I’ve been blogging quite a bit about SEO lately, and in my own marketing have certainly shifted to place my focus on SEO over social media (at least for now). It’s all very well me chattering on about the importance and power of SEO, but it doesn’t really help you to actually do it. Today I’m fixing that with everything you need to know to become an SEO Hero.

And when I say everything, I mean everything. This is an exhaustive guide including a lot of great information, so if you prefer to download it as a free eBook and read through it at your leisure you can do so by clicking here.

Search engine optimisation is one of those topics a lot of bloggers and entrepreneurs find really tough.

They know they should be doing it, and may even have a good idea of how to do it, but when it comes to the practicalities of effectively optimising their blog for search they stumble.

SEO (the use of keywords and strategies to optimise your content so you gain maximum visibility and rank well on search engines like Google) is one aspect of effectively leveraging your blog and other content for business success.

It’s also reasonably complex, and that complexity is part of the reason effective content marketing is complicated.

Get it right, and your content becomes a powerhouse for your business that consistently draws your ideal clients to you.

Get it wrong, and you will find yourself feeling like blogging doesn’t work and is a MASSIVE waste of time.

Why You’re (Probably) Getting Your SEO Wrong

There are a few really big mistakes I see people making over and over:

  1. Relying on an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO and assuming that getting a green light from it means their blogs are going to perform well, and there’s nothing else they need to do in terms of SEO. A green light on Yoast SEO does not a well optimised blog post make!
  2. Effectively optimising their website copy and static pages for SEO but neglecting to do the same on a consistent basis (or at all) when blogging.
  3. Thinking that SEO for blog posts doesn’t require more than adding your keyword to the title and maybe a heading or two.
  4. Stuffing a keyword in as many times as humanly possible, and/or doing nothing else (this is a double whammy because not only is keyword stuffing hurting your search ranking, there are a lot of other things you should be doing!).

Considering how effective SEO can be at driving traffic to your website and building your business, it’s unsurprising so many people are giving it their best shot. The problem (generally) is a lack of understanding about exactly how SEO works and/or a dated mindset when it comes to optimising your content.

Keyword stuffing, for example, is how you would have effectively optimised posts for search when SEO was in its infancy. It genuinely used to work, and if you’re unaware it not longer works, it’s hardly your fault that you’re getting your SEO wrong.

So if the term ‘SEO’ gives you a nasty sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, the vague sense that you’re never going to be able to get it right, and the larger fear that the SEO gods are out to get you, hang in there, because this is the ultimate guide to SEO for blogging, providing an easy-to-follow process to ensure every single blog post you write makes you an SEO Hero…

Before You Start Check Your Blogging Strategy

There are two different types of blogging you will use in your business, depending on the method that is best for your business: SEO blogging or Content Marketing.

Broadly speaking there are three strategies employed by bloggers, one for each of SEO blogging and content marketing, and one that can be use either, both, or neither:

Hobby Blogging frequently takes whatever form you feel like, as there is no emphasis on earning profit from your blog, the SEO strategy you use is designed entirely to attract an audience.

You may pay very little attention to SEO, attracting that following through social media or other platforms instead. You may have no following at all (or any interest in one) and simply having a blog because you enjoy writing it. If you do use SEO it’s less likely you will regularly create content for the purpose of ranking for specific keywords, because you will usually blog about what you’re enjoying/doing, rather than specific things people are searching for.

You’re essentially free to use as much or as little SEO as you like, and a lot of hobby bloggers ignore it completely and simply write whatever they feel like. The audience of a hobby blog isn’t generally a business owner or prospective client, so ignoring SEO is often the best thing for them to do, as it lends itself to a much less formal writing style that their readers respond well to.

SEO Blogging does not refer to all blogging that includes SEO, but rather the very specific creation of content for the sole purpose of optimising your website for key search terms. With this strategy, ranking is the core objective of your blog, and while you may include opportunities to subscribe to your list, your blogging is geared towards getting people on your site, and immediately directing them to the products or services you’re trying to sell.

It’s most effective if you sell physical products, one-off services, or repeating services that don’t require the regular input of the client (such as a weekly cleaning service, where the client wants to find the right person, hire them, then never really think about it again).

