Stephen Darori is a Social Media Expert,Author, Publicist,Finance and Marketing Whiz , Strategist ,Journalist, Editor Prolific Blogger. Editor. You can follow Stephen Darori on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and other Social Media Platforms.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Steps to Drastically Improve your Blog Search Ranking
Steps to Drastically Improve your Blog Search Ranking
Once upon a time, ranking well in Google was as simple as inserting a keyword in your blog post title and sprinkling a few more throughout the post. If the keywords were well-chosen, you stood a good chance of appearing at the top of the search engine results page.
Unfortunately, things have changed over the years. Not only is the competition between blogs fiercer than ever, but Google and other search engines have gotten a lot smarter. Search engines are now better at understanding high-quality content and differentiating it from lower quality content.
How well your article is optimized for keywords still matters, but search engines can dig deeper to discover how relevant your content is, whether it actually answers niche questions, and much more. This calls for a new approach to optimizing blog posts for search engines, and we put together a simple 3-step process will help you optimize your blog for maximum results without risking any penalty.
This is what the experts are doing.
1. USE MORE RELATED KEYWORDS (NOT MANY OF THE SAME ONE)
One keyword per blog post is no longer an effective strategy. Using a main keyword and a few secondary keywords related to it is also not ideal. What you should be aiming for instead is depth. Google now understands the vocabulary of your content – it makes sense of related phrases and synonyms.
Several tools can help you enlarge your keyword list, generating related keywords and synonyms that can add depth to your content. This generally calls for longer form content, in that it’s easier to include a varied selection of related keywords in longer pieces in a natural way.
The aim here is not keyword stuffing, but simply making your content more specific to your topic or niche. Here’s how to get started.
Use Soovle.com to generate keyword suggestions and completions based on what people search for on Amazon, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Answers.com, Bing, and YouTube. It supports more sources that the Google Keyword Suggest Tool.
Use online dictionaries of synonyms like Reference.com to generate synonyms for your main keywords. Other similar tools include Thesaurus.com, Oxford Thesaurus, orSynonym.com. Even if you write blog posts for a very specialized niche, you should still be able to find synonyms that Google can then pick up to better understand and rank your content.
Use Serpstat to scan your most popular blog posts to find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for higher than you. With this tool you can identify valuable keywords that your blog is not using but could benefit from. For best results, ensure that the pages Serpstat scans have already been optimized for search engines.
Once you come up with related keywords and synonyms, you can start using them in your new posts. But there is something else you can do with them: insert them into your already published posts. A simple way to do this is to add new sections to your posts and tweak subheadings. Start with the posts whose content is not likely to go out of date soon and then work on improving the rest.
By following the steps above, you increase Google’s understanding of your blog posts, which in turn can lead to a better search engine ranking. Over time, a consistently high search engine ranking for your blog can result in more visitors, more comments, and more social media shares. Your blog is very important, and optimizing it for search engines is a must.
2. REFER TO WHAT GOOGLE CALLS “ENTITIES”
Google Entities include notable or well-known people, places, or organizations that are associated with your keywords. For example, if you search for a favorite book or film, Google displays in the right hand side of the screen a short summary, together with notable people (such as writer, director, actor), country of origin, and other related information. These are all entities.
Entities are important because Google uses them to determine the ranking of a particular search term. A longer blog post that mentions notable people or events performs much better than a short one that is only filled with keywords. It’s easier for Google to place content that refers to entities in context and understand its value.
The algorithms Google uses for this are complicated, but the strategy of using entities to increase your search engine ranking is simple. Here are some tips to inserting entities into your blog posts — you can also add them to social media content and content in general.
Draw on your own knowledge of a topic to come up with related entities and refer to them in your content. That said, be careful not to turn entities into keyword stuffing. One or two references for each entity per post is enough.
Pay attention to the related entities or concepts that Google sometimes suggests when you type your keywords into the search bar. Some of these suggestions can be used as entities.
Notice the Google Knowledge Graph that appears over the search results, providing insight and lists about particular searches, such as music albums or films. Those are all entities related to the keywords you searched for.
Extract entities from popular content — whether it’s yours or a competitor’s — to explore concepts such as Targeted Sentiment, Relations, and other concepts that can help you understand what entities are the most important for you topic or niche. To generate a relevant list of entities, you can use apps like Rosette or AlchemiAPI which you can try for free.
Working with entities may sound a little challenging at first, but it really isn’t, especially if your keywords target a particular audience in a specific area. Specificity helps narrow down options and clears confusion when working with entities, just as it does with keywords.
3. ANSWER SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
Google likes content that is able to answer specific niche questions. Have you ever noticed the answer box at the top of the search results? For example, if you type “distance to the moon” into Google, it will serve you the answer right away: 238,900 miles. This saves you the trouble of having to click on a search result and be taken to a web page to find out the answer.
This answer box highlights the importance of content that answers specific, technical questions relevant to your industry or niche. For best results, answers can be woven into your blog posts alongside your keywords and entities. To identify the main questions your audience are likely to want answers to, there are several tools that can help you.
Use Serpstat to generate question-focused keywords. For example, if you search for “search engine marketing”, it may generate questions such as “what is search engine marketing”, “why search engine marketing is important”, as well as a variety of more complex questions, all of them based on keyword popularity. All of these can be covered in your long-form posts.
Use Answer the Public to view visualizations of the different questions web users often ask related to a set of keywords or a specific word. It uses modifies such as where, why, or how to generate related questions. This can be a great tool in itself for helping you come up with SEO-friendly content ideas for your blog. Lots of ideas.
Take advantage of Twitter’s advanced search functionality to research niche questions on a social network where a huge number of questions are being asked and answered every day. Type your keywords, press space, and then add a question mark, so that your query looks like this: “outsourcing” ? or “search engine marketing” ? This filters tweets, displaying only those relevant to your business. Keep in mind though that the results are not as in-depth as those provided by Serpstat or Answer the Public, hence it’s best to use them mostly for Twitter marketing.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The tools and strategies mentioned above do require an investment of time. After all, research always takes time. But the time you invest discovering related keywords, synonyms, entities, or questions worth answering is time well spent.
Organic search engine optimization is one of the best vehicles you have for increasing your online visibility. Increased visibility will also mean a better reputation on the web, which can be the foundation for your social media marketing efforts.
Another benefit of that research will be fresh inspiration for your blog content. It’s like brainstorming ideas for future content while taking into account keyword performance and the interest and needs of your audience.
Researching related keywords and entities takes a bit of work, and we would love to hear how it goes for you. We specialize in content writing and research is something we do for many of our clients, we would be happy to help you with any challenges you may be facing. You can reach me here if you want to chat.