According to recent stats, between 70-80% of internet users read blog posts.
This statistic alone relays the importance of not only having a blog but also having a great blog. So what exactly is it that makes one blog perform so much better than another?
Simply put, if you want users to find your blog and soak up all the great information you’ve given them, you must first appeal to our old friend, the Google algorithm. And how do we do that? With SEO blogs.
Unsure of what SEO blog writing is or how to do it? You’ve come to the right place. Follow along to discover everything you need to know about optimized blogging and the blog SEO tips you need to succeed.
What are SEO Blogs?
SEO or Seach Engine Optimization is the marketing technique used to appeal to a search engine’s algorithm. The purpose of this technique is to gain a higher position on the results page, which in turn, earns you valuable traffic to your page.
The same technique can (and should) be used in blogging. Since blogging is an ideal way to increase the amount of valuable content on your website, it only makes sense that that content is optimized for Google and other search engines as well.
Like optimizing your main pages, SEO blog posts follow many ‘rules’ that help the content gain preference over your competition. Some of these rules are technical, and some fall in your actual writing style and layout.
Of course, it’s important to remember that just because a blog is ‘optimized’ doesn’t mean it’s good quality. This means you can’t expect great results from following all of the rules on a poor-quality piece of content. To see real results, you’ll need the best content, jazzed up with these sure-fire tricks.
How to Write SEO Blogs
First things first, you’ll need to go in with a mindset to write for people, not machines. Because SEO is all determined by algorithms and robots, it can be easy to get caught up in producing ‘machine-ready blog posts.
The problem with this is that even if Google does rank your content highly, when readers land on it, they’ll either click away or struggle to digest the content. This will then bring your quality ranking down and potentially lose you valuable customers.
With all of the rules, be sure to act with a ‘people first, algorithm second’ approach to establish expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT).
Before you sit down at your computer and start slapping words onto a screen, do some research on what you want to talk about. Consider who your competition is, what goal you have for the content, and what you can talk about in the piece.
If you don’t know where to start, have a look at your top competitors to see what they are talking about. From here, launch your keyword research and establish a clear goal.
You may be writing to provide free, quality information or provide evidence that your reader needs your product. Whatever the goal, keep this in mind when choosing your topic and keyword phrases. Search intent can often sway the keywords that a user tries, so put on your customer hat and try out each target idea.
Settle on Structure
Now that you know what you’ll be writing about and the keywords you’d like to target, it’s time to build your structure.
Establish your headings, what you’ll talk about in each section, and how the article will flow. This will make your article easier to write and stop you from rambling aimlessly about a subject and forgetting others.
While your blog should have a clear introduction, middle, and conclusion, your structure will help break the information you are sharing into digestible chunks. Strong headings with great keyword placement can even help your readers locate the information they come for quicker, boosting your relevance and user experience.
Optimize Your Title
An optimized title is crucial for success so don’t settle for anything less than stellar.
Your title is the first piece of information both the search engine and users will use to depict what your article is about. It needs to be intriguing enough that users can’t help but click on it and descriptive enough that they know they’ll get the information they are looking for.
On the technical side, the title should be no longer than 55-60 characters. Anything longer than this will be broken up on the results page and lose its effect. In the end, there’s no point in having an awesome title if no one can read it.
Your SEO blog title should also include your target keyword. This is the primary keyword that users will find you with and search engines will rank you based on. While it needs to be present, be careful not to overstuff your title as this could result in penalties instead of perks.
Last but not least, your title needs to be accurate. This is why we suggest writing your title after your structure is established. By this stage, you’ll know exactly what is going into your article and can name it appropriately.
Your headings should be descriptive and attention-grabbing. As we mentioned above, this is how users will navigate through your content so be sure to use catchy headings to keep them interested.
Beyond this, your heading structure should trickle down in order. Your page should contain one and only one H1 heading. This is usually your title and should feature your primary keyword.
Your main headings should then follow suit in H2 and any subheadings in H3. This draws the eye through with ease and appeals to search engine bots.
Speaking of drawing the eye through, your blog should never look like a 10th-grade essay.
Instead of a confronting wall of text, break your paragraphs into small, digestible chunks. Mix up the length of each paragraph and aim for no more than three sentences before a break.
For added interest, dress your blog up with bold, italics, underline, or even bullet points. Just be sure it’s contextual and natural.
Where it makes sense, utilize internal linking to boost not only this blog’s SEO but also your entire website’s rank.
Having internal links helps Google bots discover and crawl your content. This leads to more content in the index and higher authority on your page. Beyond this, links help by:
- Providing hints on content for indexing
- Carrying users through content
- Adding value to readers
- Reducing bounce rate
You’ll need to include your targeted keywords throughout your SEO blog posts, but how you do so may make or break your article.
A few years back, Google updated its algorithm to catch keyword stuffing and penalize anyone who uses the blackhat technique. This means you cannot simply pack keywords in for the sake of having them.
Instead, your keywords need to be strategically placed and natural. To avoid overusing your keyword, consider using your keyword research tool to generate similar keywords and improve your rank for those as well.
Your keywords should be included:
- In your title
- Within the first 100 words of your post
- Sprinkled in your headings
- In your conclusion
- Anywhere else it sounds natural and contextual
Just like your title, your meta descriptions need to be clear and concise.
A meta description is like a sneak peek of your article and while search engines use it, it needs to be human-friendly too. This is because Google may actually choose to feature your meta description on the results page.
For best results, keep it under 200 characters and be sure your target keyword makes a feature appearance. The description should be a summary of your content that is accurate, interesting, and attention-grabbing.
Once you’ve launched your blog, you’ll need to ensure your content is always high-quality and fresh. While this can be a pain for businesses with limited time on their hands, an updated SEO blog page is crucial for ongoing success.
Your blog will help to increase the number of pages you have indexed, which ultimately earns you a stronger website and domain. As a bonus, the blog also acts as an incentive for your audience to keep coming back and a reason to contact them if they’ve fallen out of touch.
If you can’t keep up with quality content while incorporating the blog SEO tips and tricks, consider outsourcing this task to a content creation company. This can help ensure your content is always fresh and focused to gain an edge over your competition on the SERPs.
Blogging and SEO
Now that you understand the importance of SEO blogs, it’s time to set to work. From the technical upgrades to a well-thought-out structure and title, we’re confident you’ll see impressive results with your new SEO blog writing.
Want a hands-free solution for your digital marketing and SEO blogging needs? Get in touch with us today to discover how we can take your site from sad to fab with your own team of digital marketing gurus.