In this post, we’ll answer the question, “what is SEO in blogging?”
We’ll also cover the important steps necessary for how to do SEO for a blog.
The ultimate goal here is to define search engine optimization for blogging and teach you how to use this strategy to improve your blog’s rankings and0 organic traffic. The fact is if you’re blog is not optimized for SEO, then it won’t get as much visibility in Google, Yahoo, or Bing for your target keyword phrases and related search queries.
So read on to find out how to get more visitors to your blog from the search engines.
What Is SEO In Blogging?
SEO in blogging is the practice of optimizing a blog’s content, HTML code, and site structure for search engines. Search engine optimization in blogging helps blog posts rank higher for target keywords and increases website visibility on Google, Yahoo, and Bing for search queries.
How to Do SEO for a Blog
1. Do Keyword Research for Your Blog
The first step in your SEO action plan before you start writing blog posts is to do keyword research. Keyword research is an SEO technique for blog marketing that helps you discover the topics that people actually want to read about on the Internet.
Search engines like Google, have an entire database that contains millions of blog posts. And after this content is crawled and indexed, the algorithm works to match the best blog content with a user’s search query.
For example, you may have landed on this page while searching for the phrase, “how to do SEO for a blog.” And because good search engine optimization was applied to this content, Google’s algorithm determined that the blog post was a good match for your search query.
This page also ranks for SEO keywords like “what is SEO in blogging”, “SEO for blogs”, and other queries about the meaning of SEO for blogging and how to do it the right way.
Therefore, keyword research should be your first step in your SEO content writing strategy for your blog.
Not only will this process ensure you write about topics people are actually searching for online, but it’s also a good way to find new blog post ideas for your content.
KWFinder by Mangools (try it for free) is my favorite tool for keyword research. And it’s one of the only SEO tools I recommend as an affiliate because it’s cheap, yet powerful for finding good keywords to target.
With KWFinder, you can type in a seed keyword and get a list of other related terms people are actively searching for on Google so you don’t make the mistake of writing a blog post on a topic that people are not looking for in the search engine.
The image below shows an example of related questions for the search term, “SEO in blogging” using KWFinder. It also shows how these terms trend over time, the average search volume, cost-per-click, pay-per-click value, and Keyword Difficulty (KD) score based on the competition.
2. Write a Good SEO Blog Post Title
After you choose the main keyword for the blog post, the next step is to write a good SEO blog post title.
The title is one of the top ranking factors in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
The better optimized your blog title is for SEO, the more relevant it is for specific search queries. And that leads to higher rankings and more search engine visibility to capture organic traffic.
An SEO friendly blog post title will include the following characteristics:
- Main keyword at the front of the title.
- Less than 60 characters in length.
- Enticing language that encourages users to click on the title in the search engine results page (SERP).
Note: In my Mastering On-Page SEO course, I walk you through how to write and optimize the best page titles for maximum SEO value as well as how to apply the rest of the SEO tips you’ll find in this blogging for SEO guide.
One thing to keep in mind is that if your content management system (CMS), like WordPress, allows you to create a custom meta title for your blog post, then you’ll want to take full advantage of that feature.
Free plugins are also available to get this enhanced feature on your blog for SEO purposes.
Typically, the blog post page title will be coded as the H1 tag heading in the HTML, which helps with your rankings.
But you also want the post title to be duplicated in the meta tag field. That way, you can better guarantee that Google will use your SEO optimized title for the listing in the SERPs.
3. Optimize the Blog Post URL for SEO
The URL is another important area for SEO in blogging.
Also known as the “slug”, this HTML field is what determines the website address of the blog post.
To optimize this area for SEO, simply include your target keywords as exact match phrases in the URL field without repeating too many of the same words.
For example, the URL for this blog post is:
As you can see, the URL is optimized for two specific keyword phrases I want this content to rank for in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
4. Optimize the Meta Description
The meta description is another important blogging HTML field for SEO.
If it’s optimized correctly, then Google will display it under your listing in the SERPs. Otherwise, the algorithm will pick random content from the page to show to the user, which isn’t always the best choice.
Therefore, you should always optimize your meta description for SEO writing and to get more clicks from users in the search engine.
Simple tips for meta description SEO for blogging include:
- Put 2-3 target keywords in this HTML field.
- Start the meta description with your most important keyword.
- Layer the other keywords in without it sounding unnatural.
- Use language that entices the searcher click on your listing.
You can also take clues from the top-ranking pages on Google for your target keywords to know how to optimize your blog well for SEO and CTR. You can get good ideas and examples right from the SERPs.
Note: You may come across a meta keywords field while optimizing your content in your content management system (CMS) like WordPress. But you can ignore this meta tag because it stopped being used as a ranking factor by search engines. For more details, visit my post on what is a meta keyword.
5. Do SEO for the Blog Content
Google’s “How Search Works” document clearly states:
“The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search query. If those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information is more likely to be relevant.”
Therefore, you must do SEO for the blog content.
Optimizing the blog title, URL, and meta description is not enough for SEO to rank high in the search engine.
