11 Feb 2011

Blog Post SEO Tips: 5 Elements That Boost Rankings

While there are tons of SEO optimization methods that can be implemented for websites, here are the ones that are a must have for your business blog if you want it to rank well for keywords and be visited by those who come across it in search results.

1. Blog Post Title Tag

Be sure to include an up to 60 character title tag (<TITLE>Your Page Title</TITLE>) for not only your blog’s homepage, but for each and every post that includes your post’s main keywords.

This is important not just for SEO, but also for social media sharing of your post, as the post’s title is generally what gets tweeted, shared on Facebook walls, bookmarked, etc.

Blog Post SEO - Title Tag in Social Sharing

So make those 60 characters count, as that will be the first impression of your post in search results and on social networks.

2. Blog Post Meta Description

Though it is often debated about in terms of whether it is still important, I still always suggest that the blog’s homepage as well as individual posts have a great 160 character meta description (<meta name=”description” content=”Your page’s awesome description that makes people want to click on it to read more.” />).

Blog Post SEO - Meta Description in Search Results

This is usually the description that will show up in search results as well as the description for your post when shared via Facebook and social bookmarking networks. It should, like the title tag, include your post’s main keywords and should be written as a sentence – the description should not be just a 170 character stuffing of keywords.

Self-Hosted WordPress Tip: To be able to enter your Title and Meta Description for each post, you need to have a SEO friendly WordPress theme such as Thesis or plugins such as the Platinum SEO Pack or All in One SEO Pack. Then just look for the Title and Description fields when you are writing and editing your blog post.

Blog Post SEO - All in One SEO Pack

3. Blog Post URL

Along with the TITLE tag, the blog post URL should be optimized with your post’s main keywords to help boost them in search results.

Blog Post SEO - URL in Search Results

As you can see from the below results for our link building expert interview series, the keywords that were searched for are bolded in both the title and blog URL which means the URL is noticed by Google. It also makes the listings stand out even more.

Self-Hosted WordPress Tip: Be sure when you start out your blog that you change the Permalinks (in your Admin Dashboard under the Settings) to include the post name using /%postname%/ in the custom structure.

Blog Post SEO - WordPress Permalinks

You can learn more about custom structure tags for your blog post URL’s in the WordPress Codex.

Also, you can use the SEO Slugs plugin to automatically remove a, an, the and other unimportant words from your post’s URL which will leave only the keyword rich words behind.

4. Blog Post Images and Attributes

Images can be an important part of your blog post, as many people will be attracted to a post simply because of the image. It can also help you demonstrate your topic more thoroughly as well as break up the text in a post to make it easier to read.

When you add images to your post (<IMG SRC=”your-keyword-image.jpgALT=”Your Keyword Image Description” TITLE=”Your Keyword Image Description” />), there are three ways you can boost your SEO optimization including:

  • Image File Name – Be sure to have a descriptve, keyword rich file name for your image.
  • Descriptive ALT Attribute – The ALT tag, which should also have your post’s keywords if possible, needs to be a concise description of the image. This is also the text that comes up if the image doesn’t load correctly on your blog post or is heard when a visually impaired reader using a screen visits your post.
  • Descriptive TITLE Attribute – this one may not have much weight in SEO value, but allows you to inlcude your keywords (either the same as the ALT text or different ones) and shows as a tooltip when someone hovers over your image in certain browsers.

The combination of the above elements will help your post images rank in Google Image Results…

Blog Post SEO - Image Filename in Google Image Search Results

As well as additional areas of Google search, such as the news results, which will also help the result stand out from the others no matter where it ends up in the top 10 listings…

Blog Post SEO - Image ALT Attribute in Google News Search Results

5. Blog Post Header Tags

How important are your header tags (<H2>Keyword Rich Heading</H2> and <H3>Keyword Rich Heading</H3>)? First of all, they make your article easier to read by breaking the content up into easily scannable sections.

Blog Post SEO - Header Tags

They also can help your post rank for specific keyword phrases and terms within search results.

