When you optimize your blog articles, implementing SEO best practices is an important first step as part of blogging 101, meaning Search Engine Optimization, is a common term used in the finance field. The definition of SEO is exactly what it means. You want your content to be optimized so that search engines, such as Google, can rank your content so that it will be displayed as a result from queries by your prospects.
Why should companies care about SEO?
If you want your blog posts or website to be shown on the first page of Google when someone types in a keyword related to your business, SEO is a must. Without considering SEO, you largely miss out on the opportunity to be found in search engines by prospects and such prospects will most likely fall into the hands of your competitors.
SEO best practices could get relatively complex but what you will read here will provide you with simple actionable tips that can be applied right away to your current and upcoming blog articles as a starting point to SEO.
Here are the 7 blog optimization tips for SEO
1. Select 1 keyword that you would like to emphasize / optimize for SEO.
You want to select 1 keyword that you hope to be ranked on the first page of Google. To find the specific keyword that you want to rank, put yourself in your potential prospects’ shoes. If they were sitting right in front of the computer, what would they type in the Google search bar?
For example, let’s say your company provides real estate investment solutions in Toronto and your blog talks about selecting the right real estate project for monthly income generation. 1 keyword that you may consider would be “Earning monthly income with Real Estate”.
Note: it is better to focus on a longtail keyword. This means that your keyword is specific and targeted so that it is relevant to your prospects. Using a broad keyword such as “real estate” will be too general to make it relevant for your blog to show up in search engines mainly due to countless other companies who are trying to rank “real estate” as their keyword.
Assume that we select the keyword mentioned above –“earning monthly income with real estate”. You would now include it in several places in your blog elements, which will be explained in the upcoming sections.
2. Add your Keyword in the Titles
The title of your blog is the most important element where your keyword needs to be placed. If we refer back to the keyword example “Earning monthly income with Real Estate”, the title could be “3 reasons why earning monthly income with real estate is done best though land investments”.
3. Add your keyword to the headings
Headings are essentially the subtitles to the different sections of your blog. If you are not currently using headings, now is the time to start using them as they are not only helpful for SEO, but they also enhance the user experience by compartmentalizing your content and making it more digestible for the readers.
Continuing with the example, the title states “3 reasons why…”, so you should have at least 3 headings where each heading should have the focused keyword. Here are examples of 3 headings that you could use that include the keyword:
- They yield to higher returns for earning income with real estate compared to other alternatives
- Earning income with real estate land investment provides a sense of security through multiple investors.
- It is an exclusive way for earning income with real estate because it is uncommon but much more rewarding.
4. Adding Alt-Text to your images
Put simply, alt-text is the description of your image. Search engines cannot read images but the alt-text does help them know what it’s about and determine how relevant that image is to the content.
You do not need to put your keywords in the alt-text, however is important to describe the image and make a correlation to your blog content as much as possible. If you put a picture of tall buildings in Toronto, you can, for example, put in your alt-text “high-rises-in-toronto-real-estate”.
As you can see, your keyword has not been included in the alt-text but the image still clearly relates to your blog content. This will help you score higher on relevance for search engines.
5. Adding your keyword to the URL structures
URL structures tend to be neglected a lot –the reason being is that to us humans, a link is simply a link as long as it brings us to the right place when we click on it. In contrast, search engines actually place great importance on the URL structure of each page when deciding on the ranking of search results.
Because of this, you need to make sure that your URL contains your keyword. As you can see in the example above, the easiest way to do that is to use your blog title.
This is how an URL structure could look like when untreated:
This is how you want the URL structure to be for SEO:
6. Adding your keyword to the Page Titles
The page title is how you name the blog page. This is found at the top of your browser window which is also the title of the page that shows up in search engine results.
Page titles are also often neglected because we do not focus on this small detail so long as the blog page itself looks good. But remembering to take the time to optimize your page title with keywords will pay off in the long run with better ranking and visibility when a prospect starts typing into a search engine.
7. Adding a meta description to improve click through rate
Meta description does not directly affect SEO but it does help the click through rate, meaning that you have better chances of prospects clicking on your blog post from Google.
Meta descriptions are the small descriptions that are found under each search result. If you do not put a meta description under your page title, Google will automatically place the first 160 characters of your content. This is not ideal because what will be shown automatically will usually not convince prospects to click.
You put so much effort to rank higher in search engines that the last thing you would want is for prospects to read your meta description, have no idea whether it would be helpful for them or not, and simply move on to the next search result.
With a meta description, get straight to the point with a summary that will make them say “I want to know more!”
Now it's time to go and optimize your blog articles for SEO. Here is a point form summary of the things we discussed to help you to start ranking higher and gaining more interest from your potential prospects:
- Select Your Desired keyword
- Add Keyword to your Blog Title
- Add Keyword to your headings (sub-titles)
- Add Alt-Text to your images
- Add keyword in the URL structure
- Add Keyword to the page title
- Add Meta Description (for better click through rate)