Blog SEO + How to Optimize Your Posts
As a medical cannabis or CBD business owner I’m pretty sure you know that regularly posting fresh articles with relevant, educational content helps boost blog SEO. Not only does this provide relevant answers to your customers' questions, but it also boosts the positioning of your website in search engines every time they search for it.
However, this is only really the case if your blog posts use a variety of on-page SEO tactics, giving you more opportunities to rank in search engines and get customers to visit your site. In this article I will give you 10 actionable tips on how to optimize your posts for blog SEO.
1. Find a Focus Keyword for Each Blog Post
Many non-professionals and newbies just use their best guesses to write about topics they feel people might be interested in. This is unfortunately a crappy strategy with a crappy return on investment in time, effort and money.
Keyword research is a vital tool in helping you discover the topics your audience is truly interested in. Many pros use tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs to help them find in-depth keyword data, competition analysis, keyword position tracking, and other useful features.
However, in my experience, these tools can be helpful, but are quite expensive, especially for smaller business on tight budgets.
So, if you’re not quite ready to invest that much, you can use free tools like AnswerThePublic, Ubersuggest or WooRank. Or simply use Google Analytics and/or Google Search Console - most SEO tools piggy back off of Google’s APIs, anyway.
Use these tools to find a list of potential keywords from which you can choose one focus keyword per blog post. You will want to choose keywords with high search volumes, and low SEO competition rankings.
2. Find Long-tail Keywords for Each Focus Keyword
Following on from that, you also want to find some long-tail keywords for each of your focus keywords. Long-tail keywords (sometimes also called semantic keywords), are phrases your audience and customers are most likely to enter in search engines when looking for something.
The easiest way to find them is simply to enter your focus keyword in Google Search. You can then scroll down to the bottom of results and look at the section called ‘related searches’ where Google lists the most popular search phrases.
3. Include These Keywords in Specific Parts of Your Blog Post.
To make sure that search engine crawlers find and use them properly, you need to include them in these four essential places:
Headline a.k.a Title Tag
To determine whether or not your content is relevant, the title or headline of your blog post will be the first place both search engines and readers will look. That is why including at least your focus keyword, but more ideally your long-tail keyword in your heading is vital.
Headers & Body
This one is rather obvious but you need to incorporate as many of your focus and long-tail keywords in your content as possible. But, it’s also important to remember to mention them at a normal cadence throughout the body of your blog post content, but also the headers. But also don’t try to use too many of them all at once. Not only will this look odd to your users but search engines like Google’s AI are pretty good at detecting keyword stuffing and will penalize you for it.
Search engines also look to your URL to figure out what your post is about. It is also one of the first things it'll crawl on a page. Optimize your URLs on every post you publish and make sure you include at least one to two keywords in it.
HTML meta tags can, and should, be added to any page. Their purpose is to provide a brief description of your article for search engines and other crawlers. They are also used by social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to display when your articles are shared on those platforms. A good meta description is one that tells the reader a bit more about the article. But you also want to make sure that your meta description contains your focus keyword at least once to tell search engines more bout your article as well.
4. Write Good Blog Post Titles
The title of your blog post is extremely important for blog SEO and search rankings for another reason as well. In addition to telling search engines what your post is about, a good headline or title will also motivate people to click on it.
When someone clicks on your blog article link when they see it in the search results click-through rates (CTRs) are improved. These play an important role in SEO and will ultimately boost your blog’s SEO ranking.
Try using online tools like EMV headline Analyzer which help you create headlines using power words that theoretically triggers specific emotional responses in your audience that improve CTRs.
5. Use Internal Linking
Using internal linking and making it a habit is a great way to make sure your on-page SEO is good. The reason for this is that internal linking develops a contextual relationship between your new and old posts that that also ensures that your older articles continue to get new links.
It is also important to remember that, although 1-way internal linking where you link to older posts from new articles, you should also go back to edit older posts and link those to your new articles for maximum benefits.
6. Add Alt Tags to Images & Videos
Because search engines like Google rank engaging content higher in search results, we know it’s important to include images and videos in your posts.
But, similar to HTML meta descriptions, images and videos have something called ‘alt text’, sometimes also called ‘alt tags’ or ‘alt descriptions’ can help with blog SEO. This is because these add context for search engines when indexing the image if it's in a blog article related to a similar topic.
That is why you have to make sure that you optimize these to add an extra bit of boost to your blog SEO by including the following:
- Describe the image briefly
Begin with the image description and leave out any file names or unnecessary information
- Be specific in your description, but also succinct
- Keep it under 125 characters
- Use your keywords in the description
7. Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly & responsive
Recent research has shown that more people are now using their mobile phones to search for content than they do from a computer and why Google has increasingly been displaying mobile-friendly results first.
Make sure you are using a responsive design for your website. Websites that are not responsive to mobile need to have two different URLs for each page - in other words, an URL for the desktop page, and an URL for the mobile page, respectively. Responsive designs only need one URL per page.
This helps your blog SEO since any inbound links that come back to your site don't need to be divided between the separate desktop and mobile URLs, effectively centralizing the SEO power you gain from these links. It also helps Google more easily recognize your post's value and rank it accordingly.
8. Optimize Older Blog Posts
It’s easy to forget about a blog post after you’ve published it - especially if it didn’t seem to get much traction then. But, an easy and quick way to boost your blog SEO is optimizing your older blog post for SEO once it is published. I recommend optimizing old posts on a regular basis, so you can continue improving your blog SEO and search rankings.
One way of doing this is by going back to old articles and add newer, fresher external and internal links that are more actual and relevant for now. It also has the added bonus of giving your newer articles link juice and allowing visitors to discover them more easily.
Also, don’t forget to promote your older blog posts on social media again. Re-promoting them across your social media profiles can refresh their relevance in search results.
INTERESTED IN SOME MORE AWESOME IDEAS ON HOW TO GET YOUR cannabis or CBD business AHEAD OF THE CROWD? CHECK OUT THESE ARTICLES TO GET YOU STARTED
- 10 Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
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- 8 Easy Instagram SEO Techniques that Organically Increase Reach
- 5 Reasons Why You Need to Create Regular Content
- 5 Content Marketing Mistakes Cannabis and CBD Brands Make & What to Do Instead
- 5 Major Blogging Mistakes & How To Fix Them: A Guide for Cannabis Businesses
ABOUT LIEZE BOSHOFF
Lieze, is the founder of LBC3 Marketing, a leading content marketing and copywriting consultancy, working exclusively in the cannabis industry.
Lieze is a passionate and data-driven content marketing consultant with over 3 years of medical cannabis and CBD industry experience. Working with a wide range of brands and businesses globally, Lieze specializes in helping her clients get clear on their content strategy, creating educational and engaging content, and crafting conversion-focussed copy that resonates with their ideal customers.
If you're ready to see the impact a strategic Content Marketing plan and well-crafted Copywriting can do for you and your cannabis business, take that first step, contact her here for a free consultation.
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