Want your blog posts to drive more traffic? Learn how to create SEO friendly blog posts and why it is important for your website SEO.
Blogging for SEO
Have you noticed that basically all SEO agencies have blogs on their websites? Ever thought about why? The reason is that blog posts that are optimised for search engines can help increase your website's visibility and attract more organic traffic. Adding relevant keywords to your site will increase your chance of ranking for those particular words and phrases.
And you do want to get to that first search engine results page, don't you?
Why are blogs good for SEO?
Having a blog on your website, no matter if you are selling shoes or offer shuttle services, is a great opportunity to add new content and keywords to your website. By providing fresh and relevant content, incorporating keywords and phrases, creating internal links, and attracting backlinks you will improve your website's SEO.
The way it works is that by adding new content to your site on a regular basis you signal to search engines (like Google) that they should crawl your website more often. It is also showing them that your website is up-to-date and legitimate - it's not a dead spammy site but actually an active page full of resources. In the long run they will reward you for it by improving the ranking of your site.
How to Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts
Writing a successful, engaging and SEO friendly blog post is a true art. It's all about drawing the reader in, offering digestible and relevant content, using ideal text and paragraph length and adding links to other pages of our site and that calls to action. If you keep search engine optimisation in mind when writing your content you will truly be rewarded.
Let's find out why and how, step by step:
1. Choose a Relevant Topic
First of all you need to choose a topic for your post. Make sure that the topic is relevant to the services or products you offer and focus on writing high-quality, informative content that provides value to your readers. Keep in mind that your customers are most likely seeking an answer to a question or a problem, and that’s why they have reached your site.
Writing about a topic that is relevant and interesting to your reader can also help increase engagement with your content, and encourage the readers to share it with others. It can also help build credibility and establish your brand as an authority in your industry. This can help attract more followers and grow your brand's reputation over time.
Get lots of ideas for topics to write about by reading our article Finding New Content Ideas.
2. Keyword Research for Blog Posts
When you have selected a topic to write about, it is time to choose your target keywords. These are the words or phrases that will trigger your post to show on a Google search. By identifying the most relevant and popular keywords, you can optimise your blog article to better match what people are searching for.
When selecting keywords to focus on, consider what your target audience is searching for and what they want to achieve. You can choose keywords that are more likely to attract the right audience and meet their needs if you understand the intent of the user.
Long-tail vs. short-tail keywords
You may have heard of the terms 'long-tail' and 'short tail' keywords. Easily put, short-tail keywords are generally one or two-word phrases that are more general and broad. These keywords typically get a bigger search volume but also a lot of competition. They also help search engines understand the main topic of your post. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are more specific phrases that usually contain three or more words. These phrases tend to have a lower search volume and a lot less competition.
For a well-optimised and SEO-friendly piece of content you should use both long-tail and short-tail keywords. Remember to focus on user intent and use keywords naturally to ensure your blog post provides value to your audience and ranks well in search engines.
Be Mindful of Keyword Stuffing
Don’t over-use keywords as search engines may consider this to be a way of manipulating them. It's a spammy tactic that is detrimental to your website's SEO performance since Google, and other search engines, will pick up on this and ‘punish’ you for it. Articles stuffed with irrelevant keywords will actually decrease the relevance of your content to the search query and you will experience a higher bounce rate and lower ranking.
Rather than using the same keywords over and over again, focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that is optimised for relevant keywords and provides a great user experience.
3. Ideal Blog Post Length
When it comes to the ideal blog post length it is up to you but we do recommend a bit of a mix - some longer posts and some shorter. Readers tend to prefer shorter content as it is easier to digest, whilst Google will reward longer content as it signals expertise. Longer blog posts also have the potential to cover a topic more comprehensively, provide more value to readers, and include more relevant keywords and phrases. Keep in ming that the ideal length can also vary based on the topic, industry, and audience.
In general, a rule of thumb is that blog posts that are between 1,500 and 2,000 words tend to perform well in search engine rankings. At the end of the day it's more important that you write high quality content than the double amount of words of bad or irrelevant content.
Free Word Counter Tool
If you want to get an idea of how long your posts are you can easily count the words and characters of a text using Word Counter. Word counting is also available in Microsoft Word, Pages and Google Docs.
4. On-Page optimisation
Let’s talk about blog post On-Page Optimisation. This include meta data (titles and descriptions), heading tags, image optimisation and internal linking. Setting the blog post up correctly and in a way that makes it readable by Google and other Search Engines is is vital for a blog post to be SEO friendly.
This is the title of your blog post and its main goal is to draw readers in and make them click on your post to read it. You do not need to include keywords in the title tag (save these for the body of the post), instead you should focus on making it engaging. Tips! Read our blog post about how to write successful title tags.
A meta description is the blurb that tells the reader what the post is about. This short summary appears below the title tag on the search engine results page, so it's important to make it compelling and informative. Try to keep your meta description under 160 characters as search engines will cut it off and only publish the first half of it if it's too long. Ending the description with a call-to-action to trigger more readers to click on it.
Proper formatting of the content can make it easier for search engines to understand the structure and hierarchy of the content. The first heading that appears on a blog post is called H1. You'll only want one H1 per blog post and its mission is to tell Google about the topic of our post and it will help Google to categorise it. The sub headlines of your post should be H2 or H3 headings, to break up the content into important sections and hierarchies.
Images in a blog post will draw attention, break up the content and make it easier for the reader to digest the information. Remember to upload photos of an appropriate dimension and format - large images will slow down the page loading speed but too small images will look less visually appealing. Use JPEG images rather than PNG. Also remember to add image alt tags to your images to make them more search engine friendly. Include your target keywords and keep it short.
If you want your reader to stay on your website and to read more of your content you can add links within your blog post to other relevant pages within your site. This can help improve navigation and increase user engagement, which can positively impact your search engine rankings. You can link to other relevant blog posts about the same subject, or to your contact page or your service pages. Keep it relevant and simple.
For the Pro's - Schema Markup
If you know your way around coding we strongly recommend adding article schema to your posts. If you have no idea about what we are talking about right now, don't worry - this is something that you can get help with from an expert. Flick us an email if you need a hand.
How often should I add a new blog post to my website?
Blogging on a regular basis is great for your SEO as it shows Google that you are up to date and continuously have relevant new information. Google will reward you by giving you a higher ranking. Adding new posts at least once a week will also give you credibility and it will give you more opportunities to add your targeting keywords in the content of your website.
If you are mainly using your blog as a way of getting more traffic and better rankings for your site then we advice you to write a new post once a week. If this is not a realistic goal for you, make it once a month and try to stick to it. At the end of the day, it's better to publish one high-quality blog post per week than several lower-quality posts that don't provide value to your readers.
To make the most out of each blog article you should share it on your Google Business Profile (read our separate blog post about posting on Google Business Profile) and on social media to get more readers and attention straight away.
Summary: SEO blog post checklist
Choose a relevant topic
Think about what keywords to target
Check post length
Include your keywords in the blog title tag
Write an informative meta description
Headings (H1 & H2)
Optimise your images
Add relevant internal links
So, next time you hear someone say 'are blogs good for SEO?" you know the answer - yes! We hope this is helpful to you and wish you best of luck with your future blogging. Get in touch with us if you have any questions or queries, we are here to help.