There are a variety of simple changes that you can make to your blog writing that can increase traffic to your blog and have a significant effect on its long-term growth. Rather than relying on search engine optimization (SEO) tricks that could get your blog flagged as spam in a future Google algorithm change or a change by other leading search engines, focus on writing blog posts with the following ten tips in mind. Rather than detracting from your post content, these tricks enhance it and improve the user experience, which is something Google and other search engines reward.
Include Keywords in Blog Post Titles
Whenever it’s natural to do so, include keywords at the beginning of your blog post titles. An intriguing and relevant title is always the best choice, but if you can insert your keyword phrase without hurting the title, then do so. The earlier in the title you can include the keyword, the better for search engine optimization purposes. Remember, relevance and usefulness should always be a higher priority than keywords.
When you create new blog posts, think about ways that you could link to older posts in your archive or to pages on your blog. If you can offer additional, useful content through an internal link in your post, include it. Not only does internal linking help with search engine optimization and increased page views, but it can also help the user experience on your blog — as long as you’re linking to useful and relevant internal content.
Consider Link Placement
Linking internally to your own blog posts and pages is important but it’s also important to include those internal links early in your posts. In fact, the earlier you can use them, the better. Preferably, internal links should be used in the first third of your post with external links used later. Again, put the user experience first, and don’t damage your post by prioritizing link placement over post content.
Avoid linking the same keyword or keyword phrase to multiple URLs. Similarly, avoid linking variations of the same keyword phrase to the same URL. Google doesn’t like either of these tactics. The more consistent you can be in your linking, the better for your audience and search traffic.
Limit the Number of Links in Your Blog Posts
Don’t stuff links in your blog posts. Not only does doing so make it hard for readers to know which are the most important and useful links, but it’s also a spam technique that Google and other search engines will punish your blog for if you’re caught. Instead, limit your links (both internal and external) to one link per 125 words.
Optimize Images in Your Blog Posts
Take an extra minute to name image files used in your blog posts with useful titles that explain what the images are. If you can include keywords in image file names naturally, do so. When you upload images to your blogging application and insert them into your blog posts, be sure to add text for the image Alt-Tag and description. Again, use keywords when it’s natural to do so.
Write Posts of the Right Length
Blog posts need to be long enough to provide enough context for both people and search engines to understand what they’re about. Therefore, write enough in your posts that Google can crawl and index them, but avoid writing so much that people don’t want to take the time to read them. Use the secrets of blog post length to strike the right balance.
Write Original, Non-Duplicate Blog Posts Only
To avoid being labeled as a spammer, your blog posts should all be original, meaning they are written by you or your blog contributors. They should not be duplicate content either. This means your blog posts must not have been published anywhere else online before you publish them on your blog.
Publish New Blog Posts Frequently
Blog posting frequency affects incoming traffic to your blog significantly. This is because not only do search engines send more traffic to blogs with continually updated content, but social sharing increases as well. Follow the tips for blog posting frequency success to set the best posting schedule to meet your blogging goals.
Write High Quality Blog Posts
Above all else, write quality content that is useful to your audience. Writing, search engine optimization, and social media tricks won’t help you if your content is of poor quality. As Google’s algorithm changes and SEO experts’ recommendations change, one thing will remain constant — your high quality content. Years from now, that’s what will keep driving traffic to your blog, not how many keywords you used or links you inserted into your posts.