SEO: How to optimise blog posts for search - Matchstick Creative - Matchstick Creative
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How to optimise blog posts for search

After recently speaking at The Women’s Organisation’s event ‘How to raise the ranks on Google’, I thought it would be helpful to share some key takeaways from my talk. Knowing how to optimise your blog post for search can be a little daunting. As a small business owner it’s important you spend your time wisely and trying to second-guess Google’s algorithm is time-consuming and annoying. Instead, use our article on blog post optimisation to help give your small business the boost it needs in search. Our advice is snappy, search-friendly and ready for your eyes. Take 5 minutes to learn a little about blog post SEO whilst you enjoy a nice cup of tea. Sorted.

How do I use keywords in my blog post to improve my search engine optimisation?

Alongside me at The Women’s Organisation was bmicro founder Mark Russell. His talk offered loads of helpful pointers for small business owners looking to boost their search appearance, but none so handy as his checklist for optimising a page of content. Go through your blog post from the top down with this list in your hand and you won’t go wrong.

  • My keyword is in the URL of my blog post
  • I have written a page title that contains my keyword once and is no longer than 65 characters long
  • I have written a meta description that contains my keyword a maximum of two times and is no longer than 155 characters long
  • My keyword is in my blog post title
  • I have used my keyword in the first 150 words of my blog post
  • I have not used my keyword more than twice in 500 words of body copy (the main bulk of your article)
  • I have used subheadings to help my reader and styled them correctly to a H3 tag
  • I have used my keyword in my feature image’s alt tag

A note on relevant, related key terms

As well as your core target term, there are a number of phrases you can target that will help Google’s algorithm understand what your page’s content is about. Let’s use this blog post as an example.

Our target key term is a long-tail term:

  • How to optimise blog posts for search

But alongside that term, we’ve also targeted terms such as:

  • Blog post best practice writing tips for SEO
  • Blog post optimisation
  • Blog post SEO

All of the related key terms we’ve used for this article follow the advice we’ve just given you.

Blog post best practice writing tips for SEO

As well as using your keywords effectively, there are a few other SEO tips and tricks you can implement to boost your blog post even further. The tactics below are techniques I’ve used on campaigns for clients and my own blogging adventures and seen the results. Stick to this list and you can’t go far wrong!

  • Aim for a minimum of 500 words per post – posts light on content will struggle to rank for relevant erms
  • Posts over 1,800 words rank better – time consuming, but true. Get that thinking cap on.
  • Only create content if it serves a purpose – do NOT create it if it’s only purpose is targeting a key term
  • Make sure you link internally to other relevant posts, service pages or any other pages on your site. This is helping your reader and encouraging further interaction with your site.
  • If you’re kind enough to provide a link to a source make sure you set the link to open in a new window as this will help to keep your bounce rate down. A bounce is when someone clicks on one page of your site and doesn’t visit another. Having a high bounce rate can result in a loss in rankings as it is a contributing factor in the Google ranking algorithm.

And finally, some writing tips for search engine optimisation

As I said before, blog post optimisation isn’t just about appearing in search for an ideal term. Ultimately, your end goal should always be to help the users of your site.

Content should always be responding to one of these needs, as taken from MOZ’s brilliant guide on user’s intent in search:

  • DO:  Transactional Queries: I want to do something, such as buy a plane ticket or listen to a song.
  • KNOW: Informational Queries: I need information, such as the name of a band or the best restaurant in Liverpool.
  • GO: Navigation Queries: I want to go to a particular place on the Internet, such as Facebook or the homepage of Liverpool FC.

Once you’ve made sure your post responds to one of those needs, follow these other writing tips for blogging to ensure your article is in tip top shape:

  • Keep your point on point by sticking to the point. Keep sentences short and punchy.
  • Where possible use active phrases over passive phrases. (i.e. Harry ate six shrimp at dinner. (active) At dinner, six shrimp were eaten by Harry. (passive)) This helps to keep your content feeling energetic.
  • Your reader’s attention span is ever diminishing; ask yourself is this post worth my time writing, will it add enough value to the conversation online?
  • Search your idea before you write it; what did other writers do well, what can you improve upon? Learn from your peers; don’t be intimidated by them.
  • Every subject has been covered before (this is hardly an original post) so don’t be daunted when you find similar content to your idea. Your telling of it is what makes it unique.
  • Credit where credit is due – don’t nick someone’s words, that’s shitty writing and shittier behaviour.
  • Don’t be afraid to swear if it’s right for your audience.

Want more tips on blog post optimisation?

Awesome! Make sure you download our FREE eBook, Content Marketing for Beginners and follow us closely on Twitter and Instagram. We’ve got loads of great advice we give away for free. Now, go and optimise the crap out of that blog post.