Agency Insights: Tips for Creating SEO-friendly Blog Posts
Blog posts are a fantastic way to engage your readers in a topic, demonstrate that you are a trusted authority, and get your personality out from behind your brand. They are also an excellent tool for search engine optimization (SEO) – and while it might seem like SEO and user engagement are two different parts of the digital marketing mix, an effective blog can actually improve both areas.
Writing a blog that both speaks to the audience and to the search engine algorithm can be a difficult task, which is why many businesses choose to engage the services of an SEO agency to handle it for them. If you want to try your hand at blog writing, follow our top tips and you should be well on your way to learning how to write a good blog post.
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When you have some experience as a blogger under your belt, you will naturally start to incorporate relevant keywords and phrases into your copy. However, when you first start out it is good practice to conduct deep keyword research before you type a single sentence. This is because it is the keywords that ‘speak’ to the search engine algorithms, and it is these that you will ultimately be ranked on.
You can use a range of tools to find the keywords you need to use. But the best keyword research tip? Put yourself into the position of your ideal reader. What are they likely to enter into a Google search query that would land them on your blog? Whatever you come up with is likely to be fairly close – check for average search volumes on a keyword checker tool to really hone in on the perfect phrases.
When search algorithms were in their infancy, all you had to do to rank was have the keywords somewhere on your page. But we are many algorithm evolutions and iterations away from that. Now your writing must be good too. Remember that you are not only writing for the ranking, but also writing to engage, inform, and entertain your readers.
Good writing is as important to your readers as keywords are to a search engine. Make sure that your flow is coherent, you are not padding out for a word count, and your use of keywords is done thoughtfully and organically. Readers will know when you are keyword stuffing or using specific words and phrases simply for the sake of using them–which is why doing your keyword research before you write is wise.
Build on a Solid Structure
Almost any blog you read will have the same sort of basic structure. That structure is a paragraph or two to introduce the topic, the bulk of the copy to explain and inform, and a conclusion to wrap things up and potentially introduce the relevant product or service, when appropriate.
That structure is effective, and you should use it too. Rarely should you deviate from this structure – in a top-five or top-ten type of blog you might get away with omitting the wrap-up paragraph, but it should still be there in most cases.
Avoid the Wall of Text
One of the quickest ways to put off a reader is to place all of your text in one long essay. Even if the actual content is fantastic and exactly what they are looking for, a wall of text is intimidating. The page immediately gives the impression that it is going to take a long time to read and will more than likely be tedious.
Take that same content and break it up. Paragraphs are your friend, as are headings and subheadings. Make each paragraph three or four sentences long at most, and try to make text breaks natural and appropriate. You can also use this tip to give emphasis to certain points that you want to make and give more impact to the text.
Like this, for example.
How Long Should a Blog Post Be?
Your blog should be a minimum of 300-500 words long for a very brief piece and 1000-1200 for a standard length blog. You’ll get your information across without the post being excessively long – 1000 words take the average adult just over four minutes to read, which is ideal for a quick break between tasks or a bitesize article while waiting for a meeting, for example.
At times you may get carried away with your topic and write lengthier pieces. This can be perfectly acceptable if your topic is dense or wide-ranging. But for any post with more than 2500-3000 words, you might be better served by breaking the blog into two or three posts with subtly different themes.
Proof Before Publish
Have someone else read everything you write before it’s published online. You are looking for two key writing elements here. First, are there any spelling, grammar, factual, or other errors that may cause you to lose credibility with your readership? This is the job of a professional editor, but if that is not an option for you, then have someone with a good eye for these things take a look or use a tool like Grammarly.
Second, your article needs to be accessible to your readers. Unless you are writing for a very niche audience of experts in your field, define every acronym you use (even if they are industry-standard, like SEO), and make sure that even someone new to your subject could grasp the point you are trying to make.
As the writer, you might be considered an expert and it can often be difficult to see where the complexities are in what you wrote. An outsider, preferably from out of your industry, can help you to make things simple and clear.
For help on how to write SEO-friendly blog posts, or to have an expert in digital marketing work with you, get in touch with the award-winning team at Digital Authority Partners. We create, curate, and publish great content for a broad range of clients, helping them move to the next level of their marketing goals. Let us help you next.
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