As website designers, we know that SEO is a necessity. At Uncle Jake Media, we make sure that all our websites are SEO-friendly on the backend, though it’s important to remember to write content on the front end with SEO in mind as well. To help you maintain a search-friendly website, here are just a few elements to include in your blog posts.
The <h1> Title
The title is usually the first thing your readers and the computer will see. It’s marked with a <h1> tag on the backend, so search engines will give this line of text the highest amount of importance in the whole post. Make sure to include your focus keyword within the title – the word or phrase that concisely tells readers what the post will be about. The search engine will evaluate your site’s credibility by making sure the rest of the post contains content relating to that title and focus keyword.
The URL of your blog post is also important. Usually these are self-generated, but make sure that they also contain the keywords used in the title of the post.
Not only are images visually-stimulating for the reader and can catch one’s attention, but they can also be used for SEO purposes. When you include an image in your blog post, add alternative text – “alt text”. Although humans won’t be able to see this text, search engines can read it and verify that the image is related to the content of the blog. This consistency will assure the search engine that your content is relevant and merits being ranked high on the results page when someone searches that very same topic.
Sub-headings are another element that are both reader- and SEO-friendly. Sub-headings inform your viewers about the subtopics within the post and can make it easier for them to read. They are also an opportunity to show the search engine that you are staying on topic according to the title that you have given the post. Sub-headings should be marked with a <h2> tag on the backend, which tells the computer that these are important lines of text – though slightly less important than the <h1> tag. The text marked with <h2> tags is another opportunity to use keywords verifying the post’s relevance to the topic at hand.
The Letter F
Different studies have used heat maps to analyze how people tend to read website copy. The results of that analysis show an F formation. Readers will stay fairly attentive during the first two paragraphs, but after that, their attention begins to stray, and they will only scan down the rest of the page – if at all.
The bounce rate is the rate at which readers leave the page, and search engines take this number into account during their evaluation of your post. If they bounce early, the search engine knows the content wasn’t very interesting or relevant. The longer they stay to read your content, the lower the bounce rate and the better your SEO ranking. With this in mind, write your blog content thinking about the F formation– leveraging sub-headings and making sure the majority of the important information and keywords are at the beginning of the article.