- Tips to Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts
The demand for content is now skyrocketing. Millions of searches are performed on Google and the number is increasing day by day.
Everyone searches on the internet to get their solutions and search engines serves the most appropriate result to them. So to get the love of search engines like Google, your blog posts should be SEO friendly.
Anyone can write an article on any topic after doing some research, but writing SEO optimized articles is a skill. And like any other skill in the world, you can learn and improve it by practice.
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Many people have the misconception that if a blog post is SEO optimized for search engines, it will be less friendly for the users. This is not true.
The true meaning of SEO friendly blog post should be for search engine and users. The days are gone where you have to only write of search engines and not for users. In that time you can use nasty SEO techniques like keyword stuffing and get rank on SERP.
Search engines like Google now use very sophisticated algorithms to rank blog posts. In the age of AI and machine learning, you can’t game the system by some by old SEO practices.
To get higher ranking in SERP, you need to write content for search engines as well as users. If you manage to meet both criteria, then your blog posts will perform better and rank higher in the SERPS.
According to a study conducted by Ahrefs, 91% of content gets no traffic from Google. Why?
They are not SEO optimized and don’t have the potential to climb to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). You can imagine how many percentages of the contents are not optimized yet.
I am going to share some essential tips for creating SEO-friendly blog posts.
So let’s get started.
Tips to Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts
To be honest, writing SEO friendly blog posts falls under the On-page SEO practices. However, the following are some of the best tips you can use to make a perfect SEO friendly article (for both visitors and search engines).
Before you hit the publish button, make sure that you followed these tips.
1: Start with Research
The process starts with research. Rather than picking a random topic and write some paragraphs on it, spend some quality time on idea and research.
Based on your niche of the blog, try to find some topic that is relevant to your visitors. Rather than doing this research before every blog post you write, spend some time to list out some of the topics you are going to write in this month.
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Full-time bloggers and content creators make a publishing schedule for each month. In that schedule, they have a list of articles with proper research.
As we are not writing a creative article for medium, we have to do keyword research. Sorry, I can’t describe the keyword research here because of it a discussion for another day.
Long story short, keywords are the words or phrases people are using to search.
Based on your niche you can find keywords that can drive potential visitors to your blog post. Again, keyword research is a vital point you must not skip.
To make this keyword research process simple and effective you can use some tools. Some of the tools we recommend are Ahrefs, SEMRush, Google Keyword Planners, Keyword Everywhere, Ubersuggest, etc.
The above tools will give you some vital stats like monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, etc. You will notice that short keywords have more search volume but highly competitive. Whereas Long-tail keywords have comparatively low search volume but have low competition as well.
“WordPress themes” keyword has 246,000 monthly searches (According to Keyword Everywhere) and keyword difficulty score of 60 (According to Ubersuggest).
Whereas “WordPress themes for business” keyword has 4,400 monthly searches (According to Keyword Everywhere) and keyword difficulty score of 35 (According to Ubersuggest).
This might not the perfect example of a long-tail keyword to justify my point (please don’t blame me for this) but you got what I am saying.
Rather than struggling to get ranking on the short tail keywords, it will easier to be in the SERP for long-tail keywords.
When doing keyword research also note down the LSI keywords. You can easily find them at the bottom of the SERP result. Include those keywords in your post as well.
After doing some research you will have the keywords and LSI keywords. Keep it as you will be needed these things during writing the article.
2: Figure Out The Search Intent
Search engine like Google has evolved a lot and you may notice it. Google is crafting there search result and making it the best for the searchers.
Throughout the years, Google has been studying the search intent of users. They have a huge data of search results and the searchers action that.
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As a result, we are seeing results as per our intent. This might be confusing and also difficult for you to understand.
Let’s take an example of this.
If I search for a keyword “best keyword research tools” then I am getting a SERP like this.
Have you noticed a pattern on this?
All the articles in this SERP are listicles as shown in the above screenshot.
Let’s change our query to something else and see what would be the difference.
Now I am wanted to search for a query “how to start a blog”. Let’s see what will be the SERP.
Have you noticed any pattern on the SERP shown in the above screenshot?
Yes, you guessed right this time. All the posts listed here are “how-to” posts.
Oh, I just forgot to say that, I have also written a compressive post (More than 10K words) on How To Start a Blog. You may check that one as well.
So I assume that you got the point.
Before writing on any keyword, check the SERP result first. You will get the idea that what type of post you should write. Then write your content accordingly.
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If you have chosen a keyword that have not any blog posts ranking on that keyword, then you may not write on that topic. Because the search intent might be different and Google shows the result accordingly.
For example, if you are intended to write an article on “backlink checker” then your blog post wouldn’t rank for this keyword. Why?
Search for the keyword (backlink checker) and you will notice that all the search results showing on the first page are tools.
Because people are searching for this keyword wants to find backlink checker tools, not blog posts. So, Google is doing its job and showing the websites of the tools. This is one of the best examples you can take refer to search intent.
