Can you imagine your life without access to a search engine? We have become so accustomed to googling things that we don’t realize the extent to which we are dependent on it.
As per BrightEdge, over 68 percent of online experiences of consumers begin on a search engine. Naturally, websites and brands would think that being present online would ensure visibility among the target audience.
However, Backlinko reports that 32 percent of total clicks end up going to the top page reflected on the search engine results. And only quite an insignificant number of people, 0.38 percent to be exact, end up looking at the second page of search results.
This is why search engine optimization is integral to the success of your digital efforts. Unless your website is reflected in the top ranks, you won’t be able to attract visitors to your site. One way to boost your ranking is via blogging.
A survey conducted by OptinMonster revealed that 72 percent of marketers find content creation to be among the most effective SEO tactic. To best benefit from blogging, here are the top dos and don’ts you must remember.
Do use long-tail keywords
A lot of bloggers make the mistake of solely concentrating on focus keywords. While they are surely important, you must also optimize your content for long-tail keywords.
Research conducted by WordStream reveals that the average conversion rate of long-tail keywords is a whopping 36 percent!
For instance, when searching for keywords for car dealerships, localized long-tail keywords like “car dealerships near me” or “car dealerships in Texas” is just as important as focus keywords like “best car dealerships.”
Why? To understand this, take a look at this graph.
On shorter keywords, which are more frequently searched, the competition is quite high. In other words, other blogs are also optimizing their content to include the words. Hence, ranking high for it is quite improbable. On the other hand, long-tail keywords feature lesser competition but overall account for over 70 percent of searches.
Don’t stuff keywords
One of the most common incorrect takeaway from our first point is that adding as many keywords as possible can help boost ranking.
This is not true. Instead, the practice, which is now known as keyword stuffing, actually ends up harming your blog’s ranking rather than improve it. This is because now search engines have refined their algorithms to detect keyword stuffing.
Google has even published guidelines regarding keyword stuffing. According to Google Search Central, any list of phone numbers that don’t add value or succeeding phrases that mean the same thing is flagged as irrelevant keywords.
So, unless the keywords you use are contextual and seamlessly blend in with your content, they will not help you. Most experts recommend that you use a keyword density of up to 5 percent. And instead of aiming for higher densities, the lower, the better!
Do add meta descriptions and schemas
According to Ahrefs, over 25 percent of the top-ranking websites don’t have meta descriptions. Yet, meta descriptions are an important part of the experience. This is because it relays information to the traffic about what your content is about, without them having to click on the link.
Additionally, schemas are made for search engines. These microdata help search engines in classifying your content correctly and presenting it as a potential result to the right query.
Together, meta descriptions and schemas help ensure that your content is presented and read to your target audience.
Writing a killer meta description is not hard. Just make sure to:
- Include your primary keyword in the description.
- Write it in an active voice.
- Have a consistent voice and tone.
- Use the first few words to make your point since meta descriptions are truncated to the first 120 characters.
Take inspiration from Tesla. See how in merely 22 words, the brand succeeded in conveying what the company represents, its values, and ambitions.
Another great example is Lonely Planet, which uses a question to draw in readers and make the description personal.
Thinking and developing original content is no piece of cake. This is why many bloggers are often tempted to plagiarize or duplicate content from other sites and platforms. According to SkillsCouter, over 1.5 billion web pages have similar content. That is approximately 30 percent of all pages on search engines right now!
Google makes a point of penalizing such websites and content. Not to mention that it leads bloggers to lose their credibility. Therefore, don’t try to seek any shortcuts and instead develop quality content by researching potential topics and then writing unique and relevant blog posts.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other blog posts or writing on similar topics. There is a lot wrong with blatantly copying it all. Unless your articles add additional value to the readers, it doesn’t serve a purpose in the eyes of search engines.
Press, a cold-pressed juices and beverage company, does an impeccable job with its blog – Squeeze Magazine.
Every blog they write is focused on healthy living rather than healthy eating. By expanding its horizon enough to encompass a variety of topics, the brand manages to churn unique content without running out of ideas. And it does so in an aesthetically pleasing manner too!
With every passing day, search engines are further refining their platforms to offer the best experience to users. In such a dynamic world, always ranking highly can prove to be a challenge.
However, if you have clarity in your objective, you will never fall into any traps. From the get-go, treat your blog as a way to provide benefit to your target audience. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes and think about what elements of your efforts can annoy them.
If you do so, you will automatically avoid all the don’ts of optimizing blog posts!
Do you have any insights about SEO to share with the rest of us? Let us all know.