10 Blog SEO Tips for Ranking Your Blog Content

Blog SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is more important than ever when it comes to getting your blog posts noticed on search engines like Google.

Today, that makes SEO for bloggers one of the primary concerns worth dedicating a lot of time & effort to learning and implementing during your content creation process.

As we approach 2020, a whopping 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, and for 92.04% of those users, Google is their search engine of choice.

For many content creators, blog SEO sounds incredibly complex. It’s easy to think no list of blog SEO strategies could ever make a meaningful difference. Others make Google out to be a grim reaper that hand-picks which blogs to let live, and which ones to deprive of precious organic search traffic.

Six years ago when I first started learning how to start a blog, I felt like that too—completely overwhelmed and not sure which blog SEO strategies would actually work, versus which ones would only waste my precious time.

But in growing my blog to millions of yearly readers, I’ve learned that Google isn’t out to get you.

The search engine giant actually needs you. They crave fresh, high-quality content that gives their users the best possible answers to the questions they’re asking.

And that’s what blog SEO is all about. It’s relating your blog content to the solutions people are looking for—and giving search engines the chance to recognize your relevant, quality content.

So, what if that’s exactly what you’re doing… but your blog still isn’t getting traffic?

Employe these 10 blog SEO strategies, and it will.

These are the exact strategies, principles and tips I’ve used to grow this blog from zero to 584,958 readers a month, and I’m going to show you blog SEO isn’t some mysterious, indomitable beast.

10 Blog SEO Strategies to Get 584,958+ Readers/Mo (SEO for Bloggers)

  1. Nail your keyword research
  2. Focus on user intent (not search engines)
  3. Take your time writing blog SEO-friendly headlines
  4. Use the right heading tags
  5. Optimize your page URL
  6. Be strategic with your links
  7. Craft an enticing meta description
  8. Optimize your images
  9. Ensure mobile friendliness and reduce page loading times
  10. Promote your content

Let’s get started with what you should be doing before, during, and after you create a post.

1. Nail your keyword research

SEO Blog Strategies on How to Do Keyword Research and Optimize Your Blog Content

The most fundamental element of all SEO strategies starts with finding great keywords.

If you use too many of them, at best, your content sounds like it was written by R2-D2. At worst, Google thinks you’re keyword stuffing and penalizes your site’s ranking. Not good.

New blogs also have lower domain authority and don’t carry the same weight as older, more reputable websites. As a result, ranking for more competitive keywords can be challenging.

If you’re a new blogger, the best type of keywords to try and rank for are:

  • Low difficulty
  • High volume
  • High click-through rate

The goal is to find three to five head keywords (one-to-three word phrases) and one to two long-tail keywords (whole phrases people are searching for). Long-tail keywords have lower traffic and competition but are equally valuable.

And how do you find them?

Twinword Ideas and Keywords Everywhere are two (currently) free tools you can use. Type in a head keyword phrase you want to rank for. Then, see what the search volume is and how competitive it’ll be to rank for that term. Best of all, these tools will give you additional keyword ideas.

Blogger SEO Techniques and Tools to Do Keyword Research Twinword

Because Keywords Everywhere is a browser plugin, it has the advantage of giving you related keywords and sentences people are searching for right from Google’s search engine results page (SERP).

If you’re looking to really level-up your keyword game, Ahrefs and SEMrush will take your SEO game out of this world. These are two ultra-popular SEO analysis tools, and you’ll be in good hands with either one.

The most significant difference between the two is while both are excellent keyword researchers, Ahrefs has the edge if you’re looking to analyze what backlinks your competitors have. This will come in come in handy when finding where your competitors are getting mentioned, so you can do the same!

2. Focus on user intent (not search engines)

Gone are the days when mentioning your keyword as many times as humanly possible is what got you ranked.

Google’s algorithms have wisened up, and today, it’s all about quality content and addressing user intent—what people are looking to find when they type a word or phrase into a search engine bar.

Thankfully, we don’t need Spock’s mind-melding abilities to discover what people might really be looking for when they search for something. Google has already figured it out.

Type your keyword into the search box and look at the “People also ask” and “Searches related to” sections. Clicking on a website and then pressing your browser’s back button sometimes also reveals a “People also search for” box beneath the clicked site. These are all questions and problems people are asking, and you can address in your post.

