The search intent behind a keyword may sometimes be even more important than the keyword itself.
Well, say you have “jeans” as a keyword. When people type in this on Google, they’re more likely searching for stores where they can buy different jeans models than blog posts about how jeans changed over the decades.
The point is - you may write the best blog post ever and optimize it for jeans, but still not rank on the first page of Google search results. Therefore, your best bet is to focus on the user and their search intent.
Use Semantically Related Keywords
Of course, we want to optimize our content for search engines, but we still write for people behind the screens. That means semantically related keywords should also be considered when optimizing a blog post.
For instance, if you’re trying to rank “tourist attractions in New York”, you may also go for “things to see in New York”, “best tourist spots in New York”, or “sightseeing in Newyork”.
These keywords stop you from repeating the same keyword throughout the post, making it sound unnatural, and help provide more context for the main article topic.
Don't Neglect the headline when optimizing your blog post for SEO
Your blog post title is the first contact your audience has with your article. It helps them decide whether your content is worth clicking. That’s why it’s crucial to optimize the title as well - not only the body of the post.
Try to use the primary keyword in the title and, if possible, at the very beginning of it. For example, if your keyword is cooking for beginners, this title may work very well: “Cooking for Beginners: 10 Simple Recipes to Get You Started”.
Also, don’t make the title too long - up to 70 characters is usually just right. Use a power word to make the headline more compelling: powerful, ultimate, everything, today, only, simple, tested, etc.
Quality Trumps Length
Although it’s true that optimal blog posts typically have around 1500 words, Google’s algorithm updates last year proved that length means nothing if you don’t provide value for your readers.
That means you should rather focus on making your blog content spot-on - research your readers’ questions and determine what they really want to know. Create blog posts based on these questions, and make sure you provide helpful answers and actionable tips.
One of the best practices is to create a few short-form blog posts that cover similar topics, then create a pillar blog post that will cover a broader topic and link to these smaller ones.
Optimizing your blog post for SEO and the Audience
Although we’re looking to optimize our content for search engines and rank as high as possible on Google, some of the best, tested strategies are still based on writing for humans.
Providing a helpful answer to your target reader is a reliable way to find your way to the top, while other tips and tricks can help you get there faster.
Try out the advice from our article, and you’ll see results pretty soon.