Blogging and Search Engine Optimization
If you’re new to SEO blogging and want to know how to optimize blog posts for Google, a bit of research will help build confidence and set you on your way.
Initially, it’s important to realize that a blog post is similar to a tangible product in that if your target customer doesn’t understand it, they won’t buy it. Worse yet, they won’t tell anyone else about it. And just like other types of writing, if the language is cluttered, unclear, sloppy, or does not make sense in the context of your overarching theme, your product may not be viewed as essential.
These days anyone can write a blog post and send it out for the online world to see, but what makes a blog post good? And what makes it SEO-friendly? Can the two co-exist?
Quality Writing and SEO: How to Create the Perfect Marriage.
As a business owner, you might be wondering, “does blogging help SEO?” The answer is, yes. But it takes a commitment to regularly posting fresh material. Over time, and with a rudimentary knowledge of the basics of SEO, your website and your business will see more traffic. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Plan, plan, plan.
If you want to know how to do SEO-friendly blog posts, first think back to your high school English teacher. Whether you remember or not, he or she probably urged you to do weird things like, “keep it simple, stupid!”, “don’t use passive voice!”, “leave out unnecessary words!” and “revise, revise, revise!” Well, you’re not off the writing composition hook just because we’ve traded in our expository essay assignments for a WordPress blog. If you want to write for the internet, these old standard rules of writing still apply.
Regardless, poor quality online writing is abundant and surprisingly popular. Writers are left to their own devices to create good content as professional editors are, for the most part, sadly missing from the equation. In their stead, however, is a wealth of free information — the internet. Look at SEO article writing samples online to get a general idea of how to create a perfectly optimized page.
The best way to get started writing a blog post optimized for search engines is to decide on a few key terms. If your product is birthday cake, then you might want to stick that in a Google search, scroll down to the bottom of the search results page and read the ‘searches related to birthday cake’ results. It will list things like, “birthday cake pictures”, “birthday cake designs”, and “birthday cake recipes.” Optimizing your birthday cake blog post will involve including these common searches within the headers and text.
Next, it’s important to ask yourself what your message is. What would you like your audience to know? What do you think they want to know? Make a list of the answers before you begin hammering it out.
Once you’ve narrowed down some terms and focus for your blog post, write a short introductory paragraph that gently draws your reader into what you’ll be discussing in the body of the article. Don’t worry too much about details at this point. Be deliberately vague while indicating what you’ll be following up on later in the post.
The importance of headers and links.
Headers not only make SEO articles more readable by breaking up the body of the text, they are search engine signifiers. A key term included in a header is a signal to a search engine that it’s relevant to the site as a whole. If those terms match others within the site, the search engine knows that the term is significant and will consider the page worthy of adding to one of its search results pages. Always make sure that they key terms in the headings make sense. It’s a delicate balance between making sense to humans and making sense to web crawlers.
If there is anything in your blog post that relates to your previous posts, make sure to link it within the text. This accomplishes three things: it shows authority on the subject, gives your readers more to see on your site, and helps your rankings in Google.
Flow and logical progression of your blog post
Once you’ve written the content, look at the end versus the beginning. Does the conclusion lead back to the ideas brought up in the introduction? Have all your questions been answered? Does the user walk away with solid, useful information? If not, revise your material so it does. Next, make sure your writing follows a logical progression. Does the first topic give clues as to what’s coming next? Do they lead seamlessly into one another? Again, revise your writing to ensure that each paragraph begins and ends with logical connections.
A second pair of eyes
Craftspeople are naturally defensive about their work. But great craftspeople are always open to constructive feedback from others. Very few of us are geniuses, so it’s always important to get another set of eyes on our creations before we set them loose on the market. And this doesn’t mean your mom, your spouse, or your brother who might hold back the tougher critiques to avoid hurt feelings. Ask an acquaintance whom you admire. Or, better yet, ask a writer who knows a thing or two about SEO blogging.
Finally, check your post repeatedly for awkward sentences, spelling errors, grammar issues, and redundancies. These types of errors can reduce credibility and hurt the image of your product or service. After you’ve been staring at a computer monitor for hours, those fresh, objective pair of eyes should really help.
Put it out there!
If formatting checks out and you’re feeling good about the length, hit publish and send that perfect marriage of SEO and quality writing out to the world!
If you’re still feeling nervous about it, there are a few SEO plugins to help bloggers optimize their content. Remember that helpful, interesting, accessible content takes precedence over vague, “keyword-stuffed” content. Keep that quality high and you will certainly see results.