This is a second blog post on fixing your domain authority. I posted a lot of content on how to improve domain authority scores in this article and I decided to carry out a 3-month test to find out which practices will raise my rank. This is the second week that I’m investigating the impact of a SEO friendly website on domain authority.
What I mean here exactly is I will try to answer the question of whether writing SEO friendly blog posts in a consistent manner will actually improve my SEO in general. This blog post will mention some of the elements each blog post should have to be better “tracked” by search engines. So let’s give it a try!
Increase domain authority – Week 2
According to SEO guide from CoSchedule, it’s important to place your target keywords strategically. I would say don’t write your blog post for keywords, but most of all write it for your readers. Focus on the subject and relevance – be interesting to your audience and create value for them, and Google should pick it up! I still want to test the “keyword hypothesis” for some reason – does placing a specific keyword in various places in a blog post will actually help me get more exposure on Google? Can I still write relevant, valuable blog posts yet still stuff them with important keywords?
I’ll start with a checklist, so you can use it every time you write a blog post. I will stick to those points in every blog post that I write and see if blog posts that are more “SEO friendly” actually have helped to increase my domain authority and organic traffic. Read on to understand what those strategic areas might be!
1. SEO friendly website URL
This means placing your keyword after the “domain-name/” in an URL form, e.g. this article has an URL constructed in this way: http://socialmediatipz.com/seo-friendly-website/, because the key phrase (I didn’t use one keyword) is “seo friendly website”. Make sure your website link doesn’t reflect the entire title of the page (something like “blog.com/how-to-write-seo-friendly-blog-posts-a-very-nice-to-read-guide-for-you-and-your-colleagues”) but is short and easy to understand to Google. I’ve written a blog post on “SEO friendly URLs” before, make sure you don’t miss it! Also, don’t mention the keyword more than once in the URL!
2. Title of the post
Build your blog post title in a way that your reader will not only understand your point in one second BUT he or she will be really intrigued to follow reading it. This blog post on writing amazing headlines will give you more guidance on what works and what doesn’t as well as which tools to use to help you write catchy titles. When it comes to SEO, make sure your keyword is included in the title.
It may be difficult to make it sound grammatically and logically correct, but you just need to be creative. Are keywords case sensitive? I don’t think they are – and making them look different from time looks more “natural” to Google. This means writing “keywords”, “Keywords” or “KEYWORDS” should actually look better to search engines than “keywords” all the time.
3. Featured Image
If you have an image which “opens” your blog post, it should definitely have the target keyword in it – but make sure it’s being tagged as “alt text” and not as “title” (more on alt tags in the first blog post on domain authority). The more relevant image to the keyword the better! Google likes to index images that you would expect to see when searching for particular pictures with the use of specific keywords.
4. First & last paragraphs
Feeling like you’re stuffing your blog post with keywords already? Wait for it, the list goes on! According to many SEO sources, including famous YoastSEO plugin for WordPress, we should also mentioning the keyword in the first and in the last paragraph of the blog post.This doesn’t mean including it in the first sentence, but making sure it’s in the paragraph (and even better – written in bold or underlined). I tried this technique in this post already – can you see where I highlighted my keywords?
5. Images, images
Going back to images – if you use any media files within the blog post, they should include the keyword as well. Note, it’s not about giving them all the same title. It’s more about making sure the keyword is “somewhere there” but still using the title that tells something about the picture. What I do is use the keyword in the beginning, adding a dash as well as the correct title of the image. This makes sense to me as usually I’d name the files in this way: (“title of the blog post – title of the image”) to make sure I can find them easily. Hopefully this looks also more natural to Google!
One note about image files – should they also include a keyword in the name of the file (e.g. “keyword.jpg”)? My answer is yes – it never hurts to try and it’s always better to keep it this way (for you, your readers and for Google) than e.g. “Screenshot 01-01-2000-00:00” or “abenfqnfnwhnedq74823767234”.
If you’re following other blogs or media sites, you’d notice there is a trend in how they are structuring the articles. It’s usually a checklist, “10 things to…”, or a sliced guide with images, so that it’s easier to read the text. Even this blog post uses headlines to give it a bit more of a structure! The thing is, this is also what Google likes – headlines that make it easier for the
reader to find the information they need (aka quality and relevant content!). SEO practitioners advise to use a variety of headlines (so not only h1 but also other sizes) and include keywords there as well. Be careful: it’s not about using the keyword in each headline, and also – don’t make it a list of 100 headlines to go through. I can promise you people will stop after 7 points.
7. And what about body text?
This is a tricky one. Theoretically, Google likes to see the keywords or phrases in the body of your blog post in different forms (write them in bold, underline, italics, and include as an anchor text when you use a hyperlink). However, with so many keywords already mentioned in all the points above, isn’t it a bit too much? I’d say place the keywords strategically in different elements of the blog post and see how often you’d use the keyword in your “blog text” if you didn’t care about SEO at all. The point is to stay “natural” and good to your readers. At the end of the day you write to someone else rather than Google. Use your common sense here and don’t stick to rules such as “10% of the text needs to have keywords” or even the “keyword density” rule by YoastSEO.
This was my summary of the points to test in each blog post to build up a SEO friendly website. I’m curious if after 3 months of consistently writing in this way, will Google reward me for that with a higher domain authority score. What do you think? Can you see any elements in this article already?