According to a recent Netcraft survey, there are over 1.5 billion websites, and this number is rapidly rising. Think about it, that’s a whole lot of competition out there. When building up your blog it can be incredibly tricky to get blog content on page 1 of search engines. After all, you’re fighting against content from high-authority, established brands that pump tons of time and money into their marketing, content and SEO strategies.
However, don’t let this put you off your blogging dreams. Savvy writers are utilizing a number of techniques that help them to get their content to rank high. Read on to find out our top tips for best getting your blog content to the top of Google searches.
1. Keyword Optimization
It may come as no surprise to any writer with even a hint of SEO knowledge that keywords play a vital role in how Google ranks your content and blog. Long gone are the days of keyword stuffing in order to ‘trick’ Google and help content rise to the top. The Big G is continuously updating the secret algorithms to prevent spammy, black-hat blogs from tricking the system.
For this reason, it’s imperative that your first and main purpose is to create high quality, original content which inspires or educates your readers. Afterall, if you’re content is lousy, then who is really going to want to come back to your site? Poor content will also devalue your like, know and trust factor. So avoid it at all costs.
You should, however, keep in mind keywords for your blog post. Think of keywords as a way to help readers to be able to find the content that they most need. A great way to stay organized is to keep a spreadsheet and jot down the keywords that relate to your site and niche.
Once you’ve chosen your main keyword, you will want to use it in the main title of your blog post as well as in some of the H2 and H3 subheadings too. But make sure you avoid any stuffing at all costs. Put too many keywords in and you’ll ruin the reader experience and also be penalized by Google.
Top Tip: Include LSI Keywords
LSI keywords are those which enable you to rank well. They act as a way to let Google know that you are writing authority content which will provide value to the reader. You can find certain ‘related’ keywords at the bottom of Google search results, and can sprinkle these naturally throughout the blog post.
2. Look At Your Length
It’s no surprise that Google loves long and in-depth content. It’s hard to tell exactly what length best in terms of ranking well, but there are a few indicators that you can work with. If you do a search for your keyword or keywords and note down the length of the top five or so results, you will probably be likely to see a theme. And that is that each blog post will often be pretty long — probably from around 1,500 – 2000 words in length. But some extra time into creating long, detailed content and Google may like you for it.
3. Improve The Readability
Another factor that comes into play is readability. Google will favor websites which have an excellent readability score – that is not too complex but also not too basic. The best way to check your content is to use a special readability app. Hemingway is a popular cone for bloggers, as it will instantly rank your writing and let you know what readability it is at. A few small grammar, punctuation or sentence structure alterations can change your readability score and thus get blog content on page 1 of search engines.
4. Frequent Updates to Your Blog Posts
Googles loves fresh content. So there is a little trick of the trade that you can do to keep your blog posts looking like they’ve just been posted, and that is to simply edit and update them. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy thing, simply adjusting a few words and then save the post will make it show up in Google as a new post.
Perhaps you may want to go over all of your blog posts every six months or so and update them all in one go. This can make a huge difference to your rankings, so it’s certainly worth the time.
5. Make Your Meta Description Great
A meta description is a sort of mini overview which lets potential readers know what your article is about before they click on the link. If you don’t create a meta description then Google will automatically pull a random part of the article to display to readers.
By creating your own enticing meta description, you stand much more of a chance to get someone to click on the heading and actually read what it’s all about. Try to use the maximum amount of words without overstuffing, and provide information about what the reader will learn or discover should they read the article. Essentially you want them to know that you are going to answer their questions.
6. Make Your Images Count
It doesn’t matter how many images you use in a post, you should make sure that you optimize each one. Start by saving your chosen keyword in the actual file name of the image. Google will actually pick up on this. The other thing that you can do is to alter the alt text in WordPress. You should write a little description of the image, and write a keyword or two in if it seems natural.
7. All About the Links
Linking is essential if you want to get blog content on page 1 of search engines. But it’s not just what you link out to, but also what links are coming to your blog post. Start by linking to websites that you refer to in the post, and you can also link sources. Google likes high authority sites such as those which have a .edu or .org domain.
Seek out these high-quality sites which add to the reading experience, and them add them into your posts.
If you want to get blog content on page 1 of search engines, another little tip is to always double check your links are working before you post. Google will penalize broken links. Your links may be working when you publish, but it’s also worth noting that this can easily change over time.
You can spend some time revising and updating links from past blog posts, perhaps at the same time that you update the date. The best way to do this is to use a link checker app such as Dead Link Checker. It’s a totally free tool and will save you a lot of time in the long-run.
While you’re at it, you may as well also look at your anchor text. It may not be a deal-breaker, but it will make a small difference. Use your keywords for the anchor text links where possible and avoid vague ones.
8. Make it Mobile
With many more users choosing to browse blogs on their mobile as opposed to computer, it is essential that your blog is optimized for mobile use. Many of the bigger blog sites like WordPress will already have a format that is mobile-friendly. If you have a different platform, or have had someone code it, then you may want to look into Accelerated Mobile Pages (or AMP). This will help to expand your blog reach. Speed is also a big factor, so if you can do anything to speed up your web page loading times then Google will thank you for it and get blog content on page 1 of search engines.
9. Dodge Those Pop-Ups
Last year, Google made a change to the algorithm with penalized sites which were using certain types of pop-ups. They have been very vocal about this, and luckily gave plenty of warning yet still many dog owners are not aware of this rule. If you’re using a pop-up to get email addresses, then you may want to switch to a fixed opt-in box to capture emails. There may also be some plugins which you can make use of depending what platform you use.
10. Continuously Review and Optimize To Get Blog Content On Page 1 Of Search Engines
A final thing to consider is that these SEO rules aren’t final. As touched on earlier, Google are always making changes to the algorithms. So you need to stay ahead of the game to get blog content on page 1 of search engines. Keep an eye on new SEO trends, listen out for both confirmed and unconfirmed updates from Google and do your best to adapt content to the chances. It can make all the difference to the longevity and ranking of a blog post.
Implement a few of the above tips and you will be well on your way to ranking on Google’s first page. You can make yourself a blog post checklist and run through it before you post each article to make sure that you haven’t missed anything. Good luck.