I think that your post should focus on what matters to your audience, not search engines. That said, there is no harm in optimizing it for search engines to help it get discovered. In fact, SEO is a great way to get your blog discovered by relevant people without spending your budget.
In this post, I would like to give you some tips on writing blog posts that are both very readable as well as SEO-friendly.
Optimize your Post Title:Use Google Keywords Planner to learn what people are searching for online. If there are many people who are searching for the phrase that is included in your title, and the competition for that phrase is low - you have a better chance to rank higher and have many people click into your content.
Optimize your Post Description:Post Descriptions play a major role in search engine ranking, and description act as sales copy for your blog post. The Description has to be a short text which indicates the main topic of the page. If the meta description contains the search term people use, the exact text will be shown by Google underneath your URL in the search results.
Research long tail keywords:Find 1-2 long tail keywords and use them a few times inside your content, preferably in the title and the first 100-200 words. Don't force it! Only use the keywords if they naturally fit the test you're writing.
Use SEO Plugin:Use an SEO plugin, like Yoast for Wordpress, to optimize your content.
The most popular blog SEO tool for WordPress is the WordPress SEO by Yoast. Yoast has a wide variety of SEO tools for blog articles and website pages. The image shows one of the Yoast tabs for a recent blog article. The plugin analyzes the blog article for 18 different SEO factors and rates it while providing a “street light” style ranking of Red – Yellow – Green based on the articles ranking on each SEO factor.
Create Engaging Content:Make sure your content is engaging - the longer people will spend with your content and the lower your bounce rate will be, the higher search engines are likely to rank your page.
Use and Optimize images:Your blog posts shouldn't only contain text, you should also have images that help explain your content. But search engines don't just look for images. Rather, they look for images with alt text.
You can figure out an image's alt text by placing your cursor over an image. A small box will pop up that describes your image and, therefore, helps search engines interpret the meaning of the image. As you can see below, the alt text is "related-search." Think of alt text as an interpreter for search engines. Search engines cannot interpret what an image means without the text to explain it.
You can also use Infographics, videos, and slides which might give your reader excellent visual supplements.
Post Length:Post Length gives search engines ample text to crawl and plenty of keywords and context clues to help them understand what the article is about. For your written posts, 1,500 words should be the minimum.
Keyword Diversity:Use different text every time you post a link to your content. Google doesn't like duplicates, so make sure that on every forum or article you include a link to your content from, you will use the different text.
Link internally when possible:Internal links to your content help show search engines the validity or relevancy of your content. The same goes for linking internally to other pages on your website. For instance, if you've written about a topic that's mentioned in your blog post on another blog post, ebook, or web page, you should link to that page. That will not only help retain visitors on your web site, but also demonstrate the other relevant and authoritative pages to search engines.
- helps readers find what they’re looking for
- helps your audience get to know, like, and trust you
- helps search engines crawl every page on your site
- helps search engines create an accurate sitemap
To find more Internal Linking, you can read more about Internal links and It's importance in SEO?
Link to External Helpful Resources:Linking out to authoritative, trustworthy websites like Wikipedia, known thought leaders in the field, or any domain ending in .edu or .gov creates a better user experience and shows search engines you truly want to help searchers. They’ll reward you with higher rankings and more traffic.
Use Categories and Tags:One of the best things about blogs is how organized and interconnected they can be. Taking advantage of that with categories and tags helps both readers and search engines. A few rules of thumb to keep in mind:
- Use keywords for categories and tags where possible. This strengthens the keywords in each post and builds keyword-rich tag and category pages.
- You should have no more than 12 to 24 categories total.
- Each post should be in 3 categories or less.
- Tags should not be the same as categories because it confuses search engines.
- The sweet spot for tagging blog posts appears to be 5 to 10 tags per post, but you can have as many tags total as you want.