Blogging is one of the most effective ways of building an online audience and establishing your authority. Whether you’re a website owner or a digital marketer, blogging can go a long way to reinforce brand awareness and credibility. However, your blog will only deliver the desired results when it gets discovered by your target audience.
It is, therefore, essential to optimize your blog posts so that they rank higher on relevant search engine results. The key is to focus on creating engaging and insightful content that is valued by your readers as well as search engines. This, in turn, will drive increased organic traffic to your blog and expand your reach further.
Here are a few effective techniques to help you write SEO-friendly blog posts:
1. Outline a Content Strategy
When it comes to blogging, the quality of your content is as important as consistency. When you regularly publish high-quality content, it tells search engines that your blog is a reliable source of information. Even before you start blogging, it’s crucial to identify popular and relevant keywords in your niche.
Start with your buyer profiles. Define who your ideal customer profiles (ICP) are. Name them. Identify their challenges.
Then create topics and sub-topics into “Topic Clusters” that will resolve your audience’s queries or address their pain points. Identify keywords and keyphrases that match up with these “topic clusters.” Next, create a content calendar that specifies a timeline for publishing each blog post.
It’s also essential to develop a content marketing strategy across various channels. Likewise, you must identify your goals and publish content that helps you fulfill them.
2. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords imply purchase intent (meaning your prospects know what they’re looking for when the search term is well defined), and as a result, long-tail keywords drive more targeted traffic to your blog. Long-tail keywords/keyphrases often focus on specific questions and objectives of your readers. This, in turn, helps make your content more engaging and lower your bounce rate.
Let’s say you run a podcasting website. Keywords such as “podcasting tips for beginners” and “podcasting tips for 2020” would deliver better results than just using “podcasting tips”. You can identify long-tail keywords by running a Google search for a primary keyword and using checking the “Searches related to” section.
Image via Google
3. Prioritize Keyword Prominence Over Density
Integrating your target keywords organically into your content is one of the most essential aspects of SEO. However, you should avoid stuffing your blog post with a keyword just for the sake of a higher ranking. It often hinders readability and has a negative impact on search engine ranking.
Remember: you must make your content useful so people read it and share it.
Instead, try strategically placing the keyword in prominent sections of your blog post. It’s recommended that you include the keyword you’re optimizing for in the title tag, H1 headings, subheadings, introduction, and conclusion. This aids scannability for readers and helps search engine spiders understand what your content is about.
4. Optimize the Title Tag and URL
It’s essential to craft an attractive title for every blog post that immediately grabs your audience’s attention. It can be instrumental in improving your click-through rate (CTR) in relevant search results. Make sure it includes the focus keywords towards the beginning and uses 55-60 characters. It should also accurately describe what the blog post is all about.
Likewise, you should ensure that the URL gives an idea of the content of the blog post. Remove unnecessary words stop-words such as articles, prepositions, etc. to make it concise and easy to read. Make sure it includes the focus keyword. Both the title and URL are used by search engine spiders to determine what your blog post talks about.
5. Structure Your Content
If you want your blog post to find traction, you must break it down into meaningful sections. Make sure it has an attention-grabbing introduction. Additionally, each section should be accompanied by a descriptive subheading. Limit the length of each paragraph to 3-4 sentences. These steps help search engines scan your content and understand its meaning.
6. Use the Right Length
Most bloggers and content marketers would agree that long-form content tends to perform better than shorter blog posts. However, creating lengthy blog posts is time-consuming, laborious, and even expensive at times. That’s why you shouldn’t ditch short-form content altogether.
Instead, you should analyze the structure of a blog post and determine a word count that would do justice to the topic. Additionally, you can run a Google search for your focus keywords and check out the lengths of the top three results. This will help you determine the optimal blog post length for a particular keyword.
7. Optimize Meta Description
A meta description is usually the snippet of text that appears below the title in your search engine listing. It should be informative, accurate, concise, and includes the focus keyword. This can improve CTR and help searchers figure out what they can expect to find on visiting your website.
Image via Google
8. Ensure Mobile-Responsiveness
Many of your readers will likely read your blog post on their smartphones and tablets. You should ensure that your blog is responsive across all devices. Apart from improving readability, it has a positive impact on your search engine ranking. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to identify any gaps and improve them.
9. Optimize Image Files
If you’re writing a blog post, you’ll likely use a few high-quality images to break the monotony and make your content visually appealing. Make sure each image has a descriptive filename. Additionally, you should include a relevant and informative alt text for every image file. Try to include the focus keywords in the image alt texts whenever possible.
10. Leverage Internal Linking
It’s recommended that you link your blog post to other relevant blog posts using appropriate anchor texts. It helps search engine spiders discover and index your blog posts. It also encourages readers to check out more of your content, thus improving the bounce rate.
11. Update and Repurpose Your Existing Content
Maintaining the freshness of your content is crucial for SEO. The first step is to replace outdated examples and statistics with the latest ones. Additionally, you can repurpose an existing blog post to make it more relevant in the present context. It’s also recommended that you create high-quality evergreen content that continues to drive increased traffic over a long time.
Publishing insightful blog posts without optimizing them for search engines won’t yield the best results. Instead, you should select the most relevant keywords and optimize your content for them. You should, however, avoid stuffing your content with keywords.
While publishing SEO friendly posts is great to improve your rankings, it can take a lot of valuable time and effort. But worry not, WriteForMe can handle it all for you. So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today.
Erika Steuer keeps WriteForMe running smoothly as the Operations Manager. With previous experience managing the marketing efforts of businesses in the for- and not-for-profit sectors, she understands how busy a company’s marketing team often is even though it’s crucial to stay in front of the right audiences online for continued success. » More blog posts by Erika Steuer