When I first started blogging, I had no idea about writing SEO friendly blog posts. I just used to pick a topic and start writing anything that comes to my mind. The same is the case for most of the beginners.
Writing a search engine friendly blog post is not a rocket science at all. Anyone can write an article that ranks on Google by just following a simple step-by-step checklist.
In this post, I will be helping all the beginners and newbie bloggers on how to write SEO friendly blog posts for your blog.
Link building, sharing your articles on social media is some Off-Page SEO technique that can help you generate free traffic to your blog. But if you have properly taken care of your On-Page SEO then you can surely improve your search rankings.
This post will just not help you write search engine friendly articles but also will help the beginners to have a plan for their content writing.
Let’s start our guide to write SEO friendly blog post.
1. Plan your content
Before you start to write your article, you must make a complete research about the topic you want to write about. Research will help you stand out of the existing blogs currently available on the internet.
But, How do you actually plan your content?
Here’s a simple way I plan my content and it has helped me to a large extent to produce SEO friendly articles in my other blogs.
First you have to decide the topic you want to write about. I usually get my content ideas from QNA forums like Quora, YouTube video comments, Google trends, Google’s People Also Ask For section and free keyword research tools like AnswerThePublic.
After you have decided the topic for your article, the next thing would be to find out the articles on the same topic that are already out there. Find out the same pattern in the existing articles.
Also find out the the less answered questions from the above sources and make sure to answer those in your article.
Let me tell you how I plan for my article. I first brainstorm and write down all the topics I want to include in my article. Then I search for similar content and find out the topics that must be included in my article.
So you have decided the topics, found out the must to include and unanswered questions, then let’s proceed to the next step.
2. Keyword Research
It is the most important step to draft an article that ranks in Google. If you find the search keywords and use them relevantly on your article, it can help you rank our article for the searched keyword and other related keywords.
Remember one most important tip for finding the best keywords, always target for the long tail keywords that have high search volume and low competition.
Long-tail keywords are keywords with 3 or more words and are specific to a topic. As an example “weight loss for men” is a long tail keyword with relatively low competition than “weight loss” keyword.
When you target long keywords, you are targeting the users with specific queries and will help you rank for that specific keyword. And when you rank for these long tail keywords, it will also help you to rank for related short tail keywords as well.
How do I find such keywords?
I have written an article on free keyword research tools that can help you find out long tail keywords with low competition.
But, if you are willing to pay for keyword research and other SEO tools, then SEMrush can be the best choice for you.
3. Optimize Your Blog Post For SEO
3.1. Title of your post
You must optimize the title of your article such that it ranks in Google.
You must include your primary keyword in the Meta title of your blog post.
Meta title can be same as your post title but if you are using Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, then you can edit the meta title to be different from your post title.
Meta title is the title how search engines see your blog title and post title is the title shown to your audience.
3.2. Length of your article
It is found that the longer articles tend to rank in the first page of google rather than short articles.
Backlinko in their google search result analysis found that the average word count of the first page results of google for search terms is around 1890 words.
When you write longer articles more related keywords are included relevantly to your blog post, that’s why it increases the chance of your article being ranked for more search keywords.
So make sure to write longer articles and only include the related topics on your blog post. Do not prolong the articles without adding value and don’t miss any important points as well.
3.3. Use Headings
When you are writing longer articles, it is always advised to break your article in to different sub-topics for the ease of reading.
For this you can use different related headings to format your article. You must use different <h1> , <h2>, <h3>…. <h6> headings to format your article.
In most SEO optimized themes, <H1> is occupied by the blog title, so it is better to start heading from <H2>.
It is also advised to use proper keywords in your headings.
Also make sure to use heading tags hierarchically i.e. H1>H2>H3.
3.4. Use shorter paragraphs
When writing longer articles, you must use shorter paragraphs that will help the readers to skim through the content.
Readers’ retention is an important aspect that affects your search rank in 2019 so it is really necessary to increase readability of your articles.
And using shorter paragraphs can help you in this.
Believe me no one reads your article from top to the bottom. Readers want articles can be skimmed and get most from it. And using shorter paragraphs can help you and your readers in this.
