Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) a phrase that strikes fear into the heart of many and sometimes seen as a black hole of effort! I get it .. search engines like Google seem like a law unto themselves and constantly changing their algorithms, you figure out one way to boost your rankings and the rules change.
So if you’re trying to game the system in order to appear high in the rankings? DON’T.
Google and other search engines (yes there’s more than Google), they are all learning the intelligence of our language. So just be yourself, write like a human. Then, once you’ve written your first draft, look at what you’re saying and learn how to improve the value of it by moving sentences around, and finding ways to put your main search phrases you want to be found by into the blog post titles and first paragraphs of your blog post.
I’ve created a graphic, so that you can see the visual anatomy of a blog post. Often the advice blogs (of which there are thousands) on this very topic, give you the key areas of where to focus your SEO efforts .. but not a visual display. So I’m doing different and giving you a visual guide as well.
Keywords & Phrases
These are the words and phrases your clients will search for to find a solution to their problem. If they are looking for a Travel Photographer, put that into the titles, first sentence/paragraph of your page or post. Don’t just use that one phrase of Travel Photographer every single time, switch it up with other words and phrases like ‘Capturing Scotland’. There are always many words around your keywords and phrases to supplement them with too.
Google loves headings; it indicates a priority of information. Your blog post title is always the H1 tag, the highest priority of info. Main headers in your blog are H2, and nested under those are H3’s and so forth. Most blogs do well with two levels of headings which split and group the blog into recognisable chunks. Chunking also helps the reader too.
File Names of Images
Make the file names descriptive, for example, MysteriousMistyHighland.jpg – search engines read this and understand a descriptive file name. Once your website is indexed, it also notes all the images. If you’ve ever used Google Images, those file names are used to give context to those images.
Alt Tags on Images
These tags are fabulous for providing a deeper one sentence (approx. 30 words) description of what is in the image. Alt Tags are not just useful to search engines but of most benefit to blind people using screen readers. They can’t see the picture, so your description here helps them understand what you are presenting to everyone else. So be clear in your description, and you’ll help search engines and your blind accessibility customers too.
Captions of Images
Similar to the Alt Tag it allows you to add a little blurb of writing to your image, a descriptor or anecdote. It can be a direct duplicate of your Alt Tag if you wish, but it’s a chance to phrase things slightly different and capitalise on the variety of words available in our languages.
Internal Blog Links
If you’re asking someone to contact you, why not link directly to your contact page. Make it easy on your viewer. Any time you reference content written on another blog post, or you’re asking them to do an action like ‘visit our portfolio’ or ‘contact us’ .. make it a link. Search engines will crawl through your site, and the more genuine (not artificially stuffed links) will rank the pages and posts of your website depending on its cross-linking.
Use an SEO plugin
SEO plugins will do part of the heavy lifting of optimising blog posts for search engines. Some plugins will even if very detailed instructions on what to improve, for example, RankMath SEO and Yoast. All In One SEO is also a great contender but does not provide a guide per blog post on what to improve.
Tip: If you are a Divi theme user, ignore Yoast. It does not play well with shortcodes.