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The Rookies Guide to Optimizing a Blog Post for SEO

This blog post is near and dear to my heart.  For years, I struggled to understand how the internet works – especially when it came to search engine optimization.
 
If you are struggling with optimizing a blog post for SEO, then this is a guide that you definitely want to bookmark.
 
I read information from one guru stating “hey…this is what you need to do to get traffic to your website”…and another say “no…this is what you need to do”!
 
Can we say information overload…
 
I started to realize that search engine optimization isn’t difficult at all once you understand the basics.
 
It is from my basic understanding of SEO and keyword research that I was able to build a site that generates more than 200,000 visitors per month…
 

Why Optimizing Your Blog Posts for SEO Is Important

 
Optimizing your blog posts for the search engines is important for one main reason:  to make it easier for visitors to find and land on your site.
 
For example:

You’re a business consultant and you’re writing a blog post that covers “Tips for Hiring a Business Consultant”.

Someone searching for this information via a search engine like Google or Bing might type in “how to hire a business consultantt”, “hire a business coach”, or “benefits of hiring a business consultant”.

If your blog post is structured correctly and has keywords in it like: “hiring a business consultant, and “benefits of hiring a business consultant”, this increases the chances of someone finding your content, then clicking to read it.

Understanding how to structure your blog posts for “search” will help you format your content in a way that makes it easy for the search engines to understand them.
 

Three Additional Reasons Why Optimizing Your Blog Posts for SEO is Important

  • Search engine optimization increases the chances of your content getting found online –  When people search online for various products and information, optimizing your blog posts with targeted keywords, headlines, tags and etc., improves the chances of people locating your blog posts.
  • Search engine optimization makes it easy for the search engines what your content is about – Search engines use “robots” that go out and find websites that are relevant to what people are searching for.  So for example, if you were to head over to Google and type in “how to start a business”, then hit enter, Google would give you a list of the top 10 websites that have the best information pertaining to “how to start a business”.
  • Search engine optimization brings organic traffic to your site – Who doesn’t want free traffic? One of the main purposes of optimizing your blog posts for the search engines is to drive traffic to your site.  The more you blog, and apply basic SEO to your content, the greater the chances that your blog posts have of ranking higher in the search engines.

 

How to Optimize Your Blog Posts for the Search Engines

 
If you’re planning to start blogging for your small business or are already blogging for business, this post will help you understand how to optimize your blog posts for SEO.  

Each time that you write a new blog post, these are the basic steps that you need to take to give your content the best chance of showing up in search results.

For search engine optimization, I use the Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress and recommend that you do as well.
 

Step 1:  Perform Keyword research (30 minutes – 1 hour)

Keyword research is critical.  Keywords are common phrases and words that your target readers are looking for via the search engines.

During the keyword research phase, you should look for long tail keywords that have three to four phrases in them.  These kinds of keywords are usually easier to rank for.

As an example, “truck driver” is a regular keyword that is too common and difficult to rank for in the search engines.

However, “become a truck driver” is considered a more specific keyword phrase to use and one that would be easier to rank for in the search engines.

A few additional examples of Long tail keyword phrases with “truck driver” in them: 

  • Truck driver job description
  • Truck driver training
  • Truck driver seat cushion
  • Dump truck driver jobs

To figure out what keywords you should add in your blog posts, you need a keyword research tool.  

Three of My Favorite Keyword Research Tools

Three of my favorite keyword research tools are:  

 

Long Tail Pro

Of these three tools, Long Tail Pro is the resource that I use the majority of the time to find keywords.  It is a paid resource, but…it is hands down one of the best keyword research tools on the market today.
 
Here’s a video of Long Tail Pro in Action


 

Soovle

 
I use Soovle primarily to get ideas for blog post subtitles. Using the previous keyword phrase “truck driver”, as shown below when I type this into the search box, Soovle returns a list of keywords and phrases that people are looking for related to “truck driver”.

Here again, I will look for long tail phrases with 3 to 4 keywords in them to use for my subtitles. 

Soovle Search Results
 

Google’s Keyword Planner

Lastly, Google’s keyword planner tool is a very popular resource that people use to track down keywords for free.

With it, you just need to type in a keyword that you are looking for, click on “Keyword Ideas” look for long tail keyword.  

Truck Driver Keyword Research Results
 

Step 2:  Add your main keyword to your HTML headings (10-15 Minutes)

 
I never understood the significance of these headings until a dear friend of mine checked out a blog post I had written and told me… “Kim, you have to many H1 headings in your content that is totally confusing the search engines

But hey… we live and we learn right?

Anywho….as you are creating your blog posts, there are 3 HTML Headings that you should be concerned with: H1,H2 and H3.

H1 (Heading 1): Is Your Blog Post title with main keyword (there should only be one in your post)

H2 (Heading 2): A subtitle (with your main keyword)

H3 (Heading 3): An additional subtitle (with a variation of your main keyword)

As an example, using the long tail keyword phrase “become a truck driver“, you could structure your blog post headings like this:

H1: Learn How to Become a Truck Driver in 30 Days or Less

H2: 5 Licenses You Need to Become a Truck Driver

H3: The Best Truck Driving Schools in Texas 

 

Step 3: Add your keyword to your content – sparingly (30 Minutes)

 
I want to preface this tip by stating that you need to be careful with adding your main keyword in your content.  

The search engines are very picky these days .

This is why it’s very important that you do everything in your power to play it safe with SEO.  

As a rule of thumb, you should not use your main keyword in your content more than 5 times, or else your site could get penalized for keyword stuffing.  
 

Step 4: Add your main keyword to the ALT text tag of your blog post image (5 Minutes)

 
Anytime that you add images to your blog posts, you should always add the your keyword to the ALT Tag of your Image for SEO.

