Google, Bing and most search engines are looking for high quality content to present to their readers. When creating an article or blog post, following a tried-and-tested method can greatly improve the odds of your post appearing on the first page of the search results for that topic or term. There are ways to optimize your post for this to happen and is known as search engine optimization (SEO). Here are our list of 10 simple tips on how to write an SEO blog post.
It’s best not to spend too much time in deciding what to write about. Just follow these simple steps and start writing. Quality is good but you also need a constant stream of few articles every week to keep the blog active and interesting to readers.
As the blog progresses and you publish more articles, some of the posts will get ranked better than others. Based on how successful specific keywords or topics are for you, you can continue churning out more articles that fit those topics or characteristics.
The key is to have a good frequency of posts, say one to three posts per week or something along those lines. With a fixed schedule of one to few posts a week, just keep getting the articles out on a consistent basis.
Topic Useful To The Audience
Before considering the search engines, always think carefully about the audience whom you are writing for. When a post is of interest to your readers, there is a greater chance of increased traffic and repeat visitors to your website. Always remember that even search engines are looking for quality content that gives site visitors what they are looking for.
So be sure to keep your site audience at the forefront of any new content you are planning to write. Say if your blog is about caring for pet animals, think about what types of pets your readers are interested in and what would help them to better care for their pets. Some common topics that come to mind are healthy pet foods/ diet, toys for your pets, medical care and so on.
Have Key Categories and Choose One
In the above case of a pet animals website, some categories could be healthy pet foods, safe pet toys, training of pets, grooming and general care, medical care do’s and don’ts, how to play/ entertain your pets, and so on. As you add more posts to your website, even more categories and sub-categories will start to present themselves.
For example, in healthy pet foods, there can be dry foods, wet foods, nutritious snacks, vegan pet foods and so on. Pet toys can contain feather toys (for cats), chew toys for dogs, motorized toys, cat trees and so on. Then choose one of these categories and think about what would be interesting to write about within that category. This will be the braod topic for your post.
Spend Time In Researching Topic
Now that you have an overall topic, spend about an hour or so in researching the topic. Choose a topic you can easily relate to and gather up all the information and resources. Try entering various search terms in Google or Bing to find more content about the topic. Once you feel you have sufficient resources to start with, begin by writing down some key points that would be interesting to write about.
The key points could later translate to headlines for your post. As you research the topic, create your idea as to how you want to present the points. Is this a review post about specific products or a list of products? Or is it more task-oriented whereby you show readers how to accomplish something?
Do Keyword Research
Now start by entering the topic into your favorite keyword research tool. In my case, I’ve been using Jaxxy which is a great keyword research tool. It shows the total traffic for the keyword, visits you can expect to receive for the keyword, the competition score and an SEO score.
There is a free version which allows 30 searches per month which is more than sufficient when you’re starting out. The most powerful feature of the Jaxxy tool is the keyword research itself. Apart from this, there are additional add-ons to the tool including alphabet soup, saved keyword lists and more to further add power to your keyword research.
Another way to search for keywords is using the Google search’s auto-suggest feature of popular searches. Just enter the search term in google and then start with + a, then + b, and all the way to +z to find more long-tail keywords for the search term.
Add 3 or 4 Images To Post
Man is visual by nature and we often think with images that directly synchronize with our thoughts. Therefore images add a lot of value to a post. Firstly, images add context to the content with product illustrations, screenshots and so on.
We also find it tiring to simply keep reading a lot of passages. By adding images to posts, we are able to communicate with the reader in methods other than the words. So reading blog passages with these occasional pictures/ images make our content more easily readable.
Images also humanize a post by instantly conveying human emotions, showing environmental contexts, improving the aesthetics of a post and so on.
Nevertheless, too many images can make a post appear crowded and clumsy. So an optimum number of images, say less than or equal to a handful (3 to 5) images are ideal. I often add 3 to 4 images for each of my posts.
Now the next question that arises is about where we can find royalty-free images to comfortably add to our posts and without license restrictions. Here are a few such sources of royalty-free images:
1) Wikimedia Commons: These are media contributed by the public and you are free to use them on your website as long as the image license says public domain, or free to use with attribution.
2) Smithsonian Open Access: The Smithsonian Institution which has many museums and a zoo in the Washington D.C. area has recently opened access to its millions of images for downloads, sharing and reuse. This is a huge learning experience and a great way to display unique, educational images on your website.
There is also a couple of paid sites I’ve used previously for high quality images at Fotolia and Adobe Stock. Fotolia has now become a part of the Adobe Stock Photos.Your first 10 photos are free when you sign up for an account. After this, there are various cost-effective monthly plans you can choose from.
Smaller Paragraphs, Larger Fonts
Reading long passages is generally very tiresome. To write long informative content which your readers will actually enjoy reading, it is best to write them in many small paragraphs. This gives the reader an impression that they are reading a lot but without tiring them out. Also, smaller paragraphs help with readability as there is a clear, paragraph-wise demarcation between the sub-topics.
Long hours of reading can cause significant eye strain and this strain can be greatly minimized by presenting larger fonts for your blog posts. Many people nowadays also wear prescription glasses and giving them larger fonts is always a good idea just in case.
The main agenda with these two suggestions is to keep people on your site for longer so they stay for longer and do not feel in anyway compelled to navigate away from your website.
Write Headlines and Then Content
Once your content has been well researched, it is easy for you to determine what the main points will be fro your new post to cover. Simple make each of these points into headlines with say a H3 HTML tag for each headline. Separating out headlines this way makes it much faster for you to keep churning out your blog articles without having to re-think what you want to cover in your post content.
Typically anywhere from 5 or more headlines per post are good, the more headlines the better. But make sure to have headlines that provide a clear separation of sub-topics. It does not add much value to have many headlines if you are unable to put sufficient content within each headline. So ensure that you have sufficient things to write about under each of your post headlines.
Longer Posts Are Better
With the increase in competition, search engines have been known to seek out high quality, original content and preferably content over 1000 to 1500 words. Experienced internet marketers are known to create posts over 2000 words.
Just start where you are in the beginning. First write an article or two of about 500 words. Then increase gradually to 700 or 800 words for the next few articles. Then write articles of about 1000 words for the next week or two. Once you get to creating quality blog posts that are over 1500 to 2000 words in length, you can say that you are on target with your content length for SEO.
Action Towards End Of Post
All expert marketers recommend having a clear action that you want the user to take at the end of reading your blog post. You can ask them to leave a comment, or display your email subscription form to them and so on. Or you can even summarize all product recommendations with their links as the user is exiting the post,
Keywords and Meta tags
Never stuff keywords into your posts. Ideally, the keyword can be inserted naturally somewhere in the first paragraph of your article if possible.
Be sure to add the relevant keywords in the meta tags and social meta tags for your post. Use a plugin such as Yoast or All-in-One SEO for doing this. Enter both the meta title and the meta description and a social image.
Also add your keywords in a natural way in all the images you’ve embedded into your post. This can be in the Alt Text and the Title attribute properties of the image.
As you make writing a regular practice, your content quality and the length of the post will start to increase. This will automatically happen over time and so there is no need to worry if you feel your first few posts are not up to the mark. This is something everyone goes through as they are starting out, including the successful marketers who were once newbies themselves.
Note that I am not discussing any affiliate products in this post as that can come later. It is generally recommended to add affiliate links only after the article has risen sufficiently in the Google ranking, perhaps to the first or second page of Google for the term.
Our main purpose of this post is to write a good article that can more easily rank in the search engines. Adding affiliate products and otherwise monetizing the site will be discussed in future posts.
Finally, here are the top three resources we’ve highlighted in this post: