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by BrianHanson

The SEO world has changed especially in 2017. Blog posts still perform well, but there are a lot of new factors that one must consider when posting. I’ve put together this quick list to help a person who plans on creating content this year. While everything is subject to change or even becoming obsolete, what is provided here is what has worked for me recently. My best SEO for blog posts in the year 2017 list is below.

1. A Good Title is Important

You must include one keyword in your title, and preferably make it a long-tail one. All top search engines are now seeking better ways to match user queries.

Instead of just going with a generic keyword that you find, a better way to create a title is by matching your title to the question a user might ask.

Example Search: “How Much are Rental Prices in Jacksonville, FL?”
Example Title: “Jacksonville Rental Market Price Guide for 2017”

High-traffic keywords are not always the best to use.

Explore your competition in Google, Yahoo and Bing to see what is favored. Find out if a broad keyword is favored or more of a long-tail one.

Keep the blog post title 70 characters or less.

2. Content Density & Length

How far does a person have to dig into your content to find what he or she is looking for?

2017 will be an expansion of the density of your content. How good is your content? How fast can someone find what he or she wants to know?

It is OK to write 1000+ word articles, but make sure there is good content in there. It sometimes takes combining 20+ resources into one article to cover all of the bases to achieve a good content density.

Best scenario is to use 500+ words that answers all questions a searcher is asking about a particular keyword. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to quality. Don’t bore people.

3. Branding

Marketers used to say that being an ‘authority’ was the way to achieve higher placements in Google. While this was true prior to 2015, Google and other search engines now prefer branded content. After search engines take a snapshot of your entire website over time, an internal score is calculated that defines your brand.

If you want to be the best brand in your industry, make sure all content on your website relates to your niche, and it is original to your company. Do not copy what other people do or write uninformative 300 word blog posts about generic topics.

Yes, search engines know how frequently you post new content on your website, and will watch you over a period of time to determine your ranking factors.

4. User Interaction

How long does a person stay on a single page on your website? Google knows.

Keeping someone interacted with your content takes more than words on a page. Answering questions in detail, covering multiple topics, histories of subjects, facts and figures, and linking to YouTube videos keeps people interacted.

A really long FAQ (frequently asked questions) is a great way to get a long of traffic to your website because it helps to answer common questions about a topic or niche.

5. Images and Infographics

When computers were the only way to view websites, images were favored to help jazz up boring text on a page. With mobile browsing now receiving more than 50% of all searches, a faster website is a good thing to have.

Cut down the use of huge images on blog pages. It is best to put images in the middle of the page compared with the top. Keep the file size as low as possible and a resolution of 72 DPI is more than sufficient.

Just like the average person hates YouTube video intros, most people who browse a website on a mobile device hate waiting for images to load or to be resized.

6. Sharable Content

Between Facebook and Twitter, there are billions of social media posts daily. Who decides what is the best content to share?

The answer: people in your niche will decide.

Real estate is not really exciting to the average person, but there are plenty of beginners and intermediate investors who always search for new information. Create content that can be shared in a group setting, and search engines just might take notice.

Getting “Likes” is not as important as sustaining real visitors to your blog.

7. Link in and Link Out

A good link profile includes what you link to inside of your website, and everything that you link out to online. You do not have to use specific keywords in your content to use as anchor text to link to an internal page on your website. You can mix up the anchor text to include long-tail phrases, generic words like “check this out” or “this video claims” or one-word links similar to Wikipedia.

When it comes to linking out, you have to be really careful. Search engines try to figure out what your page is all about by reviewing your outgoing links. If you link to too much content, it can be hard to determine the originality of your written content.

8. Creating Custom URLs

It used to be effective to have your target keyword in more than one location on your website. Because Google and other companies now use Artificial Intelligence to learn new things, a quick scan of your page can tell them all they need to know.

It is a good idea to create custom URLs that do not have the date in them.

It is helpful to cut out redundancy with keywords, and to keep what really matters.

Bad URL: http://bestinvestmentpropertiesforsale.com/jacksonville-houses-for-sale-cheap
Better URL: http://bestinvestmentpropertiesforsale.com/jacksonville-buyers-guide

Words such as “for sale”, “buy” and “cost” all mean the same thing to search engines now.
Never use “cheap” because it makes more sense to use “low cost”, “affordable”, “reduced”.

Check out my new site to see how I create my URLs for real estate investing.

9. Sub-Headings

It is effective when using sub-headings on your blog post pages. Using these breaks up the blank space between your paragraphs. Unlike in prior years, keywords should be kept to a minimum in your sub-headings to make sure you are not spamming your page with too many keywords.

It now makes more sense to have related content in the sub-headings that does not include your primary keyword.

Example Sub-Heading: “Jacksonville Real Estate at Good Prices”
Related Sub-Heading: “Jacksonville Now Has More Affordable Homes”

By keeping the keyword density of your keyword or keyword sets at 1% or lower, you keep out of trouble because it is easy to over-optimize keywords on our page as a whole.

10. Frequency of Content

Search engines now favor a consistent publishing of new content. People use search engines as an aid to find answers to questions quickly. By publishing content on a regular basis, you will begin to build your brand online that is unique and not related to other people in your niche.

The age of content is also important. As words on your page become aged, they become more favorable to Google, Bing and Yahoo compared to something that was just posted today at Noon. The more clicks that your content generates, how you abide by algorithm rules and how unique your content is all play a factor in search engine placement these days.

A good rule of thumb is to post to your blog a minimum of 3 times every single week. If you have the time or budget, publishing one or more times per day will help you achieve faster results.

Yes, the daily or three-time per week postings do include weekends and holidays. Set up a schedule and stick to it. You should; however, do as little black hat SEO as possible, and try sticking with good content generation mixed in with good backlinks to your website.

BrianHanson
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