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Top 25 blogging SEO tips for 2022

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Top 25 blogging SEO tips for 2022

Here are the top 25 blogging SEO tips to help all blog posts compete for a first page Google ranking.

1. Cut the time to write a post in half by using an AI SEO tool

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools, like Clearscope and RankIQ, tell you what topics marketer should cover in their post to compete for a first-page ranking on Google. This allows marketers to create a comprehensive outline in a short amount of time.

2. Do not use single-phrase search volume when choosing keywords

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make when blogging, is using single-phrase search volume to identify keywords. This metric is only meant to be used for Google ads, and it is not an accurate measurement of the traffic you will get.

There are only two keyword research tools which provide an accurate traffic estimate, which are Ahrefs’ Traffic Potential and RankIQ’s Estimated Yearly Visitors.

3. Poll create original research posts from poll results

Original research posts get a high number of backlinks. One easy way to generate original data is for marketers and bloggers to identify large Facebook groups within their area of interest, and post polls. The answers gained from the polls can form the basis for building a research post.

4. Get interviewed on podcasts to generate high quality backlinks

Backlinks to a blogs can be generated in several ways, including being interviewed for a podcast. Links then often appear in the show notes page for the relevant episode.

One way to marketers can advertise employees as available for podcast interviews is to send emails to various show hosts. Details of podcast hosts are relatively easy to find through hosting sites; Apple’s Top Charts lists the top 300 podcasts in a number of different areas. If bloggers do not have time to send emails, there is the option to sign up to PodcastGuests.com and have the hosts reach out instead.

5. Write blog posts on the most searched stats for year-round passive backlinks

Journalists citing data or specific statistics will often add a backlink to their source within their articles, but they tend to click on a title which has the highest number of data points available. (E.g., 50 Latest Dog Biting Statistics).

Marketers can boost their blogs’ SEO by researching keywords to glean the most searched for statistics in a specific area of interest. Once a blogger knows which statistics are popular, there is the opportunity for them to write a blog post with additional data points.

6. Use Google ‘friendly’ terms in your title

When marketers run an AI SEO Report through a tool like RankIQ, it lists the words Google ‘likes’ the most within titles. This enables bloggers to create perfectly optimised post titles from words driving the highest click-through rates (CTR) for specific keywords or phrases.

7. Use a targeted front-end modifier on your blog post title

A strategically placed front-end modifier, like “best,” “top” or “good”, can bump a marketers blog  ranking from #3 to #1. Different topics and areas of interest have unique front-end modifiers. Food bloggers get over 90% of their traffic from recipe posts. The top front-end modifiers for recipe posts are “easy,” “best,” “homemade,” and “simple”. (E.g., Easy chicken pot pie recipe).

8. Always go higher than your competition

Before a list post is published, marketers should look at their competition on the first page of Google. If the highest number in a title is 15, then they should consider lengthening their blog list post to 25. This is going to increase the CTR and push their blogs’ posts past titles with lower numbers.

9. Do not go over 60 characters in your blogpost title

Ahrefs SEO tool found titles with more than 60 characters are rewritten by Google 57% more often than those with 60 or less characters.

10. Use brackets with the current year at the end of each post title

Google searchers want content with the latest information. Blog posts which have the current year in their title are going ng to get more clicks than those that do not; using square brackets increased the click-through rate by 38%.

An example would be: ‘25 Email Marketing Tips for Bloggers [2022]’.

11. Internally link to a new post from two other high authority posts

As soon as a market publishes a new post through a company blog, they should link it to at least two of historical blog posts which have plenty of inbound links.

12. Write 40-50 word paragraphs to rank for featured snippets

Multiple studies have confirmed the majority of featured snippets are pulled from paragraphs which are 40-50 words in length. This is also the ideal length of a paragraph for maximum reader engagement.

13. Make sure your ‘content grade’ is an A+ before publishing

Backlinko looked at 11.8 million Google results and found posts with a high content grade ranked significantly higher in Google search. Content optimisation tools, like RankIQ, will grade a blog’s content based on what Google wants to see from a post for a specific keyword phrase.

14. Add FAQs at the end of a post to increase ‘dwell time’

One way to prolong people’s time on page is to add a frequently asked questions section to the bottom of a blog post.

To find out the best questions to include, search engines can be used by any marketer to find out the most common questions searched for on specific topic. Google even has a dedicated “People also ask” option.

