How to Optimize a Blog Post for SEO Ranking Ability (On-Page Optimization)

In this blog, I'm gonna show you how to optimize a blog post for maximum SEO ranking ability. Now this is going to be a checklist for how to get your on-page SEO dialed incorrectly so that you have a shot of ranking high on the first page of organic Google results.

SEO Ranking Ability

This is not a guarantee of ranking number one, however. There's a lot that goes into ranking your content high in organic search that we're gonna talk about in this blog. However, what we're focusing our main strategies on here are the on-page things that you have a lot of control over.

Now, we're not gonna be diving deep into how to get guest posts, how to get backlinks, how to share your content and get it to go viral. Those are things for another day. Today we're focusing specifically on the on-page SEO strategies that you need to be doing in order to even get your content considered to rank high in organic search. So let's do it.

Alright, now let's talk about on-page SEO. We're gonna be doing this using an example of one of my most recent blog posts, one that's been doing pretty well despite being published just a couple of days before actually writting this post. So it's only been live

for two days, although it's already ranking on the first page of Google search results.

Now granted, the term blogging statistics isn't the most competitive term out there in the world, but there are a few hundred monthly searches, right? So that is a meaningful number of people coming to my blog. Now, let's pop on over to the WP admin behind the scenes for this blog post. Now this is the WordPress editor for that exact post we we're just looking at, right?

So when you go to all posts, you can navigate to this post on your blog. And we're gonna start by talking about headlines.What makes a good headline because this is really important for getting your content to rank well in organic search. Now

personally, I'm a big fan of leading with a number. Especially if it's something that's tutorial, how-to based, right? So how many steps are in your article? Maybe that's, you know, 10 steps to accomplishing xyz. 32 blogging statistics, right? Writing a clever

headline is something that's very important. You know, I was just doing some research on this. Six out of 10 people report only reading a blog article's headline before sharing it on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, right? So having an

important headline is important in not just getting people to share your content, but getting your content to rank well because Google knows that content that ranks well gets shared the most, right? So this is very important.

I've got a lot of content about how to write effective headlines in my blog post about how to write a blog post. But the basics of it

are that I recommend leading with a number if you possibly can. It catches the attention of your potential readers, people searching on the search engines, right? And it's very important to get your keyword phrase, your target keyword phrase in very,

very early in the title. So for me, obviously blogging statistics is the keyword phrase I'm going after here. You can see it bolded in the intro sections of my article here.

I've got it in the first sentence. That's another important factor to consider for optimize in your blog posts. Having your keyword phrase ideally in the very first sentence of your article and then bold it, if you can. I'm a big believer in bold it as a signal to the

search engines that this is what your article's about. So I've got it in here in the second sentence, and the third sentence, and then you know, variations of it on throughout. Statistics about blogging, you know, statistics about how to blog, content marketing statistics for bloggers, things like that, right? So it's important to have variations of your keyword phrase weaved in throughout.

Not just trying to pound it over the head with a thousand mentions of the same keyword phrase. So switch it up a bit. Another last note on headlines. I'm a big fan of parenthesis. I think it creates kind of a stopping point visually for people that are scanning a page, you know? Something that'll jump out at them as being a little bit more unique. And then naturally, for something that's timely like this, people want relevant information, right? So in 2020. That's important for me to include in this as well. Now again,

this is the on-page headline for my article. Below, we'll talk about the SEO headline. But first, I wanna really touch on the importance of your permalink.

This is the URL that people will navigate. This is what they're gonna see in their address bar when they are on your blog post. This is extremely important. This is almost as important as a headline. This tells the search engines what your article is about. So it's very, very crucial that you include at least your core keyword phrase in the URL

of your blog post. Now, I'm a big fan of very clean, simple URLS. I'm a minimalist when it comes to setting permalinks. So for me, I like keeping it to as few words as possible. Typically just my core keyword phrase. And I'll omit things like to, or a, or the.

