Writing SEO-Optimized Articles:
1. Post Title and Meta Title
First, you need to understand the difference between post title and meta title.
If you have not specified a meta title in your SEO settings, your post title will be treated as the meta title.
You can read more about this here:
Pro Tip: Keep your post titles less than 66 characters.
2. Post Meta Description
All of the most popular SEO plugins allow you to add meta descriptions to a post. These descriptions play a major role in search engine ranking.
Think of a meta description as a sales copy for your blog post:
If you have not added meta descriptions in the past, you should start doing it immediately.
Meta descriptions are very important.
You should go back to any of your previously published posts which do not have a meta description and add one.
By optimizing your post meta descriptions, you are ensuring that every post you write has the potential to drive a maximum amount of traffic to your site.
Google sees every blog post as a different web page so you can rank every post for certain keywords.
Meta descriptions are great places to put keywords.
3. Image Alt Attribute
Text is how Google recognizes an image.Google can’t read images.
To ensure that search engines can understand what an image is about, you must be sure to useproper image names.
Many people make the mistake of uploading images with names like image001.jpg.
When naming an image, keep the name relevant to image itself.
For example, if you take a screenshot of an AdSense dashboard, and you name the image “AdSense”, it will not be targeted. Instead, you need to use a name like “AdSense-dashboard”.
Here at ShoutMeLoud, we use an effective plugin called SEO Friendly Image which uses the image name as its “alt (alternate text) attributes”. This way, when people search for an image at Google Image Search, they will land on an image in one of our blog posts.
If you choose to not use such a plugin, you can always manually add alt attributes when you upload an image.
I have seen positive results when using keywords in image anchor text (when naming an image),so you should at least use keywords in your image alt text.
4. Interlink and Anchor Text
When writing a new post, it’s always a good idea to link back to old blog posts so that readers will stick around your site for longer and also so that search engines can re-crawl these old posts.
This helps in better navigability of your site which reduces the bounce rate- another important SEO factor.
When you interlink, you should use the anchor text technique.
Simply put, when you link to a blog post, you see an option to add a link and a title.
Make sure to fill out the post title with the main keywords for the post that you are linking to.
5. Permalinks: Remove stop wordsAt ShoutMeLoud, we also use a plugin called SEO Smart Links for automatic internal linking.
(For a comprehensive list of stop words: Go here and here.)When we write a post, our post titles usually come with lots of stop words.
So for example, when we write a post with the title:
Our post permalink, by default, would be:
“To” and “a“ are stop words in the example above.
You can click on edit permalink and change the permalink to “blog-business-plan”, thus eliminating the stop words.
6. H1, H2, H3 Headings
This is fine, but we must not ignore one of the most important aspects of SEO:We use the Thesis post styling feature to create the style of our blog posts.
By default, in any SEO-optimized theme, the post title uses an H1 heading tag. So for the next sub-heading, you can use an H2 heading, and then an H3 heading, and so on.
It is always a good idea to use proper heading tags for effective SEO writing, especially when you are writing a long post.
Please refer to this post and this post for a better understanding of how to use heading tags within blog posts.
According to the SEO community, it’s a good idea to use your keywords in H1, H2, and H3 tags.