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SEO optimization of blog posts in 8 steps

We are inundated with content at every step of our digital journey, and yet most of that content doesn't even serve its purpose.

Different people have different views on what optimized content looks like. Some even think it's not worth the effort because the "less than nothing" ranks for anything under the stars with recycled content and below average.

Yes, life is not fair, sorry.

But you can still write the best article imaginable and it won't be seen by anyone because your page just isn't properly optimized.

So how do you optimize your content for keywords?

We are here to find out.

Well, with content optimization, we have two possible scenarios to consider:

  • Write SEO optimized content.
  • Edit non-optimized content to improve it.

Let's see which category you fall into!

Write SEO optimized content targeting a specific keyword

Obviously, I'm a fan of the first scenario, when writers produce great, keyword-rich, fully-optimized articles that don't need to be micro-managed.

This type of approach has two problems:

  • Copywriters who just can't write SEO-optimized copy.
  • And SEO writers who didn't get proper instruction before they started writing.

News flash: Both of these issues are your responsibility.

It's 2021, all writers should be able to write optimized content. If you hire a mediocre copywriter because you don't want to pay or don't care much about your content game. The fault lies with you.

On the other hand, if you don't provide a very decent copywriter with enough information and instructions, you're digging your own grave.

Related: Affiliate email: How to use it to boost conversions?

It's not up to the copywriter to do the keyword research (if you don't pay them for it). Copywriters are not SEOs (well, most of the time). You need to give them detailed instructions on what keywords to use, how often, and where.

Either way, you need to invest more in a good SEO who can optimize your content after piling it up for a year and wondering why you haven't ranked number 1 yet.

The alternative approach would be to hire awesome copywriters with unique voices who put their two cents in building your brand while following your clear instructions regarding keyword usage, length, metas, type content, etc.

When I work with writers, whether they're copywriters or content writers, I tend to give them very specific briefs, guidelines, which include main keywords, keywords secondaries, TF-IDFs, how many times I prefer they use those keywords, how many words, sometimes how many subs, etc.

Arguably, this whole process has become much, much easier since I started incorporating several sERP analytics and reverse engineering software into my content creation strategy. Thanks to the mapping of semantic fields, entities, the analysis of the similarity of the SERPs for each keyword and the analysis of the user intention for each expression to work, the creation of my writing briefs takes 5 minutes instead of the hours I used to spend on it.

Edit poor content

The majority of people belong to this group and I don't really blame you.

Research has changed so much over the past 3 years and the requirements of writers and SEOs have changed accordingly.

Your pages focused on a single keyword and overoptimized for this single keyword no longer rank.

Your recycled 500-word articles no longer work.

Ultimately, you are in this predicament and there is definitely something to be done.

But how do you fix this mess and re-optimize old articles that have dropped in search results? 

The number of articles you've been able to pile up so far may vary, but one thing remains the same: come up with your content strategy before you do anything else.

I assume that you have established your strategy and that your keywords are perfectly grouped and associated with the appropriate pages.

If not, check out this initial keyword research guide where I walk you through the process so you can create an exceptional content strategy.

Next, make a list of all your published articles and those that are due to go live soon, and sort them by date, subject, length, performance indicators, etc. Use data from Google Analytics and other tools available to you to make your decision.

Use data from Google Analytics and other tools available to you to make your decision. Sites that achieve great results, even without proper optimization, will undoubtedly stick around. If you want to learn more about cleaning up your blog, I wrote an article about it.

Once you've sorted through your existing content, it's time to optimize it!

A word of advice, make sure to optimize the keywords of the old pages first before integrating them into a topic group. Otherwise, you risk losing rankings due to internal linking or cannibalization issues.

With that being said, it's time to learn how to optimize your blog post keywords for organic traffic.

The Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Blog Post

Before getting into the actual optimization tips, I want to make one thing clear.

I'm all for the natural elaboration of your ideas without the pressure of clumsy keyword stuffing that doesn't belong.

Sometimes it can feel like you have to use a keyword a certain number of times or in certain places. I understand that, but it's not a requirement.

You're doing no one a favor by abnormally stuffing nonsense sentences into a sentence.

It's good to be mindful of search engine optimization best practices and it's amazing to go the extra mile to make sure your favorite keywords are included in your content, but there's a balance to be struck.

Writing in a way that naturally includes keywords while comparing notes with data-driven tools is the way to go.

Keyword Optimized Copy

Surprise, surprise, you need to make sure your target keywords are actually included in your content.

It's shocking, I know.

All kidding aside, over the years Google's algorithms have gotten smarter and semantic search has graced us with its presence, keyword optimization has changed meaning in a number of ways.

You can neglect to add your target keyword in your content and still rank for it.

You can optimize a bunch of related keywords and rank for hundreds of other terms you didn't even know existed.

So yes, keyword optimization has changed, but the basic practices that most SEOs swear by still work in a certain way (prevention is better than cure, you know):

  • Make absolutely sure you have a good content strategy before writing random articles.
  • Match your keywords to each page appropriately.
  • Use these keywords sparingly (and I don't mean install a wordpress plugin and add your main keyword 10 times because it says so, please).
  • Follow the rest of this article for more tips.

