Seo blog writing
High-Quality SEO Blog Posts: How to Boost Their Ranking in Google
In this article, we will introduce the reader to the art of writing blog posts for SEO purposes. First, we will briefly explain the basic principles of search engine optimization. Then, we will describe the process of creating blog posts that can win the race to the first page of search results.
More specifically, we will focus on the semantic and structural content analysis and search traffic optimization practices. We hope that this introduction will help you write SEO-friendly blog posts and improve your visitors' overall reading experience.
Basic Principles of SEO Writing
Whatever you write about, you will have to fight for your place on the first page in Google. The search engine must select the lucky ones, and its final decision will be affected by the following factors:
- Relevance of your content, measured by the number of links to it and the duration of each visit to your page
- Its overall quality from a semantic perspective
That is, creating good online content means making it reader-friendly and conducting a thorough semantic analysis of the final draft, which is what we will discuss in detail in this review.
Best SEO Blog Writing Practices
These basic principles of SEO for blog writing suggest that all the most effective practices could be divided into two categories, namely SEO and content optimization. However, the two are so closely interrelated that it makes no sense to discuss them separately.
The most common misconception is that blog posts should either be written for people or meet SEO requirements. Nothing could be further from the truth, though. The relevance and general user-friendliness of a blog post are precisely what the engine tries to evaluate in the process of ranking it.
Therefore, SEO-friendly blog content would be reader-friendly too. And even if that was not the case, there would still be no reason why blog posts could not satisfy both criteria at the same time.
Conducting Preliminary Research
First, you need to understand what you should write, which depends on who is going to read it. You should also browse the web to find out what has been written on the subject already. The best way to begin is by identifying your target audience and studying their needs and preferences.
In addition, you need to identify the primary keyword and keyphrases that you should use in your text. You will find many digital marketing agencies on the internet that will help you with the keyword research, as well as determine their optimal number and density.
Note: a good way to discover what is expected of you for SEO purposes is to enter the name of your article or the keywords in the Google search and read the blog posts that come on top of the first page of search results.
Planning the Structure of Your Blog Post
Next, you can create a table of contents that will serve as the overall layout for your presentation. Planning the structure will also help you clarify what exactly you are going to write, and how you will go about it. As an example, look at the structure of this article, which I made before writing it.
Once I had made a very detailed plan of my blog post, like the one in the picture above, the rest was a question of technical details. That is, I knew what I wanted to say, and I had slots allocated for each thought, so all had to do from then on was to fill relevant data into the slots, taking care of the correct keyword and LSI quantity and density.
Significance of Metadata for SEO
Basically, the metadata refers to all the information about the actual content of your blog article. The term covers a meta description, your web address, the heading and subheading structure of the text, various snippets and other data that serve the purpose of improving the readability of the text, as well as facilitating the content search by the Google engine.
Optimizing your metadata is essential for creating a user- and SEO-friendly blog post. Not only does it help the reader to better comprehend your articles, but it is also used by the engine to identify your content on the web and rank it in terms of its relevance. The picture below shows how Google uses your metas for these purposes.
Create an SEO-Optimized Blog Title
The trick is to create a title that would be catchy enough for your visitor to decide to click on the link. Remember that there are other links on the SERP too, so why should the user choose to read your post?
Moreover, the title is very important for SEO purposes as it helps the engine decide whether your blog post matches the user's search intent. Generally, your title will have better chances if it:
- Describes precisely the subject of the post or your specific product
- Is very easy to read and understand
- Contains an emotive and persuasive language
- Provokes the reader to open your page
- Includes your target keyword
- Does not contain more than sixty characters
Create a Suitable URL
Effectively, the same principles apply to the selection of an optimal blog address, except that there is no need for an emotive language since it serves mainly SEO purposes. The three fundamental rules to follow are:
- It should be as short as possible and contain no words you can do without.
- You should use dashes to separate all the words in the address.
- If you decide to rephrase your blog address, you should include 301 redirects in order to save its current SEO ranking.
