What does it mean to write SEO friendly blog posts?
Well we all know how important it is to create great content to capture new website visitors and to increase your rankings in the search results.
How do we write with these search engines in mind?
The first thing I’ll say might sound counterproductive. You want to write for the READER first.
On top of this, you want to make sure that you are taking the necessary actions in order to rank best with your blog content. This guide will talk about the proper way to do SEO for blog posts.
But before we dive into these strategies, let’s first take a second to answer some frequently asked questions about how to optimize your blog for SEO.
What is SEO in content writing?
As you probably already know, SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is the study of improving your content in the eyes of search engines. Knowing their algorithms and understanding what changes you can make to have the best chance at ranking your content on search engines.
There are many factors in blogs that contribute to the SEO of the content, such as:
And many more. We will discuss these different aspects and how to improve the SEO of your blog content more in depth later in this article.
Why is writing with SEO in mind important?
Put simply, it takes a lot of time and energy to make blog content if you are doing it right. Chances are, you are also not just blogging for yourself, but in order to reach a specific audience and help solve their problems.
The best way to do this is to reach more people with your blog content. Obviously, in order to do this, you need to make sure that your blog is properly optimized.
This is where SEO for your blog takes over, and can not only help you reach a larger audience, but help you understand your audience more and also maximize your content marketing ROI over time.
Does blogging help with SEO?
The short answer to this question is yes, if done correctly. However, there are many companies and marketers out there who misunderstand what makes a good piece of content, and they do not put the user first. This is one of the most crucial mistakes you can make.
The idea of content marketing is taking your content, and turning it into an instrument through which to organically obtain qualified leads. In order to do this, you need to create your blog content with them in mind first. Only through understanding their needs can you improve the SEO of your blog.
With these answers out of the way, let’s get to the meat of this comprehensive guide:
How can I make my writing more SEO friendly?
To be more specific and clear with the answer to this question you first need to understand that there are mainly 2 types of SEO you can use to improve your blog content:
On-page SEO includes more technical factors that contribute to the SEO of your blog content, like:
These are the less interesting, and more obvious ways that you can optimize your blog’s SEO.
Semantic SEO includes the less obvious, and more important parts of a blog’s SEO, such as:
Let’s dive into each of these types of SEO for blog posts to get a better understanding of how to improve your blog content.
18 SEO Friendly Content Writing Tips
Alright, now that we understand a bit more about what parts of your blog to improve and why it is important to optimize the SEO of your blog content, let’s explore some of the best tips for SEO friendly blog writing.
While these are some of the more boring SEO blog tips, they make for easy fixes, and can actually improve your blog rankings and traffic by significant margins.
1. Add More Images to Your Blog Content
Studies have shown that adding just one image to a piece of blog content can improve it’s traffic by over 96%.
Put simply, you want to take advantage of this fact. When it comes to finding the best images to improve your blog SEO, there are a few things you will want to do:
By doing this, you will not only appeal to the visual needs of your audience, but also the the crawling needs of Google’s crawlers. This is a great way to easily improve readability and make your blog SEO friendly.
2. Optimize Your Title Tags
Your titles are probably the most important part of your on-page SEO improvements for blogs. They are the first thing that your audience sees in search related to your article. As a result, a title tag can make or break the clicks your content gets, and its overall effectiveness.
To optimize your titles, you want to focus on a few main things:
The best way to achieve these things is by using a few tactics we try to always keep in mind when optimizing blog SEO:
By following these simple tips, you should be able to make really good title tags for your blog content. For more help, try out our free title tag tool.
You can also check out our on-page SEO guide that we link to at the end of this section. This will show you how to write an SEO friendly title for your blog posts quickly and easily.
3. Improve Your Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are the next most important part of blog SEO optimization. They are the descriptions you see below the titles on search results. In order to make the best metas, you want to follow a few basic rules:
There are many blogs that simply publish without ever optimizing meta descriptions, and as a result, they do not succeed very well.
If you are looking for an easy way to make the best meta descriptions for your blog content, check out our free meta description tool.
4. Include External and Internal Links
Out of the 200+ known ranking factors that affect the SEO for blog posts and other content on the web, internal and external linking structures have consistently been in the top 10 factors for many years now, and do not appear to be going anywhere.
As a result, you want to make sure that you are using your linking opportunities within your content properly.
A few easy tips for improving your blog SEO with linking structure are:
In other words, don’t try to cheat Google. If you have a great piece of content, try to link it in a way that organically fits into your article. We talk more about how to use internal links properly here.
