Search engine optimization isn’t a new thing. It’s been around since the late 1990s when it was allegedly first conceptualized in response to a rock band’s angry tirade. The story goes that the band Jefferson Starship became upset when they couldn’t find their webpage online. In response, Bob Heyman (the band’s promoter) and his partner Leland Harden jumped into action. They inserted the keywords “Jefferson Starship” more frequently into the official webpage to improve its online rank.
According to legend, this action caused the official Jefferson Starship webpage to dominate search engine results pages. It’s unknown whether this was truly the birth of modern SEO or is simply a great story. But there’s no denying the importance of SEO for boosting the visibility of your content. Here’s how to create an effective SEO strategy that will help your blog rank higher in SERPs.
Why You Need an SEO Strategy
If you don’t have an effective SEO strategy, your blog posts will have a very limited reach. It would be nice if blog posts were ranked online by the merit of their content alone. But consider that there are billions of blog posts and web pages all vying for optimal visibility. With that much competition, you need to make a concerted effort to help your content stand out. That’s where an SEO strategy guide can come in handy.
In addition to improving your SERP rank, a good SEO strategy will also help you gain credibility. Websites that earn a top rank are typically seen as trustworthy and authoritative. Contrary to popular belief, a good SEO strategy is more involved than popping a few strategic keywords into your content. It’s a combination of many different optimization techniques that make your blog posts more visible and user-friendly.
Components of a Solid SEO Strategy
If you’re not an SEO guru, you may have the common misconception that SEO is exclusively about keywords. Though using the right keywords is an important part of SEO, it’s just one piece of a much bigger puzzle. There are many more components of a good SEO strategy. Here are a few of them.
Proper keyword usage can improve organic traffic (which is free traffic you don’t have to target with paid advertisements). You have to be careful, though, since there is an art to using the right keywords with the right saturation. Inserting a keyword too many times into your content or adding it in unnatural ways can drive readers away. Bad SEO practices can also potentially harm your SERP rank.
Ideally, keywords should incorporate naturally into the text and add value to the piece. You should also insert your target keyword in the blog post’s meta description, title tag, and H1 heading. This will help improve your SERP rank.
Google has a giant Google Index where all approved pages show up. Your site and blog posts can only be indexed after they’ve been scanned by “crawlers.” If your content doesn’t appear in the Google Index, it won’t appear in Google search results, either.
To improve your content’s indexability, be sure to upload a sitemap. This is where all your essential website pages are listed, including your blog posts. Google can find your content more easily when you have a sitemap. You should also add robots.txt files to show bots which pages you’d like them to crawl. Finally, add internal links between blog posts (see why here) and other site pages to help crawlers index your content.
Acquiring backlinks from other sites to your blog posts can help you improve your rank. Keep in mind that not all links are good links. You should try to obtain links from respected sites and authors. Doing so will increase your authority and online visibility.
You can reach out to respected sites and request backlinks from them. But you may find that your posts naturally acquire backlinks when they’re written well and offer good information.
People still spend time visiting websites from desktop computers, but mobile devices have taken the lead. In fact, looking at international data 56% of searches are made using mobile devices. To help your posts appeal to the widest possible audience, make sure they’re optimized for mobile devices. Short paragraphs, bullet points, and subheaders are essential for optimal mobile viewing.
A high-quality photo can help your blog post naturally grab the attention of your readers. But avoid using multiple photos or videos in your posts. Too many photos can look cumbersome from a mobile device and can make your blog post load too slowly.
Audience and Competitors
Trying to create an SEO strategy without knowing your audience and competition is likely to end in failure. You need to know who you’re writing for and why they should care about what you have to say.
Before you finalize your SEO strategy, make sure you have a firm grasp of your audience and competitors. Consider your target audience and their current pain points. When selecting keywords and blog post topics, try to address those pain points directly. Figure out who your top competitors are and how they’re utilizing SEO to grow their business.
Develop an SEO Strategy That Gets Results for Your Blog
Creating an effective SEO strategy for your blog takes time, but your efforts will pay off in the long run. Once you develop the individual components of your strategy, you’ll have an easier time growing your audience. You’ll also be able to optimize your blog posts and reach your goal of ranking higher in SERPs.