URLs suitable for search engines

Usually overlooked but no less important, the URL slug is another great opportunity to optimize your content.

URLs are intended to inform the visitor about the content of the page. They should be readable and convey the overall message of the article, but they should be short.

What I suggest is having your main keyword as the slug. If that doesn't make sense, try a very short version of your title.

For example, let's say we have an article with the title: “B2B Content Marketing in 2021: How to Leverage B2B Content for Business Growth”. The main keyword is “B2B content marketing”.

We have two options for writing the slug:

  • /b2b-content-marketing
  • /b2b-content-marketing-guide

Likewise, this can be applied to any page, including your landing pages.

Optimized title tag

As they say, don't judge the book by its cover, so don't judge the content by its title.

It's wrong !

Your meta title is the first thing people see in the SERPs and it has a huge impact on your open rate. Not only should it be very eye-catching and attention grabbing, but it should also concisely convey the meaning of your page while including one of your target keywords. Hard work.

Optimized meta description

Right after the title tag, the meta description is the second thing people read when they find your site in search results.

It is quite important that the meta description is well written. More often than not, people read this little snippet before deciding to visit your website. The more targeted and informative it is, the more likely you are to get a click.

I suggest that you address your audience's pain points regarding your topic in your description.

Let's say you're writing about content marketing performance measurement. What is your audience's pain point? Maybe the fact that they don't yet have a proper system to measure their efforts? Or do they think they have a good content strategy but the numbers show a different reality?

Either way, addressing their issues and hinting at a possible solution works every time. You can even use the meta description as an excerpt from the article.

Optimized header tag

The H1 tag is considered the second most important element on the page. It must therefore naturally contain one of your main keywords and reflect the content of your page.

To be clear, when I say H1, I mean the title. I usually write different titles and meta titles when I create content.

I feel like the character limit of the title tag is stifling my creativity. Personally, I prefer a longer H1 because it should summarize your whole page and 50-60 characters is not enough. Plus, it leaves more room to add not one but sometimes two target keywords in the title.

The same can be said for subtitles. Most people skim the content on your page without reading the content itself. In order to make your content appealing to these readers, it is good to divide your content into sections and write H2s, H3s, etc. informative and optimized by keywords.

Again, this should come naturally, so there's no need to force sentences that don't make sense.

Optimized images

Yet another small, but very effective trick you can do to improve your content performance. You guessed it, image optimization!

Search engine bots cannot interpret images and alt tags solve this problem by providing text that is read by search engines. When Googlebot or other search engine crawlers inspect a page, images with properly formatted alt text help the page index  and rank.

The alt tag is a great place to add your target keywords, especially since you can be as descriptive as you want. I usually add my long tail keywords in the alt text because they are harder to integrate into your content.

Also, don't forget to optimize your image URLs. This is probably the most overlooked change that most people don't even think to make, but believe me, it's important. No more urls filled with automatically generated numbers: make it short, make it nice, add a keyword and go.

Keywords in bold

This is a subtle optimization technique that doesn't have much effect on search engines, but it does on your readers.

Like most people, I hate long blocks of text and bold keywords are a good way to break them up, along with short paragraphs and proper sections.

This draws the reader's attention to those phrases, making it much easier to skim through the text than they otherwise would. Also, it is very helpful to highlight the most important points or tips that you want people to pay attention to.

Internal links

Finally, it's time to draw attention to an essential element of the page: internal links.

No less effective and powerful than backlinks, internal linking can be a game-changer when it comes to content if done right.

Useful and informative links between blog pages and other blog posts or service pages can create a good site hierarchy, build authority for your pages, and increase time spent on site, because links strategically placed will entice the user to visit other pages and explore more.

For a more in-depth look, be sure to check out this guide on internal linking where I talk about creating a solid strategy with the help of KC.

Here's the catch: anchor text.

Developing an internal linking strategy should be a top priority. But without the right anchor text, these links can harm your website rather than help it.

Having a well-thought-out content aggregation strategy helps a lot in properly interlinking your pages. You basically have a roadmap for each article, along with their target keywords, which can be used as anchor text.

But if you don't have a grouping strategy, don't worry. Just be sure to properly distribute the link juice between the important pages of the website to ensure the right buyer journey for each user and use keyword-rich anchor texts, preferably a keyword from the title of the website. article you are referring to or a target keyword for that particular page.

One thing though, don't overuse internal links and add 20 in every blog post. Stick to linking where it makes sense, where you have more information to provide so people don't have to search for additional resources themselves.


There you have it, an essential checklist for a perfectly keyword-optimized blog post.

It's not so difficult anymore, is it?

Writing SEO-optimized content doesn't have to be difficult, it can even be a walk in the park if you follow the right process.

As long as you write with the user in mind and naturally include contextually relevant terms, your audience and the search engines will reward you.

Be sure to give Keyword Cupid a try and take your content strategy to the next level!

Try it out for 7 days and let us know what you think, your feedback is always welcome!