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How to optimise your blog posts for search engines

Many websites have a blog or news feature, but not all of them make use of simple search engine optimisation techniques to increase credibility, traffic and rankings. 

Blog posts are engaging articles that add value to your website by highlighting topics and experiences relevant to your business. Whilst the rest of the copy on your website should remain relatively minimal so it’s easy to absorb, blogs offer the opportunity to share longer-form pieces of writing that provide your readers with a depth of information, giving you a space to showcase your brand and communicate your offering on a deeper level.

Most websites now have a blog feature or a news page to add authority, trust and humanity to a brand, but it is not only the nature of the content you share which will help your audience find your site. Optimising your blog posts correctly and naturally will ensure that they are more visible to search engines, increasing the likelihood that your website will appear in search results for relevant terms. 

Title & Header Tags

Title tags are the main feature of a search result and appear in your browser tab, while header tags break up text and provide a quick insight into what each section is about. The length and content of the title and header tags can be optimised for search engines.

Keep your tags between 50 and 60 characters. A title that is too short will make it difficult for search engines to rank your content, as the algorithms may struggle to determine what that post is about. In contrast, a tags that are too long will end up having parts of the title missing on the results page due to a limit on what the search engine can accommodate.

Adding refined keywords to your title tags will not only entice readers, but help search engines to understand the content of a blog, making it easier to rank. Be as concise and clear as possible with your keywords and do research into what your audience is searching for. This will help you to pick topics relevant to your target segment’s search habits, as well as giving you a solid foundation for title tag optimisation. 

Description

Search engines will display the meta description of your page under your search listing. If you do not include your own meta description, then usually a search engine will add the first sentence of the page as a default description, which may not be the most engaging or search engine friendly. 

As with your title tags, refine your meta-description using your chosen keywords in the most natural way possible. For example, while a user may search for “luxury hotel peak district”, this phrase doesn’t make grammatical sense, which will be taken into consideration when ranking. 

Internal & External Links 

Adding hyperlinks within your page’s text is beneficial for a number of reasons. 

Internal links to other pages of your website will help search engines to understand your site structure and key information located elsewhere. This understanding will contribute to the search engine’s trust in your site and ability to rank your pages for relevant keyword searches. 

External links make the experience your blog provides more valuable. Linking to other, authoritative websites which are providing similar information and advice to your blog will not only help search engines to categorise your post, but will identify it as a scalable and credible resource worthy of a higher ranking. 

Again, when inserting links into your text, try not to overdo it. A few relevant and high quality links from content that makes sense naturally will go further than more which lead to less reliable sources. 

Word Count

The importance of the word count of a blog post in search engine optimisation has been disputed, but is not completely irrelevant. 

Think of it this way - with more words, you have more opportunities to use and explain your keywords (although avoid doing this so much that it decreases the quality of the content), as well as demonstrating to your audience and search engines that you truly know your stuff. 

URLs

Most blog publishing systems will allow you to edit the URL, which can have a highly positive impact on your overall search ranking. The first thing to consider when looking at your page URL is the length. Search engines have a preference towards pages with URLs shorter than 65 characters. The longer the URL, the more likely a search engine will think that the page is only relevant for long tail phrases. 

A URL should feature your keywords if possible and you should also avoid symbols such as; @, #,  !, $. If your URLs do not follow the suggested techniques, do not rush to change the URL of you pages as this could lead to dead links elsewhere. Simply consider them for future use. 

If you have any questions or require further help in optimising your website content, drop us a message or find more digital advice here.

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