Writing optimized blog posts for both the users and search engines is a skill. It can be both time-consuming and difficult. You have to be smart about choosing and writing your topics, in order to keep your reader engaged. It is not the same as writing an article, as such, you need to pay attention to the small details and implement a set of SEO rules.
A well-optimized blog post with great quality content has more chances of ranking higher in search, while a well-optimized blog post with not so great content has limited chances of achieving high rankings.
What we are trying to say is, if you want to improve your rankings, you need to improve your writing skills.
Start with these tips on how to write an SEO-friendly blog post.
Think before you write
Before you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, give yourself some time to think about what to write in your blog post and jot down your thoughts. This will save you time later in the process.
We recommend reading a number of articles related to SEO and Digital Marketing on a daily basis. When you find a title or topic that is interesting, copy the URL and title and save it to your notes.
At the beginning of each month, look through your notes and decide which topics to cover. Set a publishing date for each topic in your content calendar.
When it is time to write the blog post, do a detailed analysis to answer the following questions:
- What specific topics to cover in the blog post?
- What is the goal of the blog post (to get better rankings for a keyword, to get more subscribers, to promote my SEO Courses, etc.)
- How will the new blog post benefit your readers?
Once you have answered these questions, it will make it easier to move on to the next step.
Create the structure for your blog post
Start your blog post by creating a clear structure. Splitting a blog post into various sections can make writing easier.
Every post should have:
- An introduction (to the topic at hand)
- A body (with the main message)
- A conclusion (a summary of the most important ideas)
Write down what you want to say in all three sections, and you will have a summary of your blog post. This will make the process faster and more efficient. Instead of writing larger sections, you can write 200 words to cover a specific part of the blog post.
Decide on the title of your blog post
Crafting a good and interesting title is a very important step for SEO purposes and user-friendliness. Some bloggers prefer to do this step first and then create the blog structure, others prefer to come up with the title once you have a good concept of what the blog post will cover. Follow what is more efficient for you.
Whatever you prefer, a good title should have the following characteristics:
- It should have a character limit between 55-60 so that it is shown without breaks in the SERPS.
- It should contain your target keyword (but without keyword-stuffing).
- It should provide an accurate description of the content that will live within the blog post.
- It should be intriguing enough to make users click when being displayed in the search engine results pages.
To make it clear to both search engines and users of what to expect in the content, you might add additional information. For example, instead of just creating a title with your keyword, you might add ‘How to’ or ‘A step by step process’ to make the title more interesting and clickable.
Use headings, correctly
The headings within your blog post will structure the whole page, so use them, but correctly. They are important not only for readability but also for SEO purposes. They help Google grasp the main topics of the blog post and can help in your ranking.
Subheadings allow people to find their way through your blog post, by clarifying the structure of your blog post. Make sure you use your keywords in some of the subheadings, but not in every single of them, as it will make the text unnatural.
Keep your paragraphs short
Everybody uses paragraphs but not everybody uses them well. Don’t start each new sentence on a new line, and don’t use large paragraphs on a page and hit the publish button. There is a good possibility that the majority of your readers are on a mobile device, therefore it makes it easy for them to read the content.
We recommend using small paragraphs (2-3 sentences) and take advantage of the various formatting options i.e. bold, italic, underline in order to make the text less boring.
Add links, but only when it makes sense
Add internal links whenever you write a new blog post, but only when it makes sense. If you have an already published blog post that you can associate with your new blog post, it is appropriate to use.
Internal linking can be very effective and is an easy to follow SEO technique that has numerous benefits:
- It can help search engines discover new pages on your website.
- It gives search engines a big hint on what a page is about.
- It is a great way to give users an option to click a link and read more about a topic.
- It is one of the techniques you can use to reduce the bounce rate and keep users on your website for an extended amount of time.
- We added links to other blog posts within this blog post. Take a closer look and check them out!
DO NOT be afraid to use keywords in the anchor text. There is no penalty for doing so.
Make use of keywords, without keyword stuffing
You will not get in trouble to have your target keywords (and variations) in your blog posts. In fact, we recommend it. However, we do not recommend keyword stuffing. In other words, do not add keywords in the text for the sake of doing so. Instead, do it only when it is natural to read.
If you are not sure where to add keywords, this should help:
- Add in the title of the post
- Add in the main headings of your post
- Add within the content of the post
- Add in the conclusion of the post
If you are having trouble avoiding keyword stuffing, or you simply need some direction, you should go to the Google keyword tool or SEMRUSH and search for your main keyword. These specific tools will give you a list of keywords that are closely related to your main keyword. Be sure to use those keywords in your blog post.
Optimize the length of your blog post
Make sure your blog post has a minimum of 300 words. Studies have shown that longer blog posts perform better in search, however, it does not mean that shorter blog posts will not rank well. Keep in mind, if your article is too long and not easy to read, it might scare users away.
What is more important is the quality of the content and not the quantity. Only attempt to write a long blog post when you know you are a skilled writer. Promoting an in-depth blog post that covers both sides of a story, with nice images, has references to studies and provides useful information is much more likely to get links compared to a post that is short and not so interesting.
The best way to find out how long to make your blog post is to open Google, search for your target keywords and examine the results. Aim to publish a piece that is better compared to those previously published blog posts. Do not expect to get results immediately, as it takes time to rank in Google.
Optimize your meta description
The description tag is a summary of the blog post that is less than 200 characters. It is important to optimize your meta description length, because Google may choose to show your description in the results. The description should be informative and interesting in order to encourage users to click your link and visit your blog.
Let other people read your post before it goes live
Before you publish your blog post, it is important to let someone else read it first. Ask them whether they understand the main concept of the blog post, and invite them to correct any typos and grammatical errors.