SEO blogs are short, snappy, and simple to create, generally around 500 words, and require considerably less in terms of time or resources than content marketing. Speaking of which…

Content Marketing is geared towards building relationships between you and your clients on a long-term basis. Your content is still designed to attract your ideal clients to your website, but the goal is for them to subscribe to your email list, enter your nurture sequence, and become dedicated followers. Your content is created with much bigger objectives than simply ranking well, and so it is generally longer than SEO posts (ideally 2500 words per post).

All that being said, an effective content marketing strategy will be well balanced, meaning you will not only have long-form content but also have short-form SEO blog posts designed to do nothing but boost your ranking for a particular search term.

Before you start getting into the nitty gritty of effective SEO for your blog posts, take a minute to check that, firstly, the blogging strategy you’re using is aligned with your business goals and, secondly, that you know whether you should be focusing on creating short form SEO blog posts, or long-form content marketing posts.

If you need help figuring out which blogging strategy is best for your business, check out this post and download the free cheatsheet.

SEO Hero - The Ultimate Guide To Attracting Easy, Epic Blog Traffic - SEO For Blogging - Hazel Butler - The Write Copy Girl

How To Optimise Your Blog Posts For Search

SEO is one of many topics in the business sphere that you need to keep abreast of due to the rapidly changing nature of digital marketing. As I mentioned, there was a time keyword stuffing was really all you needed to do. But the search engine gods of Google and other sites are constantly changing their algorithms, which means the specifics of what you need to be doing to effectively optimise your blog content regularly changes.

There has been a major shift in recent years which has seen an increase in complexity, and a greater focus on multimedia content (particularly video). Around that, there are also smaller updates that regularly make things change a little, but don’t require huge shifts (for example, the character limit for metadata descriptions recently increased to 300 characters).

So it’s important to remember that SEO is an ongoing process, and wrapping your head around what you need to do today, doesn’t mean you won’t have to learn a different method six months or a year from now.

I will keep checking back in with this guide whenever there are updates and add extra tips and advice, so it’s a good idea to bookmark the page for future reference.

Staying current in your SEO understanding is as important as actively optimising your content for search.

Deep Breath, It Really Isn’t That Complicated…

If this is all sounding like a lot to deal with don’t worry. The more you ‘do’ SEO the more natural and habitual it becomes. If you’re blogging regularly (and for any blogging strategy to work as well as it can, you really need to be blogging weekly, if not more), this will soon become second nature to you and you won’t need to think about it too much at all.

But before that happens, you need to understand what you’re doing, so the habits you form are as effective as possible!

The biggest and most important piece of SEO advice I will give you is that you should never, ever put SEO ahead of writing quality, or client value.

By that, I mean you should always write a post that is as relevant and valuable as possible for your tribe, even if it’s not something you particularly want to write about because you’re creating it for SEO purposes. And, whatever you’re writing, you should always aim for high-quality and great readability over absolutely everything else.

The Heart Of SEO For Blogging: Keywords

At a really basic level, SEO is really about telling the search engine gods what your content is about. They need to know, so they can show it to the people most likely to be searching for answers to specific questions, or information on a particular subject.

To tell the gods what you’re writing about, you will be using keywords.

The odds are you’re already at least vaguely familiar with the term keywords, but before you run off and start stuffing your post with the same word or phrase as many times as you can, I just want to reiterate a point I made earlier:

The days of keyword stuffing are well and truly dead.

Like the proverbial dodo, stuffing your keywords in as often as possible no longer flies. (Fun fact: the dodo could fly at one point but it existed on a safe little island undisturbed for so long, it lost the need, and eventually became extinct.)

If you’re stuffing keywords into your posts, Google will actively penalise you for it.

Search engines prioritise user experience over everything else, and keyword stuffing sacrifices the quality of your writing.

You end up writing repetitive, tedious posts that have an unnatural flow and are really clunky.

Remember what I said about never sacrificing quality for SEO?

This is why.

Not only is it heresy in terms of your reputation as a writer and creator, it will work against you when it comes to your SEO.