3: Make a Structure for Your Blog Post
As of now, you have the keyword and the type of your blog post you are going to write. Before jump in and start writing your post, hold some time.
Now it’s time to structure your blog post. I mean write down the different parts of the post.
This is one of the best copywriting technique I ever learned. Splitting a long blog post into various subparts, can make writing easier and hustle free.
So before writing the whole blog post make a sheet where you list all the sub-topics you will cover. Align them such a way that you can recognize them when you are writing the content. You may use bullet point to define the sub-subtopic in your rough sheet.
Generally, a blog post contains an introduction, main part, subpart, sub-sub part (if needed) and a conclusion.
In this way, you will not miss any key points that you wanted to include in the article. During your research, fill this rough sheet with the structure.
In this way, you can work on the different parts of your blog post independently of each other. Otherwise, you need to re-generate the focus that you have and organize your thoughts.
4: Use On-page SEO Techniques
On-page SEO plays an important role in SEO friendly blog posts. There are some rules you have to follow to make your post SEO friendly. Check mine On-page SEO checklist where you will get 25 On-Page SEO checklist.
Blog post title plays an important role. According to a study, 8 out of 10 people only read heading while others read the whole posts.
An attractive title having the keyword in it is best for SEO and readers as well. Many people claim that if you include the keyword in a title then the heading looks boring.
But that’s not true. You have to make such a title that loved by visitors and Google.
Be creative and make a title that has your main targeted keyword with attractive tag. Make sure that your heading should not be keyword stuffed.
You may take help of some words like step-by-step, list, guide, etc to make it more click-worthy.
If you are using a CMS platform like WordPress then it generates a URL for you when you enter your title. Most of the time the default URL structure in WordPress looks ugly.
So you need to change the URL structure in the General setting of WordPress backend dashboard. Set it to the post name.
Make your URL short and sweet.
The URL structure differentiates the words by (-). So make your URL understandable and use your main keyword in that.
According to some studies, short URLs performs better in the search engine than longer URLs. So make your URL short and meaningful.
4.3: Meta Description
As you know, the meta description is the short paragraph appeared in the search result just below the title and URL.
This small paragraph helps searchers to decide whether to click on the URL or not.
Words or phrases that match the searcher’s search query are bolded. This helps to identify the most relevant link.
If it is a question type query and the answer could be given in a single sentence, then you may see the answer in the meta description itself.
For example, if you’re searching for the term “How To Create Backlinks” and don’t find any terms like this on the meta description, would you click on that URL? Of course not. Currently Google Change Nofollow Linking Guideline it’s Affected on Ranking?
In the same time if you a search result having an exact match or partial match term, then you would definitely intend to click on that URL.
There is no specific word limit of viewable meta description length on search results. Because it varies from search to search.
But it is recommended that the ideal meta description length is 156 characters.
However, you may see meta description having more than 300 words also in some search result. So it is not predictable and completely depends on the search engine.
SEO best practices say that, include your main keyword in the meta description to get a higher ranking.
Headings are attention-grabbing. So you need to put headings on the blog post.
Most of the WordPress themes put an H1 tag in the title of the blog post by default. If you have a custom site then add the H1 tag in the title.
Use headings in a hierarchical order.
As the H1 tag is in the title, use other tags in the relevant positions. The main sections inside a blog post should have an H2 and the subsections an H3. You may use H4 or H5 if you have sections under subsections (uses of H4 and H5 tags are rare).
Latest WordPress update brings a default editor named Gutenberg. It shows the blog post structure in a hierarchical order. If you are using a table of content WordPress plugin then this structure will help visitors to scan your site quickly.
Google now showing sublinks in search result below the meta description. You might have noticed that before. This is because of the well-organized blog post structure and table of the content plugin.
Here is an example in the below screenshot.
If any searcher clicks on that then he/she will land on the exact same section on the blog post.
Paragraphs are important in a readability standpoint.
So use small paragraphs in your blog posts. This will helps visitors to scan your blog post quickly.
Bulky paragraphs look tedious and no one wants to read a 300 words paragraph. If your blog has bulky paragraphs then visitors will feel chows and leave your blog.
Now the mobile searches are skyrocket and the number also increasing. Small paragraphs are good for mobile searchers as well.
Use small paragraphs having 2-4 sentences. Again there is no definition of small paragraphs as well. You may take it as 2 to 4 sentences.
Small paragraphs may force visitors to stay more time on your site and read the whole blog post.
5: Write in-Depth Scannable Posts
In this busy world, no one has enough time to wait for 3 seconds to load a blog post (Sad truth of today’s world).
But people are searching for detailed articles that have enough information.
So search engines prefer longer, in-depth blog posts. Wait I have the stats and data to justify my point.
Backlinko analyzed 1 million Google search results. Here’s what they found.
They found that longer content ranks higher in Google’s search results. The average Google SERP first page result contains 1,890 words.
So make your blog posts longer and in-depth. Try to cover all the possible subtopics that adds value to the visitor.
