Attracting consistent search engine traffic is every business owner’s dream. When your website is optimised for the search engines, you don’t need to constantly market your business.
Because we all know how time-consuming marketing can be, right?
Social media is a great way to drive traffic for short term gains. But if you struggle to consistently promote your content on social, the leads and sales can quickly dry up. Which is why search engine optimisation (SEO) is the holy grail of marketing.
Not only will you attract traffic on autopilot, that traffic will be far more qualified than visitors from social media. Because visitors from the search engines are actively searching for what you offer. They’re searching for a specific problem and you have the solution to fix it.
On social media they may not be searching for your solution immediately. It’s more of a brand awareness campaign. Which is why social and SEO should always work alongside each other.
What is search engine optimisation?
SEO is a technique that can boost your rankings in the search engines. It involves using certain methods to ensure your website ranks highly for specific search terms.
So when a person types a question or phrase into Google relating to your business, you are listed at the top of the organic search results. In an ideal world!
Each page of your website should be optimised for a different phrase or keyword. Your home page, for example, could be optimised for ‘dog behaviourist in Cardiff’, while another could target ‘reactive dog trainer Cardiff.’
Each blog post you create should have their own unique keywords too. Below I’ll reveal how you can optimise your blog posts. You can also apply this same practice to your web pages too.
How to SEO your blog posts
There are many stages involved in optimising your blog posts. Follow these best practices for better ranking content.
Brainstorm relevant topics
Think about all the different products or services you currently offer. Now under each service/product, think about the kind of content you can create that will provide value to your audience.
Consider the kind of questions you are commonly asked by your customers. Can you create a post around that to provide a solution to their problem?
Brainstorm a list of general topics you can write about that relate to the products or services you offer.
If you’re a dog trainer, this could be the different areas you cover. For example, puppy training tips, reactive dog training, dog aggression etc. You get the idea!
Research popular keywords
Now you have your general topics, you need to search for keywords people are actually searching Google for.
To find these keywords you can use a range of tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Neil Patel’s Uber Suggest or Keyword Shitter. These are all free tools. If you want more advanced options you can’t go wrong with SEMrush or Moz.
Type in a general topic from your list as above and choose a topic you can talk about from the results.
You want to go for a search query with high monthly search volume (1k and above), and an option with low competition. Low competition means there aren’t as many people trying to rank for the same keyword.
Include your keywords in the following areas within your blog post:
When you have your keyword, you need to place them in various areas within your blog post. This shows Google that your content is relevant to the user’s search query. If you do this correctly, you’ll have the best chance of ranking highly for your chosen search terms.
Important note: Don’t stuff keywords into your article and don’t try to force them either. You want the article to flow naturally so avoid using keywords for the sake of it. If it doesn’t fit, leave it out.
H1 tags (If possible)
Your H1 tag is essentially the headline of your article. If you can, try to include your keyword towards the beginning of your headline. Don’t worry too much if you can’t make it fit. Just try to make it as close to the keyword as possible.
The first paragraph of your article
Google and your readers need to know that your article is immediately relevant to their search query. Try to include the keyword in the first paragraph/sentence of your article.
In your url
Try to include the keyword within your url. So each blog post url should start with your normal website address, followed by ‘/your-keyword.’
Use variations of the keyword throughout your post, this will reinforce the relevancy of your article which Google will recognise. So for example, if your keyword is ‘stop a dog from pulling on a lead’ you can include related keywords like ‘loose lead training’.
In your body copy
Try to include the keyword throughout your article when the opportunity presents itself. Once or twice under each subhead is plenty. Remember not to over do it. If you’re trying to force in keywords it’ll feel unnatural and Google will penalise you for it.
Providing value always comes before optimisation. Don’t let your content suffer at the hands of poor SEO tactics.
In your subheads
Try to include your keyword in a subhead if you can. Whether it’s the keyword itself or wrapped within it. Again, this just shows Google how relevant your post is for a particular search query.
In your image alt tags
Whenever you add an image to your post, always include the keyword and its variations in the alt tags. This option can be found in the image settings of each image you add.
In your image file name
Google also pays attention to the names of the files you add to the post. So when you’re saving an image to your computer before uploading it, save the file name with the keyword too.
Include relevant links
And lastly, include internal and external links within your copy. If you have another post that relates to the article, link to it using the target keyword.
Google also likes content that links to credible external sources. So if you’ve found an article that supports the points you’ve made in your post, include those too.
By including links to further reading you’re providing your readers with more value, and Google loves websites that go above and beyond.
If you have any questions about optimising your posts, pop them in the comments below…