For example, my how to start a blog article which ranks on the first page of Google searches as well. My URL for that is how-start-blog. I think it looks clean, it's simple, it's easy to read and digest as a searcher. And personally, I'm a big fan of just keeping

it clean, and simple, and minimal. So that's my advice on that front. Now let's go ahead and jump down to categories. Categories are very important for readers who are gonna be navigating your site. Now, I'm very careful to categorize posts typically only as

one category. I want it to be very clear what this article's about from a site search standpoint. So this article definitely about blogging.

Gets the check mark. Under meta tags here. You know, there's been a lot of chatter out there about whether or not meta tags are

even important anymore as an SEO ranking factor. But, you know, call it superstition, call it just being old school, but I like to include somewhere between five and 10 meta tags typically. There's no reason to go super crazy on this. However, spend, you

know, 15, 20 seconds throwing down meta tags that are related to your core keyword phrase. So blog statistics, blogging statistics, blogging industry statistics. These are the kinds of things that people are gonna be searching for and I just want to keep

reinforcing to the search engines that this is what my article's about. A featured image here, you know, a quick note on image all tags. Google sometimes ranks their images, or will display images near the top of search rankings. And so having your image up there as something that pops to potential readers is going to make you stand out.

Now, a note on image all tags real quick. If you go to edit, you'll be able to see that I've got alternative text here. And that

describes the purpose of the image. Now, I'm a very big proponent of trying to make sure that my keyword phrase is included in as many of these images as possible in the alternative text for these images. It's important that you don't just keyword stuff into every

single image. Sometimes you can get dinged for trying to game the search algorithms by doing that. However, for every image on your blog post that is somewhat related to the target keyword phrase, the topic at hand for the article, I highly recommend

including it. And don't just use the same image all text for every image on your site, right? Switch it up. Now, let's hop down to what is my favorite WordPress plugin, Yoast SEO.

And this is basically my guidento making sure that each blog post of mine is optimized for on-page SEO before I hit publish. And if you all go to your WordPress dashboard. Then log-in to your Wp-admin. On left side bar you see plugins option click onto his  add

new option. And if you search actually under popular, I'm sure Yoast is at the top. But if you search for Yoast, Y-O-A-S-T, you're gonna see Yoast SEO near the top. Now if you haven't yet installed Yoast SEO on your site. So if you don't have Yoast yet, do it. It's free. Check this out. It's truly an amazing free product.

I say that not as someone who's affiliated with them at all. I earn nothing if you sign up for Yoast. I just genuinely find it to be an extremely useful plugin. So once you get Yoast SEO installed onto your blog, you're gonna see little box at the bottom of your blog post now. You can show and hide this. That is your snippet preview. If you are on you new post then, what Yoast is telling you is most likely to appear as far as your information about your blog post in Google searches a preview they've created, right?

You can see blogging dash statistics pulling in right there, right? So it's clean, it's simple, it's your keyword phrase. Your headline.

Now this is actually pretty important. Sometimes when you write a longer form headline for your on-page headline of your blog post, it might not fit into search engines, right? So your search engine text for a headline has a maximum number of characters that are allowed. I always try that, my SEO title is a little bit different from the on-page title that I have for my blog post.

But I've sort of tweaked it. It says to blog smarter here instead of up above the on-page headline says to improvement your blogging strategy in the parenthesis in 2020. Here you also see a green bar will show you as you get towards the end of your character limit, it'll turn red. So it'll indicate where you need to stop. And sometimes I found that, you know, maybe search engines will clip your title a few characters short, maybe it'll allow a few more characters than Yoast suggests it will. There's a little bit of variation here so you can play around with it.

Control your permalink up above where we were controlling the URL originally. Now, the meta description. By default, if you don't input something in the meta description field, Google and other search engines are going to just pull in the first couple

sentences of written content on your blog post. Now sometimes that actually works out okay. However, if you're not writing your first few paragraphs with an SEO optimized focus, then you're going to get some content that's not gonna be working for you.

