In 2021, a stunning 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, and Google is the search engine of choice for 92.04 percent of those people.
For many content authors, blog SEO appears to be a daunting task. It’s easy to believe that no collection of blog SEO methods can ever make a significant difference. Others portray Google as a ruthless reaper who selects which sites to keep alive and which to deprive of valuable organic search traffic.
When I first began learning how to build a blog six years ago, I felt the same way—completely overwhelmed and unsure which site SEO methods would actually work and which would simply waste my time. But in developing my site to millions of monthly readers, I’ve discovered that Google isn’t out to get you. The search engine behemoth genuinely needs you. They crave new, high-quality material that provides the greatest possible answers to their users’ questions.
That is precisely what blog SEO is all about. It’s connecting your blog’s material to the solutions people are looking for—and allowing search engines to recognise your relevant, high-quality content.
So, what if that’s exactly what you’re doing… yet your site still isn’t receiving traffic? Employ these 10 blog SEO tactics, and it will.
These are the precise tactics, concepts and blogging tips I’ve used to build this blog from zero to 584,958 readers a month, and I’m going to show you blog SEO isn’t some weird, invincible beast.
10 Blog SEO Strategies to Get 584,958+ Readers/Mo (SEO for Bloggers)
- Nail your keyword research
- Focus on user intent (not search engines)
- Take your time writing blog SEO-friendly headlines
- Use the right heading tags
- Optimize your page URL
- Be strategic with your links
- Craft an enticing meta description
- Optimize your images
- Ensure mobile friendliness and reduce page loading times
- Promote your content
10 Blog SEO Strategies to Get 584,958+ Readers Each Month (SEO for Bloggers) in 2021
Disclosure: Please be aware that some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Know that I only endorse products and services that I’ve tried and believe in. When you click on one of my affiliate links, the firm pays me a commission, which helps me keep this blog running and all of my in-depth material free for visitors (like you).
Let’s begin with what you should do before, during, and after you publish a post.
1. Nail your keyword research
Learning how to do keyword research—and discovering fantastic keyword chances to rank for—is the most essential piece of any SEO strategy.
If you overuse them, your article will sound like it was written by R2-D2. In the worst-case scenario, Google accuses you of keyword stuffing and lowers your site’s ranking. This isn’t good.
New blogs also have lower domain authority (as compared to older, more renowned websites) and thus do not carry the same weight. As a result, ranking for more competitive keywords can be difficult, and your blog promotion efforts will take longer to bear fruit.
The ideal keywords to try to rank for if you’re a new blogger are:
- Low difficulty
- High volume
- High click-through rate
The goal is to locate three to five head keywords (one-to-three word phrases) and one to two long-tail keywords (complete phrases people are searching for) (whole phrases people are searching for). Long-tail keywords have lower traffic and competition but are equally valuable.
And how do you locate them?
Twinword Ideas is a (currently) free tool you can use. Type in a head keyword phrase you want to rank for. Then, examine what the search volume is and how competitive it’ll be to rank for that term. Best of all, these blogging tools will provide you extra keyword research suggestions.
Because Keywords Everywhere is a browser plugin, it has the advantage of delivering you related keywords and sentences people are searching for right from Google’s search engine results page (SERP) (SERP).
If you’re wanting to really level-up your keyword game, Ahrefs and SEMrush will take your SEO game out of this planet. These are two ultra-popular SEO analysis tools, and you’ll be in good hands with either one.
The most significant difference between the two is while both are excellent keyword researchers, Ahrefs has the edge if you’re looking to analyse what backlinks your competitors have. This will come in come in handy when finding where your competitors are getting mentioned, so you can do the same!
2. Focus on user intent (not search engines)
Gone are the days when getting ranked meant repeating your keyword as many times as humanly possible.
Google’s algorithms have matured, and now it’s all about high-quality content and understanding user intent—what people are looking for when they type a word or phrase into a search engine bar.
We don’t need Spock’s mind-melding talents to figure out what people are truly seeking for when they search for anything, thankfully. It’s already been worked out by Google.
Look for your term in the “People also ask” and “Searches related to” categories after typing it into the search box. When you click on a website and then press the back button on your computer, a “People also search for” box appears beneath the clicked site. These are all issues and queries that individuals have, which you might answer in your post.
Take a look at how your competitors responded to the user’s intent when you’re on the SERP.
Aim to address the reader’s challenges better and make your post an even more useful guide for them.
What is the length of your competitor’s post? Yours should be at least as long as mine.
What resources do you have to offer? Consider movies, informative webpages, and downloadable templates.
What concepts do you think you could clarify or elaborate on?