The Google web crawler wants to find your keywords on the page; specifically, inside the content (i.e. paragraphs).
The quickest and easiest way to do search engine optimization in blogging to improve your SEO score is to add your keywords to these locations:
- Scattered throughout the middle
Following this basic SEO strategy for a blog, can help you give Google the signals it needs to index and display your content for related search queries.
6. Put Keywords In Your Headings
Another important area for SEO for blogging is the headings.
Headings are used to structure your content so it has a better flow for the reader and helps search engines read and understand the text.
Headings also help you divide your content into different sections and outline the reading order.
As mentioned previously, the blog post page title will typically be coded as the H1 tag heading in the HTML, and this is the most important heading for the content.
However, there are other heading tags you can use on the page that span between H2 to H6, which are considered “sub-headings”.
When doing SEO for a blog, you want to focus on the H2 and H3 tags for keyword optimization.
Here’s a basic formula to follow for blog SEO:
- Put your main keyword in the first H2 on the page.
- Include secondary keywords in other H2 tags, but only use them once each.
- Use variations and synonyms of your keyword in one or more H3 tag.
By including your keywords and their variations in these two heading tags as recommended above, you can improve the on-page SEO for the content to help it rank higher for your related queries.
7. Add Images to the Blog Post
Images are another good place to optimize a blog for SEO.
Each image you upload to the content can be optimized for your target keywords.
The two easiest places to do SEO on blog images are the image filename and ALT text field.
By including your target keyword in those two locations, you can not only improve the search engine optimization for the blog content but also improve your chances of getting the image to rank in Google Image Search, which can bring you additional organic traffic for free.
8. Link to Other Blog Posts
Before you click the publish button on your new blog post, it’s a good SEO practice to link to your previously written content on the same topics as your current post.
Doing internal linking like this is not only good for your readers but it’s also beneficial for Google’s ranking algorithm because it strengthens the authority for your blog in several ways:
- It allows you to use keyword-rich anchor text in the internal links. This helps signal to Google which keywords you want the target page to rank for.
- It helps prove your expertise on a topic because you’re linking internally to other content that backs up your claims and/or relates to the subject matter. The more you can interconnect related pages, the stronger your authority seems on the subject.
- It helps Google’s web crawler find other pages on your site. This prevents blog posts from becoming “orphan pages” without any internal links.
- It tells Google which pages on your blog are the most important. The more internal links a page has, the higher level of perceived importance it receives, which Google’s algorithm takes into consideration when doing SEO analysis of your content.
As you can see, linking to other blog posts can help your SEO efforts, so take some time to link to and from your previous content as you’re publishing new posts.
9. Optimize the Length
Although Google says that blog post length is not a ranking factor, you often find a correlation between the total word count among the top-ranking pages. (See this related article on blog post length for SEO.)
Therefore, it’s best for SEO to make your blog posts at least match the average length of the URLs in the top 10 search results.
For example, if the average word count for other blogs ranking for your target keywords is 1,500 words, then you’ll want to write between 1,300 to 1,7000 words in length.
Publishing a 500-word blog post probably won’t be enough to rank your content in the top 10 positions because it may lack the quality and expertise signals for the topic.
On the flip side, writing too much content can also be a problem for your blog’s SEO.
Publishing a 6,000-word blog post on a topic that other blogs are only writing 1,500 words on will likely make it harder for you to rank on the first page of Google.
Keep these words in mind as you write your content:
“Word count is not indicative of quality. Some pages have a lot of words that say nothing. Some pages have very few words that are very important & relevant to queries. You know your content best (hopefully) and can decide whether it needs the details.”John Mueller on Twitter
Google’s own SEO starter guide states, “Content should be factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive.”
So take your clues from the SERPs on the word count for your blog posts and try to match the average length as closely as you can while also doing your best to serve the user’s needs with in-depth content.
10. Optimize Your Old Blog Posts
Many beginner bloggers tend to forget about a blog post after it has been published.
After the post is up on the blog, they move on to writing the next piece of content.
However, you’re missing out on some potential ranking opportunities if you don’t go back and optimize your old blog posts on a routine basis.
The truth is that not all blog posts will rank as high as they can after the initial publishing. There may be a problem with the on-page SEO that needs to be fixed.
Therefore, it’s best to examine your existing blog posts and continue to improve the content using the same tips given above to increase their rankings and traffic.
Ideally, you’ll want to wait for a blog post to age for at least 2-3 months before you go back and re-optimize it. That gives your content enough time to be indexed by Google and assessed by the algorithm before it settles on its average ranking position.
Making adjustments before 2-3 months could negatively impact your blog post’s performance as the algorithm is sorting and assessing your authority on the written topic.
SEO In Blogging Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guide on what is SEO in blogging.
As you discovered, the definition for blogging with SEO is the process of optimizing the content, HTML code, and site structure to gain more search engine visibility. And the steps for how to do SEO for a blog are not complicated to follow. As long as you put your target keywords in specific areas on the page, you can improve your chances of getting higher rankings and traffic for the search queries that matter most for your business.