Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing your website’s ratings in search results. When you implement SEO strategies into your blog, you are more likely to be ranked in Google searches.
The best way that I’ve learned about SEO is by having the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. This plugin does SEO for you in real-time as you’re writing. It also analyzes for readability to ensure your post isn’t difficult to understand.
Here’s what I’ve learned about SEO by using this plugin to create better optimized blog posts.
Keywords are important because they are what people search for when they are looking for a blog or resource. Once you pick a keyword, this is where you need to put it:
- In the blog title
- In the first paragraph of the blog
- In at least one headline of the blog
- Throughout the post
- In the alt text of the image
Blog Title – The title of your blog is probably the first thing many people see when they find your blog. Let’s say, you’re writing about how to make a meatball. The word meatball should be your keyword because those searching are looking for how to make meatballs. The closer to the beginning of the title, the better because long titles tend to get cut off.
First paragraph – When someone is reading your post, they know immediately what they’re reading about. Also, think about search results previews, you want that word to stand out. For example, the first sentence can be “One of my favorite foods to make is the classic meatball.”
Headlines – Your post should absolutely have headlines to help with readability. It makes reading and skimming easier. Throw your keyword in one of the headlines to help with SEO.
Throughout the post – If you’re writing about meatballs, you’re going to say that word a lot. It’s good to. Yoast SEO recommends about 2.5% keyword density. So, don’t overdo it. It’s more likely that you will have to take some keywords out for overdoing it than needing to add more, if you’re just writing naturally.
Image Alt Text- This is often neglected but is very important. Just like the post should contain your keyword, so should the photo. Here are some resources on how to add alt text.
Yoast SEO makes editing the meta description of your post simple. Here are some resources on other ways to do so.
The meta description is basically the summary of your blog. It’s what search engines pull the descriptions from when they show your blog as a result. The meta description will include the title, slug (page identifier of the url), and a short snippet about the post.
Be sure your keyword is in the slug. Also, be sure your slug doesn’t have stop words which are basically irrelevant words to a search engine. For example, the blog post titled “How to Make the Best Meatball in the World.” Should have a slug like yourblog.com/make-best-meatball-world. The search engine doesn’t need words like “the” “to” and “in.”
Lastly, be sure your description has the keyword in it. Preferably in the beginning. This is also the part besides the title that will be seen by searchers. So, be sure you make the description interesting!