While you’re on the SERP, take time to look at how your competitors answered the user’s intent.

Aim to address the reader’s challenges better and make your post an even more useful guide for them.

Consider:

  • How long is your competitor’s post? Yours should be at least the same length.
  • What resources can you add? Think videos, helpful websites, downloadable templates.
  • What concepts can you explain better or expand on?
  • If you were the reader, what would make the post more useful to you?

Writing a 10,000-word rambling blog post just because you think that’s what you should do won’t improve your SEO. But creating a targeted article that is a one-stop guide for the exact answers your audience needs, definitely will.

Answer reader’s questions right, and you might even get a coveted spot as position #0 on Google’s featured snippet section.

Here are two of my featured snippets to give you an idea of how they appear and what Google likes to see.

First up, is my guide to starting a freelance business:

Blog SEO Strategies for Bloggers to Get More Search Traffic in 2019 Snippet

And next, we’ve got my ultimate list of side business ideas:

Blog SEO Example of Featured Snippet Ranking in Search Results ryrob

You’ll notice that while featured snippets answer the user’s question right away, more often than not, it’s too small to provide a complete answer directly within the box.

So, people click on your link to get the full story, and your article can get a major boost from this placement—making it a major blog SEO win.

3. Take your time writing blog SEO-friendly headlines

You can write the best blog post ever to grace the Internet, but if you can’t get your audience to click on your headline and read the article, then it doesn’t exist.

You also need people to click on your post because the more reads, shares, and likes it has, the more Google sees it’s what people want when they search for your keyword. Google rewards high click-through rates with better search rankings.

When it comes to crafting your headlines, first and foremost, they need to tell the reader how they’ll benefit from your blog post.

And then you need to deliver on that promise.

For example, this post promises these SEO tips for blogs can get you hundreds of thousands of readers per month if diligently followed. And it can because it’s how I got my 584,958 readers per month.

But, if your title makes over-exaggerated claims and doesn’t live up to it with your content, it’s clickbait.

Avoid at all costs.

When you fail to keep your promise to the reader, it breaks the reader’s trust and hurts you more than it helps. Clickbait titles also cause higher bounce rates, which leads to lower site rankings for you.

The second step is to make your title irresistible to click on. The best titles are a mixture of proven formulas and a balance of common, uncommon, emotional, and power words.

Thankfully, the kind people at Co-Schedule created a headline-analyzing machine that factors all of this for you, tells you how likely your title is to get shares, and breaks down your score result.

Here’s how my own SEO headline for my ultimate guide to start a blog scores:

SEO for Bloggers How to Write a Good Headline for Your Article Tester

Scores above 70 are considered good and are great titles for social media sharing. Anything in the 80s is excellent and definitely winning headline when it comes to blog SEO.

From an SEO standpoint, your main keyword needs to be in your headline.

Titles get cut off in SERPs after 60 characters. There’s not really a compelling reason to have a title longer than that many characters, but if you do go over the limit—just be sure your target keyword is at the front of your title.

Yoast is an extremely popular (free) WordPress plugin that’ll help with SEO for bloggers who want to make sure your title and the content of your articles check all the right fundamental SEO boxes.

Blog SEO WordPress Plugin Yoast for Getting Your Content Optimized

If understandably, you’re having trouble writing a catchy title that tells the reader the benefit AND is SEO-friendly, you can also create a separate SEO title to show up in search results using Yoast.

Click “edit snippet” on the Yoast section of the WP editor, then delete the automatic title tags there and write in your own SEO-friendly title that’ll do better in search results.

image1

While your SEO title should still be compelling, you can play around with the structure.

For example, here’s my SEO title from a Google featured snippet:

image6

And here is the title you’ll see when you click the post:

image8

I use a different SEO title because my research suggests that in search results, it’s better to connect starting a blog with making money from blogging relatively early on in the headline—to clearly show what benefits readers will get from clicking my link.

4. Use the right heading tags

Heading tags (H-tags) are formatting options you can apply to the content of your post.

Rather than changing font sizes to emphasize headings, you should select your heading sizes from the menu.

Here’s how to select your heading formats in both the WordPress content editor and in Google Docs:

Blog SEO Strategies and Tips How to Select Heading Format in WordPress

Correct headings are incredibly important for SEO.

Google scans them to discover the main point of your content.

Here’s how to properly use them, in order of importance, for search engine optimization.

Heading 1: Can only be used once and is usually reserved for your title. Include your primary keyword here.

Heading 2: These are the big ideas of your post. They are also crucial for SEO and are great places to work in both your head and long-tail keywords. Take a look at mine, and you’ll see I did exactly that.

Heading 3: These are the subtopics or smaller ideas that fall under your H2. For this article, it’s each of our 10 SEO tips for bloggers. You can add keywords here too.

Heading 4-6: Used to help with formatting and styling of your page. These have the least amount of SEO value.

It’s also incredibly important to include your main target keyword in the first 100 words of your introduction.

Your target keyword phrase and its variations should be sprinkled throughout the body of your article in a natural, conversational manner. As mentioned before, keyword stuffing just to get a few more mentions in, is something to avoid.

The free Yoast plugin is also a great help here to make sure you’re hitting all the marks.

5. Optimize your page URL

The URL of your blog post is crawled by search engines and is an important way for them to figure out what your article is about. It’s an invaluable opportunity to include your target keyword phrase.

For example, in one of my most popular guides, 12 Ways How to Make Money Blogging and Earn $232,762 (on the Side) in 2019, I wanted to rank for the long-tail keyword, “how to make money blogging.”

To better optimize the article for blog SEO friendliness during the writing process, I made sure to incorporate the main keyword phrase in my URL slug.

image5

I took out unnecessary words like “how” and “to” from my keyword.

You only need just enough words so that the reader knows what the link is about.

A few other blog SEO tips on selecting a smart URL are to only use lowercase letters to avoid duplicate content and keep the slug to less than 50 to 60 characters. The shorter your URL is, the better.

Yoast can check how SEO-friendly your URL is and make suggestions as well.

6. Be strategic with your links.

It’s a given that search engine website crawlers go through your text and look for keywords.

But, did you know they pay special attention to linked keywords? To them, linked keywords have more weight than non-linked words and phrases.

There are three types of links to use within your overall blog SEO strategy:

  • Anchor Links: Links to other areas of the same post (like my hyperlinked menu near the top).

For longer posts, like this one, it can look like a table of contents. It’s an excellent opportunity to link to your main keywords early on.

  • Internal Links: Links to relevant content on your site.

This not only helps readers discover helpful content, but it also connects your individual content pieces to each other in a related web that search engines can read, map out and assign authority to your content.

  • External Links: Links to content on someone else’s website.

Linking keywords to strong pieces of content—think first page of SERPs or sites with high domain authority—boosts your site’s credibility through association.

While anchor links aren’t a must-have, you should always have a balance of relevant internal and external links.

Two to four internal and external links each, per 600 words, is a good rule of thumb.

7. Craft an enticing meta description

Meta descriptions are the text that appears after your headline in SERPs.

Google highlights the words in meta descriptions that are the same as what you were searching for. This helps the reader connect what they were searching with what you have on your site.

image3

Yet another reason Yoast is terrific is it gives you a chance to craft your own meta description for your blog post instead of Google selecting a snippet for you.

You’ll see the option appear after clicking, “edit snippet” in the Yoast section of the WP content editor.

image7

What’s the recipe for an enticing meta description?

  • 50-160 characters: This holds the reader’s attention and doesn’t get cut off in search results.
  • Benefit for the reader is clear: The reader knows why they should click on you instead of the link below you.
  • One to two keywords is included: This is so the keyword gets bolded to match the user’s search terms and to clarify what your article is about. Remember, your keywords must still be used naturally.

Repeatedly do this well, and your blog SEO will benefit greatly from putting in the work up front.

8. Optimize your images

Many people forget that optimizing your images also gives you another big blog SEO boost.

Because search engines can’t “see” a picture the way you and I do, they look at the image file’s description—both the title and image alt text—to understand and categorize your images.

SEO for Bloggers Example of Image Alt Text and Title Tags

For more SEO power, rename file names of pictures uploaded to WordPress to something that’s short, includes an important keyword and is still descriptive.

This is especially important for your feature image because it’s often the one that gets pinned, shared and indexed into image search results.

