Blogging for SEO
If you want to grow your organic traffic and rise up Google’s search rankings, there’s no better method than writing consistent, engaging blog posts.
As an expert in your industry, sharing information with your audience through blog posts is an appreciated and important aspect of your website.
As well as being an easy way to improve your SEO, blogs can keep your audience on your website longer, educate your audience on your products and services, and establish your business as a source of reliable, trustworthy information.
But where to start?
If you want to dominate the search results, you’ll have to figure out which words your audience actually searches for. Use your analytics tools to determine this. These are the topics you should write about and the keywords you should use in the text of your blog.
Before you start, think carefully about the message of your piece. What do you want to tell your readers, or which central question do you want to answer? What’s the purpose of your article? And what do you want your readers to do at the end of the page? Note down the answers to these questions before you begin.
How long should your article be?
For SEO, the ideal blog post length should be 2,100-2,400 words, according to HubSpot data.
Search engines love long, authoritative posts. Longer blog posts might not get a lot of comments, and they might even be shared slightly less than average on social media, but if you can wait until Google takes notice, you might just get lucky and see a big bump in search traffic.
What should you include?
Great blog posts don’t just happen. Even the best bloggers need a rough idea to keep them on track. This is where outlines come in.
An outline doesn’t need to be lengthy, or even detailed – it’s just a rough guide to make sure you don’t ramble on and on about something tangential to your topic.
To write a readable and SEO-friendly blog post, you need to create a good structure. This means that every post should have:
- an intro (in which you introduce your topic)
- a body (in which the main message is written)
- a conclusion (in which you summarise the main ideas or draw a conclusion).
Use your headers. Make sure your title is tagged as H1. Headers help Google’s web crawlers understand your blog post and the sections within it.
Think of the crawlers as readers who are skimming your blog. They want an overview of what your article will cover, that’s your H1. Then your H2s and H3s break down the other topics within the piece.
Don’t forget to put alt text on your images. This describes what’s happening in the photo and it helps Google and those who are visually impaired understand what the photo is about.
Blog ideas to get you started
Popular themes for blogs include:
- How to articles
- Top 10’s
- Case Studies
Resist the urge to keyword stuff
The goal is to make your page fully optimized, but not overbearing. Find natural fits for keyword additions, but don’t force them to the point where your content is unreadable or just an obvious attempt at ranking for a key word. That’s just embarrassing!
Add content regularly
Regularly adding new blog posts to your website tells Google that your website is alive. This is important because if your site isn’t active Google will crawl it less often and this might negatively affect your rankings. But don’t just post for the sake of posting. Make sure that everything you post is high quality with informative, well-written articles.
If you have difficulty posting on a regular basis, it might be a great idea to create an editorial calendar for your blog. This allows you to structure this process in a way that fits you and your team.
Before you press publish
It’s always a good idea to get someone else to have a look over your blog before you publish it to your website. It’s much easier to find errors in someone else’s work than in your own so even those with great grammar and spelling need a fresh set of eyes to proofread before posting.
If you can’t find anyone to help with this, consider using something like Grammarly. Grammarly scans your text for common grammatical mistakes (like misused commas) and complex ones (like misplaced modifiers) as well as spell-checking. You can find out more about Grammarly here. It’s also free to use.