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BBP 086: Best Practices to Get Your Content to Rank with Niki Robinson


Have you been blogging for a bit but you just aren’t ranking where you want to be? In today’s, episode, we are going to find out how strategically optimizing your content is the key to boosting your rank on Google so you can finally start moving the needle. 

Guest Info

Niki Robinson is a wild word wrangler, urban explorer, and overall nerd living and working in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As President of the growing team of talented content creators and SEO experts at Posts By Ghost, her current passions include content strategy, SEO/data analysis, and practical applications for artificial intelligence. She’s the creator of the 90-Day SEO Bootcamp for Bloggers and she serves as the Milwaukee StorySLAM Producer for the international live storytelling organization, The Moth. Learn More.

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[00:00:08].710] – Liz

You’ve probably been around the blogging world for a bit now, and you know the importance of SEO. You’ve read articles, watched videos, tried the things, but you’re still struggling to implement some solid SEO strategies that work into your content.

[00:00:21].940] – Liz

Well, today we’re here to show you how being strategic about optimizing your content can go a long way. Hi, I’m Liz Stapleton, host of the Blogger Breakthrough Summit. It’s an annual free virtual summit that takes place at the beginning of the year, but it’s only available in limited time. So, here on the Blogger Breakthrough Summit podcast, we share tips and tricks that our speakers share during the incredible Summit. So, in today’s episode, you’re going to be learning from Nikki over from Post by Ghost. So let’s dive in.

[00:00:49].230] – Nikki

Okay, so quickly, before we dive into Google Search console, I just want to walk through what I mean by optimizing your content. So you’ll notice in the slide here that we have common SEO terms. Essentially, what we’re looking to do is make sure that each of these pieces is optimized appropriately and to the fullest extent. The more you make a point of ensuring that each of these bullet points are hit when you optimize a post, the more likelihood you’ll have of it ranking. So I don’t want you to just go in there and kind of Willy nilly rework the content. We really want to be strategic and so we’re choosing a long tail keyword and we’re getting it in these different pieces. But there’s more to it than just putting the keywords in there. Now if you think you already know all this and you really want to get to the Google Search console part, just hang in here for 2 seconds. Because basically you might miss something that is important that you need to include when you’re optimizing your content. So obviously your post title is going to have your keyword in it. We want to make sure that it is really catchy and that it is something that people want to click on your post content.

[00:01:56].170] – Nikki

Of course we want to include your long tail keywords or semantic keywords. We want to get it really rich. But one thing I want to point out is you don’t ever want to just add words to add words. We’re not just keyword stuffing. We’re not just making it longer or anything like that. We are adding rich media content to ensure that the post is really exploring the extent of the topic as thoroughly as possible. If it is something that only takes a certain amount of words to say and that’s all there is to say about it, that’s fine. But if you are creating a project or if you’re going through a philosophy or something, you really want to be as thorough as possible to ensure your best ranks. Your H2 so, these are great places to include your long tail focus keyword as well as semantic keywords. Think of your blog post like an outline. Your H1 is your post title, your H2 are your section headers, and then your H3 would be your subsection headers. And I usually don’t recommend going further than that. Google uses H1, H2, H3 to understand the hierarchy of your content, just like an outline.

[00:03:03].610] – Nikki

So when we’re not using these things appropriately when we’re using H3 instead of H2 because the font looks prettier, we don’t want to ever do that because it really gets people confused about the layout of everything. Not to mention that certain accessibility tools also understand how the content is structured because of the H1, H2, H3. So we always want to make sure we’re using that in the right order really nicely, breaking out sections where appropriate, including those long tail and semantic keywords.

[00:03:31].980] – Nikki

So, then you also have the images in your post. One thing that’s very often overlooked is your image name. So we’re not just talking Alt Tags here, we’re talking of the name of the actual file so, including your keyword when appropriate. But you want to have it be, don’t make the name of your image too long or anything, but make sure it’s a little bit descriptive. Make sure that it’s really clear so that you want it to be clear enough that you have the words in there that make it easy for you to recognize what that photo is without seeing it. So that’s one kind of hint, right?

[00:04:07].760] – Nikki

And then secondarily, we want to go and get our Alt Tags in there for every image. So we want to make sure that every Alt tag is unique in every piece of content. We’re never repeating the same Alt tag over and over. We’re including our keywords when appropriate, but not to an extreme extent, only when they actually describe what is in the image. So we’re also writing our Alt Tags as though someone who may have trouble seeing well, so that they would understand what the image is without having to see it. All right, SEO Title definitely want to make this one as catchy as possible, but really hone in on the keyword here. So the difference between your Post Title and your SEO Title Your post title is kind of where you can maybe explore more like fun and add more about your personality. Like make it a little longer, make it a little like, what’s this about? That kind of thing. But when it comes to your SEO title, you want it to include the focus keyword, and you want it to be very clear what this is. It’s a guide about this or it’s a walk through here.

[00:05:07].550] – Nikki

It’s how to do this. It’s very clear what it is. It doesn’t mean you have to suck the personality out of anything to make your post rank. But for your SEO title, you just want to be really clear what the post is about and then your post URL. That should be usually basically what your SEO title is. So you want to keep that. Most people say to keep it succinct. But honestly, I’ve seen posts with rather long URLs ranked just fine. But what you really want to do is make sure those keywords are as close to the name of your blog as possible. So it’s https the name of your site and then use those focus keywords upfront. But make sure the URL kind of makes sense. So it should be like ‘how to plant your spring garden’ or whatever. But it should be specific. Include the keywords and be really clear as to what the post is about. One thing about the post URL that is really important is when you’re going back through and especially these posts that I’m going to show you that are in this opportunity zone, when you’re going back through and looking at those, when you go ahead and go in and go buff those up and really optimize and get all these bits and pieces in place that I’m talking about right now.

[00:06:21].340] – Nikki

If that post is ranking on page two, page three. So let’s say it’s not ranking well, but it’s ranking okay, but it’s on the map. You absolutely don’t want to change that post URL because even if you set up a 301 redirect to the new URL that linked you so to speak, really does not transfer as thoroughly as you like or hope from the old URL to the new URL. So this is another reason why people have to be careful, like for example, changing their brand name or their blog name. I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories where someone changed like, rebrands and essentially all their traffic tanks. And even if they set it up correctly, it’s just because Google doesn’t always get it. So you essentially just really want to not change that. Make sure you get it right out the door and don’t mess with that because it’s going to make Google confused and that could make you lose the rankings that you have. Your meta description definitely include those keywords. Again, we’re not plugging them in there just to plug them in. What we really want to do with the meta description is explore the user intent and make sure that it is explaining exactly what the post is about and making the reader go yes, I want to click that.

[00:07:30].650] – Nikki

Now. Even though Google doesn’t always pull the exact meta description, it’s still important for Google and for readers to understand what that post is about. So that meta description field is not something to take lightly. And then we have internal and external links. Now this is a little bit more involved and I don’t really have time to go into it all today. But you definitely want to make sure that your content is well linked, especially your internal links. Your internal links are telling Google which pieces of your content are most important so you really want to make sure that your relevant and related posts are really well interconnected within your own website. It’s the best way to give your own content a nice little boost and structure so that Google understands it okay.

[00:08:14].950] – Liz

Hopefully this episode has helped to provide you some best practices and tips for how to help your content rank on Google. Be sure to join me next time I’m we explore how to find the right contact for sponsored pitches. I’ll catch you then.

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