Instead of stuffing in your keywords you should be using modern methods like long-tail keywords and latent semantic indexing (LSI), both of which I’ll get to in a moment.

Before we deal with that, it’s really important you know exactly how to find the perfect keywords for both your ideal client and your business goals.

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Researching Your Keywords

There are plenty of easy and free ways to do keyword research, so don’t ever  feel pressured to use the paid services out there to help you with it or do it for you. If you do decide to go for a paid option, I recommend Moz, starting with their Keyword Explorer. They have a free option as well as some premium packages which are absolutely great, but really quite pricey.

If you’re wondering, I don’t use any paid services at the moment, and I do this for a living, both for myself and my clients.

Set aside a good chunk of time for researching the best keywords for your niche, and remember to come back to it reasonably regularly to get updated search terms and new ideas.

Here are a few quick and useful definitions that you’ll need to know so you can understand what the keyword tools tell you:

  • High Competition – keywords that will be difficult to rank highly for in search results because there is a lot of competition from other content.
  • Low Competition – keywords that will be easier to rank well for as there is less competition from other businesses.
  • High Volume – keywords that have a lot of people searching for them.
  • Low Volume – keywords that have few people searching for them.

The trick here is almost always to select keywords that offer one high and one low – high competition but low search volume, or low competition and high search volume.

It can be a little confusing at first but once you get the hang of it it’s really very simple. Compile a master list of terms relating to your niche and the topics your ideal clients are searching for.

The most important thing to remember is that it’s all about what your ideal clients are genuinely searching for, not what you think they’re searching for or want to write about. You can absolute take the keywords you find and put a spin on them so you end up writing about something you want to talk about, but at this stage it’s about figuring out how to get you found. If your ideal clients are searching for it, optimising content for it will help them find you, and once they have found you then you will have all the time in the world to show them the content you prefer to write.

As with most areas of blogging and content marketing, it’s all about balance. Just as it’s important to balance the different types of posts you write, it’s equally important to balance the types of keywords you optimise those posts for. There are two major types you will want to focus on: head terms and long tail keywords.

What Are Head Terms?

Head Terms are short phrases or single words, and probably what you immediately think of when you hear the term ‘keyword’. They tend to cover the major things you do in your business, mine for example are ‘copywriting’, ‘content marketing’, ‘blogging’, ‘vlogging’, and ‘corporate storytelling’. They might also refer more broadly to your industry or role, like ‘copywriter’, ‘content marketer’ or ‘freelance blogger’.

What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are, as the name suggests, longer than head terms – often quite a lot longer. They include complex phrases of at least three of four words, and con be considerably longer. The benefit of long tail keywords is that they’re super-specific, far more so than a head term could ever be. For example, one of my head terms is ‘blogging’, and this post is optimised for ‘SEO for blogging’ making it specific to people searching for tips on optimising blog posts, rather than anyone and everyone interested in blogging generally.

Other long tail keywords that would have made this even more specific would be ‘how to use SEO for blogging’, ‘SEO for marketing blogs’, or ‘easy SEO tips for blogging’.

As you can see, some of these can be so complex that they make the perfect headlines without adding much else to them (if anything at all).

By using long tail keywords you’re specifically targeting people based on their intent.

A post optimised for only ‘SEO Hero’ will attract people interested in all forms of SEO, which is why the main keyword for this post specifically mentions ‘blogging’, to target bloggers who are trying to improve their SEO.

That’s my target audience.

When you choose your long tail keywords, put yourself in the mind and position of your ideal client and consider their pain points, the problems they have, and what they might be asking Siri in order to find answers. 

What are they really going to be searching for to help them with their issues?

That’s what you need to be optimising for, and that’s how you create content that brings your audience true value.

The more specific you are with your keywords the more effectively your content will attract and convert your ideal clients.

For every blog you write, pick one or two keywords. You will often want to make both long tail keywords, but there are times when one or even both will benefit from being head terms.

SEO posts, for example, often work particularly well if you optimise them for a specific SEO term and one of your core head terms.

The Power Of Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

One of the more modern developments to come from the evolution of the search engine gods’ algorithms is ‘latent semantic indexing’ or LSI, which is a really scary and complicated sounding term that you would expect to refer to something really technical.