See that? We just made a link that was completely organic to what we were talking about, and that helps the user to find more information. You should be doing the same in your content.
5. Optimize for Target Keywords
Yes, keywords are still very important with your content.There are a few things to be aware of with this portion of your research.
We have to figure out which keywords make the most sense to focus on for every given article, but if we stuff that keyword into the article 32 times, we’re going to get hit with a Google penalty for keyword stuffing.
So my rule of thumb is know what your target keyword or keywords are, and then write naturally.
Most of the time you will use the keyword 5-6 times in your article without even trying and it will be sufficient for the Googlebots to crawl your page and understand what the main keyword of the post is.
One thing to keep in mind though is the use of LSI keywords. What are LSI keywords?
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. These are keywords that give the Google spiders more context of what your post is about. A great tool to help you generate some LSI keywords is LSI Graph.
Just pop your main keyword into the top and it should generate a big list where you can pick and choose the ones that most naturally fit into your content.
6. Improve Your Headings
One thing that seems to be very troublesome for people who are content creators is utilizing their headings properly.
Often times, I come across headings that have absolutely nothing to do with the content being written in the section below. This makes no sense for a few reasons:
Headings are weighted differently by Google, meaning that they have more importance to crawlers when it comes to ranking your content. Therefore, you want to focus on improving them.
You want to avoid:
If you follow these steps, it should help you to make better title tags for your blog content. You can also try our free title tag tool!
7. Optimize Your URL Slugs
URLs are also very important when it comes to making an SEO friendly blog post. You want to always keep in mind the main purpose of your content when creating slugs.
A few general rules we always try to follow for writing better URLs are:
There are many other tips you can use in order to improve the SEO of your blog URLs, but these should get you off to a good start.
8. Improve Page Load Speed
Load speed is another one of the top ranking factors for Google, so you want to make sure that your website and blog content is loading fast in order to optimize SEO.
Otherwise, your rankings can suffer. How much you ask? Well, there has been shown to be a massive drop off in the amount of traffic sites with slow load speed get.
Sites with a 5+ second loading time will have 106% more bounces on average. Those with a 3+ second loading time show 53% more bounces, while those under 2 seconds of load time are ideal.
This is especially true of websites on mobile devices, where people expect load time to be even faster.
Optimizing your load time is not as hard as it may sound, and usually involves consolidating files and making them smaller. We wrote more about that here.
Now it’s time to get to the part of SEO improvements that are a bit harder to define and even more difficult to improve on.
However, don’t let this discourage you. Because once you learn how to write content with SEO in mind, you can never unlearn it, and it will always help you to write better blog content.
9. Knowing What Your Audience is Searching For
Sounds simple right? Well it also sounds vague, we know. But, there are plenty of ways you can easily find out what your audience is searching for. That is why we wrote an entire guide about it here.
Basically, you want to not only know what they are searching for, but also how your competition is going about answering their queries, how they are interacting with it, and how effective it is.
Having this understanding about the competition will not only help you find content gaps to make unique content and capitalize on it, but also to differentiate your brand and build your own brand story along the way.
10. Differentiating Your Blog from the Competition
A lot of new bloggers or people who are having problems with their blog content are not able to write with SEO in mind because they do not research their competition enough.
Rather than try to build better content, they try to build content that is so different, it never even gets seen by their audience. You don’t want to copy your competition, and you want to provide your own unique value, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel either.
So how do you go about researching your competition and producing better content than them? We have just the blog for you here.
11. Outsource Your Content Creation
There is no shame in outsourcing your content creation. In fact, if you can afford it, it is actually one of the best marketing decisions that you can make for your firm.
Over 60% of large companies outsource their content, because it is affordable and it gets results. At the end of the day, if you want to make effective content, you need to be able to plan your content with SEO in mind. This takes research and knowledge, there is no way around it.
Outsourcing allows you to focus on the parts of your business that you are best at and let the content marketing experts focus on your web content.
12. Repurpose and Upgrade Your Old Content
One of the easiest ways to improve the SEO of your blog is to repurpose your old content into different mediums. This allows you to reach a larger audience and also make the most of content that may not have performed as well as you thought it would.
Upgrading your content is the process of going back and re-analyzing your content’s performance in order to find which ones performed best, and then improving their SEO and other factors to make them perform even better.
Both links above lead to awesome comprehensive guides that can help you improve your existing content in order to get better results from your content marketing efforts.
