You know those texts that were obviously written for Google? They have the keywords that you used for the search. But they are used in an unnatural manner, which makes you feel like the author underestimates your intelligence. You’re not a bot. You want to read a high-quality text that makes sense.
When you write blogs, you know better. You’re an author, so you’re guided by one idea: write for the audience. Wait; aren’t you making a mistake there?
The search engine is important, too! When fiction and non-fiction writers work on blog posts, they often forget that aspect. For that reason, they are left with brilliant content on their sites and no one to read it.
We have to work towards a “people search engine” balance.
It doesn’t matter how well you think you can write. It takes some training to understand SEO for blogs, and today is a good day to start.
First, Let’s Clarify: What’s SEO?
The shortcut means search engine optimization. In essence, you’re optimizing your content to be recognized by Google and other search engines.
Google is smart. Its bots can read, but they are not humans after all. That’s why they need hints in the form of keywords, meta tags, mobile-friendly design, broken up text that’s readable, and more. If your site meets those standards and it keeps the visitors engaged, it will show up higher in the search engine results.
Your ranking is a combination of two groups of elements:
- Quality, design, and all other details that contribute towards an improved user experience
- Technical details that show you offer the content that people search on Google
Neglecting SEO is not the most intelligent thing you could do. The good news is that you’re a writer, so you already have the foundation of high-quality content. You only need to build on it.
We’ll go through the major steps that form the foundation of blog search engine success.
5 SEO Blogging Tips: How to Write for People and Google
1 Win with Quality Content
High-quality content is one of the few factors that Google confirmed as important to your ranking. No one really knows how the algorithm works and why it chooses to feature certain sources on the first page of results. We know one thing: the search engine is pretty smart at finding the right sources for our quest. It shows quality, so we usually click on the first few suggestions without bothering to go deeper.
What does quality mean for the blogging world? It’s not the same thing as high-quality content for a book. Your audience is after these elements in a good piece of content:
- Answer their questions in the most direct way possible. You’re not writing a novel that needs descriptions to add depth. Your audience wants to see unique content that gets right to the point. Yes; you can offer long-form articles. But they mustn’t be repetitive! Stick to serving the facts.
- Deliver solutions of value. When you do your research to find out what issues your audience has, you want to help with solutions.
- The content has to be credible. Use statistics and information from research. Always link to the sources, and make sure they are reputable.
2 Use Keywords Naturally
Now we get to the real SEO action: the dreaded keywords. You shouldn’t be afraid of them. You won’t choose phrases that don’t make sense in terms of logic and grammar. You’ll aim for logical keywords that fit naturally into your text.
But how exactly do you find those good keywords?
- Start with brainstorming! You’ve done this a lot when planning your fiction or nonfiction. It’s simple: you wonder what words and phrases your audience would use to search Google when they want to find your content. Then you grab a pencil and do the old-fashioned method of writing whatever comes to your mind. Some of those phrases are good to use!
- Use Google’s Keyword Planner. It’s a great tool to locate relevant keywords and see how competitive they are.
- Research your competition. You can use a Google rank checker tool, which shows what keywords your successful competitors target. Once you determine them, you have two options: you can avoid those phrases since they are already targeted by a high-quality site, or you can target the same keywords through content that’s way better than what you see.
Here’s the most important thing to remember: you need to use the keywords naturally in your text. When a reader goes through it, they mustn’t get the impression that you mechanically wrote the content. Keywords should not affect your writer’s voice in any way.
3 Write Readable and Scannable Text
You’ll be disappointed to know that people are not trying to read content attentively online. They want to scan through it, notice the key points, and still get some value. If you manage to get their attention through this process, they might read the actual text. In a weird way, people act like bots when they read content online.
If a visitor sees an endless block of text without elements that stand out, they will bounce with the speed of light. You have to make the post scannable both for people and for search engine bots.
- Break up the content in shorter paragraphs. If you’re looking for a clear guideline, a single paragraph shouldn’t contain more than three sentences. It’s not a rule, though. You’ll be guided by logic when breaking up the content.
- Make the sentences shorter. If you can create two sentences out of a single one, you should.
- Don’t use passive language. It may look good in your book and you might need it sometimes. In online content, it seems indefinite and too “bookish.” You can use a tool like Hemingway Editor to catch and fix complexities in your text.
- Use elements that stand out. These are numbered and bulleted lists, highlights, bolds, italics, headings, boxes, charts, and other elements that will catch the reader’s attention.
- Keep the tone conversational. Try to address the reader directly; it will make the content easier to read.
4 Optimize Your Blog to Generate Income
This is the order you maintain when optimizing your blog:
- Search engine
Writers often forget that they need to make their blogs profitable. Books are not the only source of finances for you. Yes; the blog is mainly for promoting your work and yourself as an author. However, it can also become a fertile ground for passive income.
Try these methods that will help you make the WordPress blog profitable:
- Use Google Analytics to track all details about your website. What marketing methods work to bring you more visitors? It’s all about making the blog more successful.
- Try selling content through the blog. This works for many state-of-the-art sites, such as Wait But Why and The Oatmeal. The content is so good that people want to buy it and keep going back to it. For someone to buy great articles, you have to offer them first. You can sell eBooks that combine a few connected blog posts. You can also offer exclusive content to your patrons.
- Ads are a good source of income, too. AdSense doesn’t take a huge investment for a start. The good news is that you pay for the results you’re getting.
5 Manage RSS Feeds
Writers tend to be “theoretical.” When creating a blog, they will read everything on how to make it successful. They will focus on on page SEO, quality, keywords, and visuals. However, they will avoid the technical things, such as the RSS feed.
It’s an old-school SEO element that stands for “rich site summary.” It’s a XML-based text file that contains basic information about your website, and it’s constantly being updated with new details.
Why is this important? It’s what Google’s bots check to see what your website contains. You can use a simple generator, such as FetchRSS. If you want to create it from scratch, check the instructions on the RSS.com blog.
Creating a successful blog doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process, which involves writing, research, technicalities, and more writing.
For the writing part, you do you. You already have your voice and you found the unique element that will attract a target audience. You only need to make the content more digestible for the modern reader, and more scannable for the search engine’s bots.
Start implementing the tips listed above! They are simple, and they lead you to precise action.
Nataliya is an SEO expert. Can’t live without creating valuable content about SEO and Digital Marketing.