Marketers should consider included around 3-5 of these questions, and their 40–50 word answers, within their businesses’ blog posts.

15. Listen to teaching podcasts like ‘The Blogging Millionaire’

The host of The Blogging Millionairea podcast devoted to teaching different blogging strategies – gets 5 million monthly visitors from over 100,000 first-page Google rankings.

Brandon Gaille, host of the podcast, has so far taught over 100 blogging and SEO growth hacks in short ten-minute episodes.

16. Keep your intros to three sentences or less to increase engagement

Readers want to get to the body of blog post as quickly as possible. For list posts, marketers should ensure readers can see the first item on the blog’s list above the fold.

17. Create a meta description tease to increase click through rates

In 150 characters, markets should include the best part of a post and end with an ellipsis. This can increase the click-through rate on a post enough to move up several spots in Google’s rankings.

Here’s an example of a meta description tease:

Title: 11 On-page SEO Best Practices for Blog Post

There are eleven On Page SEO tactics that pro bloggers use to get ridiculous results. The one tactic that plays the biggest role in SEO is…

18. Buy an aftermarket domain with existing backlinks to rank higher faster

Using a high domain authority expired domain will allow a blog post to rank high on Google from day one. The best place to find these domains is at GoDaddy Auctions.

  • In the advanced search, select expiring “.com” or “.org” domains which are at least 4 years old.
  • Copy all domains which come up with at least 1 bid into a Google sheet.
  • Run these through a bulk domain authority checker and remove all domains with less than a 30-domain authority.
  • Use the Wayback Machine to find domains with content which are at least loosely related to your subject area.

19. Identify the word count that google prefers for every keyword you write on

The word count needed to hit a keyword is different, depending on the subject area.  For a recipe post, it may only take 900 words. For a marketing tips post, 4000 words may be needed.

AI SEO tools like Frase and RankIQ use algorithms to determine the word count a post needs to compete for the top Google ranking.

20. Keep your URLs short by focusing on the core keyword phrase

A study by Backlinko found URLs in the top Google position are 9.2 characters shorter than the URLs in position number 10.

21. Use your own video thumbnails and links

SEO can also be bolstered by avoiding video embedding from a hosting site. The YouTube embed code significantly slows down the page speed of a post, which is a component of Google’s algorithm.

22. Place your target keyword in the first 100 words of your content

This tactic has been around for a while, and it still makes an impact.

23. Run your post through Grammarly before you hit publish

There is nothing worse than a blog post littered with spelling errors or grammatical errors; it suggests author laziness or a rushed blog post.

Grammarly’s tool is almost as good as having an editor who reviews your work. It will instantly take a rough post and flag any inconsistencies or errors and suggest corrections.

24. Include short stat-based infographics for more backlinks and social shares

There are few things which attract backlinks and social shares like simple stat-based infographics. By using a 16:9 ratio, your stat infographics will work for both desktop and mobile audiences.

25. Get a list of the lowest competition keywords with the highest traffic potential from RankIQ

Most bloggers end up writing more than 50% of their posts on keywords they will never be able to rank for.

RankIQ’s top keyword research experts have identified the lowest competition high traffic keywords in over 300 blogging niches.

Rank IQ provides AI-powered tools to help marketers and bloggers improve their SEO by identifying key words and topics that top Google’s ranking algorithm. 


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No Algorithmic Actions For Site Reputation Abuse Yet

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Looking up at an angle at the Google sign on the Head Office for Canada

Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, has confirmed that the search engine hasn’t launched algorithmic actions targeting site reputation abuse.

This clarification addresses speculation within the SEO community that recent traffic drops are related to Google’s previously announced policy update.

Sullivan Says No Update Rolled Out

Lily Ray, an SEO professional, shared a screenshot on Twitter showing a significant drop in traffic for the website Groupon starting on May 6.

Ray suggested this was evidence that Google had begun rolling out algorithmic penalties for sites violating the company’s site reputation abuse policy.

However, Sullivan quickly stepped in, stating:

“We have not gone live with algorithmic actions on site reputation abuse. I well imagine when we do, we’ll be very clear about that. Publishers seeing changes and thinking it’s this — it’s not — results change all the time for all types of reasons.”

Sullivan added that when the actions are rolled out, they will only impact specific content, not entire websites.

This is an important distinction, as it suggests that even if a site has some pages manually penalized, the rest of the domain can rank normally.

