Search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term game. You need to be diligent and consistent with following the ever-changing industry best practices.
But that doesn’t mean there are no shortcuts at all. If you feel that your blog has lost some spark and needs a bit of revitalization, here are the quick SEO patches to apply.
Schedule Some Org First
Does your blog navigational experience spark joy? Maybe it’s time to go Marie Kondo on your current organization and categorization.
Because here’s the deal—Google easily gets lost in a “messy room” full of scattered, seemingly unrelated blog posts. As a result, the algorithm cannot properly identify what your blog is about and rank yours accordingly in search results.
Plus, your readers aren’t happy either. If you’ve been seeing higher bounce rates lately, it could be a telltale sign that your blog needs a better organizational system.
So here are your SEO tips for making things right.
Create topic clusters: think about all of the topics you blog about. Can you segment them into 3-5 “drawers” based on topics you write about?
For instance, at CD, we write about things that go into the following categories:
- Industry Updates
- CD World
These are our main blog categories and you can browse every one of them separately to read a specific kind of content. Do you have the same clarity at your blog? If not, read our detailed taxonomies guide and get straight to org work. Ideally, 80% of your blog posts should be categorized in the “drawers” you’ve created.
Create Cornerstone Posts
Imagine this: if a new reader could only view one post from each category, which one would it be?
Perhaps for the “Outfit” category, you’d want to share a round-up of your best seasonal looks. What you are envisioning here is a cornerstone post—the ultimate gateway to more amazing content for new (and returning readers).
Cornerstone posts also help you tackle one pesky SEO issue—keyword cannibalization. It sounds monstrous, we know, but stay brave! Keyword cannibalization is when multiple blog posts and pages from your website rank (or attempt to rank) for the same keyword. As a result, they constantly compete with each other and none of them win. One page ends up eating the rankings of another one.
By creating several cornerstone posts (longer, more comprehensive reads, consolidating several blog posts around similar subjects) you simultaneously tackle that problem, plus receive an additional SEO boost as Google loves long, authoritative content.
The three defining characteristics of a cornerstone page/post are as follows:
- Completeness: it accounts for all the sub-topics your other blog posts cover.
- Consolidation: it does not link to any top-level pages, except for in the navigation. Links to other posts from the same “drawer” are welcome!
- Authoritativeness: your “smaller” blog posts link to your cornerstone page.
Give Your Other Blog Posts a Lift
As well, you’ll want to avoid keyword cannibalization between the non-cornerstone posts. So here are a few additional SEO tips to deal with that.
One post = one keyword. Ensure that each of your blog posts targets a unique keyword. Yoast plugin for WordPress actually alerts you whenever you are trying to optimize two posts for the same keyword.
Need tips and tools for finding new keywords for some of your posts? We’ve listed a few awesome ones here.
Consolidate or remove posts with matching keywords. Which action should you pick? In general, it depends:
- If a post looks weak and incomplete, it’s best to update it with new info or mash it together with a similar post. Don’t forget to delete that second post and set a 301 redirect to the newer version.
- If you feel like nothing can be done to revive a blog post, it’s best to scrap it altogether. After all, fewer posts equal more concentrated ability to rank in search results.
Interlink posts in the same category. Linking to other posts in the same category gives you the next SEO benefits:
- Search engines understand that those entries are related and rank them better.
- Google bots need less time to locate those posts and index them because you include dofollow links.
- Your bounce rate drops and pages per visit metric increases as readers can find new relevant posts faster and easier.
Now you have it—a quick new system for creating and organizing your posts to maximize your SEO results!