Maybe you’re dipping your first toe into the world of blog writing, hoping to get your business actually seen online.
Maybe you’ve heard that having a blog that produces fresh, relevant and regular content can give your SEO a much-needed boost.
Or maybe you’re already writing great content that’s getting seen by… no one.
Whatever the issue, we’ve developed a helpful guide to Blog SEO that will lend a hand on your journey.
Do I really need a blog?
You may hear people telling you that blog writing is no longer relevant in the year 2022. Those people are, objectively, wrong.
- 77% of internet users read blogs
- 60% of marketers say that content marketing generates more demand and leads
- On average, businesses with a blog produce 67% more leads every month
- Businesses with a blog get twice the amount of email traffic than those that do
- Companies who blog get 97% more links to their websites
Basically? Blogging can only be a plus for your business. By putting fresh, relevant content out on the regular, you can bring in far more leads and customers than you would otherwise.
Why blog writing is vital to your SEO
A blog is a key component of any digital marketing strategy for a number of reasons. Below are just some of the things that you can accomplish when you write regular blog posts:
- Target more keywords than you can with your website pages
- Earn more high-quality backlinks from reputable sites
- Demonstrate your expertise on a subject to potential buyers (and Google)
- Build a relationship with your readers and slowly turn leads into buyers
- Have more opportunities to rank for a user’s search
How to write a good SEO-friendly blog post
As with most things in life, planning is the most important part of blog writing. This is where you determine which ideas are worth talking about, what your customers are searching for, and how you can communicate them in the best possible way.
You can find topics by looking at what your competitors are putting out, what issues are currently relevant in your field and what your customers really care about.
What’s your take? Do you have a unique perspective or expertise on the matter?
Without targeting the right keywords, your blog will simply be sent out to the ether. And worse, you’ll be wasting an otherwise excellent opportunity to drive traffic to your site and target long-tail keywords, which often have far less competition.
In fact, if you’re still looking for topics, long-tail keywords are a great place to start. This tells you what questions or interests your audience has. You can use any keyword research tool or stick with Google’s free Keyword Planner.
Make sure you’re not using the exact same keywords as other web pages on your site, as this will confuse Google when deciding which one to rank. You’ll also want to avoid keyword stuffing – only use keywords when and where they feel natural.
Though you’ll touch on this in planning, it’s worth mentioning on its own.
You’ll need an introduction to the article, the main body/content, and a conclusion to wrap everything up. It can help to start with an outline:
- A (tentative) title
- Subheadings covering the different aspects of the topic you want to explore
- Dot points under each, giving a brief explanation about what you want to write
One thing to remember: no one has time to sit down and read an essay.
Break up your content into smaller subheadings, the more the better. This will help with scanning and ensure your reader finds the information they’re looking for a lot easier.
As you can imagine, the way your blog is written will have a pretty big impact on how well it performs on Google.
We know for a fact that Google prioritises results that include well-written and relevant content, so how can you make sure that your blog passes muster?
Well, outside of outsourcing a professional content writer, make sure you consider these 4 things.
- In general, longer posts perform better. However, according to Google’s John Mueller, word count is not necessarily linked:
“Word count is not indicative of quality. Some pages have a lot of words that say nothing. Some pages have very few words that are very important & relevant to queries. You know your content best (hopefully) and can decide whether it needs the details.”
To be on the safe side, aim for at least 300 words. Blogs that are over 1000 words are ideal, giving you plenty of room to explore a topic and answer a reader’s question in detail.
- When you include research, facts, or cite someone else, make sure you link externally. Not only does this build trust with your reader, but it also helps show the search engine that you know your stuff.
- Link to other blog posts and pages on your site (when relevant). This helps index your new post faster, build an accurate sitemap, and can guide the user to find more content they want from you.
- Keep it simple and casual. The best blogs are written like a conversation, which means it’s definitely okay to start a sentence with ‘and’ or use more informal language.
Of course, this depends on the subject and the audience – for serious topics, it may be best to keep things a little more, well, serious.
The title you choose is absolutely crucial – after all, it’s what gets clicks. Make sure you stick to the following:
- No titles longer than 60 characters, or it’ll be cut off on the results page
- Include your main keyword
- Use numbers and specifics where possible
- Grab the reader’s attention – what is it that they most want to know? What matters most to them?
Above all, avoid clickbait. While this may get that desired click, your bounce rate will skyrocket and Google will suppress future content from your site.
The visual elements of your blog are just as important as your words. In fact, blogs that feature photos, infographics, videos and other visual elements are almost guaranteed to rank higher than those that don’t.
You should also make sure to optimise every image using alt text that describes what it depicts – and includes your main keyword, if possible.
Make sure you take a final read-through. Check for spelling, tone, and how easy it is to scan.
You’ll probably also want to let someone else read your draft before posting – after you’ve read it a few times, there are always mistakes your brain will skip.
And there you have it! By following this guide, you’ll be on your way to writing better blog posts in no time at all.
Need more help with your blog? We specialise in keyword research, content writing, SEO, and everything else you need to create regular blog posts that bring in leads. Get in touch with our team to find out more.