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11 Essential Steps to Writing SEO Friendly Blogs (And Reader Friendly Too!)

When you write an SEO friendly blog you increase the chances of appearing in Search Engine Results pages (SERPs). This makes it more likely that the blog will be read which in turn increases the likelihood other pages in your website will also be read. If readers find the blog interesting they may share it on social media which will help drive more website traffic. You may even get new inbound links from other websites. Backlinks boost traffic and act as a vote of confidence in your website and helps bolster its overall authority.

An effective SEO friendly blogging strategy is one of the best ways to deliver traffic to your website, build domain authority and drive revenue for your business.

Writing SEO friendly content is not as difficult as many people think. Yet there’s a perception that writing for SEO is a very technical discipline and therefore people find it off-putting. In reality SEO-friendly writing and reader-friendly writing are two very similar goals. There are just some extra SEO best practices that should be observed as well. That way you can easily make a reader friendly piece of content SEO friendly as well.

So here are the eleven essential steps to writing an SEO friendly blog (and reader-friendly too!) By following these steps (and with a little practice!) you’ll be well on the way to writing SEO friendly blogs and webpages.

 

Find content ideas that match users search intent

Before you even start to write, consider what it is you are trying to achieve with the blog you intend to write. What is the search intent of the reader that you are looking to attract?  Search intent most commonly falls into one of these four categories.

  • Informational
  • Navigational
  • Transactional
  • Commercial Investigation

Try to create original and fairly detailed content that fits one or other of the search intent categories above. Over time you can create different blogs for these different type of search queries.

Ideas for content can be got from numerous sources. Answer the Public is a keyword tool, but it is also a great way to get content ideas. It shows exact queries that search engine users are looking for answers to, as well as their volume. The question-and-answer website Quora may also offer up ideas for the type of questions people are asking online. Questions on social media and even questions customers have asked are other great sources of content ideas.

 

Do keyword research

Once you have broadly decided on the content the next step is to do some keyword research. This will help you decide the best keywords or key phrases you should target in your blog article. Googles Keyword Planner will give you volume data on the number of monthly searches for different words and phrases. It will also offer up information on how high or low the competition is for that keyword or key phrase.

In truth there is a trade-off between keyword volume and keyword competition that must be considered. Ultimately a keyword that has less search volume but also less competition can deliver more blog clicks than one which has a very high volume but also has a large amount of competition. Long-tail keywords often tend to have less competition. To find them take a close look at the related keywords on the Google Keyword planner.

Once you have decided on your keywords the idea is to incorporate them into your blog article. Your target keyword should also be included in your Blog title and SEO title. However it’s important to say that your keyword or key phrase should be used in a way that is natural throughout the article. Rather than overusing your keyword or key phrase use some variants of your keyword as this will read more naturally. Above all else avoid keyword stuffing – that is overusing your keyword in your article.

 

Write a captivating blog title

As the title of the blog is the first thing a reader will read its key to invest some time in getting this right. An interesting blog title is essential if you wish to entice the reader to continue reading. The blog title should contain your main keyword or key phrase. It should grab the readers interest by asking a question, using data or arousing their curiosity. Cosheduler’s Headline Analyser is a useful tool which will give you a score for your suggested title scored and recommend suggested improvements.

 

Follow SEO best practice for your SEO title

The SEO title also known as the title tag or meta title is a critical component of an SEO friendly blog. Its also important for search engine users as it is part of your search result real estate on SERPs. As a rule it should be no greater than 55 characters long so that it doesn’t get cut off on the SERPs and should incorporate your keyword.

 

Meta Description

Although not strictly a direct SEO ranking requirement the Meta Description deserves thought. Because it appears on the SERPs there’s a good chance it will be scanned by someone conducting a search before they decide to click on the post or not. It should accurately represent what the post is about while also motivating the search engine user to click to your post. It should be no more than 155 characters in length as if its any longer it will be cut short by Google.

Search engine result showing SEO title, Meta Description and Featured Image

Use headings the correct way

Headings should be used to provide information about what is contained in the content underneath the heading. In the past headings were SEO ranking factors and it was a requirement to add keywords to the heading in order to rank. This is no longer the case. Above all Google use headings to understand what the content is about. This is exactly what readers do as well.

Remember to use correct heading hierarchy. So for example if you have a H2 heading and three sub-headings under that then each of them should be given a H3 heading.

 

Make your blog readable

To keep readers from bouncing off the page it’s essential to make your blog as readable as possible.

Here are some ways to achieve this. Firstly keep paragraphs fairly short. For that matter, shorter sentences will also help make your blog articles easier to read and understand. Varying the length of sentences- as the author, Gary Provost cleverly demonstrated makes your writing more interesting. Another tip is to avoid using words that are too difficult to read. The use of transition words throughout your blog article helps to lend a flow to your writing and offers the reader clues as to what is coming up.

The Yoast SEO plugin is really useful for analysing the readability of a blog and can help identify areas that need improvement.

Aside from the actual content, don’t forget the importance of typography. Font type, size, colour and background can all play a part in making your blog more readable.

 

Use images

Images when used correctly in a blog serves to make your blog more readable and additionally supports your blogs SEO. People tend to spend longer on pages with visual content. Images help to break up text-heavy content and makes the blog appear more manageable to read. Well chosen images also help reinforce the message you are trying to get across in your blog.

To make an SEO friendly blog, images should also be optimised. Make sure to give the images file name a short descriptive title which is an accurate enough representation of what the image actually is. Use your keyword in the image title if it is accurate but avoid overdoing this if there are a lot of images on the page. The alt text tag on the image should be named to describe what the image depicts. This serves an important SEO function but is also of benefit to visually impaired readers.

 

Anchor text

Anchor text is the text that displays on a clickable link within your content. It typically appears on the page as a separate colour to normal text. The anchor text is actually an important SEO ranking factor as it tells Google what the page being linked to is about. Best practice here is to keep your anchor text as short as possible, relevant to the page being linked to and not too keyword heavy.

 

Internal linking

If you have related content on your website or previously published a blog that is relevant to the topic you are covering in your blog be sure to avail of the opportunity to link to that content. Not only does it encourage readers to navigate your site but it also helps Google to understand the relationship between different content on your site.

 

In conclusion

There’s a couple of things that should always be kept in in mind when writing for SEO. Firstly search engines like Google want to rank pages that readers are going to find interesting and useful as they want to offer users a good experience whenever they use its search engine. And so the reader experience should always be on your mind when writing content. Secondly Google actually scans your blog and webpages in a similar way to how a reader scans them. Both Google and the reader want to make sense of what the piece is about by looking at things like the title and headings first. This is why the structure of your content is so important and why good SEO practice is about signalling to Google and your reader what the content is all about. And remember an SEO friendly blog is a reader friendly blogs!

 

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