In actual fact, it’s super-simple and really easy to do, and works because search engines have become capable of recognising related terms, words and phrases.

LSI uses the relationships between keywords and phrases in your content to decide what that content is about.

So while your keyword might be ‘SEO for blogging’ the search engine gods have grown smart enough to realise that terms like ‘blog post SEO’, ‘optimise your blog for search’, and ‘best SEO blogging practices’ are all related.

They also understand that terms might change very slightly but still mean the same thing. For example, you may use the passive term ‘blog’ and the active term ‘blogging’ or the singular ‘blog’ and plural ‘blogs’, but such minor changes won’t prevent the algorithms from recognising the overall theme of the post.

This is really useful because it means you can always use the best word or phrase for the context of your sentence, rather than being forced to shoehorn in one very specific keyword repeatedly.

LSI is actually a mathematical technique which can recognise patterns in your prose and analyses your text to see what’s going on in terms of terminology, word usage, and key concepts across the whole piece.

The best part is that the more you use LSI the higher the quality of your writing can be because you’re not having to limit yourself to the same keyword over and over again. This is great for your readers, great for your writer’s soul, and great for you SEO!

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Adding Keywords To Essential Areas Of Your Blog Posts

As we’ve seen SEO is no longer a numbers game dependent upon stuffing your keyword in as much as possible. Instead, it relies on strategically placing it in several essential places. If you’re not sure where you’re supposed to include keywords in your blog posts there are five key areas:

  1. Your Title
  2. Your Headers And Body Text
  3. Your URL
  4. Your Post Metadata
  5. Your Image Metadata

Your Title

The first place both a search engine and your reader will look for a clue regarding the topic of your blog post is your headline, or title. Ideally you want to include your keyword right at the start of the headline, but if you can’t, include it as early as possible.

You’ll notice ‘SEO Hero’ (one of my keywords for this post) is right at the start of the title.

Google will cut off your headline after 65 characters, so in order for your keyword to appear on the search engine results pages (affectionately known as SERPs), you need to place it in those crucial first characters.

Sometimes you have to add some really awkward keywords to your headlines, and craft blog posts around topics you don’t particularly want to write about for the benefit of your SEO. At other times you will have a topic you love, and may even have written an awesome headline for it, but you’ve completely forgotten to include your keyword in it, or you’re optimising your post for a specific keyword that isn’t really relevant to your post’s title .

There are exceptions to the ‘always include your keyword in your title’ rule. For example:

  1. You have a long tail keyword that is great for your SEO and easily included throughout your post, but it makes for a bad headline. This usually happens if the benefit your post delivers isn’t directly related to your keyword, and because your keyword is long, it can’t be easily added to a title that genuinely reflects what the post is about. In these instances, shoehorning your keyword into the title results in a clickbait headline – a title that is optimised for SEO, attracts people and compels them to click, only to disappoint them by failing to deliver what was promised by the title.
  2. It is utterly impossible to include the keyword in your headline and still write a strong, powerful, compelling headline. While there are a lot of ways to get around the seemingly crap headlines necessitated by SEO posts, sometimes you have a choice: write a good headline, or write a headline that includes you keyword. Always go for quality first! As long as your keyword is included in all the other vital areas listed here, it’s not the end of the world if it isn’t in your headline!
  3. You’re optimising your post for multiple keywords. For example, this blog post is optimised for both ‘SEO for blogging’ and ‘SEO hero’. Using both keywords in the headline would be clunky, and ‘SEO Hero’ makes for a much more clickable headline. So the headline is written for this keyword, but if you notice the URL you will see it’s ‘seo-for-blogging’. Aside from the title and URL, which include one each, all the other areas on this list contain both.

Headings And Body Text

The body text of your blog posts is the perfect place for making the most of LSI, but it’s a good idea to include your keyword itself a few times, provided you can do so naturally.

Breaking your text up into chunks using headings and subheading as well as images and other graphics is also a great idea. It will improve the readability of your piece, pleasing the search engine gods, and affords you plenty of opportunities to sneak in your specific keyword without your readers really noticing.

Headers are the first way to do this, so try to include your specific keyword in one heading. Use LSI to include related terms and words in your other headings.

