17 Tips for Writing SEO Friendly Blogs
It seems that everyone has a blog in today’s business world. It also seems that every topic that can possibly be written about has already been covered at every possible angle. So what can you do to drive targeted web traffic to your blog? What are the elements that will set your blog apart from the rest?
Start by ensuring that your blog content is SEO-friendly. This means that it should contain all of the necessary elements for driving it to the top of Internet search results. Many people don’t look past the second page of results. Some don’t even go past the first page or the first four or five results. Because of this, it is crucial that you include the key elements that are most likely to give your content the boost it needs.
1. Publish Frequently:
If you are publishing regular blog posts (at least once a week – once a month at minimum), you increase your opportunities for being featured in search engine results and drive more traffic to your website. Don’t publish simply for the sake of posting, however. Make sure that your content is high quality, well-researched, and relevant to your target audience. This also ensures that your regular visitors will keep coming back to read more. If your publishing frequency falls off when regulars are expecting new posts, they will eventually lose interest and find a similar website they enjoy just as much that publishes more frequently. Many people make the mistake of neglecting their blogs to focus on other aspects of the business. However, blogging is just as important as any other part. Write blogs that are entertaining, engaging, and keep your audience coming back for more.
2. Vary Content:
Make sure that you’re not writing separate blogs that find twenty different ways to say the same thing. If you do this, your readers will get bored and rather than drawing new traffic, you will likely lose your base audience. Mix things up so your target audience doesn’t know what to expect. Varying the length and content of your posts keeps your readers on their toes and makes it much more likely that search engines will choose to feature your blogs, thus driving even more web traffic to your page.
3. Include Media Content:
Readers appreciate blogs that are visually stimulating and engaging. Include relevant images, videos and other media content in your blog posts. Visually pleasing posts are more likely to draw traffic and be featured in top searches.
4. Use Appropriate Length:
Each blog post should be no less than 500 words in order to include the appropriate amount of keywords and engaging information for the reader. Provided that it does not become repetitive and continues to grasp reader attention, longer posts can be even more beneficial. The longer and more informative your blog, the better chance there is that you will provide information suited to a wider audience. A good rule of thumb is to write blogs that are at least 500 words or more. Just don’t go over 5,000 words because this is stretching into e-book territory.
5. Do Keyword Research:
The most important element of writing SEO-friendly content is keywords. Keywords are words that are most likely to be typed into a search engine. Before you post, research which keywords are likely to drive the most web traffic to your blog. Once you have figured out what keywords you want to use, incorporate a few of them into your title and introductory paragraph. These are the parts of your blog that will pop up on an Internet search making them the most important elements to contain keywords. As you write, incorporate some of your keywords throughout the rest of the blog, but be careful not to become too repetitive. Your work should be engaging and informative and not overstuffed with keywords or it becomes obvious even to the most novice researcher that it was only written for SEO purposes.
6. Use Long-Tail Keywords:
Long-Tail Keywords are actually phrases containing three or more words relevant to your post. These are words that will likely be searched in order for someone to come across your blog. For instance, instead of simply using the keywords “marketing,” you can expand that to “social media marketing,” “marketing products to adolescents,” or “marketing and technology.” By using additional keywords to create a long-tail keyword, you will expand your potential audience and ensure that this audience is interested in what you have to say.
7. Use Interesting Subheadings:
Not only should your subheadings contain relevant keywords, but they grab and keep the attention of your reader. If someone opens your blog and skims through it, before reading, he needs to see that there is relevant and intriguing information at a glance. Compelling subheadings help with that. Additionally, using bullet points or numbered points and small paragraphs keeps the reader engaged and makes the layout of your blog more appealing. You can also emphasize significant words in the content under each subheading using bold or italic font to catch the reader’s eye. Just be careful not to overdo it.
8. Link to External Resources:
Providing links to outside sources will give your blog credibility while simultaneously promoting fellow websites. Be careful not to link competitors, but you can link people in your network who are supportive of your business. In addition, be sure to cite any sources you have quoted or used to obtain your information.
