So you’ve established your business’ blog; begun writing and posting content that you think is interesting, but sadly it’s generated few readers. What’s more, your website’s search engine ranking has not improved. Don’t be discouraged. These SEO content writing tips may guide you in getting people to read your blog.
To say that the internet is a competitive space is an understatement. It’s an overpopulated information freeway with SSC Tuataras (arguably the fastest car in the world) whizzing past every second. Did you know 2020 stats showed that approximately 44 million blog posts are uploaded daily?
With those kinds of figures, standing out is difficult, and even more so if you’re not employing some form of search engine optimization (SEO).
In SEO, the consensus is that ‘good’ content qualifies as meeting a demand of some sort and drawing links. As a form of SEO content, your blog post should meet the same criteria. Generally, by optimizing your content, you can attract readers and improve your organic ranking. SEO-friendly writing helps your posts and articles to rank higher in search engines. The result is your well-written, informative articles aren’t lost on the web but get to your readers and secure their interest.
Although a considerate number of internet users are said to skim blog posts, in 2020, Letter.ly noted that 77% of people on the internet actually read blogs. That figure is important because it’s what you want to achieve with your blog posts. You want an audience that actively reads your content, and even more so, returns for more. Such active engagement validates the relevancy of your site and improves your visibility organically. It affords your site better ranking on search engines, which opens the gateway to more views; it’s cyclic, really.
Content Optimization Goal
Before we jump into our tips, let’s begin by identifying the goal for optimizing your content. After all, each segment of your content marketing strategy should have one, all working within the frame of your overarching goal.
That said, your goal should be to offer your audience content that is applicable, beneficial, and eye-catching. It’s the ‘a’, ‘b’ and well, ‘e’ of SEO article writing. You want them to find it, open it and read it.
SEO Content Writing Tips
- Careful keyword planning
- Optimizing images
- Utilising links
These tips will prove useful when you’re writing your next blog post. Alternatively, use as a guide and review past posts making edits as you go.
1. Employ Careful Keyword Planning
For some, keyword planning is a daunting subject, but it doesn’t have to be. After deciding upon the topic to be written, it’s a simple matter of determining how people will search for the information you’re about to supply. Aim to select words that match the intent of your reader. Think about it; what relevant terms or phrases would you search? Next, use a keyword research tool to generate more ideas. Google, SEMrush, WordStream, Moz and many others offer free tools.
Once you’ve created a list, you may want to select one or two phrases to use. Whether you choose to include them as you write or insert them after writing the copy, is entirely up to you. However, do remember to maintain fluency in your writing.
Stuffing keywords in the text causes awkward syntactic structures and a discordant flow of words. In addition to losing your readers’ interest, you run the risk of being penalised by search engines for keyword stuffing.
The College of Media and Publishing suggests using keywords or phrases in your headline (the article’s title), specifically within the first 60 characters. They should also be inserted near the top of your copy.
Here are three categories to know for your keyword research:
- Fathead keywords: Fathead keywords tend to have higher levels of traffic. These are broad terms people use when searching for information, for example, cheap hotels.
- Chunky middle keywords: When more words are added to a phrase, it’s referred to as chunky middle. The new terms act to describe the user’s intent a little more. An example would be to add ‘near me’ to the phrase ‘cheap hotels’.
- Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific as more descriptive phrases are added. Here’s an example: cheap hotels near me for tonight under $50. Also, long-tail keywords tend to produce less search volume. However, a significant benefit of including them in your blog is that they make ranking easier.
2. Optimize Your Images
Adding arresting, pertinent images is essential in creating engaging blog posts. Now, do keep the word ‘pertinent’ in mind. When adding photos to your posts, the images should support or explain the corresponding text. While this works to draw your readers, it doesn’t affect search results. That’s where image alt text comes in handy.
According to HubSpot, the image alt text feature offers the search engine crawlers a description of your photo. Furthermore, incorporating an image description helps the image to rank in the search engine’s image results page. The image description also offers users with disabilities a better experience. It’s mainly for those with sight disabilities who rely on screen reading equipment.
Keep these points in mind when creating alt text:
- Be brief but descriptive
- Use less than 125 characters
- Include keywords, but remember, don’t stuff
3. Utilise Links
In SEO, linking within your site and incoming links are crucial in building authority, which in turn impacts your organic search ranking. Moz noted that links have a direct effect on search results. Search engines like Google examine the number of inbound links a webpage has and the sources from which they originate. When your webpage receives links from high-quality websites, it improves your position.
We know building links from outside sources can take time, so we suggest you begin with internal links. When writing a new blog post, review posts on related topics written previously, and where applicable, add hyperlinks in the new content. By creating internal links to some of your other posts, you’ll help increase their prominence on search engines.
Now, let’s talk about link building. First, do know it’s going to require some effort, but it does offer significant benefits. Google’s algorithm pays close attention to the number of inbound links a webpage has, as well as the quality of those links. But how do you go about acquiring them? Focus on providing information that garners interest or, as Moz advises:
Begin with something truly valuable that people find useful or share-worthy”.
Aim to create content that is informative, applicable and engaging. Once that is done, you’ll find it much easier to build links.
Here are two commonly used strategies for growing your inbound links:
Guest blogging – with guest blogging, you assume the role of a subject matter expert. Offer to write a blog for someone with a heavily trafficked website that ranks well. Then, within your post, include backlinks to relevant pages on your site.
Write testimonials – testimonials are an excellent means of creating backlinks to your site. And it has the added advantage of establishing your credibility.
We’ve only covered three, but there are many other SEO tips and tricks for blogging. Still, these three are an excellent place to start if you want to increase your next blog’s visibility. As you employ them, be mindful of creating content that is useful and relevant to your audience’s search query.
Let your blogs be the kind of content people want to read, and they will!
Lou-Ann A. Jordan is a Content Feature Writer for Yello Media Group. She’s had a long-time love affair with English (a closet linguist, really). She enjoys the challenge of blending unsexy grammatical features with well-crafted, relevant ideas; the result: fun, engaging, structured content that’s relatable. When her pen is down, you’ll find her hiking, lounging on the beach or engrossed in Korean dramas.