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When you're writing a blog post, you want to make sure that you get as many eyes to read your message as possible – who would want to waste all that hard work?! You want to make sure you're getting the search engine traffic, too. Here are 6 things to double-check before you hit “Publish,” in an effort to make sure your blog post’s SEO is working for you, and not against you. Keep in mind that even though SEO only helps to improve traffic that comes from search engines, these tips improve the usability of your site too, and will therefore add benefit to all your readers.
1. Title tags
Titles need to be catchy – but they need to contain keywords too! Help people find what they are looking for by naming your blog post well.
The titles of your posts also need to be displayed as the titles of your pages (in the “title” tags, not just the “h1” tags). This sometimes requires a WordPress plugin or setting change. Find out what your title tags show now, so that you can change them for the future if necessary!
2. URL text
Your SEO improves when your URL contains specific search terms, instead of a jumble of characters or numbers. You can change your URL format in the settings of your blog. Also remember that the farther your post is from the root of your domain, the less SEO credit it is getting from its association with your homepage, so try to minimize the number of slashes in your URL.
3. Meta description
The meta description is for a description, not for keyword stuffing! Though search engines don’t necessarily put more weight on the content in your description, it is often displayed as the site description in search results and you want that to be clear for your readers. Find a theme that will let you customize the meta description.
You should also pay attention to the description for social media reasons. When a link is shown in Facebook, the title, an image, and the meta description will be shown. Make sure yours encourages readers to click on the link!
4. Images and multimedia
Include images and multimedia – not only does it engage users once they are on your page, it also helps your SEO. Name your images with applicable keywords so that they can count toward your page’s ranking, as well as ranking in Google image search.
5. Description tags
Once you add multimedia, make sure you add descriptions! Alt tags are important for search engines to be able to understand the content of the image or video. Plus they create more opportunities for you to capitalize on your keywords without keyword stuffing and/or using redundant language. Alt tags also improve accessibility for people using screen readers, or if they have images disabled.
6. Header tags
The title isn’t the only header that’s important. Subheadings are great for multiple reasons: they help users navigate your page, and they help search engines see what is important, too. So add h2 and h3 tags to split up your masses of text!
All of these changes can be put in place today, and only take an additional minute or two each time you write a blog post. Let your blog be the biggest SEO advantage it can be!