This is a guest post by Emmanuel Obarhua.
There are some simple, yet imperative practices bloggers ought to put to work on their articles after writing and before publishing them, these practices aren’t compulsive but are essential for SEO. It is advised that bloggers should make sure their articles are search engine optimized, but this has never been compulsive, implementation of SEO is always by choice – but to a goal oriented blogger, these SEO practices should be compulsory. SEO tips are advice (no two ways about it) but are always rendered as recommendations, you may or may have not been putting these SEO tips to work, but if you start utilizing them, your posts may start doing better on SERPs and on the long run, your site will grow better in Google PageRank.
There’re several on-page SEO factors to put to work before publishing your articles, and what I’ll be covering here are certainly not all but are very crucial to a blog’s growth. That said, let’s run through the guide.
1) Your title
Every blogger fights to get to Google’s first result page, but even on Google's first result page there’s still competition? It’s not enough to get up there on the top of a SERP but one still have to attract searchers’ clicks. Your title is the key thing that attracts clicks on SERPs, in other-words, driving traffic to your site. Someone else may have written about what you want to publish, so it’s important to add more techniques to your titles.
Let’s take an example, let's assume there are two headlines on Google’s result page and these two are containing the same information but are titled:
1) “Recent Posts Widget for Blogger”
2) “Professional Recent Posts Widget for Blogger”
Between these two headlines, more people will go for the second choice which is tagged: “Professional Recent Posts Widget for Blogger” because they already perceive that the widget is not just a related posts widget for blogger, but also a professional one at that.
This also implies to making your titles catchy (simple but detailed, interesting but short – not just a broad title or a set of keywords), that way, internet surfers will likely hit your posts’ titles on search engine result pages cos it will become appealing by then. It is best to maintain a short title even as you implement this insight.
2) URLs (Permalink) optimization
Google pays attention to URLs; as a matter of fact, Blogger launched permalink sometime in 2012, so that blogspot bloggers can edit their posts’ URLs. After you must have written your title, the relevant words might not be there on the permalink (post’s URL), so in this case, it is important to optimize the URL, but as you do so it is best you follow good guidelines to optimize URLs. Blogger does a good job in choosing a URL for you automatically, that may save time but then Blogger might omit the relevant words (keywords) on your URL, as it generates the URL with the first thirty characters of the title. See example:
Title: “Guest Post: How to Make Money via PTC”
Blogger may generate URL this way: http://worldwebsurers.com/2013/2/guest-post-how-to-make.html
Note: This was just an example for clarity.
What we are focusing on up there is the string of texts with yellow background. When blogger generates a permalink for you, it will work just fine but then it may not contain the most relevant words or the target keywords which are “make money” and “PTC”. Now, if I was to optimize this URL, here’s what I’ll do:
You see? Short but contains my target keywords, which are make money and PTC leaving out Guest Post and How To. Note that in some cases “How to” could be a keyword. Optimization of URLs depends on the keyword you’re targeting. See a live example from a Blogger Sentral post:
URL optimization summary: Always make sure to keep URLs short, plus you should make sure they contain the target keywords of the topic.
3) Interlink to old posts
Every blogger who cares about growth must build a good habit of Internal Linking and should always put it to work – This practice is way too powerful to be neglected. Check out every pro-blog, you’ll see a related posts widget implemented under the posts – it is never omitted on potential sites, cos it actually adds value to a blog as it reduces bounce rate and increases pageviews, but it will surprise you that internal linking is 5 times (or even more) more powerful than related posts widget. It is a better way to recommend something to your readers – something related to what they’re reading, it serves as a map for Google to crawl through your site, it promotes other contents, it connects your whole blog, it passes the reputation of one page to the other, and it is closer to readers compare to related posts.
4) Make sure to set location
Setting the location of a post is a good thing to do in outsmarting your competitors on SERP, blogger.com gives you an option used by Google to detect the location where a particular piece of information (article) is meant for or would be more useful, and you surely rank better on that particular keyword in that chosen region. Google trends is good for checking where keywords are most popular, but may not always show location which sometimes results from low search volume. To set Location on blogger; click on Location under Post Settings on the right side of blogger editor, type in a region into the field provided and click Search (do not press enter, else it will publish the article), blogger will then fetch a recognized region on the field below the map. Click Done and that’s it.
5) Let your images do more
Using image on every blog post is a very good way to drive extra traffic, people use Google Image Search in searching for images day in day out, and Google does a good job in fetching images from websites to visitors and also drives traffic to the sites by providing means that searchers could use in getting to image source. But if your post images have no alt text, Google cannot tell what the image is, and that means it may not fetch the image to visitors. So it is important to write a short description of your uploaded images on the image alt attribute.
6) Grammar check
If you don’t normally go back to review your work before publishing them, I’d advise that you start doing that henceforth. Wrong spellings tarnishes your site’s image, trust me! If you are selling, this might cause buyers not to trust you enough to buy your stuff. It brings respect to naught; it divulges unreliability and gives you a poor reputation unless the reader has known you before. If you've made a mistake on spellings on previous articles, don’t sweat yourself over it, everyone, I mean everyone makes mistakes. But henceforth, make sure to check your grammar and spellings if they are correct before you publish your articles.
If you are really bent on outsmarting your competitors on SERPs, then you’d want to start building your AuthorRank which is a new way Google uses in determining good content by judging its writer. Make sure to read a guide on it:
If you've not been putting all these practices to work, then this is the best time to start utilizing the mentioned. It is not advisable that you go back to articles you’ve already published and start editing them, most especially not the URLs. For those who’d want to learn a complete on-page SEO, I recommend the Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide for you, it’s resourceful.
What do you think about the tips? Tell us on the comments. Happy blogging!
About the author
Emmanuel Obarhua is a friendly blogger who finds pleasure in helping fellow bloggers. He loves spending time in web designing and writing about the things he loves. Make sure to check his blog: World Web Surfers. Follow him on Twitter (@worldwebsurfers) Google+.