If you've ever wondered how to write SEO friendly blog posts, you're not alone.
Many bloggers and content creators grapple with this question - I know I sure did.
The good news is that it's not as complex as it may seem. With a few guidelines, you can create blog posts that are not only engaging and informative for your readers, but also rank well in search engine results.
A massive win-win, right?
In this blog, I’m going to share the 11 rules I always follow to ensure my blog posts are SEO-friendly.
First Things First: Keyword Research
Before you put pen to paper, or in your case fingers to keyboard, the first thing you need to do is keyword research.
Understanding what your target audience is searching for, and how they are searching for it, is the cornerstone of SEO-friendly writing. Doing this can help you show up where your target audience is looking.
*A cash register sound goes off in the background
Use a keyword research tool to identify high-volume, low-competition keywords related to your topic. These keywords should guide your content creation, helping you to create blog posts that meet your audience's needs and rank highly in search engine results.
Rule 1: Consider What You Want To Say Before You Write It Down
A common mistake made by many is diving into writing without planning. I used to be the biggest offender when it came to this.
I would be so excited to write that I would just start. All that left me with were a bunch of paragraphs that had no common theme or controlling idea.
A perfect example of a not friendly blog.
Remember, SEO-friendly writing begins long before you type the first word.
- Establish A Controlling Idea: This will help you have a clear idea of your message and the audience you are targeting.
- Understand Your Audience & Their Needs: This will help you write relevant, engaging content.
- Have A Clear Message: This will ensure that your blog post is cohesive and provides value to your readers.
Pro-Tip: Google rewards content that users find valuable and engaging, so always prioritize your reader's needs.
Rule 2: Outline Your Blog Post
If you’re looking at the picture above and thinking that looks like the outline for this exact blog, you’re one smart cookie!
I make sure to outline my blog posts with all the main points I want to cover because I know a well-structured blog post makes text readable and helps keep readers on the page. That’s the point of writing blogs, right?
The outline you create should detail each section of your blog post, from the introduction to the conclusion, and the main points you want to cover in each section. This will guide your writing, help you stay on topic, and ensure that your blog post is easy to follow.
Rule 3: Strategize The Title Tag & URL
Your blog post's title tag and URL are two crucial elements for SEO.
Your title tag should be engaging and include your target keyword. This not only grabs the attention of potential readers but also tells search engines what your content is about.
Similarly, having a URL that includes your keyword and accurately describes your content can improve your SEO. Keep your URL short and avoid unnecessary characters and words.
I do have to put a disclaimer here though - if you got to this blog from a social link or from our email newsletter, you'll see extra characters in the URL. Those that arrive here organically will see the URL is short and only has the keyword.
Using this powerful and highly engaging SEO-friendly blog you’re reading through right now as an example, the keyword I’m targeting is “How To Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts.” Search engines know this because it’s in the title of the blog and the URL.
Have I unlocked unlimited SEO power?
Rule 4: Use Headings Correctly
Using headings correctly is another important rule in writing SEO-friendly blog posts.
Headings make your blog post easy to read and help search engines understand your content. Your blog post should have one H1 tag (usually the title), followed by several H2 and H3 tags for different sections and sub-sections.
Including keywords in your headings can also improve your SEO. However, ensure that it feels natural and makes sense to your readers.
Rule 5: Spacing Is Your Friend
The online reader's attention span is notoriously short. To keep your readers engaged, keep your paragraphs short and concise. A good rule of thumb is to limit your paragraphs to 2-3 sentences.
This creates white space, making your content easier to read.
Like how I’ve been doing this whole time.
Spacing things out.
Remember, if your readers have a positive experience on your blog, they are more likely to stay longer, improving your engagement rate, which is good for SEO.
Rule 6: No Keyword-stuffing
One of the most basic rules of SEO writing is to use keywords throughout your blog post. However, it's important to strike a balance.
Using too many keywords, also known as keyword stuffing, can lead to penalties from search engines.
On the other hand, not using enough keywords can make it hard for search engines to understand your content.
The key is to use keywords naturally and in a way that adds value to your readers. No one likes to read blogs filled with random keywords placed everywhere.
I took that search engine ding just for you…you’re welcome
Rule 7: Optimize The Length Of Your Blog Post
While there's no hard and fast rule for blog post length, research suggests that longer blog posts tend to rank better in search engines.
A good target to aim for is 1,200-2,500 words. If that number makes you quiver, I get it.
The most important thing is to provide value. If you can provide comprehensive, valuable information in fewer words, then don't stretch your content.
Quality should always come before quantity.
Rule 8: Internal Links Are Your Best Friend
Linking to your other content, also known as internal linking, can improve your SEO. Did you catch the one I have in this blog in the “Keyword Research” section?
This helps search engines figure out how different pages on your website are related to each other. Additionally, it helps to keep readers on your site longer as they navigate from one post to another.
When adding internal links, make sure they are relevant and provide value to your readers. Keep in mind though - too many internal links in a blog post can be distracting and may appear spammy. A big no-no in the eyes of search engines.
Rule 9: Optimize Your Meta Description
The meta description is a brief explanation of your blog post that shows up when people search for it using a search engine.
While it doesn't directly affect your search rankings, a compelling meta description can improve your click-through rate. This signals to search engines that your content is valuable and can improve your SEO.
Be sure to include your keyword in your meta description and keep it under 155 characters.
Pro-Tip: Write your meta descriptions for humans, not machines
Rule 10: Optimize Images
This next rule is probably the most overlooked rule when it comes to writing SEO-friendly blog posts. 2 words.
Images can greatly enhance your blog post and make it more engaging for your readers. However, to ensure they don't negatively impact your SEO, they must be optimized.
Here are a few ways to optimize your images:
- Use relevant file names that include the keyword you’re targeting (no more “adobe-stock-56978541.jpg” file names)
- Reduce your image file sizes to be less than 300kb
- Add descriptive alt text to your images
Optimizing your images helps search engines understand the content of your images and can improve your SEO.
Rule 11: Have Someone Read It Before You Publish
Before you hit that glorious “Publish” button, I highly recommend you have someone read your blog post. I consider myself extremely lucky because I have my partner/kick ass, boss babe wife read and critique my posts before they are released into the wild.
Having someone read your blog post can be extremely helpful. They can provide a fresh perspective and help you spot any typos, awkward sentences, or unclear explanations.
Remember, the goal is to provide a great user experience, and this includes ensuring your content is well-written and easy to understand.
Writing SEO-friendly blog posts is not just about pleasing search engines. At the heart of it, it's about providing value to your readers. By following these 11 rules, you can create blog posts that your readers love and that rank well in search engine results. Yet another win-win.
Does reading this blog make you want to level up your business? Let's huddle up and work together to get your business into victory formation!