Are you a new blogger who is looking for ways on how to rank on the first page of Google in the future? In this post, I am going to show you how to make your blog SEO-friendly.
I ranked an article on the second page in two months. And I am confident that it will be pushed higher on the first page in the coming months with its target keyword.
I am a new blogger as well. That being said, this blog is new but I have a foundation of tech knowledge. I tested my learnings and it went well. I ranked an article on the second page of Google even if the website, domain, and post are new.
Ingredients of a post to rank in search engines
Search engines have become smarter over the years, especially Google. They have spent millions to improve the search engine usability and user experience. As a result, the search engine has become smarter.
But you don’t have to dwell on that and be discouraged. Even if you are new to blogging yet you keep on learning, you can turn your blog into a business in no time.
Hard work always pays off, whatever you do.Dustin Lynch
As a new blogger, you need to consider the following ingredients of a post that will bring thousands of page views to your blog in the future.
- Keyword and competition analysis
- On-page SEO
- Reader-friendly post
- Quality content
- SEO-friendly title
Step 1: Keyword And Competiton Analysis
Keyword research should be the first step that you will be doing before starting to write a blog post. Why? Because even if your content is great but you are not targeting what people are actually searching, your blog would not be found.
For example, you are a fitness blogger. We know that fitness in the online world is saturated. The niche has hundreds if not thousands of blogs, some of them have higher domain authorities. So before you start writing about your keto diet blog post, do keyword research.
Go to Ubersuggest and type in “keto diet”. As you can see from the image below, the specific keyword has a search volume of 1.8 million but the search difficulty (SD) is 67.
What do these numbers mean?
It means millions of people are typing “keto diet” in the search bar but hundreds or thousands of websites are competing on the keyword.
Notice on the right, these are the websites that are ranking on the first few spots. They are humungous authority sites. Do you have a chance of competing with these giants? Nope, your new blog will have zero chance.
Normally, you will have to click on the articles or pages listed on the right to see what the content is about and if you can outrank them. However, in this case, you don’t have to as it’s clear as day that the sites are highly authoritative and the competition is so steep.
So what you are going to do is to scroll through the suggested related keywords and find a phrase that has little competition that can be outranked.
Look for long-tail keywords that have low search difficulty score. For the main phrase “keto diet” there are many suggestions that have high search volumes with SD scores of 6-7.
You can filter the search difficulty by going to “Filters” and type a max SD in the field. In the image above, I put 7 as a max SD and it gave me lots of good key phrases.
From the list of these related keywords, you can now choose the one that is relevant to your topic in mind about the keto diet.
Click on the keyword of your choice and you will see the websites or articles that rank on the first page of Google.
Visit them individually and see the quality of their content. Look through the posts and see if the following are present:
- Is it a long-form content with juices of good information about the specific keyword?
- Did they cover all the information needed if someone searches for the keyword?
- Does the article have a good format that people will like to scan and read?
- Does the article contain the keyword or synonyms of the target keyword?
After taking the consideration above, you can now decide if the keyword is worth targeting. If you can write better content than these ranking articles, you have a higher chance of outranking them.
That leads us to our next two ingredients – on-page SEO and quality content.
Step 2: On-Page SEO
Optimizing your blog posts to be SEO-friendly is easier with the help of plugins. I am using Yoast personally so I would recommend it. Yoast takes your post from newbie to expert level when it comes to optimizing the content to become SEO-friendly.
When I first dipped into blogging, I knew SEO exists but I had no idea how to implement all these sorts of things. Yoast helped me optimize my blog to signal search engines that my post is worthy to be ranked.
SEO plugins like Yoast will guide you on how to format your post and what “elements” to include in order to reach the desired score. You will know that the plugin is satisfied with the scoring when it gives you a green light.
But SEO apps like Yoast only helps in guiding you to write an SEO-friendly blog post, it does not guarantee for your blog to rank on the first page of Google.
I am not going to do a step-by-step guide on how to use Yoast as the plugin is self-explanatory. Once you have it installed and activated, you will see it on the bottom of the posting page.
Yoast will tell you exactly what you need to do to make your blog post SEO-friendly.
Step 3: Reader-friendly post
Apart from SEO, the plugin has a nice “readability” functionality that also gives you a direction on how to write and format a great post that people will love to read.
Although “readability” does not directly affect SEO, it somehow signals Google that your post is worthy when people are spending time reading and shares the post somewhere else like social media.
A reader-friendly post has:
Subheadings – H2, H3, H4 and so on as long as they are relevant. Subheadings will break your post subtopics for easy digestion of information. It also makes the post scannable and eye-friendly.
Relevant images – screenshots, infographics, etc. These make your content more relatable and easy to understand. The images should also be optimized for search engines by putting “alt texts”.
Alt texts describe what the image is about because search engines cannot read images. You need to let them know what this image is about. If people can find your image in the search results, it will lead to the blog post once they click on the image link.
Blog post format needs to be paired with high-quality content for people to read. And that takes us to the next ingredient which is quality content.
Step 4: Quality Content
Some established bloggers have proven that quality content exceeds other search engine optimization tactics such as manual link building. And I totally agree with it.
Quality content does not only signal Google to consider your post to show on the first page, but it also draws in many long-tail keywords.
We talked about targeting the main keyword in writing a blog post. In addition, your awesome blog post that contains high-quality information can also attract long-tail keywords that are relevant to your target keyword.
Not only that, but high-quality content also gets shares and natural backlinks. When people find your post to be containing good information, they will, of course, share it. Shares signal Google to take a look into your post and boost it up on the first page.
Other websites or blogs will also link to your article or post as a reference if they find it valuable. That is how a natural backlink comes from and that is highly valuable. It tells search engines that your post is worth ranking.
How to come up with quality content?
- Your content should answer the query that a person enters in the search bar.
- The content should be formatted well for readers to stay and read your entire post.
- Add relevant useful information that the person will be glad that he clicked on your link rather than the others.
- Include reasoning and actionable tips that the reader can take action to solve their problem.
- Be genuine and help as much as you could. Readers stumble on your site to find “help”. They should leave gaining the “help” that they were looking for.
Use the related keywords suggested in Google search results to add relevant information.
Find questions that relate to your target keyword. You can make use of Answerthepublic.com to discover the questions that people are actually looking for answers to.
Step 5: SEO-friendly Blog Post Title
The title explains itself. To make your blog post title SEO-friendly, you only need to include the target keyword. Yes, that simple.
What’s not simple is to make it click-worthy. For your post to be irresistibly clicked, it needs to have its own ingredients as well.
- Figures Or Numbers
- Headline Analyzer
- SEO optimized
I have a separate post on how to write SEO catchy headlines that improve clicks. It will guide you on what to include in your titles and headlines to come up with a title that will get enormous clicks.
Writing an effective, click-worthy title is just a matter of a habit. Once you get the hang of it, you effortlessly incorporate it in every single title you make.
Your new blog will have a chance to shine earlier than most websites do if you optimize it for search engines. For that to happen, you need to make it a habit to do a keyword analysis and create high-quality content.
Don’t just write a post because you have an idea of what to write. Incorporate SEO to your posts and you will make a business out of your blog faster.