6 Ways To Ensure Your Blog Post Is Search Engine Optimized Allie Wolff If you publish a blog post and no one reads it, does it even exist? Once upon a time, the only thing you had to worry about was getting exposure for your content or your ads. Today, that’s no longer a problem. The internet has democratized exposure so that everyone can share their story with the world. The new challenge is grabbing people’s attention. This is where SEO comes in. Do you know why Google became so popular? It’s because it organized the internet. Without search engines, we’d be wading through pools of irrelevant web pages, and the process of finding what we’re looking for would not be very user-friendly. Search engines smooth out the research process by presenting us with the top results deemed most applicable and useful to our query. Your job is to ensure your blog post is one of those top results for your ideal buyer. Find Relevant Long Tail Keywords Conduct keyword research before you even start writing. Once you decide on the topic you want to cover, figure out which specific keywords people are searching for in relation to that topic. You should focus on long tail keywords that are likely to match a searcher’s query. For example, if you’re writing an article about HR, pumping your blog post full of the term “HR” won’t do much to optimize your blog post for search engines. A search for “HR” returns countless results, and your article won’t be on the first page. On the other hand, a blog post that tackles “top budget-friendly HR tools” will have a much better shot of ranking higher on the search engine result pages (SERP). Focus and Don’t Keyword Stuff Keyword stuffing may have worked ten years ago, but today search engines like Google are backed by powerful algorithms, and they will penalize bloggers who stuff their articles with keywords. Overdoing it by jamming the words “budget-friendly HR,” “budget-friendly human resources,” “human resources ideas,” and “HR ideas” every other sentence isn’t a good idea. For starters, it makes your blog post basically unreadable. Yes, strategic keyword writing is important, but it should not take away from the clarity of the piece. Additionally, search engines pick up on these kinds of shenanigans. They’ll assume your blog post is unhelpful, unclear content and penalize your page by lowering its ranking. Remember: Write for your audience first. These algorithms are designed (and constantly updated) to spot relevant, useful content that people are reading and sharing. Stick to 1-2 long tail keywords and weave them organically into your blog post. Don’t Forget To Place Your Keywords in These Three Locations Once you’ve decided on a long tail keyword, where you place it is extremely important. In addition to weaving your keyword throughout the body of your article, you should also plug it into your title, your headers, and your URL. For example, if your long tail keyword is “top budget-friendly HR Tools,” it should be found in the: Title: Top 25 Budget-Friendly HR Tools Header: Budget-Friendly HR Tools That Won’t Break The Bank URL: www.website.com/budget-friendly-HR Optimize Your Images Search engines can’t “look” at pictures the way we do, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re not paying attention to them. When you include images in your blog post, change the file name so that it says “budget-friendly-HR-tools.jpg” instead of “IMG493.jpg” and remember to fill in the alt text. Make Sure Your Blog Post Is Mobile Friendly It’s important to optimize your blog posts for mobile now more than ever. Spend some time navigating your site using your smartphone. Is it a frustrating experience? Are the buttons too small to press? Is it difficult to find the main menu? If this is your experience, talk to your developer about making changes to your site. Make The Most Of Your Content With Internal Linking There you are writing your blog article about budget-friendly HR tools when you find yourself adding a paragraph about hiring the right members of your HR department. A month ago, you posted a longer article that covered that topic in detail. Hyperlink to that old blog post within the relevant paragraph in your new blog post. That way, if people want to read more about hiring, they are just bouncing away from your page, not your site. In essence, they spend more time on your website. This demonstrates to search engines that your blog has a significant volume of content and that people deem it relevant and useful by spending lots of time on the site. You’ve written entertaining, useful, and informative blog posts. Make sure they get in front of the right audience by optimizing for search engines.