Blog Post SEO - Header Tag in Search Results

As you can see from the above search result based on the header in this post, you also need to make sure the first bit of text after the header supports the keywords mentioned to get readers to want to click on the post to learn more.

Your Best Blog Post SEO Tips

These are some of the top optimization elements that I have seen lead to better search engine results positioning. What are some elements you include in your blog posts to ensure better rankings?


  • TrafficColeman Feb 11, 2011

    The post tag is important because its what I use when doing my post. If one of the first on page seo things you can do to help your ranking of a page.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Nick Feb 11, 2011

    Excellent post Kristi – the first one (title tags) is so frequently overlooked, and I hadn’t even thought of the whole twitter integration. Yet another reason to keep your title tags short & to the point!

  • Kristi H Feb 11, 2011

    Exactly Nick. Considering that Twitter and Facebook are affecting search, it makes it doubly important to make sure those titles have the right keywords to make search and social influence!

  • jamesthejust Feb 11, 2011

    Keywords. It’s everywhere in your post, and it’s the crux of search – competitive and traffic analysis, searcher’s intent, etc. Great tips as usual, Kristi.

  • sajith anandan Feb 11, 2011

    Hi Kristi,

    Meta keyword tag is not important element to optimize for ranking on primary search engines SERP.

  • Aaron Crowder Feb 12, 2011

    This is a great post! I actually found a WordPress plugin that does all these things. It works like a charm. Since I’ve been using it I’ve seen organic traffic to my blog increase exponentially.

    One of the most important things in my opinion are the URL and description. The URL is going to help you rank higher in searches and a good description will actually make people want to visit your site once they see it in search results.

  • ROI SEO Feb 13, 2011

    Hi Kristi,

    Great Post – wish I had of had this when I was learning about blog SEO! I agree with your top 5… close after this I would say would be:
    – optimised category structure/nav structure so that your posts are categorised in meaningful keyword rich categories if possible
    – latest and related posts are great for internal linking and passing value around
    – noindex/nofollow your archives etc links if you show any so that you’re not confusing Google with duplicate content

  • Kavita Feb 14, 2011

    Hi Kristi, thanks for another impressive and informative article. Many articles mention about meta tags, seo permalink, image attributes, title tag of 60 characters but I like you mentioning how important is the title tag not just from SEO point of view but also social bookmark sharing with an image showing example.

  • Kristi H Feb 14, 2011

    Thanks James!

  • Kristi H Feb 14, 2011

    It’s debatable Sajith. I still think that, even if it is not helpful for rankings, it is for various other reasons including being able to customize your description in search results and when people share your page.

  • Kristi H Feb 14, 2011

    Thanks Aaron. Which plugin are you using?

  • Kristi H Feb 14, 2011

    Great additional tips Karen. I know a lot of bloggers who are not into optimization, so I figured if you could do anything, these five are the most important, but those that you just listed would be the next steps to further optimize a blog. Thanks!

  • Kristi H Feb 14, 2011

    Thanks Kavita!

  • Fraser Hannah Feb 15, 2011

    Thank you for an excellent article, I was surprised recently as to how important the title tag was when i was grading my key phrases. I forgot to amend it before running it through the SEOmoz software and the page was graded as C, after it was amended the page showed as A-, quite a jump. It shows just how important the title tag is.

  • Param Mar 09, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this tips. I have used all this tips in blog than i find best result. really this very useful tips. so thanks for sharing and keep updating…

  • Alex Askew Mar 15, 2011

    Great website. Really good read and some great tips in the comments too. I also use SEO Moz. This is a great tool when you work in SEO. When you are targeting many keywords with one web page what would you suggest is best to do with the title tags and web page content to optemise more effectively?

  • SEO Mar 18, 2011

    Wonderful tips.

    People seem to forget about these important factors once they get into that blog writing mode, but they’d be much better off if they kept a note of it.

  • Harish Bhatt Apr 14, 2011

    nice tips for posting .. thanks a lot…:)

  • Watpads Nov 07, 2011

    Is there a certain limit to how many times I use a keyword on a page?