Background On Google’s Site Reputation Abuse Policy

Earlier this year, Google announced a new policy to combat what it calls “site reputation abuse.”

This refers to situations where third-party content is published on authoritative domains with little oversight or involvement from the host site.

Examples include sponsored posts, advertorials, and partner content that is loosely related to or unrelated to a site’s primary purpose.

Under the new policy, Google is taking manual action against offending pages and plans to incorporate algorithmic detection.

What This Means For Publishers & SEOs

While Google hasn’t launched any algorithmic updates related to site reputation abuse, the manual actions have publishers on high alert.

Those who rely heavily on sponsored content or partner posts to drive traffic should audit their sites and remove any potential policy violations.

Sullivan’s confirmation that algorithmic changes haven’t occurred may provide temporary relief.

Additionally, his statements also serve as a reminder that significant ranking fluctuations can happen at any time due to various factors, not just specific policy rollouts.


FAQ

Will Google’s future algorithmic actions impact entire websites or specific content?

When Google eventually rolls out algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse, these actions will target specific content rather than the entire website.

This means that if certain pages are found to be in violation, only those pages will be affected, allowing other parts of the site to continue ranking normally.

What should publishers and SEOs do in light of Google’s site reputation abuse policy?

Publishers and SEO professionals should audit their sites to identify and remove any content that may violate Google’s site reputation abuse policy.

This includes sponsored posts and partner content that doesn’t align with the site’s primary purpose. Taking these steps can mitigate the risk of manual penalties from Google.

What is the context of the recent traffic drops seen in the SEO community?

Google claims the recent drops for coupon sites aren’t linked to any algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse. Traffic fluctuations can occur for various reasons and aren’t always linked to a specific algorithm update.


Featured Image: sockagphoto/Shutterstock



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WP Rocket WordPress Plugin Now Optimizes LCP Core Web Vitals Metric

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WP Rocket WordPress Plugin Now Optimizes LCP Core Web Vitals Metric

WP Rocket, the WordPress page speed performance plugin, just announced the release of a new version that will help publishers optimize for Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), an important Core Web Vitals metric.

Large Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP is a page speed metric that’s designed to show how fast it takes for a user to perceive that the page is loaded and read to be interacted with. This metric measures the time it takes for the main content elements has fully loaded. This gives an idea of how usable a webpage is. The faster the LCP the better the user experience will be.

WP Rocket 3.16

WP Rocket is a caching plugin that helps a site perform faster. The way page caching generally works is that the website will store frequently accessed webpages and resources so that when someone visits the page the website doesn’t have to fetch the data from the database, which takes time, but instead will serve the webpage from the cache. This is super important when a website has a lot of site visitors because that can use a lot of server resources to fetch and build the same website over and over for every visitor.

The lastest version of WP Rocket (3.16) now contains Automatic LCP optimization, which means that it will optimize the on-page elements from the main content so that they are served first thereby raising the LCP scores and providing a better user experience.

Because it’s automatic there’s really nothing to fiddle around with or fine tune.

According to WP Rocket:

  • Automatic LCP Optimization: Optimizes the Largest Contentful Paint, a critical metric for website speed, automatically enhancing overall PageSpeed scores.
  • Smart Management of Above-the-Fold Images: Automatically detects and prioritizes critical above-the-fold images, loading them immediately to improve user experience and performance metrics.

All new functionalities operate seamlessly in the background, requiring no direct intervention from the user. Upon installing or upgrading to WP Rocket 3.16, these optimizations are automatically enabled, though customization options remain accessible for those who prefer manual control.”

Read the official announcement:

WP Rocket 3.16: Improving LCP and PageSpeed Score Automatically

Featured Image by Shutterstock/ICONMAN66

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Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint: A Step-By-Step Guide

This post was sponsored by DebugBear. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Keeping your website fast is important for user experience and SEO.

The Core Web Vitals initiative by Google provides a set of metrics to help you understand the performance of your website.

The three Core Web Vitals metrics are:

This post focuses on the recently introduced INP metric and what you can do to improve it.

How Is Interaction To Next Paint Measured?

INP measures how quickly your website responds to user interactions – for example, a click on a button. More specifically, INP measures the time in milliseconds between the user input and when the browser has finished processing the interaction and is ready to display any visual updates on the page.

