Writing SEO friendly blog posts that are optimized both for the readers and the search engines is a surefire way to combat low traffic. While the process of SEO writing requires skill, there are a ton of tips and tricks you can use to help you make the process of writing an SEO-friendly blog post fun and exciting, while still being able to achieve good results and rank well.
Despite popular belief, writing well-optimized blog posts is not a complicated process. All it requires is that you follow a few simple steps and you can easily write an SEO-friendly post or optimize your older posts so they can rank better on the search engines and attract more visitors to your site.
While there are a few rules you need to follow to optimize your posts for the search engines, you mustn’t neglect your readers, as they are the ones you should have in mind when creating your copy.
Let’s go over some of the main steps you need to focus on to make sure your blog post is SEO-friendly.
How to Do Proper Prep to write a SEO Friendly Blog Post
Before you even start writing, you need to prep first so you can have all the info you need to write a blog post that’s rich in content, provides the readers with useful, reliable information, and is optimized for ranking on the search engines.
Here’s what you need to do in this stage:
1. Determine the Purpose of Your Blog Post
Take the time to think about the topic you want to cover, what you want to include and what your readers will be looking for when searching for that particular topic. Try to look at the topic through the readers’ eyes so you can get a better idea of what information will be useful to them.
Look at other blog posts that cover that exact subject to see what type of information they provide, what they’ve missed, and what they’ve gotten right. This will help you get a better idea of what points you need to cover in your blog post.
While you may go over a few of the blog posts that rank best on the search engines, make sure your content is original and not copied from other websites and blogs alike.
2. Write for Your Target Audience
Define your target audience and tailor your content to meet their needs best. Consider who your target audience is first and what type of information they are looking for when searching for the particular topic you’re writing on so you can address them properly, and provide them with the right type of content they need.
3. Provide Value-Packed Content
Before you stand in front of your readers and promise to provide them with all the necessary information they’re looking for on a particular subject, you need to make sure you’re well versed on the topic yourself.
You don’t necessarily have to be an expert in the particular niche to be able to give your readers well-written, value-packed content.
But how do you make your content value-packed and what do you have to do to make sure your readers leave your site satisfied?
Research the Topic Well
As long as you’re passionate about the subject and conduct thorough research, you’ll be able to provide your readers with the knowledge and information they’re looking for.
Take the time to do your research before you start writing. During your research, take notes of what you want to include in your blog post as well as what your readers might expect to find when reading your text.
Create the outline of your blog post making sure that throughout your post you provide your readers with both conceptual and practical knowledge on the subject you’re covering so they know which steps they need to take to achieve a specific goal or purpose.
Illustrate Real-Life Examples
While you’re doing your research and prepping for the topic, look for ways that you can provide your readers with real-life examples of how they can achieve a particular goal, which can greatly increase the usefulness of your piece of content.
Look for Useful Data and Stats
Find useful data and stats on the subject you’re covering so you can validate and illustrate your points better.
Make sure the statistics you’re sharing are reliable because you want your readers to perceive you as trustworthy.
4. Identify and Select Your Keywords
For this part of the process, you will need to use a keyword research tool so you can see what users are searching for and which keywords you’ll need to use in your copy. Such sites include Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner, Keywords Everywhere, and more.
Explore multiple related keywords to compare their search volume and see which keywords get the most traffic. Determine your primary keyword by considering what your target audience will be likely to search for. Select a few longtail keywords as well and try to naturally incorporate them in your article as single-term keywords can sometimes be too ambiguous.
Make sure your primary keyword represents the theme and main concept of the blog post well. Use synonyms of your primary keyword throughout the post and make sure they reflect the topic well and are quite descriptive. Make sure that your secondary keywords are closely related to your primary keyword. Use at least 2-4 secondary keywords in your post and distribute them throughout the text to get the right keyword density.
The best practice is to have a 1-3% keyword density and to spread out your keywords evenly throughout the copy. This way you can avoid keyword stuffing and get penalized by the search engines. The ultimate goal when writing any piece of content is to create something that people want to read, and if you stuff it with keywords and write with the search engines in mind only, you will risk losing your audience.
Look at your main competitors to see which specific keywords they’re using so you can compete with them and gain an advantage over them by optimizing your blog posts better, leaving everyone else behind.
How to Write Good Content for an SEO Friendly Blog Post
Once you’ve done your research it’s time to start writing!
