What did you last type into Google? Chances are whatever the question, it recommended a blog or article on the topic.
In 2019, search engines like Google care about solving the intent of the searcher. This means that the viewer’s attention must be grabbed, the information was helpful, and the article had steps in place to engage with the company.
Do you want to learn about how to write a quality blog post that helps your relevancy on search engines?
Here’s a beginner’s guide to everything SEO to optimize your next blog post.
Creating Effective Content
Your goal as a writer is to keep people on the website.
Content that is overly complicated or boring will cause readers to abandon your page. The experience that your audience has is an important one.
You aren’t the only one writing a blog today. Countless blogs are posted every day, so how do you grab people’s attention?
Well, it all starts with creating meaning content that educates or inspires your readers. How do you do that?
The first thing to do when creating compelling content, is to find a compelling topic to write about.
Choosing A Topic
The best thing to write about are things that both relate to your services and educational topics. Simply put, people find blogs by searching for questions they have. So, answer them!
The easiest way to identify this is to think like your audience and ask the following:
- What do they want to know about?
- What will they identify with?
This isn’t to say you should never write about your own business when it makes sense. Your company just won an award or was featured in a major new article? Perfect opportunities to write about what your company can do for the masses!
But for most blog posts, it’s best to focus on the industry’s questions. This is largely due to the fact that the people you are hoping to reach don’t know about you yet! If you only talk about your business or yourself, people won’t be able to find you by searching.
Are you stuck for ideas or have writers block? Consider talking to other people in the company in different departments or that have unique perspectives. They could be a gateway to ideas!
Here are some questions to ask regarding potential leads to topics:
- What are frequent questions from customers?
- What does our audience need help with?
- What do people wish they knew regarding our industry?
- What are others in our industry talking about?
It may be beneficial to start with a very broad topic. As you research and write, you’ll likely find subtopics that could be expanded on. Try to approach the broad topic in different ways to create different avenues for expansion.
Keywords are the words or phrases that are commonly typed into the search engine. They are the main words people are looking for information on.
What are the words that your industry uses all the time? If you run a company that repairs air conditioners, your keywords could be “air conditioner repair.”
The concept of keywords is not to completely overwhelm your content with a keyword every sentence. It actually negatively impacts your search engine optimization because it’s considered stuffing.
Think about incorporating them naturally in the headlines and body, as if they were a conversation.
Language allows us to say the same thing differently. Maybe your keyword can be said a different way. Instead of repeating “air conditioner repair”, use a synonym. This can also help search engines to pick up on different nomenclatures because not everyone searches for the same thing the same way.
Develop a Long-tail Keyword and Title
Long-tail keywords are very specifically targeted keywords.
They typically are 3 or more words and contain a head term combined with more generic search terms. The head term should relate to what you want your company to be known for and what topics you want to provide knowledge on.
A good practice is to develop and focus on a single long-tail keyword.
Why are Long-tail Keywords Useful for Titles?
Often times the title is the opener for a question to be answered. Those who search for long-tail keywords will be the most likely candidate to read your post in its entirety and pursue your company further. They are the ones who will click down the conversion funnel.
Make a Working Title from a Long-tail Keyword
Everyone reads the title before committing to the rest of the blog. That means you have to make sure people are interested enough to continue by catching the viewer’s attention.
A working title is something you base the direction of your post off of. For example, using the broad topic of “video advertisements”, the working title could be “How to Optimize Your Video Advertisements in 2019”. We took the very general idea that could have been pretty much anything and made it specific.
Once you finish the post, go back to your title and rework it to align better with the end result. Your title should help people as well as search engines to decipher what the post will contain specifically. Readers will identify what they can get out of spending their time viewing your post.
Shorten Your URL Slug
A post slug is typically a viewer friendly URL name of a post or page.
They ensure clarity of the topic. For example, website.com/blog/our-first-blog.
Your slug doesn’t have to be the title of your blog. When slugs are overly long or complicated can be confusing and not memorable for users to find later.
It is also useful to have a consistent slug if the title changes. For example, if you intend on trying to better optimize your title to gain traffic, you don’t have to then also change the slug.
Best practice is to exclude years or numbers in general, this way you don’t have to change it if you update the page.
It’s important to keep the URL slug as short as possible without losing key information.
Optimize Image Alt-texts
It’s crucial to incorporate images throughout your blog to provide a visual interest.
Search engines can’t see images like we do, so you can’t optimize for actual images. What you can optimize is the alt text or name.
An alt name is information regarding what the image is about. From a search engine perspective, the best descriptions will better the results.
It’s an easy thing to forget but can ultimately help if you include them. Consider creating an alt text for your images based on your long-tail keyword or working title.
Additionally, including these will help with accessibility for impaired users and allow you to increase your reach.
Create an Interesting Meta Description
What’s the next thing users see after they read the title? The meta description.
The meta description is the brief synopsis of your article found right below the title. It is used by both viewers and search engines to provide information regarding what you intend to talk about.
Meta descriptions don’t directly affect your SEO; however, they are useful for including keywords. Searched information is often bolded if your article uses the keywords or the meta description does.
They should not mislead people into clicking on something they weren’t looking for. It’s good practice to use words that indicate what you want viewers to gain from reading further. This could be words like:
If you’re ever stuck on what to write to think of it as a headline. How would you get the attention of the viewer?
Including Strategic Blog Links
With more traffic, you’ll be able to develop better relationships with your viewers. You want users to feel that they can trust you.
So how can you create that trust with an informational blog? By being credible.
Including links to your sources throughout the blog will showcase that you have researched the topic and know what you’re talking about.
Now, including a link for every paragraph is not what you want to do. It’s best to sprinkle your sources only where it makes sense.
Likely at this point, you’ve got a few topics in mind for what you could write about, so plan accordingly! You can incorporate hyperlinks, Call to Actions (CTAs), to other blog posts of yours on related topics.
Have you already explained a topic that you mention? Link to it! This is good practice because if someone finds your content useful, they could find your services right within the blog.
Don’t Just Use Text
Plain text that all looks the same is frankly just boring.
By offering other types of media like images or videos will greatly increase the amount of time people spend on your article.
Including videos, especially near the top of your article, increases your chance of being on the front page of Google by 53 times. Why? Because people that take the time to watch your video, increase your bounce rate.
In the eyes of search engines, if people just view your page and then leave, it didn’t really help them. When people click to watch a video embedded on your blog, Google sees that as people finding valuable resources on your site. And it is more likely to recommend the article to people.
Most people would rather watch a video than read text, and giving people the option, puts value in your content.
If you’re just starting out on your blog or if you’re just looking to better your blog writing, this is an excellent map to creating quality content.
Make the most of every post on your site by incorporating these tips!