SEO, a simple looking yet difficult to apply and learn technique.
It is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization which is a method to make your articles rank better in search engine pages.
Learning SEO is one of the most crucial parts of blogging, and if you want to bring traffic from search engines, you need to learn and apply it from the day one of the Blogging.
However, learning SEO takes years. You need to learn it and practice it. What works for me may not work for you, so you have to find your SEO techniques.
There are some standard practices of SEO you can use at the primary level to create an SEO Optimized Article that will rank on page one.
Today, I am sharing 21 foolproof SEO Techniques you can apply to create an SEO Optimized Article.
1. Target A Long Tail Keyword
SEO start with a keyword. If you don’t know what is the keyword you want to target, you can’t apply SEO.
However, targeting a broad keyword can be competitive, and your chances of ranking against the big player are tiny.
For example, keywords like Best Cars, Men’s Fashion, and Android Smartphones are broad keywords.
If you want to be rank on page one, you need to target Long Tail Keywords which can be easily outranked with proper SEO Techniques.
Examples of Long Tail Keywords are Best Cars in 2016, Men’s Fashion for Summer, and Android Smartphones with 2GB RAM.
How to Find Long Tail Keywords
Now that Google Keyword Planner has stopped giving exact results you are left only with paid options.
Semrush is one of the most modern tools, and there is a free version available with limited features.
If you are serious about blogging and want to rank fast then Semrush Pro is ideal for you (Click here for a Special Discount).
Now that you have found a long tail and low competition keyword it is time to start writing your article.
2. Start Your Title with Your Keyword
And the first step is to write your title. For better SEO, you should consider starting your article title with your focused keyword.
Examples of such titles are –
See what I did there? My target keyword was ‘MailerLite review‘ which I placed at the beginning only. Also, I use MailChimp (a competitor) in the title so as to make it rank for various other search terms.
However, it is not a compulsion, and you shouldn’t mess your title for this.
3. Keep Your URL Short
URL of your article (also referred as a slug in WordPress and Permalink in Blogger) should be short and contain the focused keyword.
Don’t keep it as it was on the title and do not use words like I, Me, It, This, etc.
The advantage of this is that your URL look more professional and is more shareable on the Social Media Channels.
4. Add Important Words in Your Title
Words like Best, Numbers, Free, List make your title more clickable and share worthy.
For example, take two titles in consideration.
Fashion Ideas for Men and
21 Best Fashion Ideas for Men.
Which one would you rather click? Of course, the latter one because it grabs our attention quickly and promises numbers of ideas.
5. Include Your Keyword within First 100 Words
While writing the article, try to add your focused keyword within first 100 words.
It helps search engine bots find and rank your article for that keyword.
6. Use H1 Heading for Wrapping Title
WordPress thus this automatically, but in case your blogging platform doesn’t do it, then you should wrap your title under H1 heading manually.
The title is the most important heading of your site, and thus H1 heading is used for it.
Do not use multiple H1 headings; there should be only one on each post.
7. Add One or More Subheadings
Sub Headings like H2 and H3 are used to divide your content into subcategories.
Try to add your targeted keyword in at least one subheading (preferably H2).
Though, it is not a major factor it helps a Lil bit in SEO. Again, don’t overdo it or force it.
Try to add your keyword naturally.
8. Use Outbound links to Explain Your Article
Outbound links are those who points to any external site in your article.
Outbound links to authority sites like Wikipedia, CNN, BCC gives your users an option to know more about the topic.
Doing this increases your blog quality and leave a positive impact on search engine bots.
There’s a nice article by Harsh Agarwal on the importance of Outbound links in SEO.
9. Add 3-4 Internal Links
Internal links mean to link post from your site within the article.
Interlinking makes Google bots index your previous articles again. Also, it keeps your readers wandering around your site reading multiple articles.
10. Add LSI Keywords in Your Article
LSI Keyword Stands for Latent Indexing Keywords. In simple words, they are referred to similar keywords which help your article rank for related keywords too.
Adding 3-4 LSI keywords throughout the article is a good practice.
11. Put 2-3 Engaging Visual Contents
Materials like images, videos, GIF, etc. make your article more visually appealing and increases the time spent by a reader on your site.
It helps in reducing Bounce Rate which is a major factor in SEO.