Here are the main steps you need to follow when writing an SEO-friendly blog post:
1. Devise a Clear Structure for Your SEO Friendly Blog Post
Having a clear structure for your blog post before you start writing will help you create a well-written, readable post that your audience can easily go through and be able to find the right information they need without getting lost in all the content you have provided for them.
What this means is that your post should have:
- An introduction part in which you set up the topic and introduce your audience to it
- A body in which you convey your main message (this should be carefully split up into headings and broken down into readable and well-structured blocks of text)
A conclusion in which you summarize your main ideas
2. Use Paragraphs and Headings Properly
Separate your content into concise and readable paragraphs. Use headings to introduce new topics and split the content into smaller, readable chunks of text so your audience doesn’t get overwhelmed and lost in all the text.
As we all know, our attention span is the lowest it’s ever been and it’s constantly decreasing each year. That means that in order to get your readers to engage with your content you need to make it easily scannable. The two main ways you can achieve that are by breaking down each key section into subheadings and concentrating on one idea per paragraph.
3. Make Your Content Readable and Accessible
If you want to keep your readers engaged and keep their attention throughout your whole blog post, other than the two main methods we mentioned above, there are a few other things you can do to make your content easy to read and digest.
Those methods include:
- Using bullet points to make your ideas stand out
- Highlighting certain keywords and phrases
- Breaking up your content with visuals (use images, graphics and videos)
- Using shorter sentences
- Keeping all reading levels in mind (make your content accessible to all of your readers so it can be distributed to a wide audience)
4. Make Your Content More Engaging
No matter if your writing niche is popular or not, in today’s world you can expect to find fierce competition for audience attention almost everywhere you look. By figuring out how to engage with your readers best you can be a step ahead of your competitors and be able to get your point across to a larger audience.
If you’re trying to rank in a highly competitive field, you will need more than just great content to be able to reach audiences and get them to stick around.
Since every second they spend reading your content counts, here are a few methods you can use to extend that time as much as possible and keep your readers interested and interacting with your content.
- Be clear and inform your audience on the subject without leaving any space for ambiguity and vagueness
- Stop trying to sell, as consumers are sick and tired of hearing boring sales pitches as well as aggressive and obvious marketing messages. Instead of trying to get your audience to buy a product or a service that you’re trying to promote, become someone they can trust and rely on so when you finally do pitch an idea or a service to your audience, they won’t be put off by it.
- Be relatable and personable so your readers don’t feel like they’re being preached to but rather that they are a part of the conversation. You can achieve this by using an informal tone, addressing your readers directly and using a less pedantic approach to writing.
5. Write Interesting Content
Whichever topic you’re discussing, you should always strive to make your post interesting. To make any topic interesting, all you need to do is provide new information to your readers, take a unique stance or let your personality peek through the text you’re writing.
Don’t just repeat the same information that can be found in any other blog post on the topic, but instead add more value by providing useful information to the readers so they can stick around and engage with your content.
6. Stick to Your Core Message
Provide your readers with useful content that’s on message and doesn’t stray away from the main topic. Your audience doesn’t want to get lost in the details and forget what they were reading about in the first place.
Therefore, if you feel like you’re going off-topic and making points that aren’t that closely related to the main topic, simply cut those parts off and go onto the next paragraph. Learn to compromise and be okay with saying “no” to yourself if you don’t feel like the content you’re providing serves the core message of your blog post.
No matter which stage of the writing process you’re in, always remember to stick to your core message and don’t stray too far off or you’ll risk losing readers on the way.
7. Provide a Solution
When searching for the answer to a problem they’re facing, your readers will want to feel like you can provide them with a solution that’s applicable to their situation.
The first thing most of us do when we’re faced with a problem is to search for the solution online. That’s why it’s important that whatever your title or the first paragraph of your post promises to provide, you need to make sure you stick to your promise and offer your readers the solution they’re searching for.
If your content manages to help your readers, they’ll be more inclined to share it with others and they’ll be more likely to become a loyal and dedicated reader of yours, and potentially even a customer.
8. Make Sure Your Content is Relevant
Write timely and relevant content and update your older blog posts or articles on a regular basis so they provide useful and relevant information.
This is especially true for certain topics and industries. While certain blog posts age well and can still remain relevant years after publishing, others may not.
Take this particular blog post that you’re reading at the moment as an example. While you can find tons of relevant information on how to write an SEO-friendly blog post that you can apply to your writing right away if you were to stumble upon this post 10 years from now some of the information provided may no longer be relevant or even useful.
