If the thought of writing SEO-friendly blog posts has you breaking out in hives, you’re not alone. While we all know that a well-written, correctly optimized blog is one of the best SEO strategies available, trying to write an SEO-friendly blog can be quite intimidating. Anyone with a flair for storytelling can write an interesting blog post; writing an engaging blog that contains the exact mix of content, keywords, length, and other elements to satisfy search engines and score a high page ranking is a bit more complicated. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it on your own. We’ve identified all the elements you need to craft blog posts that search engines will love just as much as your human audience will. Using our simple guidelines, content writers of all skill levels will be able to learn how to write awesome SEO-friendly blog posts – it just takes 9 easy steps! Try them and let us know how they work for you.
- Choose a topic for your blog post
Research your audience and choose a topic of interest to them. There are several factors to consider: What is the main purpose of your blog? Are you trying to inform readers or merely entertain them? Is the goal to forge a connection with your audience, or introduce a new product or idea? What action do you want audiences to take once they get to the end of your blog? Consider all of these questions and choose a topic that will accomplish your goals.
- Research keywords
Investigate which keywords customers are using to search for products or services you offer. Identify one focus keyword that sums up the main idea of your blog, and select two or three additional keywords that you will use in your blog. Make sure to include some long tail keyword phrases that reflect the verbal searches that are a favorite of mobile users. For the best performance in local searches, it is a wise idea to incorporate some local geographic terms in your keywords. For example, for effective search engine marketing Fort Lauderdale realtors could include the terms “real estate in Ft Lauderdale, South Florida realtors,” etc.
- Craft a winning headline
Headlines for SEO-friendly blogs need to serve several purposes at once. Your headline should be intriguing in order to attract readers and capture clicks; it must meet search engine requirements to gain a high page rank; and it needs to correctly inform readers as to the content of your post. As a general rule, following these guidelines will help your headline attract the most clicks:
- Instead of a generic title, put your headline in the form of a list, “How to” guide, or a question
- Optimum length is 55 to 70 characters,
- A 6-7 word count for your headline is ideal
- Include your focus keyword in your headline
- Create an outline of your blog post
Before you start writing your SEO-friendly blog post, lay out a brief outline. This will help you organize your thoughts so your post covers a complete idea. Organize your post into three general sections – the introduction (to introduce your main idea), the body of your post (where you provide the meat of your information), and the conclusion (where you summarize your information or tie it together with a call for action). Once you have an outline organized, you essentially just need to fill in the blanks and flesh out your idea.
- Decide the length of your blog
Blog posts that are too short are not rewarded by Google and the other search engines. Your blog post should be at least 400 to 500 words at an absolute minimum; this is the shortest length that gives Google sufficient text to crawl and enough contextual cues to provide Google with a clear idea of the content of your blog. According to a study conducted by Moz, blog posts with 1800 words garnered the most links (another key SEO factor). Make sure to fit your length to your content, however; padding your blog to reach a certain word count can chase away readers and cause Google to downgrade its rating of your content quality.
- Use descriptive subheadings
Whenever possible, you should structure your blog into blocks of text with descriptive subheadings. These subheadings serve a dual purpose for SEO and for readability:
- For SEO: Descriptive subheadings help Google to understand what your blog is about, so it identifies your blog post as high quality content (which raises your search ranking). Try to place some of your keywords in your subheadings; this indicates to Google that your keywords are the main ideas of your content (the more your content and keywords match, the higher your ranking).
- For Readability: Subheadings separate your text into easily scannable chunks of text, making your blog post more accessible to read. Subheadings that are descriptive provide an accurate label for each section, so your text is easier to understand.
- Write short paragraphs
Organize your blog post into short paragraphs that make sense. Remember what you learned in school about paragraph writing? Dust off the memory and apply the same rules to your blog writing: each paragraph should have a main idea or subject that can be stated in one sentence. Follow your subject sentence with three or four sentences that support your main idea, and use white space to set your paragraphs apart and make them easily readable.
- Make your blog post SEO-friendly
Search engines are looking for high quality content that makes sense. Trying to stuff your blog post with an abundance of keywords will not gain you a higher page rank; Google actually penalizes that behavior as a “black hat SEO tactic.” For the best results, you should only use three or four keywords per blog post, and make sure you include keywords in all the critical places:
- meta description
- headings and subheadings
- image names, descriptions, captions, and alt image tags
- strategically placed throughout the content
- Check your blog post to ensure SEO-compliance
There are a number of free tools that can help ensure your blog posts are in the best shape possible to raise your search ranking. One of the best is Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plug-in; it will walk you through the process and ensure you have every element optimized prior to posting your blog. Run a complete SEO check on your blog; once everything is correctly optimized for search, you are finally ready to post your awesome, engaging, and SEO-friendly blog!
Even with these tips, you may find that writing an SEO-friendly blog is just not for you. If so, don’t worry – just turn to Blue Interactive Agency, the content marketing agency Fort Lauderdale businesses rely on for expert SEO services. We can provide you with a full range of SEO marketing services, from responsive website design to keyword analysis, local search marketing, expert SEO content writing services, and much more.
For more tips on blogging and other SEO marketing strategies, contact us at Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-779-2801 for the expert content marketing services to build your Fort Lauderdale business!