Blog SEO: 17 tips to make your blog rank higher on Google (with real examples)

21.05.2019 0

If you create content for your website, you most likely wonder:

How do I get my blog to rank higher on Google?

Then you are in the right place. In this article, we explain how to create SEO-friendly blog posts and get your website on the first page of Google.

Actually, we have been following exactly the same SEO tips. As a result, our blog posts rank high on Google and outperform many competitors.

For example this:

Digital Marketing Infographic Google Results

Or this:

Digital Marketing Checklist Google Search Results

These are the key SEO tips we will cover:

  1. Find niche topics (and relevant keywords)
  2. Utilize Keywords
  3. Create Buyer Personas
  4. Publish long content
  5. Increase page loading speed
  6. Optimize images
  7. Increase dwell time
  8. Reduce Bounce rate
  9. Increase CTR in SERPs
  10. Optimize URL
  11. Utilize “Skyscraper Technique”
  12. Outreach
  13. Utilize link reclamation
  14. Write guest blogs
  15. Actively share on social media
  16. Optimize for voice search
  17. Refresh your content

1. Find niche topics (and relevant keywords)

What kind of article would you be more interested to read:

Digital marketing tips

Or

How to use digital marketing to grow sales in B2B?

Most likely you would choose the second option. That’s why it’s important to identify niche topics in your field and create content around it. In this case, the niche topic would be how to grow sales with digital marketing.

Some ways to find niche topics are:

Thematic forums, such as Quora

Let’s say you create content about hotels. A quick search on Quora with the keyword “hotels” reveals that people are keen on reading about the most expensive and fancy hotels. Why not create a blog post about it?

Quora search results

Wikipedia’s table of contents and “see also”

When researching what to write about marketing automation, we looked up the “see also” section on Wikipedia. It turns out that demand generation, lead scoring, and other topics are also something that people are curious about.

Google’s “searches related to”

Let’s say you are planning to create content about digital marketing. Google’s suggestions at the bottom of the search results page can give you a hint on what to focus on. That is: digital marketing courses, PDF materials, and even salary in the industry.

Google searches related to digital marketing

Google Ads’ Keyword Planner

Log in to your Google Ads account and then go to Tools and choose Keyword Planner. You’ll find a bunch of keyword ideas and search volume trends.

Keyword suggestions in SEO software

If you deploy any SEO software, you can also use them to find keyword suggestions. That’s what MOZ suggests when researching the keyword “business marketing automation”:

marketing automation keyword suggestions

Clearly, people are interested to learn more about marketing automation for small business.

Ask your personnel

Ask your sales people, customer support, and other coworkers what requests are the most common from your clients. The customer-facing people of the company know firsthand what they are being asked and what is trending.

2. Utilize Keywords

Found a set of relevant keywords?

Now it’s important to utilize them to their full potential. Some tips to keep in mind:

Use long-tail keywords

Let’s compare the following keywords:

Tomato soup: 236 000 000 results
Creamy tomato soup recipe: 55 300 000 results

Clearly, the longer the keyword is, the less Google results it has and thus the less competitive it is. Thus, long-tails are easier to rank high for.

Place keywords in titles

Putting relevant keyword to the titles of your blog posts will help Google to crawl your page faster. Thus, Google will decide how relevant your content is to a search query in mere seconds.

Look at the following example:

Use keywords in the first 100 words of a piece of content

If relevant keywords appear in the first 100-150 words of your blog post, this will help Google understand what your page is about way faster.

In this post about SEO tips for e-commerce, the relevant keywords are sprinkled in the first paragraphs:

3. Create Buyer Personas

The concept of a buyer persona can help you to better understand the needs of your audience and create more appealing content for them.

Once your content resonates with your target audience, it increases shareability and improves search rankings.

Here’s one example of a buyer persona profile by Neil Patel.

4. Publish long content

On average, long content is considered to start from the number of 1200 words.

Publishing longer content is beneficial in terms of SEO. Firstly, long content usually gathers more backlinks. Secondly, long-form content outperforms short blog posts in terms of shareability.

A ranking factors study by SEMrush confirmed that long content tends to rank higher:

seo study by semrush

5. Increase page loading speed

Fact:

53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds.

In addition, page loading speed is an important ranking factor for Google.

All in all, you want to make sure your page loading speed is as high as possible. A good way to start is to analyze your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

6. Optimize images

Google does not just look for images. It looks for images with alt text. That’s why it’s important to add relevant keywords to your image name and meta description.

We use SEO features in LianaCMS to add meta description to images we use in any blog post.

seo features lianacms

7. Increase dwell time

Dwell time is the amount of time that passes between the moment you click a search result and return back to the SERPs (search engine results page).

This time range should be as large as possible as Google considers dwell time an important ranking factor.

Some ways to achieve it:

  • Ensure rich multimedia experience: try to use diversified types of content in your blog pieces, such as video files, audio, diagrams, charts, quizzes, games and infographics.
  • Think of first sentences: make the intro to your blog posts as enticing as possible to make them want to read till the end. Leave a hook that makes it interesting to read until the end.
  • Include a lot of subheadings: this improves readability and creates a more favorable user experience.

