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How to Optimize a Blog Post for SEO Ranking Ability (On-Page Optimization)


– In this video, I’m gonna
show you how to optimize a blog post for maximum SEO ranking ability. Now this is going to be a
checklist for how to get your on-page SEO dialed in
correctly so that you have a shot of ranking high on the first
page of organic Google results. This is not a guarantee of
ranking number one, however. There’s a lot that goes into
ranking your content high in organic search that we’re
gonna talk about in this video. However, what we’re focusing
our main strategies on here are the on-page things that
you have a lot of control over. Now, we’re not gonna be diving
deep into how to get guest posts, how to get backlinks,
how to share your content and get it to go viral. Those are things for another day. Today we’re focusing
specifically on the on-page SEO strategies that you need to
be doing in order to even get your content considered to
rank high in organic search. So let’s do it. Alright, now let’s talk about on-page SEO. We’re gonna be doing this using
an example of one of my most recent blog posts, one that’s
been doing pretty well despite being published just a couple
of days before actually recording this video. So it’s only been live for two days, although it’s already
ranking on the first page of Google search results. Now granted, the term blogging
statistics isn’t the most competitive term out there in the world, but there are a few hundred
monthly searches, right? So that is a meaningful number
of people coming to my blog. Now, let’s pop on over to the
WP admin behind the scenes for this blog post. Now this is the WordPress
editor for that exact post we we’re just looking at, right? So when you go to all posts, you can navigate to
this post on your blog. And we’re gonna start by
talking about headlines. What makes a good headline
because this is really important for getting your content to
rank well in organic search. Now personally, I’m a big
fan of leading with a number. Especially if it’s
something that’s tutorial, how-to based, right? So how many steps are in your article? Maybe that’s, you know, 10
steps to accomplishing xyz. 32 blogging statistics, right? Writing a clever headline is something that’s very important. You know, I was just doing
some research on this. Six out of 10 people report
only reading a blog article’s headline before sharing it
on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, right? So having an important headline
is important in not just getting people to share your content, but getting your content to
rank well because Google knows that content that ranks well
gets shared the most, right? So this is very important. I’ve got a lot of content
about how to write effective headlines in my blog post
about how to write a blog post. But the basics of it are
that I recommend leading with a number if you possibly can. It catches the attention
of your potential readers, people searching on the
search engines, right? And it’s very important to
get your keyword phrase, your target keyword phrase in
very, very early in the title. So for me, obviously blogging
statistics is the keyword phrase I’m going after here. You can see it bolded
in the intro sections of my article here. I’ve got it in the first sentence. That’s another important factor
to consider for optimizing your blog posts. Having your keyword phrase
ideally in the very first sentence of your article
and then bolded if you can. I’m a big believer in bolding
as a signal to the search engines that this is what
your article’s about. So I’ve got it in here
in the second sentence, and the third sentence, and then you know, variations of it on throughout. Statistics about blogging, you know, statistics about how to blog,
content marketing statistics for bloggers, things like that, right? So it’s important to have
variations of your keyword phrase weaved in throughout. Not just trying to pound it
over the head with a thousand mentions of the same keyword phrase. So switch it up a bit. Another last note on headlines. I’m a big fan of parenthesis. I think it creates kind of
a stopping point visually for people that are
scanning a page, you know? Something that’ll jump
out at them as being a little bit more unique. And then naturally, for something
that’s timely like this, people want relevant information, right? So in 2019. That’s important for me to
include in this as well. Now again, this is the on-page
headline for my article. Below, we’ll talk about the SEO headline. But first, I wanna really
touch on the importance of your permalink. This is the URL that people will navigate. This is what they’re gonna
see in their address bar when they are on your blog post. This is extremely important. This is almost as important as a headline. This tells the search engines
what your article is about. So it’s very, very crucial
that you include at least your core keyword phrase in
the URL of your blog post. Now, I’m a big fan of
very clean, simple URLS. I’m a minimalist when it
comes to setting permalinks. So for me, I like keeping it
to as few words as possible. Typically just my core keyword phrase. And I’ll omit things
like to, or a, or the. For example, my how to
start a blog article which ranks on the first page
of Google searches as well. My URL for that is how
dash start dash blog. I think it looks clean, it’s
simple, it’s easy to read and digest as a searcher. And personally, I’m a big
fan of just keeping it clean, and simple, and minimal. So that’s my advice on that front. Now let’s go ahead and
