11 Pro Tips for Optimizing Your Blog Posts for SEO (Checklist)

Many of our readers have requested that we share SEO tips for blog posts so that they can improve their search rankings.

Although it is best to optimize your blog content for SEO when it is being created, you can always go back and improve older articles.

There are many things you can do to improve the SEO of your blog posts. Blog SEO is important because it helps you get more traffic to your website on a consistent basis.

We’ll share our best blog SEO tips in this article to help you optimize your blog posts for SEO like a pro. These are the strategies we employ on our own blog, which receives millions of visitors through search engines.

1. Conduct thorough keyword research before writing your content.

Many beginners write about topics they think their users will be interested in based on their best guesses.

You don’t have to make educated guesses when you can conduct keyword research to learn exactly what your users are looking for.

Based on search engine data, it assists you in discovering topics that your users are interested in. Content creators and SEO experts use keyword research as a tool.

This will ensure that you write about topics that people are interested in, and it will also help you come up with new blog post ideas. You can then plan your content strategy around these keywords.

Keyword research tools such as SEMRush are recommended. They provide detailed keyword information, competition analysis, keyword position tracking, and a slew of other features.

If you’re a SEMRush user, you should look into their SEO Writing Assistant tool. It can help you find LSI and related keywords, as well as readability, tone, and average article length.

See our article on how to do keyword research for your blog posts for more information.

2. Look for Semantic Keywords Related to Your Focus Keyword

After you’ve done your keyword research and come up with some keyword ideas, choose the one with the highest search volume and the least amount of competition.

This will be the keyword you’ll be concentrating on. It’s the phrase that your users are most likely to type into a search engine.

This will enable you to assess how well you used it in your article. You can set the focus keyword in your article’s SEO settings if you’re using the All in One SEO plugin.

These are the searches that are relevant to your main keyword. The next step is to determine the keywords for Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI).

They’ll be listed as’related searches’ there. The simplest way to find them is to type your focus keyword into Google Search and scroll to the bottom of the results page.

You should use as many of these keywords as possible in your content to provide the most comprehensive experience for users.

Users will find this odd, and search engines are pretty good at detecting keyword stuffing. It’s critical that you don’t try to cram them into your writing.

3. Create a catchy blog post title

The title of your blog post is crucial for search engine rankings.

More importantly, when users see your article in search results, it encourages them to click on it. Your article will be more relevant to the search query if you use a good blog post title.

Use your focus keyword in the title of your blog post to make it more SEO friendly.

Because the click-through rate (CTR) is so important in SEO, it’s worth mentioning. We recommend making your headline catchy and click-worthy in addition to including your focus keyword.

EMV, or emotional marketing value, is the one that still works. Effective headlines can be written using a variety of formulas.

This formula suggests that you use powerful words to elicit specific emotional responses from your audience.

If you’re using the MonsterInsights plugin, it has a built-in headline analyzer that gives you a score right from the WordPress admin area. This includes real-time suggestions for improving your title to increase click-through rates.

You can also use other online tools, such as the IsItWP Headline Analyzer, which calculates the EMV score of your title.

For more information, see this article on viral headlines and how to replicate their success in your own articles.

Make it a habit to link internally. a.

Internal linking allows you to direct new readers to older, relevant posts. After you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll have enough content that you’d like people to read.

Internal linking is an excellent way to establish a contextual relationship between new and old posts. It also gives you the option of passing relevant link juice to older articles.

Simply click the link button after selecting the text you want to link. Within the post editor, WordPress makes it simple to search for old posts.

You can begin typing to find the older articles you’d like to link to here. Below your chosen words, a text pop-up will appear.

Internal linking should become a habit to ensure that your on-page SEO is strong and that your older articles continue to receive new links.

Related: Learn how to add a link in WordPress with our step-by-step tutorial.

For maximum benefit, you can and should go back and edit older posts to link to your new articles. Beginners frequently make the error of doing one-way internal linking, which involves linking to older posts from newer articles.

5. Incorporate photos and videos into your blog posts

Engaging content is frequently ranked higher in search results by search engines. Plain text is far less engaging than images and videos.

You’ll want to include images between paragraphs in your blog posts.

Beginners frequently copy images from other websites to use on their own, but doing so without proper permissions can land you in legal trouble. You should be aware of image copyrights when adding images.

You can also create engaging graphics using your own original photographs or websites like Canva. Don’t worry, you can find royalty-free images to use in your blog posts in a variety of places.

Make sure your images are optimized for SEO. For more information, see our tutorial on how to optimize images for search engines.

Create slideshows, vlogs, or experiment with other formats to turn your blog posts into videos. Images are more engaging than videos.

You should never, ever, EVER, EVER, EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER WordPress isn’t built for serving videos, and your shared hosting service won’t be able to handle them.