Create Appropriate Headings
We have discussed the importance of a good content structure in the relevant section above. Here, we would like to describe this aspect from the technical perspective. First, your headings must not be too long. As a general rule, six to eight words should be an absolute limit in most cases.
Remember that the purpose of the headings is to help the reader navigate your posts, as well as facilitate the search by the engine. Therefore, they should only consist of keywords that describe the subject of a section accurately and precisely. In fact, they are optimal places for a keyword or keyphrase in the SEO sense of the terms.
Besides, there is a commonly accepted structure of introduction, subsections and conclusion. By following this system, you will be more likely to create SEO-optimized blog posts, and enhance the user experience for your visitors as well.
The most common mistakes inexperienced bloggers make include the following:
- A subheader as a very long (ten or more words) sentence
- All of them belonging to the same category, such as H2 or H3, for example
- Typing subheadings in bold instead of using the appropriate editor formats
- Not capitalizing every word in them
Enhance Your Meta-Description with a Featured Snippet
When you enter a search query, Google crawls the most indexed online content, extracts the most useful information on the subject and presents it in a reader-friendly format. This innovative technique is known as a snippet. The picture below shows an example of it, which you would see on top of the SERP for Thomas Jefferson:
Snippets are invaluable for any SEO-friendly blog site as they make your content easier to read and boost your SEO ranking immensely. In fact, your meta formatted this way has good chances to come up as a snippet on the first page, especially if it contains a focus keyword as well.
The types of snippets that are most effective for SEO purposes include:
- Bulleted and numbered lists
- Defining paragraphs
Note: according to statistics, defining paragraphs of 50-60 words have the best chances of becoming SERP snippets in Google.
Creating SEO-Optimized Blog Content
Now that we have covered the most significant metadata, let us have a look at how you could improve the actual content of your SEO writing.
Clarify the Structure for the Reader
To help the reader better understand and navigate your blog post, you can divide it into sections as follows:
- A very short introduction to tell the reader in very general terms what the text is about
- The main body divided into subheadings (see the section on Appropriate Headings below)
- A summary or conclusion, which, effectively, would be your quick answer if the introduction to the article was a question.
Write for the Reader, Not for Google
Once you start practising the SEO techniques discussed in this article, you may sometimes get so carried away that you could easily forget the reasons for doing it in the first place. It is your audience you are trying to target, the SERPs being useful instruments to achieve that goal. So you first need to write an interesting and relevant text; then, you can edit the final draft for the sake of SEO.
Avoid Long Sentences and Paragraphs
Recent empirical research reveals that the optimal paragraph length is about 3-5 lines. Also, sentences longer than four clauses seem to be too difficult for most readers. On the other hand, they should not be too short either, for that will make your text look too snappy and unprofessional.
Write Texts of Optimal Length
Likewise, several blogging sites have done research on the ideal post length, and the common agreement is that it should be between 2,000 and 3,000 words. The rationale is that nobody wants to read long texts these days, whereas reading time for very short articles is too short from the search engine's perspective.
Note: recent statistical studies show that an average internet user only reads the first 30% of any text.
Therefore, you should try to make the first third of your post as informative as possible, leaving the rest of it for keyword and LSI considerations. Another effective content strategy is to write texts in the first one-third of your post, filling the 60% with lists, tables and pictures.
Maintain Optimal Keyword Density
Using the right keywords helps draw the engine's attention to your online content. However, you should not go overboard with them, since keyword stuffing will work against you from the semantic perspective. Plus, the engine may interpret it as spam and eliminate your web address from the list completely.
Fortunately, there are many online services that conduct professional semantic analysis for low fees or even free of charge. As a rule, these companies also provide other services, such as a word count and water assessment.
Use Transition Words
In linguistics, the term pertains to the words that connect different parts of a text. This way, they greatly enhance the readability of the text by guiding the reader through the content. Transition words are particularly appreciated by the readers who prefer to skim through a blog post, avoiding thorough processing of the material and discerning the main points instead.
Note: just like structuring the content of your new blog post, transition words will help you clarify your own thinking and connect the different parts of your overall message more coherently.