jump down to categories. Categories are very important
for readers who are gonna be navigating your site. Now, I’m very careful to categorize posts typically only as one category. I want it to be very clear
what this article’s about from a site search standpoint. So this article definitely about blogging. Gets the check mark. Under meta tags here. You know, there’s been a
lot of chatter out there about whether or not meta tags
are even important anymore as an SEO ranking factor. But, you know, call it superstition, call it just being old school, but I like to include
somewhere between five and 10 meta tags typically. There’s no reason to
go super crazy on this. However, spend, you know, 15,
20 seconds throwing down meta tags that are related to
your core keyword phrase. So blog statistics, blogging statistics, blogging industry statistics. These are the kinds of things
that people are gonna be searching for and I just
want to keep reinforcing to the search engines that this
is what my article’s about. A featured image here, you know, a quick note on image all tags. I’m just gonna show you with
kind of a random image here. But important with a featured image to have something that pops. Visually stands out, right? Because Google sometimes
ranks their images, or will display images near
the top of search rankings. And so having your image up
there as something that pops to potential readers is
going to make you stand out. Now, a note on image all tags real quick. If you go to edit, you’ll
be able to see that I’ve got alternative text here. And that describes the
purpose of the image. Now, I’m a very big proponent
of trying to make sure that my keyword phrase is
included in as many of these images as possible in the alternative text for these images. It’s important that you
don’t just keyword stuff into every single image. Sometimes you can get dinged
for trying to game the search algorithms by doing that. However, for every image on
your blog post that is somewhat related to the target keyword phrase, the topic at hand for the article, I highly recommend including it. And don’t just use the same
image all text for every image on your site, right? Switch it up. Now, let’s hop down to what is
my favorite WordPress plugin, Yoast SEO. And this is basically my guide
to making sure that each blog post of mine is optimized for on-page SEO before I hit publish. And I’m gonna show you
where you can grab Yoast SEO real quick. This is your WordPress dashboard. This is where you land
when you’re logged in. If you click on plugins, here we go. We go to add new. And if you search actually under popular, I’m sure Yoast is at the top. But if you search for Yoast, Y-O-A-S-T, you’re gonna
see Yoast SEO near the top. Now I am due for an
update here in my plugin. But what you’re gonna see
is an install now button if you haven’t yet installed
Yoast SEO on your site. So if you don’t have Yoast yet, do it. It’s free. Check this out. 26,718 reviews. It’s truly an amazing, free product. I say that not as someone who’s
affiliated with them at all. I earn nothing if you sign up for Yoast. I just genuinely find it to
be an extremely useful plugin. So once you get Yoast SEO
installed onto your blog, you’re gonna see this
little box at the bottom of your blog post now. You can show and hide this. This is your snippet preview. This is what Yoast is telling
you is most likely to appear as far as your information
about your blog post in Google searches. This is a preview they’ve created, right? So this is your URL. You can see blogging dash statistics pulling in right there, right? So it’s clean, it’s simple,
it’s your keyword phrase. Your headline. Now this is actually pretty important. Sometimes when you write
a longer form headline for your on-page headline
of your blog post, it might not fit into
search engines, right? So your search engine text
for a headline has a maximum number of characters that are allowed. Now here, you’ll notice that
my SEO title is a little bit different from the
on-page title that I have for my blog post. But I’ve sort of tweaked it. It says to blog smarter here
instead of up above the on-page headline says to improve
your blogging strategy in the parenthesis in 2019, right? So for the SEO version of the title, I’ve shortened it up a bit
without losing the purpose of my headline, right? So this is important. This little green bar will
show you as you get towards the end of your character
limit, it’ll turn red. So it’ll indicate where you need to stop. And sometimes I found that,
you know, maybe search engines will clip your title a
few characters short, maybe it’ll allow a few more characters than Yoast suggests it will. There’s a little bit of variation here so you can play around with it. For the slug, I don’t
recommend touching this at all. Control your permalink up
above where we were controlling the URL originally. Now, the meta description. By default, if you don’t
input something in the meta description field, Google
and other search engines are going to just pull in
the first couple sentences of written content on your blog post. Now sometimes that
actually works out okay. However, if you’re not writing
your first few paragraphs with an SEO optimized focus, then you’re going to get some content that’s not gonna be working for you. So I recommend writing a
meta description, that again, incorporates your target
keyword phrase right up top, first sentence, gotta do it. And then, provides just a few