Your website needs to complete this process in under 200 milliseconds to get a “Good” score. Values over half a second are considered “Poor”. A poor score in a Core Web Vitals metric can negatively impact your search engine rankings.

Google collects INP data from real visitors on your website as part of the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX). This CrUX data is what ultimately impacts rankings.

Image created by DebugBear, May 2024

How To Identify & Fix Slow INP Times

The factors causing poor Interaction to Next Paint can often be complex and hard to figure out. Follow this step-by-step guide to understand slow interactions on your website and find potential optimizations.

1. How To Identify A Page With Slow INP Times

Different pages on your website will have different Core Web Vitals scores. So you need to identify a slow page and then investigate what’s causing it to be slow.

Using Google Search Console

One easy way to check your INP scores is using the Core Web Vitals section in Google Search Console, which reports data based on the Google CrUX data we’ve discussed before.

By default, page URLs are grouped into URL groups that cover many different pages. Be careful here – not all pages might have the problem that Google is reporting. Instead, click on each URL group to see if URL-specific data is available for some pages and then focus on those.

1716368164 358 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of Google Search Console, May 2024

Using A Real-User Monitoring (RUM) Service

Google won’t report Core Web Vitals data for every page on your website, and it only provides the raw measurements without any details to help you understand and fix the issues. To get that you can use a real-user monitoring tool like DebugBear.

Real-user monitoring works by installing an analytics snippet on your website that measures how fast your website is for your visitors. Once that’s set up you’ll have access to an Interaction to Next Paint dashboard like this:

1716368164 404 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear Interaction to Next Paint dashboard, May 2024

You can identify pages you want to optimize in the list, hover over the URL, and click the funnel icon to look at data for that specific page only.

1716368164 975 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideImage created by DebugBear, May 2024

2. Figure Out What Element Interactions Are Slow

Different visitors on the same page will have different experiences. A lot of that depends on how they interact with the page: if they click on a background image there’s no risk of the page suddenly freezing, but if they click on a button that starts some heavy processing then that’s more likely. And users in that second scenario will experience much higher INP.

To help with that, RUM data provides a breakdown of what page elements users interacted with and how big the interaction delays were.

1716368164 348 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear INP Elements view, May 2024

The screenshot above shows different INP interactions sorted by how frequent these user interactions are. To make optimizations as easy as possible you’ll want to focus on a slow interaction that affects many users.

In DebugBear, you can click on the page element to add it to your filters and continue your investigation.

3. Identify What INP Component Contributes The Most To Slow Interactions

INP delays can be broken down into three different components:

  • Input Delay: Background code that blocks the interaction from being processed.
  • Processing Time: The time spent directly handling the interaction.
  • Presentation Delay: Displaying the visual updates to the screen.

You should focus on which INP component is the biggest contributor to the slow INP time, and ensure you keep that in mind during your investigation.

1716368164 193 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear INP Components, May 2024

In this scenario, Processing Time is the biggest contributor to the slow INP time for the set of pages you’re looking at, but you need to dig deeper to understand why.

High processing time indicates that there is code intercepting the user interaction and running slow performing code. If instead you saw a high input delay, that suggests that there are background tasks blocking the interaction from being processed, for example due to third-party scripts.

4. Check Which Scripts Are Contributing To Slow INP

Sometimes browsers report specific scripts that are contributing to a slow interaction. Your website likely contains both first-party and third-party scripts, both of which can contribute to slow INP times.

A RUM tool like DebugBear can collect and surface this data. The main thing you want to look at is whether you mostly see your own website code or code from third parties.

1716368164 369 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the INP Primary Script Domain Grouping in DebugBear, May 2024

Tip: When you see a script, or source code function marked as “N/A”, this can indicate that the script comes from a different origin and has additional security restrictions that prevent RUM tools from capturing more detailed information.

This now begins to tell a story: it appears that analytics/third-party scripts are the biggest contributors to the slow INP times.

5. Identify Why Those Scripts Are Running

At this point, you now have a strong suspicion that most of the INP delay, at least on the pages and elements you’re looking at, is due to third-party scripts. But how can you tell whether those are general tracking scripts or if they actually have a role in handling the interaction?

DebugBear offers a breakdown that helps see why the code is running, called the INP Primary Script Invoker breakdown. That’s a bit of a mouthful – multiple different scripts can be involved in slowing down an interaction, and here you just see the biggest contributor. The “Invoker” is just a value that the browser reports about what caused this code to run.

