Everything To Know About Blog Optimization Checklist!
If you are part of the digital industry, then
you are well aware of the 360-degree approach we use to promote and rank every
blog on the website. But for those who are just getting to know about the
digital world, let us tell you that your work does not end at writing a
spectacular blog or posting it on your website. In fact, that is where it all
It is an undeniable fact that content is the
king in the digital market, but you also need to understand the process of
exposing your content to the right audience so that they consume it and rank
your blog well on Google. This is where Blog Optimisation comes into play.
What Is Blog Optimisation?
Optimizing your blog is a complete technical
process and involves the use of different techniques. It starts with using
popular and relevant keywords while writing the blog, implementing on-page
optimization, installing plug-ins, improving the loading speed of the page, and
linking the blog internally.
The whole purpose of writing a blog is to make
people read it and the most used and reliable platform to search for content is
Google. Hence blog optimization to rank it on Google is a mandate. Your blog
needs to be placed in at least the top 5 pages of Google search for readers to
click on your links. And that’s exactly what we are about to teach you here!
What Are The Best Practices To
Optimize My Blog?
Before we dive into the most popular SEO
techniques that are ruling the digital marketing industry, let us categorize
the practices into sections that are part of blog optimization. We’ll be
Basics of SEO
Now, we will move forward by discussing each
category and the practices you will need to conquer that section of blog
Basics of SEO
To have a strong foundation, you need to get
your basics right and hence we will take you to throw the very first foundation
stone of your optimizing structure. There is a chance that you might have
already done a few necessary steps, just check through the list to confirm.
Start With Setting Up Your Google Search Console
Once you have set up your website, it is
important to have a tool that helps you track the performance of your website.
And that is where Google Search Console comes in. This tool provides you with
invaluable insights into your website’s performance that can be utilized to
grown and explained your organic traffic and visibility. If not Google Search
Console, you can use Bing Webmaster Tool as an alternative. These tools will
also help you in identifying the keywords and terms that your users search for
so that you can include them in your blogs. They also help you find out the
crawling errors and submit sitemaps as well.
Next On Is Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free analytics tool that
provides you with data and insights of your site visitors and their behavior on
the website. You can understand the kind of content that your visitors are
engaging in and you need that data to make the right decisions for the future.
Plus, both Google analytics and Google search console will let you import the
data as well.
Install The Important Plugins
If you have made your website on WordPress, then start installing the plugins that will accelerate your optimization. There are multiple free and paid SEO plugins that provide various functions and features. A few of the best plugins are Yoast SEO, All in one SEO, The SEO Framework, Google XMML Sitemaps, SEO Ultimate, Rank Math, etc. You can check the video below to understand the process of installing a plugin.
In case you are not using WordPress, then ask
your developers about the SEO plugins or other features that can help you with
Submit A Sitemap To Help Google Understand Your Priorities
A sitemap is basically providing Google with a list of URLs that specify your site’s main content that you want to get crawled and indexed. It helps the search engines to decide and choose what pages to show and crawl. Several WordPress plugins like the ones mentioned above will also ask you to generate and submit your sitemap. You can find your site’s sitemap at https://www.domain.com/sitemap.xml. Once you submit the sitemap, you will have access to information like when was your page last updated or if there is another version of your page (in a different language), etc. You can use any of the sitemap generator tools available to complete this step and submit it to the Google Search Console.
Make a Robots.txt File
A robots.txt file instructs the search engine about the pages and files you want it to crawl and which ones to skip. It prevents certain pages or sections of your website from being crawled or de-indexed, and hence not been shown on Google. You can get your site’s robots.txt file at https://www.domain.com/robots.txt. If you are using WordPress then you might a few plugins helpful, for others, you will have to manually create the file and upload it.
Keep A Tab On Whether Google Indexed Your Website
It is often a case when the site is not
indexed by Google and hence you must keep a check on it. Use tools like Semrush
to start the crawl, because if it gets blocked, the search engines won’t be
able to index your website.
2. Keyword Research
To optimize any blog, it is essential to use
the right keywords, in the right amount and in the right places for your SEO to
work with full efficiency. In absence of solid keyword research, you won’t be
able to rank your blog well. And low ranking will lead to bad or no traffic at
all. So, here’s what you can do to get your keywords right.
