Content is king. That’s the golden rule of SEO, which the successful companies are starting to realise. However, the internet is laden with low-quality content, that doesn’t adhere to any general search engine principles. For obvious reasons, you can see why this is an issue.
The biggest companies in the world always have an active blog that discusses industry trends, real world events, and even niche topics that allow you to rank higher in search engine results.
We don’t want you to be part of the demographic who are struggling to get traffic. We want you to thrive!
Building your organic SEO is the product of hard work and effort, and if you’re serious about getting good, long-lasting results, then you’ll put in the man-hours to get it done right.
That’s why we’ve got some juicy tips to share with you about how you can maximise your potential, how you can write good blog posts for SEO and blow your competitors out of the water.
Content length is important – pay it some love.
A 500 word blog post isn’t going to cut it, no matter how ‘great’ you believe it is.
You cannot effectively provide your reader with quality insight in such a short word count – especially if you’re trying to teach someone something.
The ‘appropriate’ length of a blog post is hotly debated, even by the biggest SEO players in the game. In spite of this, it can be agreed upon that the best quality length is between 1100-2000 words.
No one wants to read the length of a college essay, but no one wants to read the length of a child’s book either.
The perfect equilibrium is required to ensure that your readers are engaged, but your blog post is also not drawn out, repetitive and off-topic as they read on.
It’s understandable to believe it’s hard to keep people interested, so including a topic-relevant image every so often throughout your blog post will keep it fresh and give the reader a nice break from slabs of text.
When writing your article, ask yourself:
⦁ Is this evergreen content?
Evergreen content is content that is always relevant. Touching on a topic that is likely to be out of fashion shortly doesn’t provide you long-term success. Avoid writing dated content to avoid having short-lived results.
⦁ Can I get the same information across in fewer words?
Despite what the statistics say, less can be more. You don’t want your article to be repetitive or misleading. Don’t try and cram your word count just to satisfy the SEO guidelines – make sure your content is the best it can be at the longest possible length before it becomes drawn out.
⦁ Would I enjoy reading this?
Sounds odd, but if you wouldn’t sit there and read it, would you expect anyone else to?
Keep your language simple but descriptive, and make sure you help the reader get from point to point easily.
Writing good blog posts for SEO doesn’t mean you need to reach a certain word count, but more so making sure that you’re conveying your message in the most effective manner possible.
Keywords are important but don’t overdo it.
Your keywords will relate to the topic of your article, and generally, they should be competitive enough that writing good content will allow you to battle your way for that desired first page result.
The question is, how many keywords should you use?
It’s tough to answer. Many of SEO practices are touch and go, or largely open to experimentation. You might be the best analyst out there, but some factors are always beyond your control when it comes to Google’s algorithm.
Generally, several, low competition, long-tail keyphrases but don’t stuff them in your blog post a million times to emphasise what you’re writing about.
Keyword stuffing puts you at risk of being penalised and makes your post appear more unnatural (not only to just search engines but also readers as well).
The general rule of thumb is that no more than 2-5% of your content’s overall word count should contain keywords/keyphrases. Remember, you’re ultimately writing content for real people, not necessarily a search engine.
Writing a good blog post to improve your SEO starts with doing keyword research, and making sure that you target competitive, yet realistic key phrases.
It doesn’t just stop there though. After several months, revisit that post and see what keywords you’re tracking for.
Chances are, you might be achieving your desired results and can add additional keywords to your posts where there may be untapped potential.
If you’re not sure how to check what keywords your post(s) are ranking for, using Ahrefs or Google Search Console is the best way to get some insight.
If you’re going to put the effort into your content, you’ll want to make sure that you include the keywords you wish to rank for.
Writing good blog posts for SEO isn’t just simply keyword stuffing, but also ensuring you include your long-tail keyphrases in a natural-sounding tone.
Follow basic SEO practices.
There’s no point in writing great, quality, well-researched content if they don’t follow the most basic SEO principles.
