Search engine optimisation (SEO) has been a buzz word for many years and chances are it’ll stay on business owners’ minds for a long time to come. But what influences a website’s ranking in search engines? Has is changed over the years? Are keywords and inbound links still relevant? And does blogging have anything to do with this? Do you need to optimise blog posts?
Let’s look at all of these questions in a little more detail.
What’s important in SEO now?
If I had written this article a few years ago, the answers would have been slightly different. But now, in 2017, the top factors to watch out for are relevant content and links, in this order. This is best illustrated through a quote by Google Search Quality Senior Strategist Andrey Lipattsev “It is content and it’s links pointing to your site.” [And this is still the case in 2018. Isi Dixon]
If your content is not relevant to your website’s general purpose though, the best links won’t help. But if your content is spot on, a good link strategy can make a big difference.
This has changed since the large major update when Google started to pay a lot more attention to content and user experience than just to links and keywords. Google now marks a website down if the links that are pointing to it don’t correspond to what’s coming up on the website. And keyword spamming (using keywords too many times) is also a factor that websites get downgraded by Google.
How does blogging help with SEO?
So, as you can see, blogging plays an important part in all this. Because through blogging you can provide relevant content to your website at a regular basis. And regular updates to your websites is yet another factor that can help you rise up in the rankings.
Google determines relevance through use of expected keywords for a subject. And it is still important where you place those keywords.
Where do you put keywords to optimise blog posts?
There are 5 positions your chosen keyword needs to appear in a blog post:
- The heading (ideally at the beginning of the headline)
- In the first paragraph (this makes it more obvious what the article is all about)
- Part of the slug (this is the section of your web address that comes after the forward slash, usually incorporating the title of the blog post)
- Within the meta description (this is the preview of your article that appears in search results and also gets used in social media previews)
- As alt text in your blog graphic (the bit of text that appears when your picture can’t load for some reason)
Depending on the length of your article, your keyword should appear a few more times throughout the main body text of your article. Make sure the sentences still sound natural and you haven’t shoe-horned the keywords into your writing. In an article of 500 words you can easily use your keyword 5 times but remember not to go overboard. You don’t want to be accused of keyword spamming.
It is also worth mentioning that your keyword can be anything from a word to a short phrase. Even though phrases can be harder to incorporate into your text, they are worth considering. People are more likely to find exactly what they’re looking for if your article matches the search phrase they have been using. And this increased relevance which is a good thing when it comes to SEO.
Over to you
Now that you know what to look out for when it comes to search engine optimisation, make sure you stick to the few rules outlined above. And to stay up-to-date, do a Google search on relevant search factors every few months. The big boys like to change the rules now and again.
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