Why write SEO-friendly blogs?
Writing an SEO-friendly blog requires dedicated time, a touch of talent, and plenty of research. The words you put out there represent your business and should be curated with great care to better inform and impress your readers.
The writer should create the content with a journalistic mindset, using authoritative resources, expert grammar skills, and a creative flair to provide users with what they need. The quality of your writing takes effort, so you’ll, of course, want to see a good amount of traffic coming through to your site off the back of it. That’s why pairing good content with SEO is so important.
Your blog might be original and well-written, but you won’t see results unless it ranks well. Pages that rank in position one on the first page of Google have an average clickthrough rate of 28.5%. This figure decreases with each position you go down, with less than 1% clickthrough rate for articles on SERP 2. If you want your blog to generate leads and revenue, it needs to be optimised for Google with SEO blog writing that works well within the content ecosystem.
Let’s look at some of the best SEO blog tips and how you can use them to create blogs that better reach and target your desired audience.
Focus on keyword research
Your SEO blog post needs appropriate keywords to rank well, so spend time doing thorough keyword research before you start writing.
It’s crucial to have a good understanding of your industry, who your audience is, what they’re searching for, and how they’re searching for it. Without keyword research, you’ll likely miss out on popular search terms that best target the readers you want to attract.
Once you have acquired an appropriate keyword set, you’ll have a better idea of what you should write about. For example, if you work in the fashion industry, you might choose to create a blog around the “winter fashion trends” keyword set, as these are terms that will likely be the type of topic your audience is looking for.
Choose a focus keyword that you want your blog to rank highest for and use it alongside your secondary keywords throughout the article. If fitted in naturally without keyword stuffing, Google will pick up your blog and direct searchers to it in cases where it answers their search queries.
Your keyword research also helps you know which keywords you should avoid. It might seem tempting to try rank for the most common search terms, but these are more than likely being used by the big hitters in your industry. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them throughout the text, of course, but you probably won’t rank for them if you’re a small business competing against a big brand. Choose keywords that better suit your offerings and consider tailoring your keyword research and content strategy for local SEO.
Assess your competition
Your SEO blog writing will likely be more successful if you fully understand your industry, which includes your competition. Try typing some common searches for your industry into Google to see who is ranking and what they’re ranking for. You’ll be able to gauge the current hot trends and what users are interested in finding out more of, giving you inspiration for your content creation.
It’s also important to make sure your content isn’t too similar to others in the market. It might be tempting to follow the lead of the big players, but it shows a lack of originality and is hard to compete against. Choose keywords that best apply to your unique offerings and creating unique content that is still on-trend.
Be creative with your topics
SEO is what gets your content out there, but the blog still has to be unique and well-written for readers to enjoy it.
Your blog should lead back to the commercial pages of your website in a subtle yet creative way, so try to come up with ideas that are on-trend in your industry while still offering something different. Your keyword research will help here, and it may also be beneficial to have an ideation meeting with your fellow team members who might offer a fresh perspective.
Let’s say you sell furniture, like sofas. You can, of course, write blogs wholly dedicated to the “best sofas that match your style”, but general lifestyle blogs also work well. Something like “bringing hygge into your home” or “how to set up your living room for a party” won’t solely focus on your products, but it gives you scope to link back to them in a natural way while also keeping up with common trends.
Consider the length of your SEO blog post
For ranking purposes, the length of your blog matters.
Because Google favours long articles, you should aim for your blogs to be around 1,000 words on average. An article of this length can be long enough for scanning but also allows you to be informative and concise at the same time.
It should be noted articles ranging between 2,000 and 2,500 generally rank better. If your SEO blog post is this long, you can go into greater detail on the topic, give more resources, and demonstrate that you have plenty of knowledge on what is being discussed.
It goes without saying, however, that your blog should still follow writing best practices. There’s no point in writing a long piece that doesn’t make sense or gives the reader what they need.
Write relevant headers
Your headers give your SEO blog post structure, making it clear what is being discussed where. For the typical skim reader, they direct the user to what they want to know.
Make your headers clear and snappy, including relevant keywords where possible. They often work well as questions that you can answer in the text. For example, if you work in the housing industry, your audience may ask questions like “how do mortgages work?” Use these common search terms as your headers and give the reader the answer they need directly after.
Your headers also Google’s web crawlers find and understand your SEO blog post, so they need to be clearly understood for searchers to find the article. Doing so may earn you a featured snippet, which is arguably more effective than other pages ranking in first place on Google because it immediately gives users an answer.
Use signal words
Most of us will only read 20-28% of the content find online. People want their online searches answered quickly, so they are more likely to scan content to find what they need.
Signal words will help scan readers navigate your content, letting them easily connect the meaning between your sentences. These words will often describe steps in a process, such as “secondly” and “lastly”.
Optimise your meta information
Something all content creators should know when learning how to write blog posts for SEO is the importance of optimising meta information.
Both your meta title and meta description should include your primary keyword so users can clearly understand what the blog is about. This is also the case for Google crawlers, which determine the meaning of your article and whether it is what the searcher needs.
Your meta information should always be within the character limit so nothing is cut off on search pages. At the time of writing, meta descriptions shouldn’t exceed 160 characters and the meta title should stay within 60 characters.
Optimise your images
Aside from the words, your images can also affect your rankings and general on-page experience.
All your blog images should include alt text. This, of course, helps those who are visually impaired get a better understanding of what is happening on the page, but it also helps Google find the blog.
The alt text should make it clear what the image is. So, if the image shows a man walking his dog by the canal, the alt text should be something like “man walking dog along canal.” If there’s also scope to include a relevant keyword, you have a better chance of .
It’s also worth compressing the images used in your blog, as doing so can increase page load speed. If your blog page takes too long to load, the user may click off to find what they need elsewhere.
Link to other pages
Internal linking is beneficial to both you and your readers, as it helps them find more information on what they need while also taking them further through your offerings. This in turn boosts your clickthrough rate and, hopefully, increases revenue.
You can also link to other high-authority sites that confirm the things you are saying. It gives the reader what they need while also demonstrating your site as reputable. Search engines will be able to see you’ve done the research to create authoritative content, leading you to a higher-ranking position.