Want to find a way to push your blog to perform even better? Drive more traffic and engage with more potential fans and followers? Then it’s time to optimize your blog! SEO is an important element to your on-line success. Here are 5 easy SEO tips to boost your blog.

Choose a keyword or keywords carefully – Google will only rank your site two times for the same keyword. Due to this, it’s important that you keep track of the terms you’re targeting on your blog and choose your keywords carefully. You can use tools such as Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner, Keywordtool.io, or SEMRush to do your keyword research. You’ll want to choose terms that relate to your topic. You’ll want to look at the competitiveness of each targeted word. If it’s a super competitive word, you may have a hard time ranking well, unless you’re a big site with a high domain authority.

Consider Long-tail terms – A long-tail keyword is easier to rank for than a short-tail term. Long-tail terms are keywords such as, “women’s clothing store Phoenix” vs a short-tail, “women’s clothing”. While there will be a lower search volume for long-tail keywords, the customer is further down the sales funnel, and more likely to convert. There is also often less competition for the long-tail term than short-tail keywords, due to this, many companies see long-tail convert better than short.

Review your site’s (and the competition’s) authority when choosing keywords – Once you have a list of potential keywords for your post, run a Google search for that term and see if anyone ranks on page one. If they do, go to Moz’s Open Site Explorer and find out what their domain authority is. It’s unlikely you’ll move into position #1 unless you have a higher DA than the site that’s currently ranking. Review their DA and your own to determine where you have the best potential to rank in a top position. Choose those words or terms to target.

Write for your audience, not the search engine – After you’ve worked to select the right keyword for your blog post, it’s tempting to stuff it in there 100 times to see how well it will work. Don’t do this! Google wants you to write for your audience. They want to deliver great content. Focus on telling a story that your reader cares about. Don’t even think about how many times you want to include a keyword in the post. Once you’ve written your draft, go back and see how many times you included it naturally. Read it to yourself – out loud- and see how it sounds. If it’s well written and the keyword usage is natural, it will sound right. If it’s too much, you’ll be able to tell. Edit as necessary.

Add a unique Title Tag and Meta Description to each post – a title tag is essentially your story’s headline and the meta description is a brief synopsis of what your page or post is about. Together, they’re what will entice the reader to click on the link and visit your blog to read more. They should be engaging and have a call-to-action, if applicable. They also to be less than 56 characters (Title Tag) and 156 characters (Meta Description) so that they don’t truncate. Finally, you should include your brand or blog name and the targeted keyword in both.

If you take a strategic SEO focused approach to your keyword selection and writing, you should be able to rank better in the search engines. And when your rank improves, we normally see traffic increase. Want to learn more ways that blogging is beneficial for your business? Read more about why blogging matters, how long your blog post should be, or what makes a great blog post all from The Etched Blog.

Bonus Tip: If you’re using WordPress, a great SEO plugin is Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO manages your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions and gives you an easy to follow red, yellow, green scoring system for your optimization on every page or post. Yoast will even tell you what to change to improve your SEO. The free version works great.