Whatever you do, resist the urge to tag it onto every single heading in your post, it won’t do you any favours!

The other aspect to consider when it comes to the body of your text is its length. I briefly mentioned earlier that this depends on your SEO strategy.

Short posts of 500-750 words work very well for an SEO strategy, but for a content marketing strategy you should be aiming for 2-3000 words per post on a regular basis, with the possible addition of extra posts in your schedule that are under 1000 words and use SEO as their core strategy.

If the topic warrants it, writing much longer post (like this one, which clocks in at almost 6500 words!) is a great way to add variety and balance, and an even bigger boost.

If you’re resisting writing longer content just remember this: your competition are already doing it, which will give them an insurmountable edge if you don’t do it too.

The huge caveat here is that quality must still trump SEO.

So while long-form posts perform better for SEO they must still be incredibly high-quality and contain rich content – information that is presented as concisely and effective as possible, and is as valuable and pleasing to read as you can make it.

Don’t simply string out a 500 word post into 2500 words with a lot of unnecessary padding!

If you genuinely can’t find more than 500 good words to say on a subject, don’t try!

Your URL

The URLs on you posts (as well as your static pages) are another big clue for search engines as to what your post is about. Adding your keyword to your URL is probably the simplest way to optimise your post.

Short URLs will work best, so instead of leaving the default URL that appears when you create a new post (which is either the title you’ve entered without ‘stop words’ like ‘the’ or ‘a’, or a series of numbers if you’ve yet to enter a title when it’s generated), replace it with your keyword.

JUST your keyword.

If you have a long tail keyword use the whole thing. If you’re using a head term consider making the URL more than one keyword (if you’re using multiple terms for the post), or a part of your title that includes the short keyword.

For example, this post’s URL is simply ‘seo-for-blogging’.

If you have old posts that were created before you knew to do this, go through and update their URLs so they include your keywords. You can overhaul the whole of all your old posts using these tips, but changing the URL is the fastest way to give old posts a quick boost.

Just be careful to create 301 redirects for any URLs you change, so people clicking on links that still lead to the old URL will be automatically redirected to the new one.

Dead links do not please the SEO gods, or your readers!

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Your Post Metadata

Metadata is the one area that a lot of people forget about, don’t see the point of filling in, or simply can’t be bothered with.

I get it!

It can feel like a lot of effort, and if you leave it blank it automatically populates from your title and content, so it can also feel a little pointless.

It’s really not!

Strong metadata on every post and page of your website is absolutely vital for your SEO.

Check that the SEO title that appears in your metadata isn’t too long – it will automatically use the post title plus your website name. If you’ve created a great headline it will be the perfect length, which often means tacking the name of your website on the end makes it too long. If you’ve also written a longer title you may need to tweak the SEO version so it fits. The SEO title is what will appear on SERPs, so whatever the actual title of your post is, you can tweak what people see when they’re looking at it on results pages..

Once that’s done, write a brief description of what is included in your post and add it to the meta description. This should include your keyword(s), as well as really highlight the value and benefits of the post. If you’re including a freebie with it like a content upgrade, mention it in the meta description.

In addition to appearing on SERPs the metadata will also show on any link previews when you share you post on social media etc. Don’t beat around the bush, get right to the point and make it very clear what the post is about.

You may find the search engine gods ignore the description you’ve set and use your first paragraph of a chunk of your content. Don’t worry about this, it’s still important to set it!

Your Image Metadata

Any images you’ve used in your blog post also have metadata and they are an amazing chance to extend your SEO and really bolster the inclusion of your keywords in your post without it being visible to your readers.

Your audience will only see the image, but the image itself has a few vital aspects that can be very easily optimised:

  1. The file name you give your image
  2. The title on the image metadata
  3. The alt-text on the image metadata

If you physically change the file name of your images before they are upload you’re not only boosting your SEO you’re making life a lot easier for yourself! It will automatically set the metadata title of your image to the same as the file name. From there you can simply copy that title, and paste it into the alt-text, adding any extra information that will further optimise your post:

SEO Hero_ The Ultimate Guide To Attracting Easy, Epic Blog Traffic - SEO For Blogging

This is super-important, for while the SEO gods are mighty they don’t actually have eyes.

