- Blog content should first and foremost provide the reader with real value. This means thinking about the user experience. Your blog should be visually appealing, readable, and easy to use.
- Appearances aren’t everything, but your blog should look good. Images should be relevant and a uniform size. Titles and headlines should use standardized formatting.
- User experience means page quality, too. Make sure you’re not weighing down your page speed with huge image files or GIFs.
- Help users – and Google crawlers – navigate your site with accurate categories, tags, and well-placed internal links so readers can find the content they’re interested in.
88% of marketers today are incorporating content into their strategies, and you can bet a lot of that content is in the form of blogs. A quality blog can go far in boosting your E-A-T score – how Google perceives your Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, which in turn helps your rankings. This makes sense, since you can make a much more personal impression – and demonstrate much more expertise – with accurate, quality information in a blog than you can on a product page.
So whether you’re starting a blog content strategy from scratch or giving your existing blog a makeover, here are some SEO tips for blogs in need of a boost.
SEO tip #1: Provide value by considering the user experience
No matter their specific intent, readers want one thing when they visit your blog: quality, accurate information. Take a basic blog interaction as an example: A user fires up a Google search, and your blog comes up in their SERPs. The user clicks your link and lands on your blog article.
A win for you would be if the user stays for several minutes to fully read the blog. Even if they leave without clicking through to another link, you’ve answered their questions – you’ve provided them with real value. If, on the other hand, the reader hits your page and returns to the Google SERPs immediately after to visit a different result or issue a new search, you’ve lost that reader. Maybe your page wasn’t relevant to their search after all. Maybe your page took too long to load and the user grew impatient.
The point is, users visit blogs for a host of reasons, from curiosity to research purposes on their journey toward making a new purchase. In every scenario, though, they want their questions answered clearly (and often quickly) by someone qualified to answer them. Your blog needs to fill all those requirements through good design/formatting, basic SEO practices, and engaging, informative writing that people want to read.
Let’s dig into the details with a few more SEO tips for blogs.
SEO tip #2: Consider your blog’s appearance
We may teach our kids not to judge a book by its cover, but the ugly truth is that people like websites that look good. How many times have you recoiled from (or just flat out left) a janky website that used outdated graphics, clashing colors, awkward formatting, or distracting fonts? It’s not just about being pleasing to the eye, but also about looking professional – like you know what you’re doing. Remember, you’re trying to communicate authority and expertise.
Use images wisely. It’s true that breaking up text with visuals can boost readability, especially if images or graphics are relevant to the text or provide supplementary information. Just make sure to use high-quality images in uniform sizes and the latest file types – Google recommends JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, or WebP, especially for mobile sites.
And while image quality is important, watch your file size too. Large image, video, or GIF files drag down your page speed and can contribute to a higher bounce rate. Re-size large image files or use a plug-in to support them. (We love cute dog GIFs too, but you might want to go easy on them in favor of impatient readers.)
Use uniform title formatting. This goes beyond consistent grammar and capitalization, which you should be doing anyway. We recommend using uniform structure, like “Title | Company Name.”
SEO tip #3: Make your blog easy to navigate
Again, think about the user. If readers are having a hard time finding content they’re interested in, they won’t be coming back to your blog. In the same vein, if Google has a hard time crawling your blog to figure out what it’s all about, it won’t be able to rank you for relevant searches.
Structuring your blog with a little technical know-how creates a better experience for readers, making it more likely they’ll stay or re-visit, while also helping Google interpret the value you provide to searchers. Let’s talk about how to do that.
Categories and tags – How fun would it be to search a giant pile of unlabeled papers for a particular article on a specific topic? That’s basically what reading a blog with no categories or tags feels like. Categories and tags provide a clear network of topics and keywords readers can use to quickly find the types of content they want to read. You know, like one of those ancient contraptions – the library catalogue. This structure also gives Google crawlers something to hang onto, not to mention helps your team when creating new content down the line.
Internal Links – The idea behind internal links is similar to that of categories and tags, except you’re directing readers to additional relevant content directly from the content they’re currently reading.
An internal link is any link that directs the reader elsewhere on your blog or site – for example, in the article you’re reading right now about SEO tips for blogs, you could click on that handy internal link and find even more information about a similar topic. (Hint: the anchor text should communicate what the reader will find when they click on it.) Internal links provide additional value that’s relevant at that juncture in the piece.
Blogs with well-placed internal links provide a richer, more personalized, and overall more authoritative experience for readers while simultaneously providing scaffolding for Google’s crawlers.
At the end of the day, (good) content is king.
Remember, the best thing you can do for your blog is use it to publish great content that people want to read and share. But we promise all the other stuff helps!
Need more content marketing tips, or just want to learn more about what content can do for your brand? Reach out to the experts at Redefine Marketing Group today.