Know Your Competition
One of the easiest and fastest ways to get the
right keywords is to stalk your competition. Use tools like Semrush to identify
your competition and find out the terms they have used to rank their blogs on
Google. Every second spent on analyzing your competition is worth the money,
Find the Money Making Keywords
Certain keywords generate your URL must be the
majority of leads, traffic, and basically all the money, so find them. The
ultimate reason for optimizing your blogs is to get sales and conversions and
keywords are the way to do that right. These usually constitute highly
competitive and highly used keywords, which makes the game tougher. You can use
tools like Soovle, Jaaxy, Google Search Console, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer,
SECockpit, Google Keyword Planner, KeywordTool.io, and Moz Keyword Explorer to
look for your money-making keywords.
Long-Tail Keywords Are A Must
Any keyword strategy is incomplete without
long-term keywords and a lot of variations there. They might have lower volume
but are great for delivering conversions. Try to use related long-tail terms
throughout your site, and also try to create separate blogs on long-tail
keywords. You can use the same tools mentioned above to find these keywords.
Make Your Keyword Map
Just like a sitemap, you need to create a
keyword map too, after you identify your target keywords. It creates a
framework for the keywords that you have chosen and hence helps you discover
ways to optimize your blog, suggests topics for content, and even identifies
the places where you should be adding more pages.
Know What Your Reader Is Looking For
You need to understand and analyze the pages
that are ranking to align your content accordingly. Search for your target
keywords and loom at what people are looking for so that you can provide your
readers with answers and solutions. Understanding the intent of the content
that is ranked on Google is the way to go ahead. Identify the questions that
are being asked and the problems your users are facing, so that you can provide
them solutions. You can even find a list of similar questions on Google and use
it as the framework for your blog. The best way to use is to check through the
“people also asked” section of Google that comes at the bottom of the page.
3. Technical SEO
Moving onto the more technical part of the
game, for a solid foundation and to make your site crawl, you need to perfect
your technical SEO. Start noting these things down.
Always use HTTPS
We are in 2021 right now, and HTTPS is ruling
the world. If you are still using HTTP, it is high time to migrate. Just check
your browser to confirm the URL. A padlock guarantees that it is HTTPS, else
you might have to plan the shift soon.
Make Sure Your Website Has No Duplicates That Are Crawling
The most common form version is https://www.domain.com. But irrespective of your website having a www or not, you need to make sure that every version of your domain directs Google to your website only. These are the following versions that are acceptable by Google.
Check Out For Errors In Crawling And Fix Them
With Google Search Console, you can easily
trace the errors and fix them. Look into the issues and take your time to
resolve them step wise step.
Your Site Should Have Good Speed
Users have a poor experience when the site
loads really slow and they tend to close the link. You need to ensure that your
site loads quickly and the user has a smooth experience. You can use Google’s
PageSpeed insights tool to understand your site’s speed and improve it if
Keep Checking Your Site’s Audit Report
Your site might have some broken links –
internal or outbound that need to be fixed. You cannot let your reader click on
your URL and be directed to a 404 error window. Your audit report shows all the
broken links and tells you to update them or remove the link altogether.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Since the majority of readers use their mobile
phones while searching, it is of utmost importance that your website is
mobile-friendly. You can use Google’s mobile-friendly tool to check if your
site meets the criteria.
Your URL Should Be SEO-Friendly
To make it easier for search engines to crawl your site, your URL must be SEO Friendly. They should be simple and self-explanatory. Avoid using underscores, and instead, use hyphens to create space. Keep the URL short and neat. Avoid URLs like https://www.domain.com/category.php?id=32.
Don’t Make Your Site Go Beyond 3 Clicks
You need to check the depth of the pages on
your site. A page shouldn’t be deeper than 3 clicks otherwise you might have to
restructure it. A user won’t like to go that deep to read about what he/she
wants, plus the search engines might not be able to trace them too. So keep it
simple and let the readers have a good experience.
