How to Build a Blog Optimized for Search Results in 2016

Having free organic search traffic is still one of the best ways to get visitors to your site.

Ranking in Google has become harder, however. Google continuously updates its algorithm. Each update comes with several websites seeing their traffic numbers tank. The tactics you may be implementing today may get you penalized tomorrow. Therefore, you need to find a sustainable strategy that can stand the test of time and shield you from Google’s algorithm updates.

Here are some simple strategies you can employ right away to build an SEO optimized blog:

Build a Solid Foundation

You need to use the best practices when creating your site.

Best practices are called best practices because they predictably deliver desired results almost every time they are used. By finding out what works then religiously implementing it, you are guaranteed to see dramatic growth in your search traffic.

Building a site that is optimized for SEO begins with choosing the right platform. WordPress is clearly the best choice as it is easy to install and configure and is also SEO friendly.

You also need to choose the right domain name for your business. Your domain name should be professional and easy to remember. Another important issue to pay attention to is the hosting provider. Your choice of hosting can influence your uptime and load speeds; two factors that can determine where you rank in the search engines.

Pay Attention to On-Page SEO

Most marketers, when executing SEO campaigns, focus their energies on off-page SEO while neglecting on-page SEO. You need to understand that without on-page SEO, all off-page SEO efforts are in vain.

On-page SEO helps you communicate to the search engines what your page is all about. When it is clear which keywords your page is targeting, Google will reward you with appearances in its SERPs for relevant searches.

The fundamental component of SEO is keyword usage.How you use keywords on your page communicates the subject matter being written about.

You can ensure optimal keyword usage by:

Starting your titles with keywords: it is not enough that you include your keyword in your title, you should strive to have it towards the beginning of the title. This ensures that the search engines assign enough weight to its importance and relevance to the content on the page.

Include keyword in the first paragraph or first 100 words: introducing your keyword earlier in the article makes the topic of your post clear to the search engines.

Use LSI keywords: LSI keywords are words closely related to your primary keyword. When you use LSI keywords, you make it easier for the search engines to gauge the relevancy of your content to the searches made by a user as well as the quality and depth of your post.

Write Quality Blog Posts

Quality writing will attract and keep readers. You will not be able to rank for long in Google if your content fails the quality test.

Google gauges how helpful your content is through user experience metrics like bounce rates and time-on-page. A poorly written and poorly designed page will have horribly high bounce rates, and Google will quickly figure out that your page is no good.

Besides the words on your page, you need to pay attention to the layout and general design of the page. People skim the online content. Your page layout should aid fast skimming.

You do this by:

  • Using headers and sub-headers.
  • Using bullets and lists.
  • Having short paragraphs.
  • Bolding sections of your content.
  • Having lots of white space.
  • Using images to break up the text.

Have Effective Calls to Action

You want to turn cold search traffic to leads and raving fans. You do this by having them take some particular action on your site such as joining an email list. A call to action is one of the most important components of your page.

There is a good and bad way to go about setting up calls to action on a page. To get it right, you need first to clarify the goal of the call to action. It could invite a visitor to download something, add a product to a cart, share a piece of content on social media, leave a comment, register for a free trial or even sign up for an account.

The things to pay attention to include the color and sizes of buttons, information passed and the language used. Size affects how a button interacts with the content around it. Go for simple and clear language on your calls to action. It should be clearly understood from the word go what action you want the reader to take.

Conclusion

When you build a blog optimized for search results right from day one, you give yourself a chance to win the SEO game.

If you’ve been at this for some time and are just starting to take SEO seriously, do not worry. You can make much progress quickly if you know what to focus on and what to ignore. The points in this article cover the fundamentals to get you started building a blog that is well optimized for search results.