Essential SEO for Blogs in Any Algorithm
Google seems to be rolling out algorithm updates one after another. Many speculate the death of SEO, while others remained confused. What helps? What hurts? SEO is certainly not dead. Core principles of SEO remain. Let’s review simple, essential things you can do to keep your blog posts optimized.
Keywords: You can’t Rank For Everything
If you are trying to rank for everything, you may not rank for anything. Give serious thought to your essential keywords for your service/niche/business/products. Choose 10 to 25 that are vital and put your efforts into those.
1. Headlines & Titles
Your headlines can often have as much search value as the page and/or article titles and/or article URL. Keep this in mind when creating titles and headlines. A title or headline that is also a phrase someone would use to search for that particular information will have more value. Keywords will definitely benefit titles and headlines, but having a search-worthy title is more beneficial. But if you can use a keyword – do!
When using keywords in titles, the best practice is to include the keyword at the beginning of the title or headline. This positioning carries more weight with search.
Keep titles and headlines short, less than 70 characters. Search results get truncated and longer titles will not be visible.
Including your keyword in URLs is also beneficial. However, don’t run words together.
3. Links & Anchor Text
While links are what is clicked to arrive at the destination URL; Anchor text is the active (clickable) text that is viewed on the page. You can use anything you wish for an anchor text display. For example the actual URL, or words such as “click here.” The best practice for SEO would be to include a keyword or keyword phrase in your anchor text if appropriate.
Tags are used to describe images or to apply a title to links. With images, it is called “Alt-Text.” It will display when the image doesn’t load. It will also display when one does a “mouseover” or “rollover” placing the cursor over the image. In the “old days,” it was common practice to stuff tags with keywords to help rank. This practice can hurt now. Tags do not help SEO. In html email, images often do not load, so tags are a good practice there. That said, if you don’t need a tag – don’t use it. Especially do not use tags as a means to include more keywords. Avoid the usage of similar or exact keywords repeatedly on the page. This can hurt, getting you penalized for duplicate content on the page. Tags should be aptly descriptive and nothing more.