4. On-Page SEO
Now that you have looked after the basic
technical fixes, it is time to work on the on-page optimization of your blog to
rank it on Google. Without good content and perfect on-page experience, your
blog might struggle to get organic traffic, hence we have covered all the
essential steps that need to be taken.
Never Skip The Title Tags
The first and foremost step is to add title
tags. They inform the search engines about your page and reflect on your
uniqueness. To make sure that your tags are unique, fix and remove any
duplication. Plus, make sure that your tags are not too long, otherwise, they
will be chopped by the SERPs and you will see three dots after your tag. Never
skip writing the title tags.
Always Write Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are displayed just below
your title on Google and hence they are super important. It is usually this
description that helps the reader to understand the content of your blog and
hence they click on the link. Make sure your descriptions are unique and there
are no duplicates. In the absence of a meta description, Google will take some
content from your blog to display, which may or may not look appealing. So,
never skip this part.
H1 Should Only Be Used Once
H1 tag should only be used for the title of your blog. The suit report will flag your page if it has more than one H1 because a blog cannot have more than one main heading. Also, make sure that your heading has the main keyword so that your title becomes Clickable
Work On Your Meta Tags, Title Tags, And Blog Content
You need to optimize your blog properly by
using meta tags and title tags to rank your keywords and their variations on
search engines. Use the analytics provided on your Google Search Console to
identify the keywords that are performing well, and start using their
variations to rank the pages better.
Keep Updating Your Site By Pruning The Content
It is a good practice to prune or remove the
content that is not ranking too well. Get rid of the content that is not adding
any value to your website and the readers’ experience. Don’t waste your space
on the site with unnecessary content. Also, when you update your content, make
sure you update the older blogs with relevant keywords that are trending in
current times. A blog written in 2014 might still be relevant, but there could
be new keywords that are ranking in 2021, so try to insert them in your blogs
and update them.
Ensure That Your Blogs Have Internal Linking
One of the most ignored SEO tricks, internal
linking is actually an effective way to optimize your blogs. Link your own
blogs internally to gain noticeable traffic quickly. Make it a point to add
relevant words or titles in your new blogs that can be used to interlink older
blogs. Try it once, and thank us later!
Use ALT Tags In Your Photos
Image optimization is an equal part of blog
optimization. Wherever you use images in your blog, make sure you add alt text
to them. Always name your images using keywords or relevant words and give a
description to them that is related to the blog. Alt tags help to optimize your
images along with the content, which is great for generating traffic.
Never Leave Your Site Pages Orphaned
Every page on your site should be linked to
another page of your site. Leaving your pages orphaned will be flagged on your
audit report and Google might not be able to crawl it properly as well. Link
them with other relevant pages on your website.
5. Off-Page SEO
We are living in 2021, and winning the ranking
race cannot be that easy. Even if your on-page SEO is perfect, you will still
need to go further and ensure that your off-page SEO is done right as well.
Off-page SEO is just like the backstage of a theatre, where the real work is
done to make sure that the artists look good.
Know Your Competition Well To Outrank Them
You can’t outrank your competition if you
don’t know what they are up to. Check their link profile to understand what
they are up to and use their URL to run them through analytics tools that you
use. It will give you all insights into what is working well for them.
Bring Backlinking Into Practice
Don’t miss out on links that can benefit you.
Use the backlink analytics tools to know which links are helping your
competition and link them in your blogs as well. The tools allow you to test
about 5 domain names for backlinking.
Link The Unlinked Mentions
There are times when you have been mentioned
on someone else’s profile, for winning an award or being recognized for your
performance, but they don’t add your site link. You can attach their link to
your website to get that link identified.
Never Skip On Link Building Opportunities
You need to constantly look for new
link-building opportunities. Some websites and platforms generate are willing
to provide backlinks for your site if you generate relevant content. Approach
them and try to get as many links to your blog as possible.
And that’s it. You are ready to witness your
blog getting optimized and getting you the desired results.
Summing Up …
Optimizing a blog is not an easy job but can
be achieved by following the step-wise process mentioned above. It might take a
little while to get a hang of it initially, but with few blogs down the line,
you will understand the process, and the results will motivate you to keep