1716368165 263 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the INP Primary Script Invoker Grouping in DebugBear, May 2024

The following invoker names are examples of page-wide event handlers:

  • onclick
  • onmousedown
  • onpointerup

You can see those a lot in the screenshot above, which tells you that the analytics script is tracking clicks anywhere on the page.

In contrast, if you saw invoker names like these that would indicate event handlers for a specific element on the page:

  • .load_more.onclick
  • #logo.onclick

6. Review Specific Page Views

A lot of the data you’ve seen so far is aggregated. It’s now time to look at the individual INP events, to form a definitive conclusion about what’s causing slow INP in this example.

Real user monitoring tools like DebugBear generally offer a way to review specific user experiences. For example, you can see what browser they used, how big their screen is, and what element led to the slowest interaction.

1716368165 545 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of a Page View in DebugBear Real User Monitoring, May 2024

As mentioned before, multiple scripts can contribute to overall slow INP. The INP Scripts section shows you the scripts that were run during the INP interaction:

1716368165 981 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear INP script breakdown, May 2024

You can review each of these scripts in more detail to understand why they run and what’s causing them to take longer to finish.

7. Use The DevTools Profiler For More Information

Real user monitoring tools have access to a lot of data, but for performance and security reasons they can access nowhere near all the available data. That’s why it’s a good idea to also use Chrome DevTools to measure your page performance.

To debug INP in DevTools you can measure how the browser processes one of the slow interactions you’ve identified before. DevTools then shows you exactly how the browser is spending its time handling the interaction.

1716368165 526 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of a performance profile in Chrome DevTools, May 2024

How You Might Resolve This Issue

In this example, you or your development team could resolve this issue by:

  • Working with the third-party script provider to optimize their script.
  • Removing the script if it is not essential to the website, or finding an alternative provider.
  • Adjusting how your own code interacts with the script

How To Investigate High Input Delay

In the previous example most of the INP time was spent running code in response to the interaction. But often the browser is already busy running other code when a user interaction happens. When investigating the INP components you’ll then see a high input delay value.

This can happen for various reasons, for example:

  • The user interacted with the website while it was still loading.
  • A scheduled task is running on the page, for example an ongoing animation.
  • The page is loading and rendering new content.

To understand what’s happening, you can review the invoker name and the INP scripts section of individual user experiences.

1716368165 86 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the INP Component breakdown within DebugBear, May 2024

In this screenshot, you can see that a timer is running code that coincides with the start of a user interaction.

The script can be opened to reveal the exact code that is run:

1716368165 114 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of INP script details in DebugBear, May 2024

The source code shown in the previous screenshot comes from a third-party user tracking script that is running on the page.

At this stage, you and your development team can continue with the INP workflow presented earlier in this article. For example, debugging with browser DevTools or contacting the third-party provider for support.

How To Investigate High Presentation Delay

Presentation delay tends to be more difficult to debug than input delay or processing time. Often it’s caused by browser behavior rather than a specific script. But as before, you still start by identifying a specific page and a specific interaction.

You can see an example interaction with high presentation delay here:

1716368165 665 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the an interaction with high presentation delay, May 2024

You see that this happens when the user enters text into a form field. In this example, many visitors pasted large amounts of text that the browser had to process.

Here the fix was to delay the processing, show a “Waiting…” message to the user, and then complete the processing later on. You can see how the INP score improves from May 3:

1716368165 845 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of an Interaction to Next Paint timeline in DebugBear, May 2024

Get The Data You Need To Improve Interaction To Next Paint

Setting up real user monitoring helps you understand how users experience your website and what you can do to improve it. Try DebugBear now by signing up for a free 14-day trial.

1716368165 494 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear Core Web Vitals dashboard, May 2024

Google’s CrUX data is aggregated over a 28-day period, which means that it’ll take a while before you notice a regression. With real-user monitoring you can see the impact of website changes right away and get alerted automatically when there’s a big change.

DebugBear monitors lab data, CrUX data, and real user data. That way you have all the data you need to optimize your Core Web Vitals in one place.

This article has been sponsored by DebugBear, and the views presented herein represent the sponsor’s perspective.

Ready to start optimizing your website? Sign up for DebugBear and get the data you need to deliver great user experiences.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Redesign.co. Used with permission.

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