SEO HOW-TO: 5 Tips to Make Your Blog More Friendly to the Search Engines
Hey guys. It’s time for the weekly How to SEO series this week. We’re talking about your blog and we’re talking about five tips to make your blog more friendly to the search engines. Most people are blogging nowadays, most people are putting together articles, content, things like that. If you’re doing search engine optimization, you’re going to hit a brick wall and you’re going to need content anyway.
You’re probably blogging at this point. If you’re not, you definitely should consider it because it’s a great place to add content that may not necessarily be a service page or about page, or something like that. You can optimize for keywords that they’re just not a natural fit for another page, and each of your pages really should only be optimized for one to three keywords.
Anyway, you’re going to run out of keywords to be optimized, so you need new content. A blog is a great place for that. We’re going to make an assumption this week that you already have a blog and you want to figure out how to make it a little more friendly for the search engines, and ultimately, that means a little more friendly for your users. I will start you off with a tip that is pretty new.
1. How to Optimize for Voice Search
A lot of people may be thinking about it, but not really thinking about it when it goes to the optimization standpoint. First thing is you can no longer ignore Voice Search. How do you optimize for voice search? Think about how people are starting to type things in the Google. How are you typing things into Google? “How do I make an apple pie?” “How do I do local search engine optimization?”
People are using complete sentences to search now. If you do some searches you’ll see where what’s called the featured snippets popping up answering those questions. Then they’re also giving you, underneath the first listing of a featured snippet, the little boxes there’s other questions that people are asking that are related. The search engines, primarily Google, are using questions that you’re typing in and they’re trying to find answers for it.
It really displays that right there in the search engines. Your blogs can be that source. How do you optimize for the voice search? Consider putting in actual questions inside your blog. It maybe headers, headline, sub-headings, et cetera. It may be the actual name of the blog itself, but ultimately, think about how people are using complete sentences to search thing, about how you’re using complete sentences to search, and try to mold some of your blog content to actually conform to that.
2. Internal & External Links
Next thing, it is something all the SEO guys do, but a lot of people writing blogs don’t think about this, is adding internal and external links. This will help the search engines figure out a couple of things about your blog. First thing is internal links, it gives you a place to be able to actually put together a link and tell the search engines what you think about another page. Let’s say you’ve got a blog on five tips to help make your blog friendlier.
Internal Linking: Tell Google what your site’s pages are about
In there, there’s a link to your, say, SEO services page. I might say SEO services, and actually make that link go over to my SEO services page. I’m telling the search engines, “I personally think that my SEO services page is something related to SEO. Here’s the link that it’s related to.” So you’re using the links internally to help guide the search engines to understand what you think about your pages.
On that given page, you’ll do some optimization for that given keyword, but Google doesn’t want to look silly. We talked about this last week, you do not want to make Google look stupid. So part of doing that is give them as many different factors as possible to tell them, “I really think this page is about x.” Use your blogs to do some internal linking. The other side of that is external linking. Why is that important?
External Linking to Related Content
Another thing that Google utilizes to kind of figure out what your pages are about, it’s kind of the community that you live in and the community that, or say, other pages that are linking to you, what they’re about, but also pages that you link to, and they know what those pages are about. In your article, if you say, we’re talking about SEO. If you were to link out, say to a SEO statistics, you’re telling the search engines, “Hey, this is about SEO and we like SEO statistics. It kind of relates back to this.”
If you were doing say a blog on apple pie recipe and you were to link out to a page that talks all about different types of apples and which ones are the best ones for apple pie, you’re putting yourself in a community about a certain topic. So the search engine is like, “Oh, you think you’re part of this community. That community is linking back to you. I understand the content, makes sense. So yes, sure, we’d love to rank you for these pieces.”
It also helps your users, one, get around in your site when you’re doing internal links, but also get a little bit better feel for what you feel are your resourceful content. You’re being more resourceful, your users like it, users follow you, and so on.
3. Localized Keywords
Number three, focusing on location based keywords. Most businesses are location driven to a certain extent. If you’re completely online Amazon, they don’t care where you are. Obviously, you’re not somebody that big, but maybe an online boutique, you probably don’t care necessarily about the location. If you care about location, if you have a brick and mortar, if you have a service area that’s defined by location, you really should be utilizing some localized keywords. You can, and it won’t kill you, I don’t recommend making it look silly, like throwing Houston into the middle of a sentence where it makes no sense to why it’s called Houston.
