10 Tips For An Awesome, SEO-Friendly Blog Post
Writing blog posts and keeping your site up to date with relevant, useful content is a great strategy to keep visitors coming back for more. Without getting too technical, here are ten quick and easy ways to help your blog post rank well in the search engines and reach out to a wider audience.
I’m not just talking about having all of the elements you need with writing; a captivating introduction, useful, thought provoking content and a balanced conclusion. I’m talking about having the correct technical structure. Firstly, head into your Wordpress dashboard and go to Settings -> Permalinks -> Choose Post Name. This allows us to include our chosen keywords into the url when creating our post.
When creating a new post, click Edit next to the permalink and include your chosen keywords here.
Next, add the same keywords in the article and mark them as either a H1 or H2 heading and that’s all you need to do to create a keyword focus to the article.
Mix Up Your Keywords
Using the same keyword too many times in a single article can have a detrimental effect on rankings. Remember, Google is a clever enough to pick out words and phrases to get a good understanding of what your article is all about. Once we have our main keyword chosen, think of synonyms and other phrases which compliment it.
For example, if our article was all about driving lessons, we can include terms such as driving tuition, learn to drive, driving schools, cost of driving lessons, driving instructors, drive safely and many more. This mixture of terms surrounding the theme of driving lessons will give such an article a great chance to rank for all of the terms.
It’s common to get so caught up with the technical stuff that we sometimes forget the most important part of making a successful blog post - great writing! A catchy title, making the introduction as captivating as possible, progressing into a storytelling style of writing are key elements of a great post. People are easily distracted and with so much information being shown to them online, why should they spend the time to read your work? Give them a brand new edge on the subject, get them thinking and inspired to read more.
As for how long the article should be? Keep the length longer rather than shorter, somewhere between 700-1000 words is ideal and gives you a good chance of being favoured by Google. If you can write even more and create a great resource for people to use and apply for themselves, even better.
Just like in school, we shudder when we see a huge block of text with nothing else to break the cycle. Adding two or three images to an article is a great way to help illustrate the message you are presenting and to keep audience interest. The most important image we should include with every post is the featured image. We can add a featured image to a post like so:
Scroll down and click on Set featured image on the right side column. This will take you to the media library where you can choose the image you would like to use. Once you have selected an image, you will see some fields on the right we can change.
When you are on this screen, we only need to change the title and the alt text fiends. For Title, type in an accurate description of what the picture is and for Alt Text, type in the same keyword you used for the url and heading from earlier. These two commonly skipped steps will indicate to Google exactly what the image is and how it ties into our article.
Linking Out To Other Sites
A great blog post is one that can be used as a resource, so don’t be afraid to link out to other sites which compliment your message and provide further reading on the subject. These links to relevant, authoritative sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube and any industry specific sites are big plus points for Google. Speaking about YouTube, a great way to keep users interacting with your site (and reducing the bounce rate) is to embed a relevant video you have made. Here’s how to do it:
Find your video on YouTube, click on Share then Embed and copy the code.
Head back into your new post in Wordpress. Click on the Text version on top right and paste your embed code into your post. Easy as that.
Optimise Meta Description
The meta description is the little preview of a post that shows up when you search for anything in Google. Make sure to include your keywords in the title and the description. Just like the article itself, the post snippet needs to be captivating. End the paragraph on a cliffhanger, such as “The best advice for creating a viral post would be …” something to draw them into clicking on the article to find out more.
Just like linking out to other relevant sites, linking between the pages on your own site (interlinking) is great for a number of reasons including keeping visitors on your site, building trust with your readers and helping to answer their questions.
Adding links in the middle of a post and including a selection of links for further reading are two great methods. For example, if you create a beginners guide to Facebook adverts, there’s no reason not to create and link to more detailed guides you have written to cater for all users, or to link to a service or product you have for sale.
Writing is a passion and I'm some cases, you pour your heart and soul into your piece and it just sits there, nowhere to be seen. It’s no good sitting there, you need to get more interactive with your readers and share, share, share. Encourage readers to share your post, mention is on all of your social media platforms and even reach out to other blogs and ask them to take a look at it and shout about it for you too. If you have written something great, give it justice and show it to the world.
Include A Call To Action
The hard part is over, you’ve put together a great piece of content, shared it to the world across all of the social media platforms and generated a huge buzz. It’s time to capitalise on this by adding a clear call to action in the article. Get readers to sign up for your newsletters and if they need some persuasion, offer them something for free such as a pdf guide or tutorial video. Building your email list is the number one way to grow your blog and business.
Boost Your Post With Backlinks
The last tip is to try and get links to your post from other relevant, authoritative websites in your niche. These backlinks give search engines the proof it needs to see that ”Hey, this is a great piece of content and I should pay more attention to it!”.
Treat links like votes; the more you have, the more likely your article is going to be favoured over your competitor’s take on the same subject. Ask people in your niche to link to you online, it all helps to get noticed by both readers and Google.
So that’s my top ten list of tips to create an awesome, SEO-friendly blog post. I hope this helps to blur the boundary between the creative writer and the technical trickery and if you follow all of the steps, you are well on your way to creating a great piece of resourceful content that people will love, share and keep coming back to.