There are some simple steps to follow to ensure that you publish a SEO friendly blog post on your site.
Things like the title of the post, the blog structure, the formatting, headings and paragraphs, are easy to fix and yet play a very important role in rankings.
What you will read in this post, are the important issues I address everytime I write a blog post to make it SEO friendly.
If you follow them correctly, you will not only be writing a SEO friendly blog post but also a user friendly blog posts.
How to Write a SEO Friendly Blog Post – Step By step Guide.
1. Conduct Keyword Research.
It is a very big SEO mistake to never use keywords in your blog posts. The very first thing to do before you lay your fingers on the keyboard is to research on the topics that people are searching for on the web.
Use the locally available tools like Google trends, keywords planner and etc. That way, you will have a clear picture of what people are interested in thereby writing a blog post that will drive organic traffic to your site.
My favourite keyword research tools include Ahreffs, Buzzsumo, SEMRush and ubersuggest. These tools can help you identify the keywords your competitors are ranking for.
A tool like ubersuggest even tells you the keywords your competitors are bidding on.
Keyword research is a very essential step that you must never skip. That is if you really really want to drive organic traffic to your site.
When researching on the keywords to use, settle on those whose volumes are below 2000. Higher than 2000 are very competitive and you might find it very hard to rank for them.
2. Craft SEO friendly title.
Writing a good and interesting title, is a very important step for SEO purposes and user friendliness.
A SEO friendly title is important because it gives search engine crawlers a hint of what the page is about.
A SEO friendly title should have the following characteristics:
- Character length between 55-60 so that it is shown without breaks in the SERPS.
- Should include your target keyword.
- Accurately describes the content of the blog post/article.
- Should be interesting to make users click your entry when displayed in the search engines results pages.
Let us use the title of this post as an example “How to Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts – My Step by Step Guide”.
My target keyword was “SEO friendly blog post” and instead of just creating a title with that keyword alone, I added the ‘How to’ and the ‘My step by step Guide”, to make it clear to both search engines and users of what to expect in the content.
Don’t stuff the title with keywords. Make it simple and interesting.
3. url optimization
A SEO friendly url is a url that accurately describes an article using the keywords that are easy to read for both search engines and users.
Here are the characteristics an SEO friendly url should have:
- Use “-“ to separate the worlds that make up a URL.
- Make your URLS shorter by removing unnecessary words – Usually what happens is that the URL is auto generated by your CMS based on the title. What you can do (before publishing a blog post the first time) is to manually change the permalink (URL) and remove some of the words.
For example, the default URL for this blog post was /how-to-write-SEO-friendly-blog-post –my-step-by-step-guide/ but I have optimized it by changing it to /seo-friendly-blog-posts/.
Also, consider limiting the use of stop words in your url.
Pro Tip: To learn more about url optimization, check out this article – What is an SEO friendly url and How do You Configure URLs in WordPress? and to learn more about stop words, this article – SEO: How To Write A Slug Without Stop Words will definitely help you.
4. Optimizing images
An ideal image size is approximately 600 x 400 px. Something higher than this may slow down your site’s speed.
If the image size is larger, you can edit it using an online tool like Canva so that you don’t interfere with the quality of the image.
While editing the image within the blog post, ensure that you include the image title and the alt text.
The image title should be something that clearly describes the image.
For example, if you are writing an article whose title is: The Life of Barack Obama, and one of the images happens to be that of Barack Obama and his two daughters, here is how you should edit the image:
Image title: President Barack Obama and his two daughters.
Caption: President Barack Obama and his two daughters, Sasha (Right) and Malia (Left) at a States dinner on December 20th, 2015.
Alt text: The Life of Barack Obama
The image title is a text that appears when the image is still loading. So it needs to be descriptive.
The Caption describes what is in the image. It’s usually at the bottom of the image.
The alt text should contain the keywords.
Both the alt text and the image title help the search engine crawlers understand what the image and the article is about.
5. Paragraphs and Post length
A short paragraph is both good for search engine crawlers and humans.
It is easy to understand a subject when presented to you in short paragraphs than in long paragraphs. The reason is simple, with long paragraphs, you may end up losing concentration along the way.
And for the post length, Yoast SEO recommends a post length of over 300 characters. Which is a good thing. However, if you want your site to rank higher then you must start to create long blog posts.
Study shows that blog posts that are ranking at the top have an average of 1,890 characters. That’s long, right?
Brian Dean of Backlinko says in this YouTube Video that they did a research and confirmed that blog posts that ranked higher in Google actually had over 1,890 characters. He confirms in this video that his article, SEO Tools: The Complete List which ranks first is over 4,000 characters long.
Long posts rank higher because they have lots of information on the subject which is helpful to the users, making them to stay longer on site, reducing the bounce rate.
Link to your own old posts when necessary. It makes your blog post user friendly hence SEO friendly.
Link to other bloggers’ posts outside your blog but within your niche. A good example is what I’ve done with the Backlinko’s article and the video. The two, I’m certain, will help you understand what I was trying to talk about on post lengths and SEO.
7. Use headings in a hierarchical order (h1>h6)
An optimized blog post follows these rules when it comes to headings:
There should be only one h1 tag on the page – and that is the <title> of the post.
It is important to have only one h1 tag and that heading to include your target keywords.
Headings should be used in a hierarchical mode i.e the title of the post takes the h1 tag and then the main sections should have an h2 and the subsections an h3. So, the order of the tags should be H1->H2->H3.
When you create a good blog structure, then it’s easy to get the headings right.
Having your content organized in this structural way helps search engine bots during the crawling process and makes the blog post easier to read (and scan) forA well optimized blog post, follows these rules when it comes to headings:
There is only one h1 tag on the page – This is usually the same as the <title> of the post, although it doesn’t have to be the same.
What is important is to have only one h1 tag and that heading to include your target keywords.
Use headings in a hierarchical mode: The title of the post is the h1 tag and then the main sections should have an h2 and the subsections an h3. So, the order of the tags should be H1->H2->H3.
When you create a good blog structure, then it’s easy to get the headings right. Take a look at the screenshot below which shows how I used headings for this blog post.
The reason that you should have your content organized in this structural way is simple: It helps search engine spiders during the crawling process and makes the blog post easier to read for users.
8. Optimize meta description.
One thing that is amazing about optimizing the Meta description for a blog post is that you choose what to show the users on search engine results.
There are two sections here, the title meta description and the body.
The title tag should be SEO friendly and by all means, avoid including the name of the blog in the SEO title.
The Meta description of the body is a few characters long. About 150. Your keywords must be included and make sure that you capture the reader’s attention in the best way possible.
I know it’s a lot to take in but if you want to stand out in the search engine result pages then you have to learn how to write a SEO friendly blog post.
If you follow these guidelines while developing a SEO friendly blog post then I think you will find this SEO thing a friendly stuff. Keep practicing and if possible, have a checklist everytime you are developing a content. It’ll help.
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