9. Link to Your Posts:
Linking to more of your blog posts helps to tie all of your topics together and keep readers on your website for longer periods of time. It also helps to give potential customers a broader perspective of what your business stands for and makes it easier for them to understand your voice.
10. Link to Product & Sales Pages:
This might already be obvious to you, but in case it is not, be sure to incorporate links to specific products and sales pages from your website into your blog. This way, interested customers don’t have to use up valuable time searching for a referenced product. A direct link saves time and makes it far more likely that your readers will also become your customers/clients.
11. Share on Social Media:
Share your blog on your social media pages. You can even go back and share old blogs that your followers might find interesting. Continually revive your work and keep it relevant. Encourage your readers and social media followers to share your work on their own social media pages by providing direct links on your blog to the most popular social media sites that will allow them to quickly and easily share your content.
12. Encourage Comments:
Encourage your readers to comment on your posts. Ask them for their opinions with phrases such as, “Do you agree/disagree? Share your comments below!” If you are writing about a controversial topic, it is likely that readers will feel compelled to share their opinions regardless, just make sure you are ready for the negative criticism. When you develop your blog or website, add an additional space at the bottom of each piece for comments. This will go a long way to driving more traffic to your page.
13. Create Your Own Images:
If you can add unique media content instead of the average stock photos to your blog posts, it will give them much more of a personal flavor and set them apart. If you are not great at taking quality pictures and struggle with using computer programmers to create quality images, you can enlist the help of friends and use their photos (with their permission of course) or you can hire a graphic designer to create a stock of images for you to refer to for a variety of potential blog topics. Do your best to make your posts unique so they will stand out in a sea of average posts.
14. Carefully Consider Content:
Don’t just post a blog for the sake of posting it. Before sitting down to write, ensure that you have established a solid topic and carefully considered your content. Additionally, once your initial draft is complete, you need to go back and edit at least two times to ensure that your message is adequately conveyed, you have inserted all necessary keywords without overstuffing, and you have produced an interesting, quality piece.
15. Create an Outline:
This is Introduction to Writing 101: Create an outline for your blog post. It doesn’t have to be a lettered and numbered outline like you may have submitted in a high school or college English class. In fact, you are the only one who needs to understand your outline. The idea is to create a blueprint for your intended post before you begin to write. This way, you will ensure that you stay on topic and don’t stray off into tangential information that might only serve to distract or confuse your readers. When you create this outline, you will also want to include ideas for media that you will include such as photographs, infographics, or videos that will enhance your content and keep your readers engaged. Your outline should create a rough structure that you can follow, but it should remain flexible enough that you can rearrange, add, and remove ideas as you deem necessary. Your outline will act as your guide as you write.
16. Use Small Paragraphs:
A crucial error that many first time bloggers make is writing out their content, checking for spelling and punctuation errors and posting. They forget that you should always use paragraphs! I don’t know about you, but when I see a giant wall of unbroken text staring me in the face, I tend to space out. My brain shuts down and tells me “Nope. We don’t have time for this. Find something else.” If the title is intriguing enough, I might give it an once-over glance, but I never read the entire piece. It is vitally important that you split your blog post into small, manageable paragraphs for easy reading.
17. Get Feedback:
If you have someone you trust to give you honest feedback, let that person read your blog before you post it. If you don’t have a trusted friend, maybe hire a freelancer to read it or do a quick edit to make sure that your content flows and there are no errors that you might have missed. When working with our own writing, it is very easy to get so wrapped up in it that we miss obvious mistakes. A fresh set of eyes can give a new perspective and help to polish the piece. Additionally, it is sometimes a good rule of thumb to let your blog sit for a day or two before revisiting it. This will give you a fresh perspective and allow you to better edit your work.
Keep all of these points in mind when creating each blog. At first, it might take some time to create quality posts and ensure that all of the key elements are present, but with practice and consistent work, you will be producing quality blogs on a regular basis.