Blog post optimization gives your posts the best chance for showing up in Google for a predetermined keyword phrase. The below SEO steps represent tried and true inbound marketing techniques I’ve deployed for years now. They’re also the steps I coach my clients and writers with. If your blog is new don’t expect your first post utilizing these steps to rank well. It’s possible, but unlikely. You’ll need to develop a readership and/or social media community centered on your blog’s topics first. This will make Google take note of your blog as a whole and will allow it to compete with more popular blogs.
Page Title: Always include the primary keyword phrase in the page title. Keep the title less than 70 characters in length.
URL: If you have control of the trailing URL include the primary keyword phrase. (http://www.yourblog.com/blog/primary-keyword-phrase/)
Header 1 (H1) Tag: Most blog CMS’s automatically assign an H1 tag to the blog post’s title. When using one that doesn’t make sure to have an H1 tag with the primary keyword phrase in it on the post.
Images File Name & Alternative (Alt) Text: Always make sure to have at least one image on every blog post. Also, include the primary keyword phrase in the image file name and the image alt text.
Bold the primary keyword phrase at least one time in the post and always include it in the first sentence.
Inbound & Outbound Links: It is recommended to link the primary keyword phrase to a page on your website domain with the intent of helping that page rank for that word. Additionally, if you have any other web properties (including social media) consider including a link on those domains with the anchor text “primary keyword phrase” and point that link to the blog post.
Tip: When trying to saturate the primary keyword phrase in a post consider ending a sentence with the beginning of the phrase and beginning the next sentence with the ending of the primary keyword phrase. Search engines recognize it the same as if the words were in the same sentence. (The first sentence should include the primary keyword. Phrase should be included in the next sentence.)
Header 2, 3, 4, etc. (H2, H3, H4, etc.) Tag: Include the primary keyword phrase in as many relevant header tags as possible.
Ordered & Unordered lists are good to use for organizing information and for adding a few primary keyword phrases when the post is short a few.
Target Keyword Saturation Rate: The recommended saturation rate for blog posts is 3% - 9%. Keep in mind, all of the words on the page matter in the calculation of the saturation rate. This includes the navigation and footer content.
Include the primary keyword phrase in the last sentence of the post.
Blog Tags: Blog tags are a way to organize similar posts and each tag represents a separate RSS feed that visitors can subscribe to and Google can index. These feeds contain posts that should be optimized for the phrase in the tag. (primary keyword phrase, primary keyword phrase variation1, primary keyword phrase variation2, etc.)
Meta Description: Always include the primary keyword phase in the post’s meta description.
Meta Keywords: Include up to 10 phrases to include the primary keyword phrase and relevant variations.
All of the optimization steps above are great, but if your content is written for search engines instead of people, which is considered a bad practice and creates poorly written content, the likelihood of consistently ranking high on Google is slim. If your content is good at solving people's problems and people like to read it the steps above will help your posts get ranked while improving your inbound marketing.