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The 10 Best Ways to Optimize Blog Posts for SEO

This essential guide for bloggers will show you how to optimize your blog posts for SEO and attract Google traffic.

Getting SEO right can change your site from a hobby blog to a full-time career.

A graphic that says SEO.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s essentially how you communicate what your website, post, or page is about to a search engine, like Google.

In order to optimize this communication, and increase the visibility of and traffic to your website, you need to present search engines the information they need to categorize your posts.

We’ll cover the best way to do that with keywords, links, 

Blog Growth from SEO

SEO is a great long-term strategy to grow your website traffic. SEO is free and as long as you put practices in place to create consistent, quality content that is optimized for search, you will get traffic from Google.

New bloggers and website owners often want to see immediate results from their SEO work, but it takes time (sometimes up to 6 months) for posts to rank higher. Keep at it and you’ll see results. 

A laptop in front of a larger computer screen.

10 SEO Tips for Optimizing Blog Posts

  1. Keywords Present in Post Title – Rule number one for SEO is you need to choose keywords to rank for and have those exact keywords in the title of your post. If possible, they should be the first few words of the title. 
  2. Keywords in the First Sentence – It’s essential to have the keywords you want to rank for in the first sentence. Lead with them if at all possible.
  3. Keyword + Keyword Variations in Alt Titles and Image Descriptions – Don’t forget to optimize your image descriptions! This helps you with Pinterest as well. 
  4. At Least Two Internal Links – Link to two relevant pages or posts on your site. 
  5. At Least One External Link – Link to one relevant external site. Don’t link to something with the exact keywords you are trying to rank for, but find something that is relevant and serves your readers. 
  6. Link ‘On The Keyword’ – When you’re adding links, the anchor text should be relevant as well, don’t just say “click here for the link”, have the link on the actual keywords. 
  7. Answer FAQs in Post – FAQs are a great way to improve your rank as Google and other search engines want to answer people’s questions. Here’s how to use FAQs to improve your SEO.
  8. Use a Numbered or Bulleted List – Like the list you are reading now, numbered or bulleted lists are easy for search engines to understand, and readers like them too!
  9. Link to New Post in Older/Relevant Content – Remember to go back through your old content and update it with links to your newer posts. 
  10. All Sponsored and Affiliate Links ‘nofollow’ – To keep yourself compliant with affiliate programs and Google, all sponsored and affiliate links need to be marked nofollow. 

Best Plugins & Tools for Improving Your Blog’s SEO

  • Yoast – This is a plugin I consider essential for WordPress. Use it to optimize each article you write. 
  • Rank Math – Another powerful SEO plugin, similar to Yoast. I know many bloggers who prefer this to Yoast.
  • Ubbersuggest – Neil Patel’s inexpensive keyword research tool. Great for newer bloggers.
  • Ahrefs – Considered the gold standard of keyword research tools (it’s pricy, but there’s a free trial you can sign up for!)
  • Semrush – Similar to Ahrefs, this keyword research tool is very powerful and also expensive.

Suggested Reading

If you’re getting into this whole SEO thing, might I suggest you geek out further and check out these articles: