Blogging: An On-Page SEO Checklist

May 29, 2014 by

The structure of a blog, as well as the content, is key to making it work in SEO terms. Even the most engaging and well-written blogs can get lost in the vortex of the digital world without the essential SEO markers to ensure that they end up in the right place and reach their full potential. Below is a guide to the ideal SEO blog structure that you can use to hang any kind of content on so that it will stand out and work effectively as a digital marketing tool.

Your page title is key. While the content itself is the most important element on the page, the title comes in a close second. Fifty-five to 60 characters is the ideal length for a blog title, enough to be descriptive but not verbose. Make sure you choose a title that is relevant, eye-catching, and contains your target keywords.

Use the meta description. The meta description is a block of text that offers a great opportunity to sell the page contents and alert users that this is what they were looking for. It’s a description for humans, not robots, and should be worded to encourage someone reading it to click through to the rest of the blog.

Check the URL. This tactic is useful for both search engine and human users. Make sure the URL is relevant to the page and also correct (i.e., no spelling mistakes or inaccuracies). Keywords should also be included if appropriate and you should use hyphens, not underscores, between words.

Keywords in the content. You can make good content into great, highly effective content with the use of keywords. It’s important to make sure that they read like they are occurring organically in the text, otherwise the whole thing will feel clumsy. Choose blog topics that naturally incorporate these keywords and you’re more likely to become identifiable with the areas you want to online. Remember - write for humans, not robots.

Related Class: Introduction to SEO

High-level header tags. The H1 tag is a powerful tool, so don’t overuse it. Use one per page so you don’t confuse search engines (at the top preferably) and use it to describe exactly what your page is about.

Sub-heading tags. H2 to H6 can be used multiple times and are essentially sub-headers you can use to divide up the text part of the content. It’s useful to include keywords in your sub-headings and try to structure them so that they give insight into what the article is about – they should make a user skimming the content want to read it in detail.

The right images. Images must be used in the right format, such as JPEGs for higher quality images (save in Photoshop at less than 60 percent resolution to avoid slow page load times as a rule of the thumb), GIFs for those images with fewer colors, and PNG format for graphics. Remember to save the images with the right file name – one that describes what the image is about – and use hyphens between the words.

Descriptive alt tags. Use alt tags to communicate to search engines what the image is about, which will help with your SEO. Make it descriptive, as this is what will pop up if the image does not load.

Blog categories. Chronologically ordered blog archives give nothing to a user and don’t encourage browsing. Using blog categories instead helps the reader find what she is looking for more quickly.

Forge internal links. You can increase the effectiveness of your blog for your site as a whole by hyperlinking to other pages on your site that are relevant. Use keyword-rich, branded, and normal anchor text to do this.

Claim authorship. Claiming authorship of content and linking it to a Google+ account offers another degree of visibility and will make the effectiveness of that one piece of content stretch even further. In addition, author rank is predicted to become even more relevant as Google continues to understand the authority of each publisher.

For more information on what Google Authorship is and why it’s so important for your website, from a SEO and content marketing perspective, enroll in the Online Marketing Class, How To Implement Google Authorship for SEO Results.

This article has been edited - but originally appeared on Klood and has been republished with permission.

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