Are you burning the midnight oil, creating blog post after blog post, but have little return to show for it? The problem could be down to your SEO optimization strategies or lack thereof. If you’ve ever wondered just why is my blog not getting traffic, I’ll run you through an SEO checklist as well as some of the SEO mistakes most people make that do their rankings no favours. First, let’s start with what you could be doing wrong, so we can immediately weed out the bad practices before they inflict further harm on your content marketing.
Most newbies just wing it with their content. They blog about whatever their passionate about without doing their homework on blogging best practices. I find that this nonchalant approach to content marketing is the top reason why most blogging campaigns go under. As a writer, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re writing to be read and not just for yourself. In greater detail, here are some of the Achilles’ heels in blogging:
Now that we’ve covered what you may be doing wrong, it’s time to talk about what you can do right. Optimizing blog posts for SEO involves a microscopic look at minor details that you may not be aware have a say in your ranking. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the most significant ones to add to your SEO checklist that are sure to give your content marketing strategy a fighting chance.
Titles are your blog posts' chance at making a first impression. While your lead is looking over search results and contemplating which one to click, your title is making a case for attention, competing with about 9 other articles on the search engine results page (SERP).
So your title simply has to pop. It needs to look different from the rest and provide value to the reader. Here are a few tips on how to make your title work for you:
The key to users reading what you wrote is having a strong title. This helps nudge a foot into the door, so your article can do the rest.
Before you get down to creating any content, start with keyword research. Derive your topics from the keywords you dig up. I use Ahrefs to do my keyword research because of its comprehensive analytics, but I recommend you mix it up with other keyword research tools as well.
Here’s a simple process to guide you:
I always vouch for long tail keywords which typically have five or more words because these phrases match search intent very closely and usually have lower competition in comparison to short tail keywords. Additionally, research by Baclinko finds that 92% of search queries are long tail keywords so it makes perfect sense to go long.
What is quality content? Well, isn’t that the million-dollar question? It’s the bare minimum that the content you write should solve a user’s problem. Alternatively, it could also be educative by touching on trends. But the pain point-solution approach works like a charm most of the time.
To make your content high-quality, here’s what you should do:
Many bloggers don’t use images in their articles. Creating visuals takes time and most writers usually avoid it altogether. But a lot is riding on images in terms of SEO, so don’t turn a blind eye to visuals.
But how do images affect SEO? While they are not a ranking factor and most blogs fair just fine without them, images can have a great impact on user experience and audience retention rates, which are both ranking signals. Also, adding images to your articles could help your blog get found on Google Image search. But for that to happen, you also need to create alt text tags for your images, and preferably throw a primary keyword in there.
Other SEO image optimization tips that I highly recommend:
Don’t hit publish just yet. Spare a moment to create metadata for your content, including a meta title and a meta description. As we’ve covered best practices for creating rockstar titles, let’s talk about your meta descriptions:
Technically, they may not count as an SEO checklist, but meta descriptions hold significant sway over click-through rates.
Permalinks on the other hand are criminally overlooked by most bloggers, but they can also impact CTR and SEO. Be sure to make each unique, include SEO keywords, and make them descriptive so the link defines what the page is all about. Don’t rely on automatically generated permalinks by content management systems such as WordPress.
A content marketer's job doesn’t end when your blog post goes live. Your work is far from over. People aren’t just going to magically stumble across your article, and search engines will take a while to rank your content. You want to give the process a nudge by also getting your hands dirty and promoting your posts. Share your content. on social media, then move into your networks and invite them to have a read and share with their networks. Answering questions on Quora and using influencers are also viable ways to gain more traction for your blog posts and get your content in front of more eyeballs. The bottom line is that there’s just no shortcut to SEO success. It’s all about consistency and lots of hard work.
CR Venkatesh is a fountain of SEO experience, having served as CEO of one of the top digital marketing companies in India. He has won the IT Professional of The Year at the Golden Globe Tigers 2016, with his most recent accolades including the Best Achiever Award 2023 and the SITCON Star Award 2022.
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Great article!!! Thanks for sharing this valuable insight!!! it's helpful
Gokul Krishnan 01-01-1970
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