insights about what this blog post is gonna be about. Something that’s gonna hook the reader. Someone who’s curious about
clicking on your article, but hasn’t done so yet. So meta description, very important again. And let’s expand the
readability analysis here. So this is getting into kind of the weeds for most new bloggers. However, if you’re pretty
anal about writing, then this is gonna be something
that you’re gonna like. So subheading distribution. Three seconds of my text
are longer than 300 words and are not separated
by subheadings, right? So, this is just sort of
reinforcing best practices in terms of how to make your
blog content more easily read by people who come to it, right? Not using words that are too complex. It does a reading ease test. It gives you a score onto
how easy your blog post is to read. It gives you a bunch of
sort of simple guidelines. Paragraph length, this
is something I will say is very important. I wanna show you examples here. If you’ll notice, I very rarely
go beyond one or two lines vertically in content
for my blog post, right? So here’s an example of a
paragraph that spreads down to the third vertical line. That’s fairly rare for my content. I’m trying to make content
very easily read, digestible. I don’t want to scare people away. And that’s very important for
increasing your readability of your blog post. SEO wise, not a huge contributing factor. But here in the focus key phrase section, this is where you’re going
to type in the target keyword phrase that you want
this article to ring for. And below here, you’re
gonna get a whole bunch of recommendations for how
to improve your on-page SEO based on this keyword phrase
that you’ve got input here. So this is very important. You gotta type this in if
you hope to get actual good optimization tips from the Yoast plugin. It’ll tell you things about
your meta description length. Now I personally think this
is a matter of dispute. 156 characters. I’ve seen some of my articles
get much more text listed in the meta descriptions. It kind of depends, there’s
a little variance to this. But if you go a little bit over, it’s better then being under. Maximize the real estate
that you’re going to use. Image alt attributes. You know, all of my image
alt tags have my key phrase in them for this post. And they suggest that that’s a bit much. Now personally, I haven’t
experienced a negative impact from showcasing the target
keyword phrase in my image alt titles pretty heavily. So personally, as long as
I’m not doing it in you know, a 100 images on a single
blog post, I think generally, you’re gonna be okay. Again, there’s just eight
images on this blog post. Key phrase in title. I’ve got the key phrase
in my title for the SEO, but not at the beginning. That’s not correct. So sometimes there will be mistakes in the optimization suggestions here. You can see in the first
sentence of my blog post that I do have the key
phrase blogging statistics right here. So double check if something looks fishy. However, there are lots of very, very helpful recommendations. We don’t need to go through
absolutely everything because the Yoast plugin
is going to show you what you should be doing, how
to consider changes to make. Make sure you have outbound links, right? So don’t link to competitor content. I wouldn’t wanna link to another article that is specifically
about blogging statistics from this piece of mind
because that tells the search engines crawling my article
that hey, this other article about blogging statistics
is more authoritative because it’s linking to it
from here and it’s older. So, my advice on outbound links, don’t link to directly
competitive content. And if you must, if
you absolutely have to, be sure to no follow that link. Internal links. Always link internally to related content. I recommend a minimum
of five internal links. If you can do more, definitely do more. There’s not really much
of an upward limit as long as you’re not making your
content too overly stuffed with links, right? Key phrase in introduction. Key phrase length. Key phrase density. These are all really
important contributing factors to getting your on-page SEO right. And this is more of a ratio, right? So my key phrase blogging statistics, it was mentioned 23
times out of 2,000 words. So having a keyword density
of that sort of ratio is what I’m typically aiming for. Around one to 2% keyword density. And that’s really it as far
as on-page SEO optimizations you should be making. Again, now that we’ve gone
through the tactical components of how to get your on-page SEO
right for every single blog post of your site, I wanna
reiterate that the important factors in actually ranking
are the off-page SEO, right? So the things like guest
posting to get high authority quality natural backlinks
to your articles. That’s gonna be a major
contributing factor. Going out and creating a shareable
interest that’s optimized for Pinterest, right? Getting a lot of shares on Pinterest. Another signal to search
engines that your content is highly shareable. That people are enjoying it. Getting it somewhat viral on
Facebook, on Twitter, LinkedIn, wherever your target
audience is spending time, that’s where you should
be sharing your content. You wanna engage with
users on different types of communities, niche platforms, where your readers are spending time and bring them to your site. All of these factors in
conjunction with getting your on-page SEO right is
what’s going to contribute to being able to rank your
content high in organic search. So good luck.

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