What would make the post more beneficial to you if you were the reader?
Just because you believe it’s a good idea to write a 10,000-word rambling blog post won’t help your SEO. Creating a tailored piece that serves as a one-stop shop for the specific answers your target audience requires, on the other hand, will almost certainly succeed.
If you correctly answer readers’ questions, you can even land the coveted position of #1 in Google’s featured snippet section.
To give you an idea of how my highlighted snippets look and what Google likes to see, here are two of them.
First, here’s how to start a freelance business:
Then there’s my ultimate list of side business suggestions:
You’ll notice that while featured snippets respond to the user’s question straight quickly, the box is frequently too small to deliver a complete solution.
As a result, people will click on your link to read the rest of the storey, and your article will receive a significant boost as a result of this placement, making it a major blog SEO win.
3. Take your time writing blog SEO-friendly headlines
You can create the best blog post ever written, but if your audience doesn’t click on your blog title and read the content, then it doesn’t exist.
You also need people to click on your post since the more reads, shares, and likes it receives, the more Google recognises that it is what people are looking for when they search for your term. High click-through rates are rewarded by Google with higher search ranks.
When it comes to learning how to write a headline, the first step is to explain to your reader how your blog post will benefit them.
And then you need to deliver on that promise.
For example, according to this piece, if you follow these SEO recommendations for blogs properly, you can attract hundreds of thousands of readers per month. And it can since that’s how I gained my 584,958 monthly readers.
However, if your headline makes excessive claims and your content fails to live up to them, it’s clickbait.
At all costs, stay away.
When you betray your commitment to the reader, you lose their trust and it hurts you more than it benefits you. Clickbait titles also result in higher bounce rates, which means your site will rank worse.
Make your title attractive to click on in the second step. The best titles combine tried-and-true concepts with a combination of common, rare, emotional, and powerful words.
Thankfully, the good people at Co-Schedule came up with a headline-analyzing tool that takes all of this into account, informs you how likely your title is to get shared, and breaks down your score.
My own SEO title for my definitive guide on starting a blog scored like this:
Scores of 70 or higher are deemed excellent and make excellent names for social media posting. Anything from the 1980s is a fantastic and unquestionably winning title for blog SEO.
From a blog SEO standpoint, your main keyword needs to be in your headline.
“If your target keyword phrase isn’t early in your title, it’s time to rethink your headline,” says SEO for bloggers.
After 60 characters, titles in SERPs are taken off. There’s no compelling need to have a title longer than that, but if you do, make sure your goal keyword is at the top of the title.
Yoast is a popular (free) WordPress plugin that aids in SEO for writers who want to make sure their titles and content tick all the correct SEO boxes.
If you’re having difficulties generating a catchy title that communicates the reader the advantage while still being SEO-friendly, you can use Yoast to create a secondary SEO title that will appear in search results.
In the Yoast area of the WP editor, click “edit snippet,” then erase the automatic title tags and replace them with your own SEO-friendly title that will rank higher in search results.
While the structure of your SEO title should remain intriguing, you can experiment with it.
I use a different SEO title because, according to my study, it’s best to combine beginning a blog with making money from blogging early in the headline in search results—to clearly convey what visitors would get by clicking my link.
H-tags (heading tags) are formatting options you can use in your post’s text.
Rather than altering font sizes to highlight headings, use the menu to choose your heading sizes.
In both the WordPress content editor and Google Docs, here’s how to choose your heading formats:
Correct headings are incredibly important for SEO.
They’re used by Google to figure out what your content’s main point is, so they’re crucial—especially for getting your on-page SEO right.
Here’s how to use them for search engine optimization, in order of priority.
Heading 1: It is normally designated for your title and can only be used once. Here’s where you’ll put your main keyword.
Heading 2: These are the main points of your article. They’re also important for SEO, and they’re ideal areas to work on both long-tail and head keywords. Take a peek at mine, and you’ll see precisely what I mean.
Heading 3: These are the lesser ideas or subtopics that fall under your H2. It’s each of our ten SEO advice for bloggers for this article. You can also include keywords here.
Heading 4-6: Used to assist with page formatting and styling. These are the ones with the least SEO value.
In the first 100 words of your introduction, it’s also critical to mention your major target keyword.
“Want to nail your blog SEO? Be sure to include your target keyword within the first 100 words of your blog post.”
In a casual, conversational manner, pepper your target keyword phrase and variations throughout the body of your piece. Keyword stuffing, as previously noted, is something to avoid in order to get a few more mentions in.
The free Yoast plugin can also assist you make sure you’re hitting all the right notes.
