Simple kickstart guide to writing blogs with SEO in mind

09 May 2017

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is always a hot topic when it comes to any site – how can you optimise your site so that your site attracts search engines consistently and organically ranks your site at the top? SEO in itself is a broad topic in itself with people just dedicated to this and specialising in it. Who am I? Well, I’m not an SEO specialist but I do write with SEO in mind. SEO is something you need to keep learning about, as the internet itself changes, strategies also need to adjust. In this post, I share a simple kickstart guide to writing blogs with SEO in mind.

 

Quality Content

At the start of any blog make sure you are providing quality content. Think useful, unique, and authoritative information that encourages more people to share, comment, and link to your posts (which also boosts your rank in Google because of more backlinks). Google confirmed in 2016 that quality content and links to your site are the top factors in determining search engine rank. So as you can see, the two go hand in hand – links to your site won’t happen if the content’s no good.  

To ensure you’re creating quality content, ask these questions about your blog:

  • What’s the purpose of your blog post?
  • Does it fill an info gap? Or cover an angle of the topic that is scarce?
  • Will this be valuable to your target audience?
  • Are you deceiving your audience?
  • Will the blog be credible and engaging?

 

Keyword Research

Start with a traditional brainstorm, grab a pen and paper and think, what words or phrases best describe your blog’s topic?

Narrow down the list by keywords/phrases relevance and strong search volume (you can also find more ideas for keywords when you do research using these tools):

  • Google’s Free Keyword Planning Tool
  • Google Trends is helpful to get a quick look at the popularity of terms and related queries by category, location, and time.
  • Get more ideas with this alternative Keyword Tool
  • You can also start off with SEMrush’s Free Tool (They also have a paid version of the tool for more in-depth research)
  • Ahrefs offers a free 7-day trial to try out their paid tool for free too.

 

Natural Writing

I find it easier to write the post first and then sprinkle in keywords, phrases, and related word variations into the blog (but keep the language organic, meaning it still make sense with these keywords inserted and don’t use these keywords too much). Google is smart, algorithms are programmed to understand context and takeaways without being bombarded by just keywords (it actually even penalises posts that stuff too many of the same keywords in them).

Here’s where you can put in keywords:

  • Title (headline) – keyword inclusions at the beginning of your headline is crucial to establishing relevancy, not just for Search Engine Results but for readers too.
  • Body (article text)incorporate keywords throughout headers and body text. If you focus on addressing reader’s needs keywords naturally land where they need to be.
  • Blog post URLmake each post include a unique URL that contains relevant keywords. Separate words with hyphens and remove unimportant articles like ‘a’ and ‘the’ (most blogging platforms do this already, but always make sure that it’s there as changes to a previously saved post can change the URL).
  • Internal and External LinksIt’s beneficial to include keywords as part of the anchor text to hyperlinks. If you’ve already written some content about the same topic don’t forget to link to these posts. It will make your post stronger because you show some authority on the subject. Links are important for your blog not just for the search engines, but makes your blog more valuable to readers as well as they easily open up related information,  
  • Image File NamesIn the alt text box when labelling images you’ve uploaded, try to avoid using default names like “IMG0063.jpg” and instead make names descriptive like “writing-blogs-SEO” remember to write for humans and the robots will understand.
  • In your post’s Meta description – meta descriptions help search engines and searchers understand what the topic is and why your targeted keywords and phrases keep appearing in the content. The meta description is the HTML attribute that provides a “concise explanation” to the search engines of your page’s content. For SEO purposes, the meta description should be 150-160 characters long.

 

Make it scannable

What do you do when you read online? You scan. On a mobile? You scroll until something catches your eye. On a desktop? Same thing but with even more “stuff” to distract you. So the answer is to make sure your blog is easily scannable and offers bite-sized tidbits.

Experiment with ways to make your post easy for both humans and robots to scan:

  • Highlight Words you want to draw attention to.
  • Give your blog structure and organise with headings and subheads
  • Bullet and number lists
  • Break up text with images and GIFs
  • Box out quotes or tweetable tips
  • Focus on one idea per paragraph

 

Length

How long should your blog post be? As a general guide:

  • 300-500 words is widely considered the minimum; however,
  • Posts in the 700-2500 words range signal more subject-matter depth and get a little more search engine love.However, if your article is too long it may scare users away so I would stick with the 700-1200 words range.
  • As a general rule of thumb, try to put your search terms in about 1-2% of your body text. So in an article of 300 words, you should mention your keywords 3 to 6 times. In an article of 700 words you would mention keywords around 7-14 times, and so on.

 

Here are some other more in-depth guides you can read if you want to learn more:

 

Do you have any SEO blog quick tips? Share with me on Facebook or LinkedIn. I can help you write your blog or even write them for you as a ghost blogger