We suggest that you upload your videos to YouTube. It is the second most popular search engine and, after Facebook, the second most popular social media platform.

For more information, see our article on how to embed videos in WordPress.

6. Include a Meta Description with your blog post.

Its purpose is to give search engines and other crawlers a brief description of your article. Any page can have a meta description, which is an HTML meta tag.

We recommend using the meta description for all of your posts at WPBeginner. Many others, on the other hand, would disagree. According to some SEO experts, the meta description tag on a page has become obsolete.

When your articles are shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, it is also displayed. A good meta description can reveal a lot about a piece of content.

You want to make sure your meta descriptions are useful now that you know people will be reading them.

The Meta Description character limit is 155 characters. You should also make sure that your focus keyword appears at least once in the meta description for search purposes.

If you exceed that limit, your meta description will be cut off at 155 characters. You should also make sure that the focus keyword appears earlier in the meta description than later.

To add a meta description, go to your post edit screen and scroll down to the AIOSEO meta box.

7. Make It Easier to Read Your Articles

Articles that are easier to read typically rank higher than articles that are not. Search engines consider readability to be an important factor.

Computer and mobile screens are still not ideal reading platforms.

In fact, studies show that users decide whether to stay on a page or leave in less than a second. This is why the majority of users only skim through articles.

You only have a few seconds to persuade the user to stay and scroll through. You can make it easier for your users to scan an article by improving readability.

To make your text easier to read, we recommend adding white space around it and using images. Use shorter sentences, smaller paragraphs, punctuation, headings, and bulleted lists to improve readability.

If you’re using the All in One SEO plugin, it’ll analyze readability issues for you and make recommendations in the analysis section.

You can also use Grammarly, which allows you to quickly check your grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It also makes recommendations for how to make your articles more readable.

See our article on how to improve the readability score of your blog posts for more information.

8. Organize content with categories and tags

Not only for yourself, but also for readers and search engines, categories and tags help you organize your content.

The issue is that many WordPress newbies make mistakes when using them.

If your website were a book, the table of contents would be the table of contents, and the index would be the index.

Tags, on the other hand, refer to the topics covered in a single blog post. Your content is divided into major topics discussed on your blog using categories.

See our beginner’s guide to using categories and tags for maximum SEO benefit for more information.

9. Aim to Be The Search Result’s Featured Snippet

They’ve introduced the featured result or answer box as part of this effort. Google has made an effort to respond to user inquiries as quickly as possible.

This is the top-level search result that has been highlighted. Google creates a custom snippet from the content of the article, highlighting the section that their algorithms believe is the answer to the user’s query.

As a result, they’re critical to your SEO strategy. Answer boxes have a CTR of nearly 32.3%, according to Advanced Web Ranking’s research.

Google has not provided any specific instructions on how they will choose the featured snippet. Their advice is to improve your content and ensure that it contains the information that users are looking for.

However, at WPBeginner, we’ve put together some helpful tips based on our research to help you get your blog posts into Google’s answer boxes.

Make your blog posts as detailed as possible.

This is why, as part of your content planning, we asked you to collect semantically related keywords (LSI Keywords). Articles that go into great detail about a topic are favored by search engines.

You can make your article more comprehensive, informative, and useful by including those keywords in it. These related keywords will give you an idea of the various variations of user searches on that topic.

You should include those keywords in headings and subheadings and try to cover as much ground as possible.

Topic bubbles with a variety of keywords will appear. Aside from LSI keywords, typing your desired keyword and then switching to Image Search is another way to create complete content.

We recommend including these when creating your content to ensure that it is as complete as possible.

11. Make Older Blog Posts More Effective

In fact, once your blog post is published, you’re not done optimizing it for SEO. After they’ve published a blog post, many beginners have a tendency to forget about it.

Following your blog post’s publication, there are a few things you should do:

  • You can even use IFTTT to automate this task by sharing your content. Promote your blog post on social media – Share your blog post on all of your social media accounts.
  • Internal links – After you’ve published a post, go back to older articles that are relevant and add a link to your new blog post. This gives your new article link juice while also making it easier for users to find it.
  • Instructions on how to track search rankings for your blog posts can be found in our guide. Track search rankings – Now that you’ve optimized a post for SEO, how do you keep track of where it ranks in the search results?

We recommend that you optimize old posts on a regular basis in order to maintain your rankings.

To connect with your readers, see our article on how to get more traffic to your blog posts and our comparison of the best email marketing services. Are you looking for more ways to promote your content? We hope you found this article useful in optimizing your blog posts for SEO.

You can also find us on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials if you enjoyed this article.

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    Over 1.3 million readers around the world rely on it. WPBeginner’s Editorial Staff is a group of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi.

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