Blogging is an essential part of any Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy, but it can sometimes be hard to tell if you are doing it right. It can be disappointing when you put the effort into writing a blog, only for it to lay idle on your site. In this article, we provide a helpful guide for how to optimise blogs in 2022.
1. Provide valuable content
This might seem obvious, but if your blog does not add value, people will not want to read it! Make sure you are creating content worth searching for. The best way to come up with blog topics is to consider your digital personas. Think about the challenges your personas face or resources that would make their life easier. Then you can create content that solves that problem for them. We have several useful interactive worksheets that can help you with this step.
2. Use the correct schema markup
Before writing your blog, it is a good idea to think about what schema markup is best suited for it. This is code that will help Google understand what kind of blog it is. This in turn will dictate how your blog is presented in search results. There are many different blog types you can markup for, including how-tos, products, recipes, FAQs, just to name a few. You can check out the full list of schemas supported by Google here.
3. Improve readability
If your blog is a chore to read, you can run the risk of users leaving your website as soon as they get there. People are busy. They do not want to sift through an academic article to get to the info they need. Thankfully there are number of steps you can take to improve the readability of your blog:
- Keep your sentences short and easy to understand.
- Avoid using lengthy words or jargon.
- Correct spelling and grammatical errors
- Minimise adjectives and adverbs
- Use legible fonts
There are number of online applications that you can score the readability of your blog. We recommend Hemingway Editor, which is free and easy to use. These apps will give you pointers on how to increase your readability so you can make the necessary edits. Don’t be afraid to go through several drafts if you need to!
4. Consider blog length
There is no definitive length a blog should be for SEO. This all boils down to your industry, your audience and the kind of content you create. It is necessary to have enough copy on the page for Google to crawl through but try to keep the waffle to a minimum. This kind of filler text is difficult for Google to evaluate and can cause frustration for your readers. It may take some trial and error to discover what blog length is optimal for you.
5. Include the current year in your blog title
When doing a Google search, people usually aim to find the most recent and relevant information. By including the current year in the title, you are indicating your blog is up-to-date and worth reading. For this reason, you may also want to consider editing or removing out-of-date content from your blog.
6. Keep title tags between 50-60 characters
The title tag of the page tells the search engine what to display as the headline on search results. There is no character limit, but it is best to keep it within 50-60 characters. If your title tag is too long, Google may re-write it to fit the headline. You want to have as much control as possible over how your page displays on Google. Otherwise you could run the risk of jeopardising clicks through to your website!
7. Remove SEO “toxins”
“Toxins” are spammy SEO strategies that hinder the user experience of your website. Google has become more sophisticated through the years in terms of picking up on these tactics and will penalise your site for using them. Some strategies should avoid are:
- Duplicate content – Do not repost someone else’s blog from elsewhere on the internet
- Keyword stuffing – Overuse of keywords in the one blog
- Cloaking – Showing different content to search engines than what users see
- Link schemes – Paying for third party links
8. Link to other pages on your website
Linking to other pages on your site will encourage visitors to explore and stick around your site for longer. They can also help Google find other authority pages on your website.
The anchor text you use on these links is vital. The anchor text is the visible text that you click on to be brought to the link. In modern browsers, anchor text is often denoted by a different colour or underlining. SEO friendly anchor text should describe the page it links to. This id often the name of the linked page itself. Avoid using vague phrases such as “click here” or “read more”.
Make the most of your blog in 2022
If you follow this guide you should be half the way there to building an effective blog optimisation plan. The second (and hardest!) part is regularly creating blogs so you always have fresh content on your site. Whether that means blogging once or twice a month, or multiple times a day, the key is to find a consistency that works into your business schedule. If you would like further advice or guidance when it comes to blogging, feel free to get in touch. We would be happy to help you in developing content that makes a real impact on your online presence.