So I recommend writing a meta description, that again, incorporates your target keyword phrase right up top, first sentence, gotta do it. And then, provides just a few insights about what this blog post is gonna be about. Something that's gonna hook the reader. Someone who's curious about clicking on your article, but hasn't done so yet. So meta description, very important again. And let's expand the readability analysis here. So this is getting into kind of the weeds for most new bloggers. However, if you're

pretty anal about writing, then this is gonna be something that you're gonna like. So subheading distribution. Three seconds of my text are longer than 300 words and are not separated by subheadings, right? So, this is just sort of reinforcing best practices in

terms of how to make your blog content more easily read by people who come to it, right?

Not using words that are too complex. It does a reading ease test. It gives you a score onto how easy your blog post is to read. It gives you a bunch of sort of simple guidelines. Paragraph length, this is something I will say is very important. I wanna show you examples here. If you'll notice, I very rarely go beyond one or two lines vertically in content for my blog post, right? So here's an

example of a paragraph that spreads down to the third vertical line. That's fairly rare for my content. I'm trying to make content very easily read, digestible. And that's very important for increasing your readability of your blog post.

SEO wise, not a huge contributing factor. But here in the focus key phrase section, this is where you're going to type in the target keyword phrase that you want this article to ring for. And below here, you're gonna get a whole bunch of recommendations for

how to improve your on-page SEO based on this keyword phrase that you've got input here. So this is very important. You gotta type this in if you hope to get actual good optimization tips from the Yoast plugin. It'll tell you things about your meta description

length. Now I personally think this is a matter of dispute. 156 characters. I've seen some of my articles get much more text listed in the meta descriptions.

It kind of depends, there's a little variance to this. But if you go a little bit over, it's better then being under. Maximize the real estate that you're going to use. Image alt attributes. You know, all of my image alt tags have my key phrase in them for this post.

And they suggest that that's a bit much. Now personally, I haven't experienced a negative impact from showcasing the target keyword phrase in my image alt titles pretty heavily. So personally, as long as I'm not doing it in you know, a 100 images on a single blog post, I think generally, you're gonna be okay. Again, there's just eight images on this blog post. Key phrase in title.

I've got the key phrase in my title for the SEO, but not at the beginning. That's not correct. So sometimes there will be mistakes in the optimization suggestions here. You can see in the first sentence of my blog post that I do have the key-phrase blogging

statistics right here. So double check if something looks fishy. However, there are lots of very, very helpful recommendations. We don't need to go through absolutely everything because the Yoast plugin is going to show you what you should be doing, how to

consider changes to make. Make sure you have outbound links, right? So don't link to competitor content. I wouldn't wanna link to another article that is specifically about blogging statistics from this piece of mind because that tells the search engines

crawling my article that hey, this other article about blogging statistics is more authoritative because it's linking to it from here and it's older. So, my advice on outbound links, don't link to directly competitive content.

And if you must, if you absolutely have to, be sure to no follow that link. Internal links. Always link internally to related content. I recommend a minimum of five internal links. If you can do more, definitely do more. There's not really much of an upward limit

as long as you're not making your content too overly stuffed with links, right? Key phrase in introduction. Key phrase length. Key phrase density. These are all really important contributing factors to getting your on-page SEO right. And this is more of a ratio, right? So my key phrase blogging statistics, it was mentioned 23 times out of 2,000 words.

So having a keyword density of that sort of ratio is what I'm typically aiming for. And that's really it as far as on-page SEO optimizations you should be making. Again, now that we've gone through the tactical components of how to get your on-page SEO

right for every single blog post of your site, I wanna reiterate that the important factors in actually ranking are the off-page SEO, right? So the things like guest posting to get high authority quality natural backlinks to your articles.

Going out and creating a shareable interest that's optimized for Pinterest, right?Another signal to search engines that your content is highly shareable. That people are enjoying it. Getting it somewhat viral on Facebook, on Twitter, LinkedIn, wherever

your target audience is spending time, that's where you should be sharing your content. You  wanna engage with users on different types of communities, niche platforms, where your readers are spending time and bring them to your site. All of these factors in conjunction with getting your on-page SEO right is what's going to contribute to being  able to rank your content high in organic search.


Written by: Gaurav

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