Content marketing is now the most important part of search engine optimisation and SEO for blogs, through the optimisation of posts is the most crucial component of achieving search engine rankings.
This has come about as a result of Google and other search engines algorithms being adjusted over the last few years to prioritise content. SEO for blogs used to involve having a lot of keywords, and applying them without distinction, and as much as possible through a post. However, through Google and Bing seeking to improve the user experience, algorithmic changes, the most substantial of which have been named Panda, Penguin and Fred, have meant that there are limited workarounds in terms of optimising SEO results, and content, more than any other time in Internet history, is king.

The usual approach to optimise a blog for SEO is aggressively producing more and more relevant content until rankings are achieved. Importantly, this is a strategy that works – but it is far from the most efficient way of getting results. In fact, unless you have access to an SEO copywriter, and editorial resource then there are two other approaches you should prioritise. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t produce your own content – in fact not doing so would damage your efforts – but if the goal to get higher rankings faster, then begin with these two approaches, and work your way back.

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1. Optimise Your Existing Blog Posts

While content only lasts a short time, the impact of SEO optimised blog posts is significant. Search engine algorithms are designed to pay attention not only to the types of content you post, but how much and over how long. The reason for this is obvious – Google doesn’t want to give anyone the opportunity to produce a blog with a huge amount of content in a short period and achieve instant rankings. However, if you have a series of posts that have been sitting on your website for a period of time, this is your opportunity to improve their contribution to your SEO rankings.

As a first step, it’s important to conduct a complete audit, and make sure you have an overarching strategy, including targeted keywords and topic clusters. From there, you can begin auditing each of your content pieces based on a few simple rules.
Begin with which keywords would be best assigned to particular blog pieces, and optimise the SEO for blogs from the header, to the body and finally the metadata.
The title – Make sure the target keyword is present in the title.
The body – for every 500 words, make sure the target keyword is mentioned – in context – between 3 to 4 times. Any more than that and search engines will become suspicious that you are trying to overload the post with keywords and will not allow you to rank as high as you could otherwise. Also, choose a different keyword for each blog. Don’t think that by using the same keyword over and over again that you will automatically achieve high rankings – this is the importance of topic clusters. Search engines see that your blogs are based on complementary subjects, understand what your topic cluster, and reward multiple posts accordingly.

Inbound Links – SEO for blogs is about more than just writing. Make sure you link together your topic clusters using inbound links and anchor text. Inbound links, are simply the connection between the post you are reading, and another post. It’s a hyperlink that you click on to move deeper into the subject. For example, if you click on this link that says backlinks, you will be taken to an article on the importance of backlinks in SEO. Also important is the anchor text – this is the actual text used in the link, and in the example we have just used, the anchor text is the word ‘backlinks.’ This is important because search engines use anchor text to understand what you are trying to rank for, and it’s used as another way to connect the dots regarding your topic structure.

Metadata – Manipulate your metadata using a plug-in like Yoast SEO. Make sure to use the keyword, preferably at the start. In saying that, there is no scientific evidence that metadata impacts directly on rankings, so make this your third priority.

2. Content Curation

The second SEO for blogs strategy is the curation and publication of existing content. This should involve a multipronged approach –

1. Connect to top tier content in your industry, and give full credit to the author. Include a small component of the text as an introductory piece, but be sure not to claim it as your own.
2. Reach out to bloggers and industry experts, and asked if they would like to contribute to your blog. This is especially viable if you already have a loyal readership, and can demonstrate that they would receive direct benefit as a result. Remember to tell them that you will include their bio, and a link to their site so that they can take full credit for their work, and then use that article as a demonstration of your networks, through promoting it – including their name – on Twitter. After the first few posts from bloggers, you can start using this model as a part of your sales pitch when attracting new potential guest posters.

Thanks to search engines improving their algorithms, and prioritising content, SEO has become much more straightforward, but much harder work. Quality copywriting that is spell checked, grammar checked and well written is now being proven to rank higher, and this will only continue as Google continues to make small yet important changes to the algorithms each day.

Through combining copywriting, editing and a basic understanding of websites, you can build a solid base for SEO rankings. However, it cannot be stressed enough that the most important component before any optimisation, is robust keyword research that takes into account your competitors, the marketplace, your local area and which keywords are going to be most profitable. Ranking for something that is irrelevant, or doesn’t serve to improve your business or make you money, is completely at odds with what you’re trying to achieve. Take the time to understand the types of searches your target audience will complete, ask your ideal clients how they use Google and come up with a list of solid keywords, longtail keywords and topic clusters to make sure your strategy is robust. In the end, SEO for blogs is like anything else in digital marketing – the goal should be to get the best return for the least effort, and to then assign the remainder of that effort to other parts of your business.

One final point – make sure the content you are producing is interesting, useful and adds value to those who are reading it. Solve business problems, or personal dilemmas through robust ideas and powerful concepts that are communicated simply, and are easily understood. When your audience clicks, they should be greeted with the best possible answer to the problem they have just asked the search engine, and a pathway to getting that problem solved, preferably by you.