A lot of brands wonder if SEO is dead. It’s not, but it’s certainly evolving. When it comes to ranking in the search engines, there are actually numerous facets of your overall SEO approach. We’ve got technical SEO, off-page SEO, and on-page SEO. While SEO isn’t guaranteed (in our digital world, nothing really is), we can tell you this. You need a combination of all three in order to be successful. In this blog, we’ll focus on on-page SEO. You’re going to learn what it is and some of the keys to making it work for your blog content.
Wait, What IS On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO also goes by on-site SEO. When we use this name, we’re talking about all of the things we do to optimize a web page and get it to rank higher in the search engines. This applies to both your static web pages and your ever-evolving blog posts.
For instance, when we’re creating content for our clients, we provide things like:
- Image alt texts.
These are all factors of on-page SEO that are ultimately going to help our clients’ content to rank better.
Why is On-Page SEO So Important?
Another great question.
First of all, it’s one of the few things you can control. You can’t really control who links to your website (off-page SEO). You can’t control what people say about you. But you can control the content you deliver. That’s the first reason you should care about it so much.
Secondly, as we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, on-page SEO is a huge factor when it comes to Google’s decisions on how to rank you. How you optimize your pages is going to help Google understand what kind of website you have and what you’re aiming to rank for.
Without on-page SEO, you’re not going to rank for search terms that you care about.
5 Tips for Making On-Page SEO Work for Your Blog
Now that you know what on-page SEO is and why it’s so important, let’s talk about best practices for your blog content.
1. Always Remember EAT
EAT: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This is one (big) thing Google is looking at when it’s determining how to rank you. Remember Google’s top priority: Give its users the answers they need as fast as possible. So, what content do you think they’re going to rank highest?
The content that answers users’ search queries quickly and accurately.
So, that should be your priority, too. Focus on understanding what your target users are searching for on Google, and let that guide your content strategy. And on a similar note…
2. Understand the Exact Queries People are Searching
Let’s say you’re a yoga apparel brand. (This is a very hypothetical example.) You decide to write a blog post about how yoga can help with spring allergies. That’s a very creative idea, but if only 10 people are searching for it on Google each month, it’s not going to do you much good.
Now, let’s say you’re considering writing a blog about the best asanas for pregnant women with lower back pain. And you discover that it’s a super-hot keyword. Now you’re on the right track.
Finding the right keywords is part art, part science. The team at Spark spends hours each month developing our clients’ keyword reports and spreadsheets. We do this using what we consider the best SEO reporting tool: Ahrefs. If you’re not prepared to handle the heavy lifting involved with keyword research (which is totally understandable), you should pass it off to an agency or SEO pro. They’ll help you understand what keywords to create content around.
Not only does this help you up your EAT value, but you can then follow SEO best practices by using that keyword in places like your URL, title, and throughout the body of the blog. Additionally, you’ll understand why kind of content people want to see for each query. Do they want a tutorial? A case study? Do they want long-form or short-form content?
3. Get to the Point
In these days of instant gratification (we’re looking at you, TikTok), we all have the attention span of a goldfish. So, you don’t want to make your readers wait for the meat and potatoes of your content, because they won’t.
Once you know your topic/keyword, you want to waste no time in answering the users’ query. If you take too long, they’re just going to leave the page, and it’s going to hurt your rankings. You should aim to satisfy their query as high up on the page as possible. The more you make them scroll, the less likely they are to.
“But I don’t want to give it away too quickly!” you’re saying. “I want to pique their interest.” We totally get where you’re coming from, but some research tells us that it takes users about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) to form an opinion about your site.
In other words, don’t wait.
4. Optimize Your Headers and Make Them Skimmable
If a user decides to stay on your page to read more, there’s a good chance that they’re not going to read it word for word. They’re going to skim. So, you want to make it easy for them to do that and still walk away with the main points.
This is what headers are for. They help people grab the “basics” without needing to read every single line. Your headers should tell a story. Use this blog as an example! Without even reading the whole thing, someone could read just the headers and still grasp the main points. Simple.
5. Optimize Your Images
Images play a huge role in your blog content, but they’re not just there to look pretty (although that’s part of it). You can also optimize them to make them more attractive to Google.
When you download an image to your computer prior to uploading it to your blog post, you should optimize the file name to make it more Google-friendly. Once it’s in your blog, you can add an optimized alt text.
These are small details, but Google is always watching. You know what they say: The devil is in the details.
We know that there are a lot of moving parts to consider. This stuff isn’t easy. That’s why brands rely on teams like Spark to do all the grunt work for them. Interested in passing your SEO and blogging off to us? Contact us today and let’s set up a call to chat more.