Search Engine Optimizing your blog is a process requiring persistence and consistency. After numerous blog posts, all keyword-optimized as well as they can be, you should start to notice your posts ranking organically for the search terms you have targeted.

However, without properly optimizing each post as you go along, you’ll have wasted a lot of effort. If you feel as though your blog isn’t showing the results it should, give it an audit using the following list:

1. Keywords.

This is the first step of any search engine optimization strategy. Unfortunately, it is often under-valued. The downfall of many blogs is their lack of keyword focus. To remedy this, make a list of broad keywords you are targeting. For each of these broad keywords, then make a list of very specific keywords relating to them. The key is to be as specific as possible. By optimizing your blog for specific keywords, you will not only face less competition but you will bring better value to people searching for that specific keyword. It is best to focus blog posts on 1 to 3 keywords. These keywords are to be used throughout the blog in the subsequent steps.

2. Tags.

Tags are keywords associated with your blog post. They are chosen by you, to give search engines an easier time when indexing new content. Each time you write a new blog post, take the 1 to 3 keywords you have decided to focus on, and enter them as tags. It’s a basic step, but one that is often forgotten in the rush to publish a new post – so before you write the content, make sure you’ve entered your keywords as tags.

3. Category.

Categories are meant to be broad subjects, on which you have written a range of posts. Create categories for which you will be able to write at least a couple of posts. Label them with keywords that are concise, but not as specific as the keywords you use in each post. For example, you might focus a post on the keyword ‘top 10 seo tricks’, but you would categorize it under ‘SEO ideas’ or ‘search engine optimization strategies’.

4. Title Tags / Permalinks.

Blogs create their own titles automatically, but every blogging platform I have used allows you to change these. This is good because what makes for an attention-grabbing title will not necessarily be good for SEO purposes. In the title, prune out filler words, and make sure at least one keyword is present.

5. Title and Heading Content.

Although you want the title of your post to be attention-grabbing, there is rarely a reason you can’t also use your main keyword. Search engines favour posts with the keyword in the post title, in bold or heading fonts, and in the first sentence of the post itself. Try to structure your content accordingly, although this can sometimes be tricky. Ultimately, do as much search engine optimization as you can in this way, without sacrificing the post’s flow and visitor appeal.

6. Image Alt Tags, Descriptions.

Generally speaking, images are great for blog posts. Aside from engaging visitors, images also provide additional opportunities to use your targeted keywords. In WordPress, there is a Media Library function, where you can edit the tags and description of each image. An alt tag designates the text that will show up if the image doesn’t properly load. Use your targeted keywords in the alt tag, as well as the image description.

7. Index Control.

Search engines, if not given direction, will indiscriminately index pages. However, this does not mean they will index all of your pages, and it is possible for your blog search page, or your blogroll, or some other less-important page to be ranked instead of your blog’s posts. Make sure your blog’s index settings are set to ‘no index’ as the default… except for post pages (you want every single one of these to be indexed). When adding links in your post, make sure your blog platform automatically sets those to ‘noindex’, as well as ‘nofollow’.

8. Meta Descriptions.

For WordPress, you can download a plugin that allows you to edit the meta descriptions, tags and titles of your blog post. Often, these will default to the first few sentences of the post, or worse yet, a random sentence from the post. Write a focused, concise description containing at least one of your targeted keywords in the meta description box. This will then show up as the description of the page in search engine results.

9. Meta Title.

For SEO purposes, you may want to change your blog post’s title slightly for when it shows up in search engine results. Make sure at least one keyword is present in the meta title, but make sure it is still attention-grabbing. This is a finer point, and if your post’s title is already well-optimized you may not have to change the meta title at all.

10. Posts on the Homepage.

Many blogs’ homepages will only feature one post, due to its length. To ensure that your homepage is representative of a number of different targeted keywords (not just the most recent keyword you focused on), change your blog’s settings so only the post length is limited on the homepage. This will give visitors a preview of many of your posts, and also improve your blog’s search engine optimization.

Once you have gone through your blog with this list, tally the number of SEO tips you already follow. Do you already practice 8 to 10? Great job! Keep posting and you will realize SEO success soon. If you practice less than 8 of these points, your site is missing out on valuable SEO tools that could give it the edge it needs to rise in organic search rankings. Go back through your posts and try to improve them where you can; otherwise, start practicing these SEO tips and watch your blog’s rankings improve.

Source by Alex Nazarevich

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