How to Write an SEO-Friendly Blog

How to Write an SEO-Friendly Blog

It seems as if the rules surrounding search engine optimization (SEO) are constantly evolving. What might have been relevant yesterday could be redundant today and plain wrong tomorrow. This is why keeping one step ahead of the game is important if you hope to enjoy long-term success.

Although many SEO-related articles touch upon the technical side of SEO, what about blogging? Let’s keep in mind that blogs are some of the best ways to connect with your audience and to increase online exposure. The main problem here is that poorly constructed blogs always fail to deliver. So, how can you write an SEO-friendly blog? What tips and tricks should you employ? Let’s take a look at what the professionals have to say.

Keyword Research

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with search engine optimization should not be surprised that keyword research is crucial. What words and phrases will the average reader look for when performing an online query? So, the first step naturally involves discovering which words are the most appropriate. Here are some expert tips to employ:

  • Create a list of industry-specific topics.
  • Extract relevant keywords from these subjects.
  • Choose secondary keywords related to the primary words.

Sounds simple, right? However, what if you are relatively unfamiliar with a specific subject? In this case, it could be wise to utilise online keyword research tools such as Google Search Console, Soovle and Jaaxy. You will be provided with appropriate suggestions within a matter of seconds. 

Once you’ve decided on your target keywords, be sure to add them all throughout the blog post in a natural, non-spammy manner.

This includes adding the target keyword to the post title, meta description, header tags, image alt attributes, and blog text. Remember, the on-page keywords tell Google and other search engines what your blog post is about, so it’s important that you use the keywords you found while doing the research.

The key here is to avoid stuffing your page with too many keywords with the hopes of securing higher rankings. Google will quickly be able to pick up on this and may penalize your webpage as a result. To combat this while still adding the intended keywords, you can add one or two variants of your target keyword to the blog post.

For instance, if you’re post is about “best dog food”, you can add variants such as “best food for dogs” or “best food for small dogs”.

Start from a Strong Foundation

The physical structure of a blog is just as important. Not only does a well-formatted article appeal to the reader, but using the correct HTML tags can also help search engines such as Google understand what the post contains. This is critical in terms of SERP (search engine results page) rankings.

All blogs need to contain a short introduction that describes what they will contain. They should then be broken up into palatable paragraphs and divided with H2 and H3 subheadings. Lengthy paragraphs should be avoided, as these tend to distract the reader. Ideally, each paragraph should contain a single concept or observation.

Finally, blogs should be punctuated with a strong conclusion that sums up the previous information. This section is also a great location to embed a call-to-action (such as requesting more information or examining a specific product). 

Boost Your Blog with Backlinks

Imagine for a moment that you are searching for a blog that provides advice about building a conservatory. You come across two potential sources. The first contains plenty of useful information, but little evidence to reinforce these claims. The second is written just as well and yet, high-quality backlinks are included within the content. Knowing which one to select should already be obvious.

As mentioned by Adlibweb previously, backlinks to authoritative third-party websites are crucial. Here are some of their main benefits:

  • They add an authoritative nature to your blog.
  • They can be used to reference important information that might not be common knowledge.
  • They provide an air of transparency to your writing.
  • Search engines love backlinks from an SEO perspective.

However, keep in mind that more is not necessarily better in this sense. Be sure to include reputable and up-to-date backlinks in order to boost your rankings. Outdated, irrelevant or spammy links will detract from the quality of your content and they can even cause your SERP status to drop on some occasions. 

Content Length: How Long is Too Long?

The length of a blog post has been somewhat of a contentious issue in recent times. This partially depends upon the content itself. After all, writing about how to tie your shoes will not require 2,500 words. Adding useless “fluff” to a blog simply to boost the word count is a clumsy strategy and the chances are high that the reader will quickly become disinterested.

According to Yoast, length depends upon the topic itself. Here is what their experts have had to say:

  • Lists of information or advice (taxonomy blogs): more than 250 words.
  • Common organic posts: more than 300 words.
  • Pages containing cornerstone content (the most important information associated with your website): more than 900 words.

Having said this, length does seem to correlate with higher rankings. Recent research has found that blogs containing 1,000 words or more tend to rank higher within a search engine results page. Simply remember that quality and informative content trumps spam and fluff every day of the week. 

Regular Updates

One of the challenges associated with blogging is that you will need to create new posts on a regular basis. Not only is this the best way to grab the attention of your readers and to grow a loyal base of followers, but regularly reviewing previous posts can help to you cull outdated material. Stale content is a sure-fire way to drive your audience away. 

The Power of Objectivity

Let’s assume that you have followed all of the steps above. Before you decide to post the blog, it is always wise to obtain an objective opinion. This is an excellent way to appreciate if any last-minute changes need to be made. You will also be better able to determine if the subject in question is palatable to the reader. After all, an opinion never hurts.

Putting it All Together

Most importantly, quality content is vital. Good content leads to more links, shares, tweets and returning visitors to your website. It is estimated that more than seven million blogs are published on a daily basis. Of course, only a handful of these will ever enjoy the lion’s share of online exposure. This is why it is always important to take the SEO recommendations above into account. There is no doubt that you will be impressed with the outcome. 

Author Bio

Ian Carroll has been a Digital Marketing and SEO specialist for over ten years and he currently runs Digital Funnel which is Irelands leading Digital Marketing and SEO Agency.