For instance, you can name an image “before-after-blog-seo.jpg” when “blog SEO” is your target keyword phrase, and the picture could be a graph showing your blog traffic before and after it was optimized.

If you’re using a proprietary image you created, be sure to use your keywords in your alt text and keep your description to under 100 characters. You don’t need to do this with pictures you find on the Internet because they already rank for someone else’s keyword.

Before you get all keyword happy with writing your image alt text though, keep in mind that its purpose is to essentially describe the image to someone who’s blind—not to be a place for keyword stuffing.

Here’s what to look for in WordPress after uploading your images, to write titles and alt tags:

image9

After the title and alt text, the second thing to do for every photo is use tools like ImageOptim or Pichi to get the dimensions down to less than 1,000px and reduce your file size.

Reduce the file size as much as you can without compromising on image quality and ending up with a blurry photo.

Why does your image file size make a difference for your blog SEO?

Proper scaling and file size is critical to keeping your page loading times low; because if people have to wait more than three seconds for your page to show up, they’re going to go “Bye, Felicia” on you.

9. Ensure mobile friendliness and reduce page loading times

Have you ever been in a rush while grocery shopping and felt relief when there was an empty checkout lane…

And then remember how fast your joy was cut short when you realized you picked the one with the only cashier-in-training?

Oh, the agony.

That’s what waiting for your blog post to load feels like for your reader—and it’s even worse when your blog gets crawled by Google too.

People won’t stick around if you keep making them stare at blank pages, and the major search engines don’t like it either. Loading times and mobile responsiveness affect your blog SEO and user experience, so make sure to pay attention to it.

Tools like web.dev and Google’s PageSpeed Insights will let you know how your site is doing.

If your blog isn’t mobile friendly, then you’ll need to either hire a professional or choose to use a mobile-friendly theme (like OptimizePress), or install a specific WordPress plugin to help with that.

If your page load times needs work, you can start by:

  • Optimizing your images
  • Removing any non-essential plugins (WP sites only)
  • Changing hosting plans or providers

Your goal is to get your page to load lighting fast—ideally in less than two seconds (or faster).

10. Promote your content

When you’re new to blogging, you can feel like you have so much catching up to do with your blog’s content.

You just want to write, write, write… and write some more.

But if you’re looking for more traffic and to improve your domain authority…

You should be spending 20% of your time writing and the other 80% promoting your content.

Here’s how to promote your content in order to achieve maximum blog SEO results:

Writing guest posts: Getting published on someone else’s blog gives you a chance to get a link back (aka backlink) to your blog. When someone else vouches for your work, it shows Google you must be providing quality content and rewards you with better search rankings.

image12

Networking with other bloggers: Other bloggers can be your best friend when it comes to helping spread the word! Pitch them on hopping onto their podcast, accepting a Q&A style article from you or joining forces to do a joint YouTube video series together.

Sharing new content on social media: People aren’t going to be checking your site daily to see if there’s updated content. Make everyone’s life easier by sharing and promoting posts on social media. You never know, you might luck out and go viral.

Continuing to promote older posts: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. Take what you have, update it, improve it and re-share it with a few different titles to see what gets more social media attention.

Promoting content via your email list: Your newsletters and welcome-series emails are incredible opportunities to link to relevant content your readers don’t know about, missed, or forgot.

Pinning blog posts on Pinterest: Pinterest is an excellent supplement to Google, especially while you wait for more organic search engine traffic. You may find that Pinterest traffic isn’t as reliable as Google’s, but because Pinterest’s algorithm isn’t as sophisticated, it’s still a whole lot easier when first starting out to rank and drive tons of traffic to your site. Create and Go’s Pinterest Traffic Avalanche is an excellent course to look into for learning much more on this subject.

While each of these actions is important and contribute to getting the traffic you crave, don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking you have to do everything, every day or else you’re not going to get the blog SEO results you crave.

Pick two things to focus for the week (or even the month).

Work some of the other elements of your blog SEO strategy in when you have the time.

When it comes to blog SEO, you’re in it for the long-haul.

I wish I could say you can implement all ten of these blog SEO strategies today, and immediately see a virtual stampede of people rushing to your blog to devour every single word you’ve ever written.