13. Add Video to Your Blog Content
Video content is extremely effective. How effective? Well, it has been shown to improve click through rates on searches by over 53%.
On top of that, video improves your blog SEO by making people far more likely to convert once they have visited your site. On average, people are 80% more likely to convert when video is included on a page.
Not to mention, making video content is usually extremely easy. You already have the blog content written, now you must just summarize it for your audience. And, video has the hidden benefit of being able to help you grow social media channels such as YouTube.
For those interested in learning more about how to grow a YouTube audience and also make great video content, read this comprehensive guide.
14. Create Content Regularly
Consistency is key when making content for your audience. Google takes this into account when ranking your blog content.
Regardless of what your posting schedule is, you should pick one and try to stay to it as often as you possibly can in order to consistently send good SEO signals from your blog to Google, and to satisfy your users regularly.
One way to stay on a posting schedule is to create a content calendar. This is something we recommend anyone who is serious about optimizing their blog and making the most out of their content marketing efforts does. That is why we made a comprehensive guide to it here.
15. Make Sure Your Blog Content is Relevant
Relevancy is huge. What is the point of making a blog and putting all of that time and energy in if no one will even see it anyways?
This is where the importance of content relevancy comes into play. You want to make sure that your content is appealing to what your audience is looking for.
One way you can do this is to reverse engineer the process by creating buyer personas which help you to understand your audience’s needs better, and write content with SEO in mind that can help provide them with value and build your brand.
We created an awesome guide to making buyer personas here. Check it out for some awesome tips on how you can use your audience in order to make better blog content.
16. Improve Your Content Structure
Make sure you have digestible content. No don’t eat the content.
What I‘m saying is, make it easy to read, double space your writing, and use proper writing structure.
Don’t cram all your thoughts into a 57 sentence paragraph. Use subheadings where they make sense. Use bullet points for lists. Write in shorter sentences to reduce large chunks of text on the screen.
Nobody wants to just read 2,000 words in a row without giving their mind a break, you aren’t creating a novel.
The more readable your content is, the more likely people will read the whole thing.
There is also a huge portion of online readers that like to skim content, approximately 65% of blog readers do this. This makes it important to have relevant bits of information that are bolded, or stand out from the rest of your text.
I understand that you want them to read every word but you can’t change who they are, so at least make it skimmable with solid subheadings and shorter sentences so you don’t completely lose a reader.
17. Keep Up On What is New in Your Industry
Probably one of the most underrated and overlooked factors that contributes to the SEO performance of your blog posts is having a solid understanding of what your competitors are focusing on, and what they are not delivering to their target audience.
One of the first places we start with our free content marketing analysis is to analyze what competition is doing for content production.
If you are a business owner, who does not have the time for a content marketing analysis, but see the value in it, give us a call and let the experts handle that.
We would love to also have a phone call with you to understand your wants, needs, problems and goals, in order to find out how we may be able to bring some value to you with your content marketing strategy.
18. Write High Quality Content
The number 1 thing above all the technical stuff is that you’re providing value in your content. Don’t just write something because you think it’ll increase your search traffic.
Write each article as if it’s the only impression of your business that a customer is going to have, because often times it is. Write blogs that are long enough to answer every possible question a reader could have.
Google is rewarding those websites that go above and beyond, because the job of Google is to provide the best possible result for its searchers. This means if one articles answers every possible question of a search query, then Google will gladly send the searcher to your page because there’s a high chance that they find what they were looking for on your site, and don’t need additional results.
So aim for longer content but don’t focus too much on the specific word count. Yes it’s true that the average article in the first position on Google is over 2,100 words, but the focus should be on putting out the best piece of content on the topic you can. Often times you’ll end up over that 2,100 word mark without even noticing.
Wrapping It All Up – How to Make Your Blog SEO Friendly
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to understand a lot more about what you can do to make your blog more SEO friendly.
Some techniques we covered are very basic, while others are more advanced. Don’t be overwhelmed, and try to take the steps one at a time, and you will do just fine making your content more SEO focused.
We put a lot of time into this guide, and all we ask in return is that you comment to us with some suggestions you have for future content:
Feel free to leave criticisms, comments, suggestions and more. Thanks so much for your time guys! Hopefully we will see you again!
Lastly, if you are looking to learn more about outsourcing some of your content marketing efforts, or getting a professional opinion or advice for your content marketing strategy, we are here to help. Give us a call today for a free consultation.