Using these words effectively for SEO blog writing purposes requires some skill, for they can easily decrease the overall quality of the text, making it watery, which is a bad thing from the SEO point of view. Yet, transition links, such as 'however', 'finally' and 'in summary', will make your text easier to comprehend and navigate, increasing the SEO ranking of your blog posts in the end.
Effective Use of External Links
You can also improve the overall quality of your content and increase its chances of getting to the first page by including references and links to some authoritative sites. First, you add authority to your own content this way, backing it up with empirically significant and reliable evidence that comes from reputable sources.
Moreover, external links give your readers access to additional information, which boosts the reputation of your site as a useful source of reference to a larger body of knowledge. So the reader is more likely to save your page and consult it every time he wants to know something on the subject.
This strategy works especially well if you provide links to your other posts and articles, which is called internal linking. This way, you make a better impression on your target audience and increase your overall ranking at the same time.
Note: for best effect, you can make the external source open in a pop-up window or new tag so that the reader can always return to your page afterwards.
Enhancing Your Content with Visual Components
As a rule, a visual format works better than words for the overwhelming majority of online readers:
- It is quicker and easier to grasp data this way.
- Visual information is remembered better and for longer time.
- Your content becomes more attractive and entertaining.
- It makes an article look more professional and, therefore, more trustworthy too.
One of the best tools for this purpose is an ALT text, which refers to short explanatory captions under the visual data. It makes a big difference for the overall user experience and helps the engine identify your content on the web. However, ALT-texting work best when you apply it in moderation and avoid stuffing it with keyphrases.
Compress Images for Better Ranking
One of the relatively new ranking criteria in Google is a core web vital, or the loading speed of a page. That is, the engine appreciates a lower page speed, and it helps to compress your pictures for this purpose. Currently, JPEG is the most effective technique of digital image compression, so you should definitely try to include those pictures in your articles.
Further Improving the Quality of Your Blog Posts
Now you know how to create decent SEO-optimized blog posts. However, there is still something you can do to make them even better, which is what we will discuss in this section.
1. Let Experts Evaluate Your Blog Content.
There are plenty of professional content analysis services available on the internet, which will help you:
- Optimize the semantic aspects of your blog posts, such as keyword difficulty
- Improve the formal presentation of your content in terms of the diversity and relevance of the formatting tools, as well as navigation and customization
- Make your posts more attractive to your potential target audience
These services will greatly increase your chances of creating a more impressive and relevant content, as well enhance your public image and boost the search traffic to your site. Moreover, many of them offer competitive and affordable price lists, so they are definitely worth considering.
2. Keep Your Articles Up-To-Date.
Updating your content regularly is essential for writing optimized blog posts, for meeting SEO requirements and enhancing the overall reader experience alike. After all, you want your readers to find your articles relevant, stay on them for longer, return to them frequently and even recommend them to their friends.
Incidentally, this happens to be one of the best practices for SEO purposes too. Remember that the search engine takes into account the number of times your page is visited and the average duration of each visit. Plus, it will make your new post look more professional and reliable, increasing the chances that the reader will save your page for future references.
3. Include Inbound Backlinks in Your Blog Posts.
An SEO-optimized blog article brings you lots of references to your content in the form of links from other pages. But you do not have to wait until it happens naturally. Adding a backlink to your own blog will do the job just as well, as far as your SEO ranking is concerned.
The important thing is, it should not look like spam; otherwise, you will quickly end up in bad books with Google. But then, it does not have to be that way. You can genuinely write lots of interesting articles that include references to each other. In fact, you will even look more professional that way.
In other words, SEO-friendly blog self-reference becomes a truly powerful content marketing strategy. The key factors in this context are that each new article you write must be:
- Genuinely relevant to your target audience
- Meaningfully related to the rest of your blog content
We have discussed content optimization strategies as effective means of promoting your online content and finding your way onto the first page in Google search. Effectively, they all boil down to making your article reader-friendly and increasing the number of backlinks to it.
However, our list of techniques is by no means exhaustive, and you will need to learn a lot more before you can create high-quality content. One way to do that is to enter the terms you want to learn more about in the search and read the pages from the SERP.