As content creators can attest, the days of getting to page one of the Google search results page (SERP) by writing a mediocre 500-word article are long gone. If you want to break through the internet noise and build a lasting business through amazing content creation and SEO, there are some helpful guidelines to understand. These include some hard and fast rules to help you achieve measurable results. Today, we look at how to write SEO-optimized blogs.
Tips for Successful Blog Posts
We won’t deny writing an effective blog post is challenging. Here are some industry best practices to help you jump the queue and improve your SERP ranking.
1. Write a compelling introductory paragraph
You have just a couple of seconds to hook a search visitor once they land on your page. That’s it. Your introduction is critical! We cannot stress this enough.
2. Ensure every section has clear headlines/key takeaways so posts are easy for readers to skim
Take longer paragraphs and break them up into shorter ones. As a general rule of thumb, each paragraph should have no more than four sentences.
3. Make sure your articles/posts are long enough
In-depth posts rank better on Google for many reasons. Research indicates that 1,500 words should be the minimum length of an article/post if you intend to rank in search engine results. This is especially true for competitive/popular topics. There are multiple tools like GrowthBar available for you to get optimal blog post lengths specific to whatever subject you write about.
Whenever you write, keep your audience in mind, as Google also gives preference to people-first content as shown by the update to Google’s Helpful Content System.
4. Use your target keyword in strategic locations in the post
Remember to use keywords in your:
- Meta-description – include the target keyword somewhere in the first 100 words
- In the caption and alt tags of your images (where appropriate)
- Page URL / Slug: [blog domain]/your-keywords-here
- Throughout your content
5. Ensure your blog links to other pages on your website
Internal linking is one of the most effective ways to rank in search engines. Read through our post on off-page SEO for a solid grounding in link importance. You can’t ignore the fact more internal links equal higher SERP placement. Every post you create should provide at least two to three links to other pages on your blog or your main site.
Remember to always link back to new posts from other posts on the site. This will help visitors find your updated post while boosting SERPs.
6. Link out to other authoritative sites’ sources in the post body.
Google rewards pages that link to other reputable resources throughout their posts. By doing this, Google sees your page as a resource hub or a thought leader. This enables Google to reward you with a better position for your target keywords. Links are an excellent way to improve the all-important Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) that helps your site move up in the rankings.
7. Use pictures, infographics, and videos throughout to break out the text
One way to ensure people stay on your page is to break up the text with relevant pictures, illustrations, and videos. Remember to put your target keyword in the alt text of the image as this is how Google understands what your image is about.
8. Organizing blog posts using the Topic Cluster Model
To scale the success you can find with individual pieces that rank in SERPs, you need to be strategic about how you categorize your blog content. The topic cluster model, at its core, is a way of organizing a site’s content pages using cleaner and more deliberate site architecture. Instead of creating one master guide to cover several keywords, a topic cluster model is an intent-based approach. This allows you to simplify your blog archives by featuring content around one central topic. This is referred to as the pillar page or pillar post.
You need to develop content clusters based on topics your business competes on. Don’t use discrete keywords. Your keywords should always be a part of your overall strategy, but topics are the ‘umbrella’ under which your keyword strategy functions. This means you may have one 3,000-4,000 word blog post on a topic and multiple 1,000-2,000 word articles linking back to this pillar of content. This is how you dominate a niche.
9. Make sure to write a conclusion that summarizes the key takeaways from the post
Some people read a full article based on the conclusion. You need to ensure your conclusion summarizes your key points and encourages your readers to read your full post. You also need to know that search engines have changed their algorithms in response to changing consumer behaviour. Search engines now favour topic-based content. Take the time to create the right content from the start so your efforts aren’t wasted.
Interviews are a great way to encourage people to share actionable tips that others can learn from and implement themselves. Never underestimate case studies. They are hugely popular as they provide actionable information people can apply to their businesses.
Practice How to Write SEO-Optimized Blogs
It’s no longer enough to know a few SEO tricks. This just isn’t enough to ensure your website ranks well on SERPs. Quality content is what matters and ensures more visitors to your site, more links, shares, tweets, and returning visitors. There are other things you can do for SEO to maximize user-friendliness, but the most critical thing is to produce very, very engaging posts! Still not sure if your blog post is ready to publish? Take a look at this twenty-step checklist for your blog post to make sure you’re good to go!
We hope our posts on SEO aspects have been helpful. If you are building your online presence and have questions or need help, call the friendly experts at Alley Kay Web Consulting today for your free needs assessment! SEO doesn’t have to be difficult. Now that you know how to create compelling content audiences will love, it’s time to include elements Google will love too. It can sound tricky at first. However, with the SEO tips and tricks found in our blog posts, you’ll be on the first page of Google in no time!