8. Reduce Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

You can check your bounce rate in Google Analytics reports:

Google Analytics reports

The lower your bounce rate is, the higher Google ranks your page. In essence, lower bounce rates give Google a signal that users find your webpage interesting and, thus, it deserves a higher rank.

An average bounce rate for blogs is considered to be from 65 to 90%:

bounce rates benchmarks

A good way to decrease bounce rate is to display a pop up with a downloadable content when a user is about to leave your page. This is how Wordstream does it:

a pop up on the website by wordstream

9. Increase CTR in SERPs

Google search results with higher CTRs are getting pushed higher up the SERPs. But how to make sure your blog post will get high CTR?

Try to create featured snippets

Featured snippets are selected search results that are featured on top of Google's organic results below the ads in a box. Like this:

featured snippet example

To aim for featured snippets, you can make compilations of all sorts, such as best tools, best hotels, or best restaurants to have a New Year party. Here you can find other actionable ways to win featured snippets.

Come up with a catchy title

Spice up your titles with emotional adjectives. Also, numbers in headings drive a lot of attention.

10. Optimize URL

A short and descriptive URL is beneficial for SEO.

Why?

Compare these two URLs:

  • https://www.mtu.edu/umc/services/digital/seo/
  • https://www.wordstream.com/seo

Clearly, the second URL helps Google parse the page faster. As the second URL does not have any subfolders, it is clear that its content is about SEO. Thus, short and keyword rich URLs can give you a lot of competitive advantage.

11. Utilize “Skyscraper Technique”

The good old Skyscraper Technique is a brilliant way to gather more links and to boost the performance of your blog.

In a nutshell, it means finding trending and well-performing articles, turning it into more detailed and appealing content and reaching out to relevant people for outreach.

Here’s how the technique helped Brian Dean to increase his search traffic by 110% in 14 days.

12. Outreach

Publishing high-quality content is only half of your SEO journey. The next step is to reach out to relevant people to promote your articles and earn backlinks. The two most effective ways of outreach are:

1) To the companies mentioned in your content

Referenced a blog post by another company? Give them a shout about it and ask to share your piece with their audience.

Here’s what we usually do:


Hi team Wyzowl :)

I just published a comprehensive article on the top 21 digital marketing trends for 2018 and I mentioned you in it almost at the very beginning. Your stats on video content were super valuable for my piece! Thank you for creating such great research and content. Would love it if you could check it out and share with your audience. https://www.lianatech.com/news/liana-technologies-news/article/21-digital-marketing-trends-for-2018-infographic.html

P.S. in a matter of days, the article has been read by hundreds of people :)

The result:

Liana Technologies mention on Facebook

2) To blogs that publish similar content to yours

The other day we received this email:

SEO outreach example

We were happy to complement our article with the guide. Thus, it was beneficial for both parties: we enriched our article with valuable and relevant content and they acquired a backlink.

Try out this strategy and see for yourself.

PRO tip:

In case you receive a request like above, you can always take advantage of it. Simply ask to share your article on social media given that you add their link. This is exactly what we asked.

The result:

Liana Technologies mention on LinkedIn

13. Utilize link reclamation

Mentions of your content on other blogs can significantly improve your search engine rankings. However, sometimes companies mention your publications without linking back to you. If you monitor your online mentions, you can easily find companies who mentioned your content without a link.

If you spotted a case like this, you can always reach out to the company and kindly ask them to add a link to your site. Look at the example below:

Link Reclamation email example

14. Write guest blogs

If you have enough resources, you can search for online media that would be interested in publishing your guest post and link to your site.

Here’s our real example of requesting a guest publication:

Guest blogging email example

As a result, if you Google "marketing automation Middle East", you will find our article on the first organic results position:

Marketing Automation Middle East: organic Google search results

15. Actively share on social media

Google representatives officially confirmed that the search engine allocates weight to social media signals in ranking.

Aside by using your social media channels, you might also benefit from sharing on other platforms:

  • Share presentations on SlideShare
  • Share documents on Scribd
  • Share infographics on Pinterest
  • Share on industry-relevant social media groups

16. Optimize for voice search

Google claims that one-fifth of the queries on Google are voice searches. The future is SEO is voice search.

Optimizing your content for voice is crucial. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Aim for question-based queries, especially “how to” or “how many”
  • Optimize local search results. Asking for directions or nearby locations on Google make up a good amount of search queries

For example, this blog post can be perfect for a person looking for a restaurant in New York on the go. 

17. Refresh your content

Updating your content and enriching it with up-to-date facts now and then is extremely beneficial SEO-wise.

Why?

Google loves fresh content. Also, you can fix broken links and improve user experience while updating your content. As your previous SEO data is stored, such as page visits or CTR, it is easier to boost an updated blog post on Google rather than writing a new one from scratch.

Tip:

Add a note with the date of your update to let your readers know you provide the most up-to-date content and want to make it more valuable for them.

It's time to wrap it up. Remember to share the article with your colleagues to make sure the entire team keeps up with the latest SEO trends.

What SEO tips work best for you? 

Let us know by leaving a comment below right now.

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