So instead of “yourimage.png” it should be “YourBlogPostTitle.png

Alt Text Box Example
 

Step 5:  Add your main keyword to the meta description of your blog post (30 Minutes)

The meta description is the block of text under the title in a list of search results.  As folks are searching for information, this is the summary they will see under the title of your blog post.
 
Meta Description Example

Okay peeps…

This wraps up the blog post that includes my basic tips for optimizing a blog post for the search engines.
 

A Quick Recap + Action Plan for You

  1. Perform Keyword Research 
  2. Add your main keyword to your H1, H2, and H3 HTML headings
  3. Add your keyword to your content (no more than 5 times)
  4. Add your main keyword to your blog post images
  5. Add your keyword to the meta description of your blog post 

As you can see, search engine optimization is very important if you want to drive organic traffic to your website or blog.  

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your peeps on social media.
 
Here’s to your SEO Success!
 
For you visual learners, I’ve created a step by step video tutorial for ya.  Check it out below:
 

 

 
FREE DOWNLOADABLE PDF + WORKSHEET: The 5 Step Blog Post Optimization Worksheet
 

Free Downloadable Worksheet

Download my free PDF + Worksheet to optimizing your blog posts for the search engines.

Kim
 

Kim, YourChicGeek is a tech savvy diva + founder of YourChicGeek.com. She is passionate about teaching small biz's how to create a web presence for growth + impact. Kim has created several online courses that help small businesses grow and flourish online. You can contact Kim to hop on a quick 15 minute call to chat about your online marketing goals.

  • Bright Works PR/MRKT

    Great tips, thanks for sharing! SEO is so important, and I like how you broke it down into steps. I’m glad you threw in a limit on using the keyword -if you overdo it Google will punish you!

    • Hello there! Soooo glad that you liked this post….more specifically that you re-iterated the tip about using your main keyword no more than 5 times in the content. Cheers and I hope that you have a great week.

  • Hey Kim,

    I know what you mean, instant overload when you’re researching how to do something and a few posts say to do it one way and a few more say to do it totally different. Yikes, what the heck is a person to do!

    Now this was a great step-by-step post on how we can do it as well. Thank you for that by the way.

    I used to do a lot of keyword research back in the day but I really haven’t done it in years. I know I should be more aware of it and this is yet another reminder that I should. So many in my next few posts I’ll do some keyword research and see if there is a big difference. Test test test right!

    Awesome share my dear, thank you and hope you’re enjoying your week. I’m off to share your post.

    ~Adrienne

    • Ms. Adrienneeee! Thank you sooo much for dropping by. I know that coach Don would be looking at this post like — Kimmmm (ok now). LOLz… But I’ve realized that for this site, some not all of my content will be “how to tech guides” for folks that make the techie side of blogging and etc a little more easier to understand.

      I hope that you have a blessed weekend my dear. 🙂 As always, thank you for your support.

  • Hi Kim,

    Great post and you’re darn well right that search engine traffic is important. Whether we like to admit it or not, search engine is what traffic generates business.

    When I started doing SEO as a blogger many years ago, I too was learning from the gurus at the time. Though I will say that I’ve picked up some valuable tips from a lot of great bloggers, Harsh Agrawal being one of them.

    Keyword research is often where a lot of people get muddled up, because a lot of newbies don’t know how to do keyword research properly full stop.

    I too use Long Tail Pro and I’ve been able to create a small handful of very profitable blog posts for my blog using this tool, especially as an affiliate blogger.

    One thing I’ve noticed among many newbie bloggers, and that’s where a lot of them believe that doing SEO or writing for search engines is the end all, be all of blogging.

    A balance must be found between writing for a target audience and writing for search engines I think.

    Overdoing it is also something I see a lot of newbies doing. The SEO landscape has changed so much over the years, now since I don’t pay a great deal of attention to trying to rank for this keyword and that keyword, I’ve still been able to get many of my posts top of page one of Google quite easily without having to overkill anything.

    A few of my posts that have a keyword density of 0.1% in fact, are able to rank high for target keywords, so it shows you don’t need to overkill it.

    Anyway, sorry for waffling on, great post here Kimbo, will prove very valuable to newbies wanting to learn how to optimize blog posts for increasing traffic.

    Have a great weekend – Fabrizio

  • Mark Newsome

    Nice tutorial Kim!

    And thanks for sharing the soovle keyword research tool. I had not
    previously heard of it.

    And now, I can definitely refer to it, to help stimulate future blog posts and
    video idea.Thanks!

    And 200,000 visitors per month to one of
    your blogs Kim!

    Those are definitely guru like numbers!LOL! And quite an achievement!

    My current unique monthly visitors on steroids can’t compete with those numbers!LOL!

    So what else about on page SEO aren’t you telling us, because I’ve doing
    what you’re advising now for years and my current unique visitors, are nowhere
    near 200,000 per month!LOL!

    What’s you’re untold secrets?LOL!

    • Heyyyy there Mark! Soooo there is definitely more to SEO my friend as you stated. Another key to getting more traffic and ranking higher in google is to get more authoritative links from high ranking sites :-). I am going to create a workbook soon that goes into more detail about my traffic Generation Strategies ….

  • Mark Newsome

    That is most definitely some awesome stuff you’re sharing with us Kim!

    200,000 visits per month to one blog and 100,000 to another!

    That’s some serious organic traffic generation by any object measure!

    Based on my current unique monthly visitor stats, it would easily take my over two
    years, to even come close to those types of figures!LOL!

    I’ definitely can’t wait to purchase your workbook on the subject!BTW, do you plan on
    hosting any free or paid webinars on the subject as well?

    And what’s your current hourly rate? Because I probably need to invest in few
    hours with yo, and I’m sure it will take my organic traffic to a whole other level!Thanks!