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You've sweated bullets to create a brilliant blog post. Now what? Post and forget about it? Not if you want your post to be found in search and read. After all, engaged readers are your ROI.

To optimize your post for SEO (search engine optimization), pay attention to the critical bits of copy, often ignored, that make your article discoverable by Google and more reader friendly. Elements like headlines and subheads define the Who-What-When-and-Why structure of an article, while other phrases hidden from view on the page explain the meat of the post to Google.

(If you're interested in the technical aspects of hidden text, learn how to check for it in source code.)

The Headline

In the code, the headline is embedded in the heading tag, or H1. The headline is H1 because it's the most important piece of copy on the page and a key ranking factor. The headline lures in the reader, provides an accurate idea of the post's content, and contains keywords.

Your SEO keywords are the keywords and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines


The H2 heading tags surround subheads because they are secondary in importance only to the headline. Good headlines and subheads explain the gist of a post, lead into the copy, and make your article easy to scan by a reader. For extra SEO oomph, weave keywords into your H2s.

Internal Links

While we yearn for backlinks from other websites, you're in charge of internal links that whisk the visitor from your blog post to related content on other pages on your site. Google interprets internal links as a vote of popularity for the targeted page, which increases its SEO value. And the highlighted text, which is visible on the page, hints at the content of the linked-to page. There's also a hidden component of links that we'll discuss below.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is also hidden but vital. It describes the page the link targets, revealing itself when the mouse pointer hovers over the link. It should contain keywords.

Alt Text

Alt or alternative text is hidden from the viewer and describes an image, for example, "Man bites dog." Alt text is essential when a visitor views your site without images or when a text reader is employed.

Meta Title

Google pulls the title for its search results from the copy in the title tag. The title must contain keywords designed to encourage clicks from the visitor.

Meta Description

The meta description is the copy below the heading of the search result. As its name suggests, the purpose of this copy, up to 165 characters, is to summarize the blog's content like a mini abstract. Pepper it with keywords and phrases that will match a search from a user.

Remember, the reader is the ROI. Optimizing hidden text and the on-page copy is key to extracting the maximum value from articles, and it makes your blog post a fast read and a formidable SEO asset.

Send comments to Bill Abramovitz