They can’t see your images, so they don’t know what they’re about or what they represent. Adding meta descriptions shows them that you’ve not only included text that’s about your keyword topic, but also images too.

Likewise, if you include other multimedia content like videos and audio, make sure you set the metadata and carefully optimise it when you’re uploading it to the hosting platform.

The Importance Of A Mobile-Friendly Blog

Since mobile broadband became readily available it’s not longer all about desktop computers, or even laptops.

Now it’s all about the devices: iPads, smartphones, tablets, Kindles, even watches have the capacity to surf the net these days, which means your blog posts need to be as mobile-friendly as possible.

This is hugely important for usability and ensuring people read your posts if they’re browsing on a mobile device. But more than that, search engine algorithms penalise content that isn’t mobile friendly and fully responsive.

The gods know what their users want, and giving it to them is what they’re all about.

Users want to be able to browse any time, anywhere, so make absolutely certain your whole website and every blog post on it is completely 100% responsive, and looks great whatever you’re viewing it on!

Why You Should Avoid Using Similar Tags

Something you’re likely already doing well is tagging your posts. It’s really easy to get carried away with this, and tag posts with anything and everything you can think of, especially as they give you the opportunity to get a lot more specific about what your post is about than the category you put it in.

Tags are incredibly useful for keeping your content organised and allowing people to easily navigate to more posts on a similar subject.

So you should definitely be tagging your posts!

Here’s the thing though, if you use too many tags that are similar, you will end up with a lot of very similar pages showing the same series of posts.

For example, if I tag every post I write about content marketing with ‘content marketing’, ‘content marketing for entrepreneurs’, ‘content marketing tips’, ‘business content marketing’ and so on, each page you land on when clicking any one of those tags will take you to a pretty much identical feed.

Because each tag you create generates a page containing a blog feed of everything posted with that tag, using similar tags results in lots of very similar pages.

Duplicate content is a big no-no for SEO!

Choose your tags carefully, and only add a tag if you’re happy for there to be a page on your website dedicated to a blog feed for posts with that tag!

The best way to do this is to choose up to twenty-five tags to use in your content that cover all your core topics. Have a single tag for every topic, and use them consistently. Have a print out of your list of tags to refer to when you’re blogging so that you don’t get them mixed up and us ‘blogging’ one week and simply ‘blog’ the next.

It will damage your search engine ranking and make it harder for people to find more content they like if you get your tags wrong, so do keep an eye on them. And don’t be afraid to go through all your existing tags and cull any duplicates or unnecessary ones until you’re left with only the ones you actually want, and no duplicate content!

Why You Should Cross Link Your Posts

Cross-linking your posts is a fabulous way to boost your SEO. It creates inbound links that go back and forth between all your posts, helping your readers find more amazing content that’s relevant to what you’re already reading, keeping them on your site for longer, providing them with maximum value, and reducing your bounce rate.

All good things!

From an SEO perspective cross linking is like handing the search engine gods a cheat sheet. It’s a roadmap to all the other stuff on your site, helping the bots to crawl through all your content, effectively map it all, and get an accurate picture of what your site as a whole is all about. It’s also a little extra validation, demonstrating you’re not just a one trick pony, and you have more content on similar subjects available.

This essentially allows Google to offer its users BOGOF content: they search for a term, and Google shows them your post, knowing that not only does that post answer their query, but all the other posts linked to it are equally relevant.

If there’s a choice between a post with a lot of healthy cross links, and a very similar post with none, the cross linked post will rank higher.

The Awesome Power Of Topic Clusters

In a similar vein to cross linking, topic clusters have fought their way to the fore when it comes to powerful SEO tactics. Just as keywords have evolved from stuffing tactics to LSI, the design of effective content marketing strategies has also been evolving.

There was a time when you created an individual post that ranked well for one specific keyword, and left it at that.

The advent of LSI has changed things, as we can now optimise posts for a single keyword using a bunch of related keywords, leaving us with long lists of search terms that are already perfect grouped together. Rather than creating one post optimised for one term, topic clusters see you creating a series of posts, each individually optimised for one or two keywords, but all optimised using LSI for related search queries under a particular topic.