Bounce Rate = Rate at which a user leaves your site after loading.
Also, visual contents perform better on Social Media Channels which may make your post go viral.
12. Compress Your Images
Site speed is an important part of SEO and ranking.
Google prefers faster-loading sites over those who takes minutes to load.
Images take the maximum time to load and thus reducing the image size will help in boosting your site speed.
Compressor.io is one free online tool which compresses your images without degrading quality.
Content Delivery Networks like MaxCDN are also popularly used to keep the loading time low.
13. Add Your Keyword in Alt Attributes of Images
After you have published your images on your blogging platform, add a relevant alternative text.
Your focused keyword should also be added in one of these images.
In WordPress, while uploading an image, you will get the Alt Text option in the sidebar of the picture.
While in Blogger, you click on the image and go to properties to add Alt Text.
Since web crawlers can’t see the visual content, they rank your images based on the alternative text.
One other good practice is to name your images something relevant instead of image.jpg or defualt.jpg
14. Add Social Sharing Buttons on Your Site
Social media has a great potential of bringing traffic, and if your site is getting more shares, then it will automatically move up in the SERPs.
Adding social media buttons on providing your visitors with a medium for sharing your content.
Above/Below content and floating bar are the most user-friendly places to put these social buttons.
There are many free & paid plugins available for WordPress you can use.
For this blog, I am using Monarch from Elegant Themes.
15. Use Bold & Italic Wording
Using Bold and Italic font styles is one thing most of the blogger don’t use.
Try to use Bold and Italic wordings and wrap your keywords inside it.
LSI keywords can also be wrapped under bold and italic wordings.
16. Write Longer Articles
Longer articles tend to perform better in search engine rankings.
Although the minimum word count for a good SEO Optimized Article is 300 words, longer articles rank higher because of their in-depth nature.
I try to keep my articles at least 1000 words long, and I have written some 2000+ words articles too.
But that doesn’t mean you should reframe the same sentences again and again.
Try to provide value to your readers and writing longer articles at the same time.
17. Encourage Readers to Comment
Bots also crawl comments in your article, and if there are some helpful answers, then it joins to SEO.
You should encourage your readers to share their reviews, thoughts, and suggestions for the article.
One or Two lines at the end of post do the work, and people are more likely to comment when they are asked to.
A good example of encouraging readers to comment & Share is –
18. Add Custom Meta Description
Meta Descriptions are the summary of your article shown below the title & link on the search engine result pages.
It is limited to 140 characters and plays a vital role in rankings.
By default, blogging platform will automatically set the first 140 character of your article as the meta description.
WordPress plugin like Yoast SEO allows you to write a custom meta description for your article.
Try to include your focused keyword and relevant words here.
19. Be Natural while Placing Keywords
Don’t include your article in every line and paragraph you write.
Try to be as natural as possible while adding a focused keyword in the article.
Sentences should be written in proper format and with correct grammar.
Overdoing the keyword placement will make your site look spammy, and thus less ranking will be possible.
Only 3-5% of the total article should include focused keyword and LSI keywords combined.
20. Be Concise while Writing
Longer articles work better in Search Engine but longer pieces with concise writing work best for both SEO and User Experience.
Writing brief article means to write in small paragraphs of 2-3 sentences.
Technical writing (multiple sentences within one paragraph) make your article less readable.
It will prevent users from clicking the close button write after visiting your blog.
21. Add Nofollow Attributes to External Links
WordPress, Blogger, and other blogging platform make every outbound link as “do follow” which takes away all the juice links.
Wikipedia, CNN, BCC are high DA site, and these can be left with default settings. But try to add no follow attributes to all the external links to sites with low DA.
You can do this by switching to text mode and adding rel=”no follow” within the anchor ‘<a>’ tag.
<a href=www.google.com rel=”nofollow”>Google</a>
You can leave your internal links with default settings only.
These were some of the most standard SEO Techniques that will help you create an SEO Optimized Article.
But, don’t designate yourself as an SEO Expert after knowing this trick and start blabbering about it.
Learning SEO takes time and practice altogether. Try new ways and find you working SEO Tricks.
How many SEO tricks did you know before reading this article?
Anything in your mind which can make the above article more useful? Share your ideas in the comment section.
And don’t forget to share, tweet and pin this post with your friends and family (only if they are into blogging).