If you’re looking to get more traffic, increase your online leads or establish your brand as an authority in your space, then having a company blog isn’t just an option – it’s a downright necessity.

But that doesn’t mean you should just fire up WordPress, and start typing away.

While yes, a blog will certainly improve your SEO efforts and boost your online presence, it’s not an undertaking that should be done lightly.
If you want your blog to have the most impact – to bring in the most leads, the most potential customers and the most sales – then you need to become an absolute expert in the field. (Or hire someone who already is!)

The first step to blogging like a pro? Learning how to optimize your posts for search.

Search Engine Optimization for Blogs

Now when I say “optimize,” I don’t mean picking a keyword and throwing it in every sentence and header you can possibly find. Nor do I mean building out massive Meta tags stuffed with keywords and jargony phrases.

At its simplest, I mean understanding how search engines interpret your blog and how search engine optimization can improve your blog’s overall performance.
To help you get started with optimizing your blog, let’s break down the anatomy of a post, and look how each area can be optimized for best results:

Headline – This needs to be a snappy, short and attention-grabbing headline that makes users click. Additionally, it should contain one of your major keywords (in a seamless and human-sounding way), and the keyword should be as close to the beginning as possible. Also make sure your headline pertains to the content found in the blog. If it doesn’t, search engines will think you’re spamming and just trying to get traffic.

First paragraph – In your first paragraph, present the problem, ask a question or relate to your reader in some way or fashion. Be sure to include a handful of relevant keywords – even minor ones will do – and use informal language. Short sentences and conversational tones usually resonate with search engines (and users) best.
Image – Next, include an image somewhere in the content. Before you upload it, save it with a descriptive title, and try and work the keyword in if you can. Then, optimize the alt tag the same way.

Headers – As you move down your post, include headers to break up your content. Make sure to code these as

or

tags, as search engines recognize these as important areas of text. If possible, work your high-level keywords into these areas, and keep them short and to the point.

Body content – In the body of your post, keep your paragraphs short and use bullet points to make your information easily digestible by both readers and search engines. Work your keywords in occasionally where it flows, but don’t force yourself to work them in if they just don’t feel right. If you can even use a variation of your keywords (adding an “s” or an “ing” or making it past tense), this will help with search engine optimization as well.

Use bold and italics – To emphasize points throughout your post, use bold and italic fonts. This lets search engines know that this information is important, and it will prioritize it when it crawls your site. If you have a keyword or two in these areas, that’s a big plus.

Include a few links – Wherever applicable, include a few in-bound links. These can be to past blog posts, other pages on your site, images, or even PDFs or downloadable eBooks. If you can make these links on your keywords, even better. Be sure to optimize your link’s alt tag, if your CMS will let you.

Conclusion – Finally, include a call-to-action and conclude your post. Make sure you include your biggest keyword (the one in your headline) in this area, too, as search engines always scan the first and last paragraphs of a page.

In addition to optimizing these areas, you’ll also want to pay attention to your post’s URL. The URL should contain a high-level keyword, and it should be short and reader-friendly. If you’re not sure how to customize your URL, be sure to ask your web manager or developer on staff.

Another great way to ensure your SEO efforts are rewarded is to make your site responsive. Google, Bing and other search engines actually factor mobile usability into their rankings, so if your site doesn’t display correctly on alternate devices, you could get penalized for it.

Get Help with Your Search Engine Optimization

Ready to improve your search engine optimization efforts with a business blog? Then heed these tips and get started today. Download our free insider tips, and make sure you’re choosing the right keywords before you begin!

Author Info

Brad Parnell
Founder & CEO

Brad is the Founder & CEO of Steadfast Creative, leading the team in exploring new ways to solve creative problems and bringing direction and vision for the company. His passion is building relationships, providing solutions and empowering his team to send new ideas out into the world. With over 10 years of agency experience serving local and national brands, he is focused on results for his clients and team. Outside of  work, Brad serves on the board of directors at his local Chamber of Commerce and loves giving back to the community and spending time with his wife and kids.