Maybe some of your examples, you would talk about, “Well, the Houston Rockets did this,” or the, “Houston Texans, their marketing campaign is about X,” or something like that. “This great Houston restaurant has the best apple pie, that’s why we’ve stole the recipe.” Something that really brings in some local keywords. If you could put in, say for the instance talking about a local restaurant, if you could actually put their address in, you’re really bringing some localization in.
Don’t forget about local keywords if you’re a local business who have a local service area and you’re really concern about making sure that you get local clients.
4. The Small Things: Keyword and Image Optimization
This next one before we finish up, something that actually takes a step off of the individual blogs, the next one is, don’t forget about the small things. We get caught up in the voice search, in, “Now we’re going to do it this way. Now we’re going to do it that way.” We start looking at the next shiny object syndrome thing.
Don’t forget about the small things like your images. Make sure you’re all text on your images or including your main keywords. Make sure you are putting those main keywords in the headlines and close to the top. Make sure you’re sprinkling similar words, not necessarily the one keyword throughout, keyword stuffing, but similar words throughout the rest of your content, so that you’re really helping the search engines understand what you’re talking about. The main keyword is obviously prevalent. It’s probably in the URL, it should be in the page title, it should be in your matter descriptions. It really should filter all the way down.
Sometimes I think people forget about those small things that we’ve talked about in the SEO world for a long time. “It’s not quite as cool to talk about the same old thing, let’s talk about the new shiny stuff like voice search,” but don’t forget about that. Don’t forget about the small things and the important parts that really serve as a foundation for.
5. Post Categories – Organize by Content Categories
Number five. I said we’re going to have five tips. We’re running just a little bit longer, I won’t take too much more of your day. Number five, organizing your post categories. Sometimes people forget about actually naming their categories and organizing them. A lot of times I’ll see a blog and you’ll get the whole like, “Here’s a listing of date January 2018, February 2018, March 2018 and so on.” It’s all organized by date, because that’s the natural default maybe for WordPress and they just never really thought about going back and modifying that.
Use your post categories. This is actually a form of internal search engine optimization, because inside a post category, I will say, SEO, if you click on that you’re going to have a listing of all of your blogs that are in that category. You’ve related the category SEO to this articles. The search engine sees that. They go, “Oh, this page about SEO, there’s about this different categories or about this different blogs. We’re linking to those blogs.” It’s other blog it talks about SEO.
Use your categories to really sort your content. That also helps your user. A user lands on your blog and they like an article that you wrote about apple pie recipes, and they go, “This one’s pretty cool, but hey, there’s a category of apple pie recipes. Let’s see what other ideas they have.” Now they get an opportunity to click that category and see more of your blog post. If it’s just listed by date, there for one it won’t be organized, and they won’t know to really want to click through because, “Right now I’m looking at apple pie recipes, I don’t really care about how to can pears,” and that could be your next blog that shows up.
So now you’ve kind of ruined the user experience, “That’s not what I wanted, so I’m not going to click anymore.” When you organize those categories, you allow a user to continue to dig a little bit into your website. If you give them one good piece of content, they’re probably going to search and say, “Hey. There may be more good pieces of the content, so let me click through and actually see this other blogs and articles that are within a certain category.”
Top five things, recap real quick. Number one, don’t ignore video search or voice search. Consider adding questions within your blog, within your subheadings, maybe even the title of the blog itself. Number two, add internal and external links. Link to your other pages. A lot of those, if you’re linking internally, I would suggest you probably use a little bit of keyword anchor text. A lot of times we talk about don’t do that, but in this case, it’s on your own site and you want to really be direct with the search engines to say, “Hey, this is what it’s about.” External helps to guide the search engine to understand what kind of community your content lives in.
Number three, focus on your location based keywords. Include some of those keywords that really help the search engine to understand your service area or area that you’re marketing to. Number four, don’t forget the small stuff. All text, page titles, all those things we’ve been talking about for a long time and for many years. Number five, organize your post categories.
Thanks for joining us today. This is the second week in a four-part series of How to SEO. We talked about local SEO last week. If you didn’t catch that one, make sure you go back in and watch the video from last week. It’s all on the Blue Atlas Marketing Blog at blueatlasmarketing.com/blog. It’s also on our YouTube channel. This week we’re talking about how to make your blog a little more search engine friendly. We’ve got a lot more coming up for you in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for joining.