There are several principles to keep in mind when creating articles for your blog, such as:
⦁ Include ALT attributes on any images included in your post
ALT tags are written descriptions of an image, so you’ll want to ensure you explain what the image is in short, but efficient detail.
This is a particularly important aspect for search engine crawlers who scan over your blog, and even more important for visually impaired readers who rely on voice software.
This one seems simple enough to follow, but not many people are writing useful ALT tags for their images, and instead may just stuff keywords unnecessarily and not explain what the image is about.
Let’s work through an example together.
We’ll use this delicious, pepperoni pizza to write an ALT tag for.
Bad Example: <img src=”pepperoni-pizza-slices.jpg” alt=”pizza supreme veggie hot food italian food “>
For obvious reasons, this is not only non-descriptive of what the image is, but it’s also just bad SEO practice. Keyword stuffing, especially when not relevant to the image is a definite no-no.
Average Example: <img src=”pepperoni-pizza-slices.jpg” alt=”pizza”>
The issue with is, it’s correct, but it’s vague. What pizza is it? What is it laying on? Is it a vegetarian pizza? Too many questions left unanswered, and if you’re trying to rank for a pizza parlour in Google, your ALT tag won’t help you in this case.
Good Example: <img src=”pepperoni-pizza-slices.jpg” alt=”three slices of cheesy thin-crust pepperoni pizza.>
This describes the image perfectly and allows Google crawlers and vision-impaired readers to better understand the image, and what it’s exactly about. Aim to be descriptive, and where necessary, include keywords!
Also, keep in mind that the worst you can do is not include any ALT tags whatsoever, so be sure to include them on every image in your blog post to ensure they’re SEO friendly.
⦁ If you do include images, make sure the file names are appropriate.
We don’t mean politically correct, but rather, the filename also describes the image in a few words. If you include an image of an Apple MacBook, a file name of ‘apple-macbook’ is vastly superior to ‘file125857’.
It isn’t a super important ranking factor, but it allows a search engine crawler to easier understand what the image is about.
⦁ Include internal links to other relevant blogs/pages from your website.
Internal links are just as important as backlinks, and you have the ability to create an internal link structure between all of your posts.
A proper internal structure tells Google these pages are worth indexing.
Make sure that the anchor text of these hyperlinks is natural.
There’s no point linking to an internal page about your SEO services if the word you’re hyperlinking doesn’t relate to the page whatsoever.
⦁ If you need to include outbound links, choose high-quality sources and avoid competitors.
We believe in SEO for everyone, however, it’s understandable that your competitors are not necessarily part of that group.
Linking to your competitor as a source of information gives them a backlink and further grows their organic SEO.
It’s much more recommended to link out to sites that perform statistic research. That way, you’re giving your readers the right information and not shooting yourself in the foot at the same time.
⦁ Use header tags to break up your paragraphs.
Your main heading will need to be a H1 heading, as it sets the overall topic of the post, so make sure your heading accurately depicts what the blog is about.
As you can see in the example above, sub-headings can be broken down by H2 tags and their supporting ideas into H3 tags.
⦁ Write meta descriptions for your blog posts.
Whilst this is not a direct ranking factor, it is more of a ‘why not?’ scenario. It takes less than 2 minutes to write a meta description of what the post is about and to include your keywords in there as well.
It’ll help your readers understand what the post about, rather than letting Google determine the meta description themselves.
Well written meta descriptions are shown to improve click-through-rates of the post itself if the description makes sense, and leads them to believe the right information they’re looking for is in there.
If you have the Yoast plugin, you’re able to write your own meta descriptions to avoid Google having to pull a snippet from the post and display that instead. This allows you to enter your full keyphrase, such as ‘writing good blog posts for SEO’ which we’ve chosen.
It’s incredibly easy to follow these guidelines, given they are reliant on your time and effort to ensure that you’re following and implementing them correctly. If you’re going to devote your time to writing content, you may as well do it the right way.
People respond better when there is a clear CTA.