5. Optimize your page URL
Search engines crawl your blog post’s URL, which is a crucial way for them to figure out what your piece is about. It’s a fantastic chance to insert your goal keyword phrase.
For example, I intended to rank for the long-tail term “how to make money blogging” in one of my most popular tips, How to Make Money Blogging (on the Side).
During the writing phase, I made sure to include the major keyword phrase in the URL slug to improve the article’s blog SEO friendliness.
I removed extraneous terms from my keyword, such as “how” and “to.”
You simply need a few words to explain what the link is about to the reader.
Other blog SEO guidelines for choosing a smart URL include using only lowercase letters to avoid duplication content and keeping the slug under 50 to 60 characters. Your URL should be as brief as possible.
Yoast can analyse your URL for SEO-friendliness and give recommendations that are in line with these on-page SEO methods and best practises.
Search engine website spiders are bound to browse through your material and look for keywords.
Did you realise, though, that they pay extra attention to keywords that are linked? They give more weight to linked keywords than to non-related words and phrases.
Within your entire blog SEO strategy, there are three categories of links to consider:
- Anchor Links: Links to other sections of the same article
It can resemble a table of contents for larger entries, such as this one. It’s a great chance to link to your major keywords right away.
- Internal Links: Links to relevant content on your site.
This not only assists readers in finding useful material, but it also combines your individual content pieces into a linked web that search engines can scan, map out, and assign authority to.
- External Links: Links to content on someone else’s website.
By associating keywords with strong pieces of content (think first page of SERPs or sites with high domain authority), you can improve your site’s reputation.
While anchor links aren’t required, it’s usually a good idea to have a mix of internal and external links.
A decent rule of thumb is two to four internal and external links per 600 words.
7. Craft an enticing meta description
The text that displays in SERPs after your headline is known as a meta description.
The words in the meta descriptions that are similar to what you were looking for are highlighted by Google. This allows the reader to make the connection between what they were looking for and what you provide on your site.
Another reason Yoast is great (provided you’ve picked WordPress, one of the top website builders, and one of the best WordPress themes to go with it) is that it allows you to write your own meta description for your blog post rather of having Google choose one for you.
After clicking “edit snippet” in the Yoast section of the WP content editor, the option will show.
What’s the secret to writing a captivating meta description?
- 50-160 characters: This keeps the reader’s attention and ensures that the search results aren’t cut off.
- Benefit for the reader is clear: The reader understands why they should choose you over the link underneath you.
- One to two keywords is included: This is done so that the keyword is bolded to match the user’s search keywords and to clarify the topic of your post. Keep in mind that your keywords must be employed in a natural way.
If you do this consistently, your blog’s SEO will greatly benefit from the effort you put in up front. Remember that when your blog’s traffic grows, you may want to explore hiring out for some more advanced SEO services that can help you scale your best practises across all of your blog’s pages—as well as open some more creative ways to boost your key rankings.
8. Optimize your images
Many people overlook the fact that optimising your images will give your site an additional SEO boost.
Because search engines can’t see photos like we do, they rely on the image file’s description—both the title and image alt text—to comprehend and categorise them.
Rename the file names of images uploaded to WordPress to something that is brief, incorporates an important term, and is yet descriptive for additional SEO power.
This is especially true for your feature image, which is frequently pinned, shared, and indexed into image search results.
When “blog SEO” is your target keyword phrase, for example, you can label an image “before-after-blog-seo.jpg,” and the image could be a graph illustrating your blog traffic before and after it was improved.
Use your keywords in your alt text and keep your description under 100 characters if you’re utilising a proprietary image you developed. You don’t need to do this with images you find on the internet because they already rank for a term that belongs to someone else.
Before you go crazy with keyword stuffing in your picture alt text, remember that its goal is to essentially describe the image to someone who is blind, not to be a place to pack keywords.
After uploading your photographs, search for the following in WordPress when writing titles and alt tags:
After the title and alt text, the next step for each photo is to minimise the file size by using tools like ImageOptim or Pichi to reduce the dimensions to less than 1,000px.
Reduce the file size as much as possible without sacrificing image quality and risking a fuzzy image.
Why does your image file size make a difference for your blog SEO?
People will abandon you if they have to wait more than three seconds for your page to load. This is one of the most common blogging blunders I encounter, so try to stay away from it!
9. Ensure mobile friendliness and reduce page loading times
Have you ever been in a hurry while grocery shopping and been relieved to find an empty checkout lane…
Remember how happy you were until you learned you had chosen the one with the single cashier-in-training?
Oh, the agony.