The truth is you could be doing everything right with blog SEO and still not see much of a change in the very beginning. It’s probably not you.

It can take as long as six months (or even much more) to start seeing results.

But once you do… your blog growth can be more explosive than your wildest dreams.

And once you do get 584,958 readers per month—because if you hustle hard at perfecting your blog SEO and creating great content, you will. Just don’t get complacent. Keep learning, take the right blogging courses to advance your skills and improve your blog SEO strategy.

Regularly take a good, hard look at your blog SEO and content analytics every three to six months.

Dig deep to see what’s working, what’s not—and what can be improved.

Above all, keep your audience in mind—and ask yourself what you can do to make your content even better for them.


Ryan Robinson
Ryan Robinson

Full-time blogger, podcaster and side project aficionado. Join me here, on ryrob.com to learn how to start a blog, make money blogging and grow a profitable side business. I also write for publications like Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Business Insider and more. Let’s chat on Twitter about business and side projects.

    13 replies to "10 Blog SEO Strategies to Get 584,958+ Readers Each Month (SEO for Bloggers) in 2019"

    • Drewry

      I love all the strategies you mentioned here to prove blog SEO. I thought about using SEO software in the past but decided against it. I flirted with the Google AdWords keyword tool when I once worked at a university in the college of arts and sciences in 2015 to come up with keyword and search term variations. That worked really well. But I never thought of using software for myself to, with keyword variations. It does work but I never had time to really delve into it.

      I do use the Yoast SEO WordPress plug-in right now on the blog section of the website. And I must admit it’s helping me rank better in search engines and get better rankings overall. I’m inspired by improved SEO rankings today to create more evergreen content and taking time to answer peoples questions that I borrow from Quora.com and answer either on the website or through SEO optimized organic article marketing.

      I value the importance of creating longer pages and writing quality content for people to understand, enjoy, and share with others on social networks because not only is it considered “helpful content,” but it’s also “evergreen content” that helps me naturally improve SEO, earned natural backlinks to improve my search engine optimization years to come, and also seen as content that’s genuinely written to help people solve problems or release their inner creativity to start their own businesses-side hustles.

      Thanks so much again for thought-provoking post, Ryan. 🙂

    • James

      Ugh thank you. I learned in 40 minutes what I did not learn in a 3 months SEO course I took.

      • Ryan Robinson

        Wow, that’s an amazing complement. Thanks, James—and I’m glad you found my blog SEO guide useful 🙂

        Keep up the consistent work and you’ll see a return!

    • Soni

      Its really hard to find such amazing content nowadays, it feels realy good after reading your post.

      • Ryan Robinson

        Woo! Thanks so much, Soni 🙏

      • Drewry

        Soni,

        Ryan is among the elite and a respected leading authority in discussing the art and beauty of the side hustle. Anyone with a passion for business can use the internet to achieve great things with a blog. I highly recommend sharing Ryan’s blogs on your favorite social networks and check back often for his new posts. I stay extremely motivated by his blogs and inspiring writings about side hustling to financial freedom, and going from employee to full-time entrepreneur. The more you read Ryan’s blogs, the more you’ll believe in yourself and your entrepreneurial ability. And you can thank Ryan when you make it big online!

    • Antony Okuto

      Hi Ryan, thanks for the amazing piece. Top-notch content like this is rare to find online, l’m motivated how you invest your time in crafting your blog posts. To more years of dominating in the search engines🥂. P.S will retweet it on Twitter.🙂

      Best,
      Antony

      • Ryan Robinson

        Boom! Thanks so much, Antony 🙏

        Keep up the good work, yourself!

    • Megan Kulluk

      Awesome tips here. I am a new time blogger, only been doing it for a few months now, but I am trying to optimize my SEO game from day 1 so I don’t have to come back and do it later. Thank you for the tips and useful free tools

      • Ryan Robinson

        I love that, Megan! If I could go back in time and teach myself how to start with SEO best practices & what to focus on, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Glad to have you here 🙂

    • Julia Koning

      Great tips. I am working on my website and am surely going to use these tools.
      Thanks 🙂

      • Ryan Robinson

        Perfect timing! Always best to nail your SEO processes early on as you get your website off the ground.

        Good luck, Julia!

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