That’s why when you’re writing you need to focus on what’s newsworthy and relevant in that particular field at the moment so you can provide your readers with information that’s useful and current.
9. Add Quality Links
Add both internal and external links that can provide more value to the readers and help them get all the information they need on the subject and more.
Internal links are links to other pages/blog posts on your website, while external links take readers to outside websites. Internal links provide users a chance to read more related content of yours, while external links are used to give the readers more information that they can’t find on your blog posts, such as statistics, studies, and other types of content.
Adding quality links to reputable sources helps you gain more credibility. It also helps you gain your readers’ respect and trust, which makes them more likely to share your content, and recommend your blog or website to their friends and colleagues.
In addition to giving your content more value, internal and external are seen as a major element by the search engines and are a determining ranking factor.
10. Optimize the Meta Title and Description
The meta title and description provide the readers with a first impression of your blog post. They are the first thing they see on the search engines which is why they should quickly and concisely explain what your blog post is about. These are also the first two things the search engines will check. Therefore they should tell readers what your blog post is related to and what it is about.
The meta title should be 60-70 characters long, while the meta description should be between 155 and 160 characters and they should both contain the primary keyword that you’re trying to rank for.
11. Cut the Fluff to a Minimum
Avoid filler material and fluff during the writing process and then once you go over the editing process make sure to remove any unnecessary words, extra information that isn’t useful, repetitive sentences, and so on.
12. Write Longer Articles/Blog Posts
Longer articles are generally shared more often. They are often thought to be more trustworthy and reliable and therefore gain more respect.
However, to reduce the fluff or keep it to a minimum, you need to make sure your content is as long as it should be so it can convey the main message and provide all the useful information your readers need without going overboard.
Grabbing your readers’ attention is difficult enough on its own, but grabbing and holding their attention for the duration of the whole blog post can sometimes be an impossible mission.
Unless you’re providing your readers with information they find interesting, they’ll go onto the next thing and won’t waste their time on your post, no matter how much sweat and tears you’ve poured into it.
As a general rule of thumb, if you can cover a topic in 500-700 words, you shouldn’t drag it out and write 2,000+ words just so you can have a longer article/post.
13. Add a Call to Action
A part of writing content that’s engaging and sells well is using CTAs (call to action).
A CTA is a line of text or an image that prompts visitors to your site to take some sort of action.
CTAs tell your readers what to do and help convert them into leads.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to CTAs. What works for some may not work for others, so to make the most out of your CTAs you need to understand what your target audience needs first.
If you want your CTAs to convert readers to leads you need to make them as direct as possible.
To be successful in your attempt to engage with your audience, you need to make your CTAs eye-catching. They need to effectively communicate the value your readers will get from clicking on them, so your readers can know what to expect before they even click on your call to action.
The most common places to put CTAs in blog posts include:
- Right at the end of each post
- In the sidebar of a post
- As a floating banner
- As a pop-up message
- In the middle of a long blog post
Remember to keep things simple and direct when it comes to CTAs, and use the text before the CTA as a good lead-up to the actual call to action. This way you can keep the CTA short and simple, yet your readers will still have enough information about the product/service/tool or whatever it is you’re offering with the CTA.
14. Optimize The Images
Images and other visuals add a lot of value to your content and make it more appealing. While choosing the right images that are relevant to the subject is the first step of the process, there are several more steps you need to take for SEO purposes.
- Naming the image properly (the name should be the subject of the photo and include descriptive keywords, not some generic name)
- Resize the images for faster loading times
- Compress the file size using image-editing tools, or select the safe for the web option when available (such as in Adobe Photoshop)
- Add captions to your images having your readers in mind, not just for SEO purposes
- Use alt tags to provide the Search Engines with context so they can index your image properly
15. Be Yourself
Last but not least, remember to stay true to yourself and trust your audience. They can tell when you’re being authentic vs. when you’re just trying to copy someone else’s style and adapt it as your own. Give your audience the chance to get to know the real you, so they can connect with you better.
Now that we’ve covered everything there is to know about writing high-quality, SEO-friendly content, it’s time to focus on one more crucial part of the process and that’s writing a strong title to go with your value-packed content.
How to Write Strong Titles for a SEO Friendly Blog Post
One of the most common mistakes new writers make when creating any type of content is that they put all of their effort towards creating an interesting and compelling copy that provides a lot of value to the readers, yet they don’t pay enough attention to the headline.
