Search engines do not see a blog post the way human readers see it. Although, things like logical structuring of content are equally important for both the computer and humans, but computers need to be told a few things in a more explicitly way. Almost all blogs out there are based on a content management system (like WordPress) and the makers of these platforms do take care of optimizing blogs for search engines and for responsiveness. Nevertheless, as a professional blogger, you will also need to play your part in keeping your blog on friendly terms with search engines. Let’s look at a few basic things that you need to be aware of in this regard. Here I am going to talk only about SEO of post material. SEO in totality (i.e. on page and off page optimization etc.) is a much larger topic. You’ll find lots of posts in TechWelkin discussing these issues.
It is important that you give special attention to the first two paragraphs of your posts. Search engines, like Google, also give special importance to first few lines. Although it is not officially stated but there is a general consensus among experts in the field of SEO that it is good to have all-important keywords in the first two paragraphs. Google does scan the entire post but it may try to assess the quality of content from first few paragraphs.
Honestly, I am not a big fan of this theory. I believe in writing in flow without the hassle of seeing how my first two paragraphs look. However, I try to use important keywords in the beginning. But I don’t go out of my way to stuff things. I believe that natural flow is the best way of writing.
You should try and divide your content in logical sections. Such a practice is appreciated both by your readers as well as search engines. Headings make content more organized and scannable for human eyes and for computers.
The post title must be marked with <H1> tag and sections should bear the <H2> tag. Then you can go deeper with H3, H4, H5 etc. as per your requirement. I don’t usually go beyond H2. Only sometimes I get into a situation where I would want to use H3.
Be careful with the over-use of heading tags. Use them only where necessary. Also, ideally, widget titles should not bear H2 or H3 tags.
Wherever possible, use lists. Readers love lists because lists are easier to scan and as they are concise. You can use <UL> and <OL> HTML tags for making lists. Search engines give bonus points to an article if they detect properly made lists.
You should use formatting (like making text bold or italic) to highlight important pieces. These tags tell search engines that you’ve tried to make your article scannable for readers. This is another quality criteria when search engines decide rank of a page.
Although both of them produce the same effect, for italic text, I prefer to use <EM> tag instead of <I>.
Your post should conclude in a logical manner and also it should contain gist of what you want to say. Putting a few important keywords in the conclusion is also a good idea. Search engines also give importance to the end part of a post. If you conclude properly, you earn brownie points both from your readers and search engines.
Please note that the above-mentioned tips should be used in a logical manner. If you would try to overdo things in an attempt to be more SEOed -I can guarantee that in long term you’ll pay a steep price for this. Search engines are getting smarter and they can detect what’s natural and what’s deliberately overdone. Make sure that you don’t make any spelling or grammar mistakes (or at least try to minimize them!) Just be natural, be logical. And don’t play any black hat tricks. Be a good chap -stay slow and steady. And you’ll win.