Blogging is big in Nigeria at the moment. So many Nigerian bloggers publish posts on a daily basis, however, not all of them understand the concept or importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in online writing. While blogging appears to be fun, it is important to keep in mind that is it a business and attention should be placed on driving web traffic, showing expertise, and generate leads.
SEO generally is the process of improving a website or blog’s visibility on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Search engines are basically the main source of generating traffic to any website and this is the reason for why it is of utmost important.
- Plan Your Post
Planning is never a waste of time. Ask yourself the following: “What exact message do I want to convey to my audience?”, “What are the main points of the post?” How do I capture their attention enough to engage them?
No matter the topic an audience will only respond to content that resonates with them or their situation. Planning allows you to add a relevant call to action and incorporate related links in the text. Ensure you give the post a structure: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Draft an initial summary of your post before you begin.
- Employ keywords
Keywords are essential to search engine optimization. There are so many apps and extensions that can help you generate and compare keywords. Before you start on your post, decide on the topic, complete your plan, and then make a list of keywords that you know are valuable but also relevant to your post, then place them where they will have the most impact on the readers as well as search engine crawlers indexing your content.
Keywords are best placed in the title of the post, headings and subheadings, preamble, anchor text (text you hyperlink to other related pages on your site), title tags and meta descriptions. Ensure, however, that you do not include too many keywords at a time. It will not only make your post difficult to read, you may also get penalized by Google.
- Use Paragraphs, headings, and subheadings
Paragraphs and headings are essential to any blog post as they give it a firm structure, ensuring readability, and good SEO as well. Headings especially, also influence how Google grasp the main topics of a long post and that helps your ranking. Subheadings are even better as they make the structure of the article much clearer and guide the readers, especially lazy ones who prefer to only scan posts. Paragraphs should present separate ideas, each one having a main idea and subject. Most importantly, ensure that your keywords are used in your post’s heading and subheadings.
- Use links for reference
Links, whether external or internal, are valuable to any blog looking to rank higher in search engine results pages. It not only links you to other reputable and highly ranked websites, making your article more relevant on Google, it boosts the credibility of your blog, especially to your audience.
While creating a blog post, include a link when you mention another blogger or article. It will not only make your post more appealing to your readers, but the other bloggers will also appreciate you sharing their links and will most likely reciprocate the gesture linking you in their subsequent posts or even sharing your articles on social media sites. Furthermore, do not forget to link to relevant previous articles, as internal linking is one of the most important factors to be considered for writing the SEO friendly content.
- Include a comment box and make your post shareable
The essence of creating an SEO friendly blog post is to make sure it is viewed by the largest possible number of people. When writing a blog post, ensure you include a call to action, that will incite your readers to like, comment on, and share those pages; and from sharing, it will reach an even larger crowd. Most readers will, however, not be willing to go an extra mile of sharing your content if you do not make it easy to share. Use a website like “Share this” to include “share,” buttons to each blog post.