Knowing how to write an SEO friendly blog sounds like pure witchcraft. But is it really that hard?
Sear into your brain the idea that brilliant writing is already SEO friendly. I read something written by a copywriter who made the mistake of saying, “keyword cramming might mean you rank well on search engines but it will read like utter tripe.” I’m paraphrasing but that just isn’t true. It’s a viewpoint that’s very 90s SEO, and probably from someone that doesn’t know much about the subject.
BUT brilliant writing needs a few other things to help it along the way. Trying to cheat the system by stuffing the motherload of keywords on a page will work againts you. Crawler bots are sophisticated, they know what you’re trying to do. Finding that happy place between engaging content and SEO perfection takes skill and time.
But before you write your SEO friendly blog…
Think about why you’re writing your blog. If your blog is part of a website that sells a product or service then all content should be created with your client in mind. If you don’t have an ideal client, fixing their challenges will make your job much harder. Take a look at my post on how to start a business blog.
Research your keywords.
It’s the second time I’ve mentioned ‘keywords’ and now you’re looking at me blank.
Ok, this is what I’m talking about:
- Keywords – words you want your post to be found for
And my personal favourite:
- Long-tail keywords – specific words and phrases that describe exactly your chosen topic
Free tools such as Answer The Public are great to see what people are searching for. You can export the data too.
You need to think about the search intent your audience has when they’re googling for things that sit around your industry. When any of us are putting a search query into Google, we have a clear reason for doing so. We might want to buy something, we might be looking for a specific website or we might want an answer to a question.
The latter is what we’re looking to focus on when to blog. We want to capture those people looking with informational intent about a subject.
If you wanna know more about your targeted keywords and how they relate to user intent, take a look at this article: Smash your keywords with customer intent
Think about the questions your audience will want answers to. See what other bloggers are doing around the subjects you’re interested in and research the keywords on those subjects.
But wait, there’s more…
When you pop a request into Google (there are other search engines available) you will also see a list of popular searches related to your topic.
Take a look:
And when you get the search results you’ll also get this:
The ‘People also ask’ field, how cool is that for more help with your keywords? It’s really bloody cool!
Write a decent blog title.
I always start with a title or at least a working one. All my content springs from there, other bloggers do it differently and you probably will too.
Just like before, google the type of content you want to write about BUT this time concentrate on the blogs that make the first page in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
Pay close attention to the title structure and the description below it (these are your meta title tags and descriptions). This will give you clues on how to write eye-catching blog posts:
Create a title to hook the reader. When users are searching with the intent to find information, a blog post will give them the answer. You want your blog to do the same. That’s the main purpose of a business blog. To strategically target your chosen market and provide the knowledge they need.
Write the body of the post.
Where you can, tell a story. If you’re old enough to remember, invoke the spirit of Max Bygraves. If you were born after 1989, ignore that reference. Narrative gets the reader invested because humans function that way, it’s in our DNA to like a good yarn.
Pepper your content with your keywords. Add them when and where it makes logical sense to do so. I can’t stress enough how bad keyword stuffing is!
It will hurt your search engine ranking if you use too many keywords. Just like us, the algorithm also hates shit content.
Talk to your audience directly, imagine they are sat beside you. We each have an individual voice and you will develop yours through practice. Use words that are easy to understand, and avoid jargon if you’re writing for a broad audience.
Plan your layout. Maybe think in terms of intro, middle, and end. Lead your audience through the content. Make sure the text is relevant to the actual title. Break up large chunks of text into smaller paragraphs and use bullet points and pull quotes to make it look visually more appealing.
Other points to remember:
- Table of contents: Place one at the top of the post. It helps users see what they can expect from the content.
- Headings: Your page title will be the only H1 heading on your page. The rest will go down in hierarchy from H2, H3, H4 etc.. Use proper headings when you need them, don’t just bold the text.
- Fonts: Be consistent with your choices.
- Writing guide: It’s really helpful to develop a writing standard for how you communicate to your audience, check out my blog post on that very subject.
- Internal links: Link to other related content on your website.
When you upload your photos don’t leave their original file name in place. Change them to a title that makes sense to your post. Always add something in the “Alt. Title ” field.
Add a CTA (Call To Action).
Good job if your reader has read all of the post but don’t leave them hanging. Give them something to do next in the form of a CTA button (like the image above) or a ‘subscribe’ link to your blog. Make it really easy for them to get more information and to get in contact with you.
Publish and promote.
Spread the word across all your social media. Preach the gospel that is your wonderful, helpful blog! If your post is useful to others, some nice sorts might want to feature it on their website. Getting a backlink (your website URL) on a credible and trusted site will help no end with SEO. The more quality backlinks the better!
If you’re posting on social media and you have blog posts that are related to that content – say so! Add a link so people can go direct to that great information.
SEO ranking doesn’t happen overnight. You’re going to need to create consistent, top-notch content to win the SEO race. But remember SEO is a shifting sand. Algorithms change, you never have time to rest when optimising your blog or website.
If you want to know more about how I can help, hit the button.