Think of Google’s search engine as a big pond of fish. Google sells fish. Its customers are its users.
When customers come to Google and say, “I want the best bass you have over 10 pounds,” the search engine’s job is to find it and display it to the user.
The problem is that there are millions of bass in the pond with many of them over 10 pounds. Google needs to find the best ones, though. And they have their own way to know which “bass” is best to show its users.
Your website is one of these bass in the search engine pond. You need to make your site bigger and better than any other bass in the pond. What is the pond in this case? The topic that people are searching for on Google.
Let’s say your site sells coffee. Someone searches for “high quality dark roast coffee.” You have optimized your site, and even have a blog post that lists the factors of high-quality dark roast coffee, providing even more information and value to users. Google sees this, the user clicks on it, reads the blog post and then purchases from your site.
The user is happy. Google is happy. You are happy.
This is an example of how you can use optimized blog posts to improve your SEO. Now, let me show you how you can optimize those posts, so they can stand out from the millions of sites in the grand search engine pond.
Keyword Research and Implementation
You cannot write optimized blog posts if you don’t know what your target audience is searching for on Google. To figure this out, use Google’s Keyword Planner on its AdWords platform to do your research. Once you find out which keywords people are searching for, then you’ll know which words to highlight in your blog post.
Once you have your list of keywords, use them in all of these areas:
- The first paragraph of your content to ensure people know your blog post pertains to their interest.
- In one header, and then use similar keywords and keyword phrases in other headers.
- The page title and meta description should also include the keyword phrase.
DO NOT stuff keywords, as in do not use them too much. This appears unnatural and can make Google flag your site as spammy, which results in lost rankings.
Pro tip: We recommend using Ubersuggest to find additional long-tail keywords that you can focus blog posts about, such as frequently-asked questions and “how to” topics. You can export phrases from Ubersuggest, and then add them in to the Google Keyword Planner Tool to check search volume.
Every blog post should link to a priority page on your site. A priority page is a main one that may convert people.
For example, in the blog post about high-quality dark roast coffee, you should include a link to your dark roast coffee. After the reader is so impressed with the valuable information you’ve provided and recognizes your coffee is the high-quality dark roast he has been searching for, he will be more likely to buy some by following that link.
Google pays attention to internal linking as well. When the bot crawls your website, it will realize that you not only have valuable information about a topic, but it leads the reader to exactly what he has searched for on its search engine. This can significantly boost rankings for that keyword phrase.
All Google wants to do is provide its users with what they want. When you deliver what their users want, Google is more likely to rank your site higher.
Pro tip: If you have some pages that you’d like to rank higher in Google, look for opportunities to add internal links back to that page, from other pages on your website. Link to priority pages from blog posts is one of the best opportunities for internal linking. For example, let’s say you have a page that is ranking #11 or #15 in Google for a keyword phrase. Adding some internal links from relevant blog posts back to that page with targeted internal link text may help that page crack into the Top 10 results.
There is a bit of a popularity contest going on with rankings. Sites with more high-quality backlinks are often ranked higher in Google’s search results.
Backlinks are links that come from an external website to your site. However, not all links are created equal. Links from authoritative, high-quality websites are much more valuable than links from run-of-the-mill websites, and links from low-quality, spammy websites can actually hurt your rankings.
Since content is so important to Google’s search engine, guest blogging is an excellent way to gather backlinks for authoritative sites. The website owner is happy to have more content ranked. Google is happy to have more content to choose from when trying to find the best for its users. You’re happy because not only do you get a good backlink, BUT you may also gain some traffic from that site if it has a similar target audience.
Pro tip: If you have an opportunity to submit a guest article for publication on a high-authority website, take the time to research your blog topic carefully, and title your blog topic with a relevant keyword. That way, your guest blog article will have a better chance of ranking in Google. As a result, your guest blog post can generate a continual stream of referral traffic. That’s what happened when we provided this guest blog post about Google AdWords on Neil Patel’s blog — we’ve generated thousands of referral visitors from that single guest blog post.