Writing for a blog post is much more than just typing words and hitting publishing. The content you produce has to engage your core audience. You probably want that content to bring fresh traffic to your site. This involves making it rank for relevant keywords on a search engine.
SEO is, of course, a complex topic. However, the starting point of any successful strategy is creating SEO friendly material. In this article, we shall discuss ways for you to optimize your content to make it search-engine friendly. Let’s get started.
Plan Out Your Content Marketing Strategy
Choosing a relevant topic for your blog post should feel like common sense. Sit down and brainstorm with your colleagues about your content strategy. The topics you want to write about should overlap with the interests of your audience and align with your business goals.
Selecting topics to write about should be pretty logical. For example, if you were running a software platform that helps you run Facebook ads, then the content for the blog should be about different aspects of Facebook advertising. This kind of brainstorming should form the foundation of your content marketing strategy.
Once you have chosen your topics, identify one primary keyword and a couple of secondary phrases to include in your article.
Keywords are the terms that people enter in search engines. There will undoubtedly be some relevant keywords that relate to the topic. There are several ways you can identify relevant keywords for your article.
The standard way to identify keywords is through Google Keywords. This is a tool that shows you search volumes for keywords. A faster method that is to use is Keywords Everywhere. This is a premium tool that reveals search volume for keywords as you search on Google.
Then there are premium SEO tools that allow you to identify relevant keywords. One of the cheapest reliable SEO tools is Longtail Pro. You can click here to read user reviews of their service. More expensive options include aHrefs and SEMrush.
Create an Outline For Your Article
Once you have selected suitable topics to write about you need to create a structure for the article. Creating a structure for your blog post is important because it helps you organize your thoughts. Moreover, what you cover in an article plays an important role in the chance of your content ranking.
To check what you should cover in a keyword-focused article head over to Google. Review the headings used in the ranking content. You can do this manually, or search for “heading tag checker on Google.”
By running a blog post through one of these sites, you’ll see all of the headings used in an article. Here’s an example screenshot.
Note down the headings used in these articles. When you see commonalities between posts, note them down and make sure to include them in your content.
It’s good practice to include relevant keywords in your headings. So, for example, you’d use your primary keyword in the headline and a couple of secondary keywords in the headings.
Write Some Amazing & Engaging Content
At this stage, you have identified relevant keywords to target, and have an article structure to follow. Now you need to start writing.
Remember that you’re writing for people first, and not for Google’s algorithms. In short, the most important thing you can do is create material that people want to read. This is the most difficult thing about writing.
The material you create should be original. Aim to create something that can’t be found anywhere else. The content should provide value to your readers, but also align with your business goals.
Three writing tips to keep in mind when writing for an online audience:
- Keep your writing simple. Create content that a college-educated person who speaks English as a second language could read.
- Short paragraphs. No more than four lines long. Add relevant images and Gifs to break up the text.
- Vary the length of your sentences. Some can be short and punchy. Others should be longer.
That covers the basics of how to write engaging content. You’ll find plenty of great articles that cover how to write engaging content in more depth, like this one by Copyhackers.
Optimize Your Content for SEO
Once you’ve finished writing your content, then you can start to optimize the content for SEO. When incorporating keywords, it’s not enough that you disperse these in between paragraphs.
For improved SEO, there are ideal places where the relevant keywords should be included. Let’s look at them one by one:
- Meta Title: This is the headline that appears on Google search results. You can modify this using an SEO plugin. Yoast is probably the most famous example
- Meta descriptions: In addition to including your keyword in the headline, it should also appear in the meta description. This is the description underneath the headline
- URLs: Create a URL structure that is easy to remember. Shorten your URL structure to the most relevant keyword. For example mysite.com/content-marketing
- Subheadings: Use relevant keywords in your headings. It’s also good practice to turn these headings into phrases that people might type into Google
- Body: Relevant keywords should be interspersed in the body of your content
- Images: Use keywords in the title and alt descriptions of your image
The general rule is you need to make the keywords appear as natural as possible. Please don’t overdo it. Now that you know how to incorporate keywords, let’s talk about links.
Include Relevant Links in Your Content
So now your article is almost ready to be published. All that you have left to do is add relevant links within your content. There are two types of links that are important to include in every article. They are:
- Internal links: These are links that go to other pieces of content on your site
- External links: These are links to other websites
Make sure to add about three links of each type into your blog posts. The internal links should be to relevant content on your site. Try to make one of your links go to a sales page. Use relevant anchor text for these links as you have full control over the anchor text on your site.
For external links, reference authoritative content. Avoid linking to sites outside of your niche and irrelevant material. This could harm your SEO rankings.
In this article, We explained how to create SEO optimized content. We shared with you various SEO strategies to do this and we presented how you should come up with content ideas and identify relevant keywords. We hope that you understand the importance of including these keywords in the most natural way possible in select areas in your content.
Finally, note the importance of creating internal and external links for your content. Now the ball is in your hands. By following these tips, you can create SEO optimized content that will help you drive more traffic to your site.