Writing a perfect blog post isn’t simple. Topic relevance, readability, and proper text length are not enough to consider. To write a blog post that improves your website’s ranking and drives conversion, you need to know the principles of SEO & CRO blog post structuring. Here we gathered the latest updates on:
- Why title tags matter
- Why you should stop using meta-keywords (if you haven’t yet),
- Internal links and how to use them properly,
- Link building for SEO explained simply,
- News in the breadcrumb navigation,
- HubSpot’s ultimate guide to creating a perfect blog post.
Read on to transform your blogging experience.
HubSpot’s Ultimate Guide to Creating a Perfect Blog Post
Let’s start with the general overview. Luckily, HubSpot gathered helpful advice on content writing and blog post structure in the article How to Start a Blog. It’s an excellent checklist suitable for beginners and experienced bloggers to double-check if all the required elements are in place before they press Publish.
Here are the formatting and on-page SEO elements to consider for high-quality page content:
- page titles,
- meta descriptions,
- image Alt-text,
- structured markup,
- page URLs,
- internal links,
- mobile responsiveness.
A long list, right? And that’s without delving into more details. But without these elements, your audience won’t find the valuable content you’ve worked so hard to create.
Tackling 8,000 Title Tag Rewrites: A Case Study
You must have heard about Google‘s rewriting the title tags. How does it impact the blog content, and are there any bad rewrites? Dr. Peter J. Meyers did a huge study: he dug into over 50,000 title tags and summarized the results in the article Tackling 8,000 Title Tag Rewrites: A Case Study. It includes three case studies where the SEO team managed to fix bad rewrites.
The right things Google did to title tags were:
- removing double-ups,
- handling tag varieties,
- using blog post title as a tag in some cases.
Google’s rewriting is “so-so” with:
- placing the brand name to the end of the tag,
- the irrelevant placing of 2 brand names in the topis, creating a “double-brand trouble,”
- replacing a word by a synonym in a title tag.
And sometimes, Google really got it wrong, for example:
- selected the parenthetical over the main portion of the title,
- cut off a part of the title in different variations,
- offered a shady character’s appearance.
“Ultimately, I think Google moved too far, too fast with this update. I believe they could have communicated (and still could communicate) the reasons more openly without risk to any major secrets and be more conservative about when and if to make changes, at least until these systems have been improved.” — Dr. Peter J. Meyers sums up.
Meta-Keywords: Why You Shouldn’t Use Them in 2021 (and Beyond)
Tommy Griffith insists on changing your attitude to meta keywords. Designed for very archaic search engines, they don’t work well for Google search engine results, he says in the article Meta Keywords: Why You shouldn’t Use Them in 2021 (and Beyond).
In 2009, Google categorically said they were no longer using them for indexing and insisted that meta-keywords are not a ranking factor. The previous 14 years saw enough webmasters overusing them to make the site appear in more search results.
“Meta-keywords were too easy to spam with and almost all major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) have discontinued support for this meta-tag. They don’t consider it a ranking signal anymore, so it doesn’t influence their SERPs anymore. Even SEO tools like Yoast have discontinued their usage. You should, too, regardless of how you edit your metadata (from the source code or by using any kind of tool), avoid meta tags.”
The advice is to use meta titles and meta descriptions to focus on long-tail keyword research and wise usage of keywords. Together with the relevant and unique content, such an approach will result in a better click-through rate.
Have you ever spammed with meta-keywords? In any case, you should stop any keyword stuffing and spamming SEO practices before they’re more severely penalized.
Most Common Internal Link Building Mistakes
Internal links usually don’t get the attention they deserve, despite their massive role in a website’s efficiency, including the ranking authority distribution between the website’s pages.
In her article Most Common Internal Link Building Mistakes, Elena Terenteva gives internal links back their proper importance and explains why getting them right now can help your site for many months ahead. After explaining the basic terms of External Links, Internal Liks, Nofollow Links, and Backlinks, she lists the troubles with internal link building and zooms in on each one:
- broken internal links,
- broken external links,
- too many on-page links,
- redirect chains and loops,
- temporary redirects,
- permanent redirects,
- nofollow attributes in ongoing internal links,
- orphaned sitemap pages,
- page crawl depth of more than three clicks,
- pages with only one incoming internal link.
Elena also gathered the experts’ thoughts on the topic, so the material is worth reading.
“Internal link building can be a goldmine of SEO opportunities completely under your control. We analyzed 150,000 random websites (175 million pages and 15 billion unique links in total) to discover the frequency of internal link issues. Our study shows that a lot of websites do not live up to their potential because of mistakes that are quick and easy to fix,” she concludes.
Is Breadcrumb Navigation a Google Ranking Factor?
No, it isn’t, says Angel Ninofranco in her article for Search Engine Journal.
Breadcrumb navigation enhances the user experience on the blog pages and helps attract readers’ attention. But, despite the speculations, it has no significant impact on page ranking in search engine results. On the other hand, breadcrumbs potentially improve the CTR. Breadcrumb navigation remains an element of a perfect blog post. But, “while Google recommends the usage of breadcrumbs to developers and website owners, this is more from a UX and usability standpoint as opposed to SEO and ranking.”
Don’t forget to like and share our September overview on Blog Content Structure. Thanks for reading. What tips would you like to see in October’s overview? Contact us with any suggestions or questions on digital marketing.