Keep in mind that don’t just write in the shake of word count. Make sure that you are providing quality over quantity.
Turn a long-winded sentence into small sentences. Make small paragraphs of 2-4 sentences max.
Also add bullet points, subheadings, bold letters, etc. that grab reader’s attention.
Longer blog posts have some other advantages as well.
Visitors will spend more time to read long posts. This helps your site to get more Time on-site or visit duration. This will pass a good signal to Google that visitors are taking interest in your blog post and getting what they had searched for. So this leads to getting a higher ranking.
Sprinkle your main keywords and all the relevant keywords inside the article. Don’t stuff keywords in every paragraph of your website. Remember, you are writing for humans first then search engine.
6: Decorate your Blog Post
Video is everywhere. Billions of YouTube videos are consuming worldwide every day.
People are now taking more interest in watching a video than any other format of content.
So now its time to decorate your traditional text-based blog posts.
Make your blog post visually rich by adding images, infographics, videos, graphics.
Adding these type of contents will enhance the visualization of your blog post. Google now seeing the user signal on page closely. So these type of decorations will send Google a good user signal.
Indirectly it will increase time on site. So this leads to better ranking as well.
Another advantage is that this type of visually rich contents forces a visitor to share your blog post. It is a natural tendency of human being that they share something that feels good to them.
Share of your blog posts will drive more social traffic to your blog as well.
Another benefit is that this type of content grabs the attention of other bloggers as well. They might want to refer your site to their visitor and you got a backlink.
Needless to say, that backlink is the most important ranking factor of Google.
Many famous content creators like Neil Patel are suggesting to create infographics and add it to the blog. With the rise of infographics, there is new term evolved named “Infographic marketing”.
You may do it yourself. If you are not good at creating infographics or charts then you may hire someone from freelancing sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
7: Make Internal Linking a Habit
Internal links have a great impact on the overall site SEO health. Link to other blog posts in your blog shows users your authoritativeness.
If you have already written on a topic before, then give it alike in the current article when needed. Rather than writing the same information again and again just link to them.
Link juice will be circulated throughout your site from one page to another.
When readers see a link then they might be interested to read that blog post also. There is no limit you can use the internal linking.
If you want the best example of internal linking, then check Wikipedia website. A single post of Wikipedia has hundreds of internal links pointing to other posts.
Internal linking has another benefit.
It helps to reduce the bounce rate of your blog. The bounce rate is the percentage of people who visited your website, but they exited your website instead of visiting any other page. Higher the bounce, more harm to a blog.
Internal link inside a post has the highest potential to decrease the bounce rate.
8: Don’t Afraid To Link Other Websites (if Relevant)
Google has not set any barrier that you can’t link to other websites naturally.
Many people hesitate to link to other blog posts or valuable articles. I don’t know what stops them to do so. They might have a misunderstanding on the Link Schemes of Google.
The anchor text plays an important role here. So put hyperlinks on the natural ways so that you are not violating the webmaster’s guideline.
Avoid using spammy or generic text such as “click here” or “visit this page”.
Linking to someone’s article and let them know may open a door to get a backlink from them as well. If your blog post is valuable, in return they might give you a backlink in their future posts or share your post in their network.
To make the external linking process spam free, Google has taken a remarkable step recently. Google introduced 2 new link attribute named “sponsored” and “ugc”. These 2 attributes joined the rel=”nofollow” attribute.
I have covered this major update in a dedicated post. So feel free to check it out how these things will work.
There is nothing wrong if your linking website is valuable and trustworthy. Moreover, your visitors can get more information there as well.
So link to other blog posts (valuable) if relevant to your current topic.
9: Use the Yoast SEO Plugin
If you are using a CMS like WordPress to manage your blog then the optimization would be easier for you.
You can install an SEO plugin on your blog and it will take care of all.
I recommend the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. This is the most famous SEO plugin having 5 million-plus active installation and many good reviews as well.
This plugin helps you write SEO-friendly and readable blog posts. After entering your focus keyword this plugin checks post to see whether it is optimized well or not.
Yoast SEO plugin checks your post and analyses the keyphrase placement in the right places, like inside your copy, title, URL, meta description and alt text.
It also checks the readability of your post. This helps you to modify your sentences and paragraphs.
It checks for internal links, external links images as well. It calculates the keyword frequency inside your article and shows whether it is enough or too much.
Basically, it checks everything that makes a post SEO friendly. This is like an assistant and instructs you where to do the modification to make the post SEO friendly.
After checking it shows the instructions with a green bullet. Instructions with red or orange bullet need modification.
In the flow of writing, if you have missed any point, then you can easily identify and modify it with the help of this plugin.
So these are some of the tips you can use to write an SEO friendly blog post. If you want to rank your blog post higher in SERP, then you should optimize your blog posts for users and search engines.
If you have not optimized your old blog posts, then take some quality time to optimize them. Follow the tips I have discussed above and optimized them by doing necessary modifications. After that, you can get higher ranking in search results and drive organic traffic to your blog.