The collective of words, phrases and search terms you use for all these clustered posts will be pretty much the same, but the focus of each post will be on a different one.

Topic Clusters take all the best modern methods for optimising your blog posts for search, and feed them a bucket load of steroids, spinach, Red Bull and Pro Plus.

All the posts in your topic cluster are untied using a ‘pillar post’ – a single post that touches on every topic in your cluster in brief, and then links out to posts that cover all those topics in more detail.

For example, this post will act as my SEO Pillar post, covering many different aspects of SEO. In the coming months I’ll be publishing additional posts that go into much more detail on these areas, including a really detailed post on creating pillar posts and topic clusters!

At the time of writing there are already numerous cross links in this post that lead to relevant content. If you’re blogging regularly this will happen naturally. But if you can get really clear on all these strategies and actively plan a long-term blog schedule (and I really recommend you do!), you can purposefully create this level of intricately linked posts.

When the post on topic clusters goes live I’ll come back to this post and add a link to it, and do the same for all the other posts in the cluster. While I’m writing all those other posts, I’ll also cross link between them, creating a very intricate series of links between several posts that are all on one core topic (SEO for blogging), but individually cover much more specific elements of that area.

Add Video Content

If you’re looking for a single quick hack you can use to massively boost your SEO the answer is very simple: start recording all your content in video format.

Video marketing is incredibly powerful, so rather than just blogging, start a vlog. Get all your content in video form, post it to your site with the video and the written version, and consider going further still and converting it to a podcast, adding an audio option too.

Multimedia posts are very much favoured by search engines, particularly if one of the media is video. This is simply due to the fact video content has rapidly become the most popular form of content, with 72% of people preferring to watch a vlog rather than read a blog if both are available.

Search engines are well aware of how popular video is, and try to show as many video search results for queries as they can. Add to this the fact YouTube is both owned by Google and a massive search engine in its own right, and using video content to boost your SEO is an absolute no-brainer.

Tracking Your SEO Progress

The final thing to do to really maximise the SEO on your blog (and site as a whole) is track your progress. If you haven’t already, get an analytics plugin like Jetpack or Google Analytics setup on your website. You might also want to take advantage of some of the functions on SEO services like Moz, which allow you to see how well you’re genuinely ranking for search terms (you can signup for a free trial and use it to get a really clear look at everything!).

One Really Important Tip:

Don’t simply Google your search terms and see where you rank for them – it’s not accurate! Google will show you sites local to you, as well as sites you have visited previously, before it will show you other search results.

It’s really easy to think you’re ranking #1 when you’re actually not, it’s just you’ve already visited your own page a lot and it’s exactly where in the world you happen to be!

Consistency Is The Key To Being An SEO Hero….

Here’s the big thing about becoming a true SEO hero: it’s not enough to do this stuff once, and think you’ve got the whole SEO thing licked.

It requires consistency.

All the information in this post will provide you with a reliable blueprint for effectively optimising your blog posts for search, but these are things you need to be doing every time you write a post.

Every blog.

Every video.

Every image.

Every piece of content.

Like I said, it becomes second nature after a while and you stop thinking about it, but until you reach that point, you need to be dedicated to the SEO gods, really work at boosting your rankings, and forming all those good habits.

If you’ve found everything on here a little overwhelming and know you’re going to need to re-read it, you can download a free eBook version of it now, read it at your leisure, make any notes you like, and make sure you don’t miss a single SEO trick…

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Hazel is an author, copywriter, content marketer and blogger. She specialises in helping creative entrepreneurs, coaches and small business owners harness the power of the pen (or keyboard!) to market their products and services through soulful selling. She's had several academic papers published internationally, and featured on sites such as The Huffington Post. In addition to her professional work as a writer, Hazel is also a fiction author. She has published several books and short stories, including The Uber Author Planner, Chasing Azrael, a Urban Fantasy novel, and Bleizgeist, a Dark Fantasy novella. Hazel has a regular weekly column on Sci-Fi Fantasy Network, and is currently working on her next novel, Death Becomes Me.