A strong and catchy headline can get people to engage with your content and even buy what you’re selling.
That’s why it’s important to spend more than a couple of minutes composing your headline before you submit or post your piece of copy.
Additionally, titles play a big role in any SEO strategy. That’s why they need to be written both with readers and Search Engines in mind. Titles tell the Search Engines whether your page is relevant to a search query, which is why they need to be optimized.
To optimize your titles for SEO purposes you need to:
- Place your main keywords at the beginning of the title
- Use key phrases rather than keywords
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Avoid writing click-bait titles
- Be aware of the title length (should exceed 50-60 characters in length)
If you want to improve your skills and learn how to write strong headlines that will make people want to click on your post here are a few tips that can help you.
1. Spark Curiosity
Have you ever wondered how popular blogs, websites or magazines come up with intriguing titles that people can’t seem to scroll past? It may seem like they’ve cracked the code to writing a good headline, and that might not be that far from the truth. The truth is that they follow a really simple and straightforward principle that’s based on sparking their readers’ curiosity and provoking their interest.
If you can successfully tap into people’s need for surprise and intrigue you will manage to write a click-worthy title that will get people to engage.
The easiest way to spark curiosity in your readers and provoke a reaction from them is to use emotionally colored words also known as power words. These words can grab people’s attention and stop them in their tracks, so they stop scrolling and click on your piece of content.
Popular trigger words that have been proven to grab people’s attention include free, new, easy, proven, secret, guaranteed, scientific, trustworthy, jaw-dropping, and so on.
Emotions can often overpower reason, so using emotionally colored words that grab the readers’ attention right off the bet can be a simple and easy way to provoke a psychological reaction in readers and get more clicks and conversions.
2. Shock with Bold Statements
Shocker titles are intended to solicit a strong emotional reaction in the readers by providing a bold, shocking statement that grabs their interest straight away. These types of titles typically make bold statements that may often say something contrarian or something that goes against commonly held views and opinions.
Here’s an example: 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Home.
This is a pretty bold statement that might go against the norm, but provided that it is backed up by solid, trustworthy, and reliable information it can get people genuinely interested in the subject and have them go through your entire post from start to finish.
While these types of shocker posts can be tricky and might come off as “clickbait” articles, when used correctly, they can really grab the reader’s attention and get them to visit your site and check out your content.
3. Address Your Audience
Acknowledging and addressing readers directly through the title can be a great way to attract your target audience. For example, if your audience includes first-time home buyers or people who are just getting familiar with the housing market, they are going to be looking for guidance and expert advice on the subject.
Here’s an example of a title you can use in that case: The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Home.
With this title, you are acknowledging your target audience and making your readers feel like the post was written specifically for them.
4. Rely on Statistics
Post titles with reliable statistics and quantifiable results can grab people’s attention and make them want to click faster. Reading about how someone achieves a personal or professional goal and a quantifiable result gets readers more interested and involved. They can then more easily place themselves in the writer’s shoes and start imagining themselves reaching that same exact goal too.
Here’s an example: How I Lost 20 Pounds in a Month – The Complete Guide.
Using monetary figures is another great way to grab people’s attention right from the get-go, so next time you write a bland title that you’re not satisfied with, try using statistics to your advantage and spice things up.
5. Be Clear and Concise
Stick to a title length of 60-65 characters and make sure you have as much information as you can so readers can know what your post is about straight away.
Place your most important keywords at the beginning so they are visible even if your title is cut off by the search engine.
Be clear about the topic you’re covering. The title is your chance to get straight to the point, without revealing too much to your audience so they’ll want to read the whole text. The title of your copy is not the place to be vague so you can spark your readers’ curiosity, because if you’re not willing to reveal exactly what you’re offering, your audience may not be interested in checking out your piece of copy in the first place.
There are a ton of other methods you can use to write a title that stokes curiosity in your readers, grabs their attention, or provides a solution for their problem. Whichever method you choose, don’t forget that the title of your copy plays an important role in grabbing your reader’s attention, which is why it’s crucial that you get it right.
The most important thing to remember when writing an SEO-friendly blog post is to make sure it’s user-friendly. There’s no reason why a blog post that’s optimized for the search engines can’t be written with the readers in mind. In the end, you must remember that you’re writing for people and not for robots, so if want to keep your readers engaged, you’ll need to provide them with quality content that will keep their attention from beginning to end.