That’s how your reader feels when waiting for your blog article to load—and it’s even worse when your blog is crawled by Google.
People will leave if you keep forcing them to gaze at blank pages, and the big search engines will as well. Loading times and mobile responsiveness have an impact on your blog’s SEO and user experience, so keep this in mind when creating your overall blog layout.
Web.dev and Google’s PageSpeed Insights are two tools that may tell you how fast your site is. Check out this very useful article on how to get the most out of PageSpeed Insights and turn the data you’re seeing into real-world changes for your site.
If your blog isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll either need to hire a professional, adopt a mobile-friendly theme (like OptimizePress), or install a specific WordPress plugin to help.
If your page load times need to be improved, begin by:
Improving your images
Getting rid of any plugins that aren’t absolutely necessary (WordPress blogs only)
Changing to one of the top hosting plans can help your site load faster.
The basic fact is that blogging does cost money, and you’ll almost certainly be working within your own financial limits. Depending on your circumstances, you may only be able to choose from the cheapest hosting plans, budget-conscious shared hosting solutions, or even free hosting plans with some speed limitations. If that’s the case, that’s OK. Because blogging is a lengthy game, you can afford to increase your hosting once your site starts earning cash.
The ultimate goal is for your pages and articles to load lightning fast—ideally in under two seconds (or faster).
10. Promote your content
When you first start blogging, you may feel as if you have a lot of content to catch up on.
You simply want to write, write, write… and then some. However, if you want to increase traffic and boost your domain authority…
You should devote 20% of your effort to writing and the remaining 80% to promoting your content.
Content promotion will make or destroy you as a blogger. Spend 20% of your time writing and 80% of your time promoting your book.
Here’s how to market your blog material to get the most out of your blog SEO:
- Writing guest blog posts: You can get a link back (also known as a backlink) to your blog by being published on someone else’s blog. When someone else endorses your work, Google recognises that you are producing high-quality content and rewards you with higher search ranks.
- Networking with other bloggers: If you’ve done your homework and chosen a field in which you have some experience (or connections), fellow bloggers can be your finest allies when it comes to spreading the word! Send them an email about becoming a guest on their podcast, accepting a Q&A type article from you, or collaborating on a collaborative YouTube video series.
- Sharing new content on social media: People aren’t going to check your site every day to see if it’s been updated. Share and promote posts on social media to make everyone’s life easier. You never know if you’ll strike it rich and go viral.
- Continuing to promote older posts: You don’t have to start from scratch every time. Take what you’ve got, tweak it, then re-share it with a few other names to see which one receives the most attention on social media.
- Promoting content via your email list: Your newsletters and welcome-series emails are fantastic places to not only hone your blog email marketing skills, but also to link to pertinent information that your readers may be unaware of, have overlooked, or have forgotten about. When it comes to promoting freebies (like an eBook you produced) and material meant to monetize your audience, your email list will be very vital (like my Bluehost reviews compilation, for example).
- Pinning blog posts on Pinterest: Pinterest is a great addition to Google, especially if you’re waiting for additional organic search engine traffic. You may find that Pinterest traffic isn’t as reliable as Google’s, but because Pinterest’s algorithm isn’t as sophisticated, it’s still a lot easier to rank and drive traffic to your site when you’re initially getting started. Pinterest Traffic Avalanche is a fantastic course to look into if you want to learn a lot more about this topic.
While each of these actions is important and contributes to getting the traffic you want, don’t stress yourself out by thinking you have to do everything every day or you won’t get the blog SEO results you want—take your time to thoughtfully create a blog business plan that leans on your own strengths and experiences, and consider posting to a blogging job site if you need to hire some help.
Choose two things on which to concentrate for the month (or even the quarter).
When you have the time, work on some of the other aspects of your blog SEO strategy.
When it comes to blog SEO, you’re in it for the long-haul.
I wish I could say you can adopt all ten of these blog SEO methods today, and immediately see a virtual torrent of people pouring to your site to consume every single word you’ve ever written.
However, the truth is that you may become an SEO expert with your blog material and still not see much of a difference at first. It’s probably not you.
The time it takes to see results can be as long as six months (or even longer).
But once you do… your blog growth can be more explosive than your wildest fantasies.
And once you do have 584,958 readers each month—because if you hustle hard at refining your site SEO and providing fantastic content, you will. Just remember not to become complacent. Keep learning, take the correct blogging classes and read the right blogging books to grow your skills and improve your blog SEO approach.
Every three to six months, take a close look at your blog’s SEO and content statistics.
Examine what is working, what isn’t, and what might be improved.
Above all, remember your audience—and ask yourself what you can do to improve your content for them.