Introducing call-to-actions (CTAs).
The idea of your content is to keep people engaged in not only your blog but also your website.
Ending your blog post on a final point with no call to action doesn’t help you in any way.
You want to give them the ability to either; keep reading through your blog, get access to further information on your website, or check out your services and what you offer.
This is where internal links are important, and making sure that your blog allows the reader to easily access other parts of your website is equally as important.
Encourage them to share the post with friends on social media via clickable buttons.
Google doesn’t directly rank based on social media shares, but they do boost your chances of achieving first page results as Google can see that these shares essentially mean they’re verified by humans.
Another vital tool is giving them the ability to subscribe to your newsletter. If you have people subscribing to your newsletter, the quality of your content speaks for itself.
Don’t forget, there are several creative ways to include a call to action for your post. You can include a slide-in CTA that may show up halfway through reading your post, or as soon as they try and exit the page.
This CTA is an example we have on our pages, and it pops up on any post if you haven’t seen the pop-up before.
Don’t worry, we’re not dodgy – you’ll only ever see it once in a session!
The idea behind these is that if your reader does leave, you’ve done all you can to try and keep them on your site.
The side of the blog is the best place to display these CTA’s, as you don’t want to disrupt or prevent the user from reading your blog. User experience is a massive detail that you must pay attention to when including CTA’s.
Infographics are backlink generating machines.
Visual aids are becoming more prevalent, given you need a way to make your content stand out from the millions of others who have touched on the same topic.
Creating your own infographic gives you tremendous power over your written topic.
Because infographics are proven to be more engaging, and since it is your original content, it is a powerful tool to generate backlinks.
If you’re not sure what an infographic is, we’ll show you.
Infographics are the type of visual format you need to include in your blog posts, as they not only build backlinks more efficiently than standard blog posts.
Given that blogging is one of the most active and proven ways to grow your brand, it makes sense to include a visual aid that gets your point across in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
You can always reach out to industry-relevant bloggers and provide them with your infographic in return for a backlink, which builds your organic SEO.
Otherwise, just choose a topic and create your infographic based on information relevant to your topic. A good infographic will speak for itself with those highly sought after backlinks.
The most effective infographics are ones that do the talking for you. This includes things like statistics, or explaining how to do something.
When your infographics are constructed this way, they can seamlessly fit into content without needing to write about it.
Update, revitalise, and make old content relevant.
Earlier in our post, we mentioned the importance of evergreen content. Much like the evergreen trees that retain their leaves all year round, you’ll want to make sure that your content is always relevant and stays fresh.
Relevant means going and updating your content every so often, to keep up with industry trends, Google algorithm changes and adding content where necessary.
Don’t get stuck in the mud and be content with your content – that’s an easy way to get swept under the rug.
Content such as statistic or numerical analysis’ is always likely to change over time, as well as clothing or fashion trends.
Pieces on specific seasons also require special attention to ensure they stay relevant through time.
If you decide to do a complete guide relevant to your industry, linking other internal posts allow you to narrow your current topic, and will allow the user to read on further.
In spite of this, timely and seasonal topics can provide some success, but in big picture scenarios, evergreen content is going to make your blog always relevant and sustainable.
Summary: Put this into motion
Writing good quality content is hard to do now, especially when industries are so saturated and businesses are becoming savvier when it comes to SEO practices.
The best blog posts for SEO require effort, planning, and a general understanding of making sure they’re only right for Google’s guidelines, but also your important readers too.
It’s not easy to set yourself aside from the rest and get those desired first page results, but if you want the rewards, you have to work hard.
Organic and Paid Search are both tools that you’ll need to utilise to have a well-rounded digital strategy.
There is no shortcut around good content, there is no magic secret and you need to put all of these tips into motion if you expect to stand out.
We understand the importance of good SEO practices, with desirable content being the key. If you’re struggling with retaining customers, your email marketing or Google AdWords strategy, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll help revitalise your digital marketing campaign.