You must also use proper formatting for your article for better visibility. Use bold, italic or underline words or phrases to highlight important points.
3.5 Keyword Density
Keyword density is the volume of your keyword in the article with respect to the total volume of your article. You should use the relevant keywords to your articles.
But don’t over use keywords. Else you may end up getting penalized for keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is adding keywords irrelevant just for the sake of ranking. Here’s an example of keyword stuffing from google support.
It is advised to keep your keyword density to 1% to 3%.
3.6 Use LSI keywords
LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing keyword means the synonyms or the related search keywords.
Rather than targeting for only one keyword you can use the keywords in your articles and it can help you improve your search rankings and drive organic traffic to your blog.
LSI keywords are usually long tail keywords and have low competition rather than the main keyword. You can find LSI using LSI Graph or other free keyword research tools as well.
But when using these formatting and keywords you must also think about readability. You must make you article natural and not for the sake of robots to rank your articles higher because at the end readers retention on your blog is what matters the most.
While optimizing the articles for search engines, you must keep human readability in mind.
4. Meta Description
Meta description is a short description of your article that appears in search results and an important element for search ranking.
It is very important to add meta description to your article before you publish it. And you must include the target keyword in the meta description and make it intent driven.
As this description appears in the search engine results, also make optimize in such a way that someone who sees it, can’t resist clicking your article.
You must include relevant images in your article; else you will end up posting a long boring essay.
Also optimizing your images for search engine can help you drive traffic as well.
Search engines can’t read images. So you must use alt tags in your images before publishing an article.
Optimizing images is most overlooked by most of the bloggers, but just using proper title and ALT tags can help you generate organic traffic to your blog.
Also make sure to rename it using relevant title before uploading it to your blog. Many bloggers upload an image with default image file name like “img00001.jpg”. You have to make sure to rename it to relevant file name before uploading it.
You must also use keyword-rich ALT tags for your images as well. This is how search engines like google see images related to a keyword.
To add ALT tag to your images, you can use it by editing html for the image block as below.
<img src=https://yourblog.com/wp-content/uploads/how-to-optimise-image-for-seo.jpg alt=”How to optimize image for seo”>
Else you can add the ALT tags to your image directly at the time of uploading your image in your WordPress media library.
6. Customize Your Permalinks
Customizing your permalinks can help you improve your search ranking.
In WordPress, there is some irrelevant permalink setting; you must change it while setting up your blog. Use postname permalink mode from your Permalink settings from your WordPress dashboard. (Settings>Permalinks and choose postname)
WordPress generates a default permalink when you enter your post title. Make sure to edit the permalink and add your relevant keyword in your permalink.
Also make sure to enter the permalink that makes sense to your readers.
But, never change your permalink once you have published the article.
7. Internal Linking
Internal linking is an important aspect for on page SEO of your articles.
When writing articles you must interlink your articles, meaning you must include a link or two to your existing articles. This helps crawlers to crawl all the articles in your site and also helps you improve your SEO score.
Internal linking can also help you to reduce the bounce rate of your blog and also increase the audience retention time of your blog.
You must make sure that you include relevant internal links to your articles. Add related internal links and just for the sake of interlinking.
8. Outbound linking
When you are writing long articles, you will have to get help from different resources and it is always good to link to some of the relevant resources.
It improves your reliability and also people will love you for linking to the helpful resources.
Not just this, outbound linking can help your improve your blog’s authority and also improve your rankings. Here’s an article by Shoutmeloud on this topic.
But you must always put external links to authoritative and reliable sites. It helps the search engine to know about your content.
Let me sum up the whole article in few points.
- Start with planning your content
- Keyword research
- Optimising your content properly
- Use ALT tags for images
- Internal and Outbound linking
- Customizing your permalinks
In addition to this you must keep your content updated. This can help you improve your rankings and also gives a reason for your readers to come back to your post.
I hope this article will help you craft your next seo friendly blog posts that ranks and Google and other search engines and drive free organic traffic to your blog.
Did I miss anything out?
Feel free to share your techniques that helps you write SEO friendly blog posts for your blog.