that your content is relevant.

To do this, add your long-tail keyword into the URL so that Google traffic is directed your way. Here are some helpful examples:

Example of a well optimised URL

 http://yourdomain.com/blog/best-dog-walks-in-the-uk  

Example of a poorly optimised URL

 http://yourdomain.com/index.php?=7678654=t88=?p=456  

Avoid using capital letters in your URL. And use hyphens instead of underscores to ensure your URL is fully readable to Google bots. In fact, Google doesn’t actually look at underscores, as first announced by Matt Betts back in 2015

Want a hand optimising your blog posts in 2020?

Looking for a hand with how to get started with writing a blog?

If you would like further help or advice on how best to optimise your blog posts in 2020, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Content Marketing Team.

We will happily talk you through our services and products.   

3 thoughts on “5 ways to optimise blog posts for SEO in 2020

  1. Hi,really usefull article. I have one advice for reader: according to #3 -> we should remember that we should have only one h1 tag at every single post or page. In Poland a lot of websites has few h1 header, it’s not the best way to optimize webiste.

    1. Thanks for your comments Zbigniew. Certainly this used to be the case but recent articles seem to suggest otherwise. Search Engine Journal noted back in September 2019 that Google’s John Mueller sees H1s rather differently now and that he has been reported as saying “You can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page. There’s no limit, neither upper or lower bound.” Adding “Your site is going to rank perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags.” https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-h1-headings-seo/328459

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