High-quality, SEO-friendly blog posts can help you boost your rankings on Google and attract more traffic to your website. But knowing how to optimize your blog posts isn’t always intuitive, especially if your writing skills are a bit rusty.
The good news is, learning the key characteristics of SEO-friendly blog posts isn’t hard. Writing engaging, user-optimized content is a skill you can practice and improve at.
Ready to start writing amazing content? Here are 10 tips for writing better blog posts that’ll help you get more organic traffic.
1. Conduct Keyword Research
Before you start writing any blog post, you should do some thorough keyword research. This will help you figure out what your target audience is actually searching for online. Then you can craft a blog post that captures their attention, gives them what they’re looking for, and drives them to take an action.
Choosing the right keywords is a combination of three things:
- Knowing who your brand is and how you want to be perceived
- Understanding who your audience is and what they’re looking for
- Considering who your competition is and what they’re ranking for
2. Understand Search Intent
Keyword research might help you know what people are searching for, but you also need to think about the why. Search intent is all about the purpose of someone’s search. Are they looking for information? Are they comparing their options? Or are they ready to buy something?
These search intents represent different parts of the buyer’s journey. Ignoring search intent will drive people away from your blog post, dissatisfied. Instead, you should tailor your content to the buyer, wherever they are in that journey. If they want general information – give it to them. If they need a push to choose your product over competitors – spell it out for them.
3. Create Original Content
There are a lot of blog posts out there. When you create your own, make sure it’s original and unique. Of course, most of us know we shouldn’t steal other people’s content but the same goes for your own content that you’ve published before.
If Google crawls your blog post and detects content that it’s seen before, it will probably ignore your page. If this happens too much throughout your website it could end up harming your rankings.
On top of all this, original content can help you gain an edge on your competitors. Don’t just recycle what others are saying – think about how you can offer more value to your audience.
4. Aim For Readability
Many people think that SEO optimization and readability are at odds with each other, but the opposite is actually true. Google preferences pages with content that sounds natural and reads like it was written for a human audience.
This means using your keyword in a natural way, rather than twisting your grammar and syntax to squeeze it in. You can also improve your blog’s readability by writing shorter sentences, cutting out difficult vocabulary, and using an active voice rather than a passive one. Try reading your blog out loud to test its readability.
5. Develop A Structure
Don’t just start writing and hope for the best. Plan a structure for your blog post first – it’ll help you stay on track and create more readable content. Aim for a three-part structure with:
- An introduction where you present the topic to your audience and grab their attention.
- A body where you go into detail about your topic.
- A conclusion where you summarise the ideas in your blog post. If appropriate, you can include a call to action here too.
6. Use Paragraphs And Headings
Nothing says ‘don’t read me like a big wall of text. Break your blog post up with paragraphs and headings. It’ll make things much easier and faster to read. If someone can jump in, scan your post and find what they’re looking for straight away – you’ve done a great job.
Headings break up your text and tell people what the section is about. They’re an important part of your blog’s structure – try and write them before you get to your paragraphs. Headings are also important for SEO, so try to use your keywords in some of them.
Each paragraph should contain one idea. Avoid making your paragraphs too long as this can make them hard to read. Keep your writing concise and to the point.
7. Try Writing Longer Posts
Google likes longer posts of 1000 words or more. Going in-depth on a topic can help you improve your rankings and grow your organic traffic. But there’s a caveat. Google also likes high-quality, value-adding content.
In other words, you shouldn’t increase your word count with sub-par content. Rambling, repetitive articles aren’t good for your reader or your rankings. If you’re new to writing blog posts, aim for 700-1000 words of really good content.
8. Spread Out Your Keyword
Keyword stuffing is a big no-no. Google is cracking down hard on pages that use a keyword too many times or in unnatural ways.
There’s no hard and fast rule, but try not to use your main keyword more than 5 times throughout the post. Also, spread out your keyword so that it appears throughout the blog post, not just in a clump. Use it in the first paragraph, the conclusion, the page title, and some of the subtitles.
9. Use Related Keywords
One way to avoid keyword stuffing is to use synonyms or related keywords which help Google understand what your article is about. There are a number of tools out there that can help you find related keywords based on your primary keyword. You can also take a look at Google’s related searches for ideas.
10. Link To Other Pages
Including high-quality links in your blog post is important for your search engine rankings. Internal linking is when you include links to other blog posts you’ve written or other pages on your website.
Internal links increase the authority of your post and provide value to readers who want to find more information on related topics. You should try to add the link to the keyword of the page you’re linking to. For example ‘SEO Company’ links to our SEO service page. This reinforces to Google what the page is about.
Writing blog posts might seem like a piece of cake from the outside. But if you want to make posts that are optimized for SEO, there’s a lot to think about. The most important thing is to write good quality content that reads well and satisfies the search intent. Once you’ve got the basics down pat, try to publish regular blog posts as this lets Google know that your website is alive and well.