There’s nothing wrong with writing for the sake of writing. But if you want to rank your articles highly in Google search, build your reading audience, and cash in on your writing effort, you need to optimize your blog posts for search engines.
Search engines are getting pickier by day, putting extra pressure on content writers. Or is it truly so? Writing quality content is at the core of a highly-ranked post, no matter how advanced bots become. And to write SEO-friendly blog posts that are also well-structured, captivating, and engaging, you need to intertwine your writing skill with the optimization elements. It takes time and practice, but as with most things, it is possible to learn. Sometimes, simply by following a good example.
Phase One: Before you hit Publish
What makes a blog article SEO-friendly? Simply, the fact that it is appealing to your readers and search engines. And what better way to start a blog and make an article readable and attractive to both than clearly structuring the text? Your work begins with preparation for writing which includes:
- Performing keyword research
- Studying literature on the subject
- Outlining the blog post.
It is followed by writing your content where the article should contain:
- Well-thought paragraphs, proper headings, and a bullet list
- Optimized images and/or video content
- Links that build the authority of your post (and articles you link to)
- Related keywords and synonyms throughout the copy.
Finally, add and optimize the crucial elements to your post to increase CTR (Click-Through Rate) and engagement:
- Meta description
- Tags and categories
- SEO title.
Don’t forget that, every time you write SEO-friendly blog posts, you are supposed to proofread the content, check if the links work, preview the text, and try to spot any issues before you make it live.
Sit down and think through the work ahead – that’s how you prepare for your writing (read: any) assignment. If you don’t have the right title yet, don’t know what to write about or how to start, focus on the following elements.
Find the right keyword
What is a keyword anyway? It is a short phrase people enter in Google search that should lead them to the needed content – in your case – your blog post. Keyword research helps you optimize your copy by incorporating the phrases that are the most relevant and most sought after online.
Research writing material
To write truly valuable content, you need to research available material thoroughly but also time-effectively. The number of sources you’ll rely upon corresponds to the planned length of your article.
Outline your article
Once you have a clear picture of what you want to write, make a short outline. In other words, create a structure that you’ll slowly fill with material and optimization elements.
Write SEO-friendly blog posts
An SEO-friendly article is easily read and understood by people and bots alike. This is how you achieve that in a WordPress editor.
Create easy to read sections
Every title needs subheadings to explain a complex matter smoothly and in greater detail. And each subheading should express a thought in short, easily grasped sentences. A good structure makes everything easily manageable, writing included.
Add and optimize your post media
SEO-friendly content includes images and video, not only words. And even these media can be SEOd with the help of your chosen keyword. All you have to do is dedicate time to name your media file names and create meaningful alternative text.
Link to valuable sources
Both internal and external linking are vital for well-optimized content. Linking to your own pages makes them visible to crawlers and boosts the authority of your blog post. Similarly, clever linking to external sources puts your article in an established niche and associates your post with other relevant and important copy.
Spread related keywords and synonyms
To optimize blog posts for SEO, you need to spread focus keywords evenly throughout your article, as well as related keywords. Also called variations, these phrases are essentially different ways to ask the same question. Google shows these at the bottom of the search result page.
Help readers and search engine bots find your post
The post is written but it is not yet time to publish it. Help your reader and web crawler to easily locate, navigate, and get familiar with your content.
An essential element of your text outside of your text, the meta description summarizes your post. For the benefit of your readers and search engine bots, keep it between 130 and 160 characters, optimize it with a keyword, and make it sound inviting.
Tags and categories
Attaching categories and tags to your blog post is like placing directional signs on the road. Choosing the proper tags helps readers find what they need quickly. Categories are a vital asset in building a clear website structure.
The first thing people see in search results when your post shows up is your SEO title. It is an element that includes an actual title of your post and your site name. Sufficient to say, it should be as attractive and as optimized for your focus keyword as possible.
Phase Two: Once it’s (a)live
The life of your blog post begins once you click Publish, and it evolves with every passing day. It means that you shouldn’t forget about the article once it is posted. A truly SEO-friendly article will attract readers, and this is a power well you should draw from. How – you might ask.
It is not enough to simply write SEO-friendly blog posts. You need to follow up on the information you provided, keep your articles relevant, engage your audience, and let search engines know your blog is alive and kicking. You can do it if you regularly
- Add new quality content to your blog
- Promote your content on your social media profile(s) using social media widgets
- Improve relationship with your readers by acknowledging and replying to their comments
- Update your old blog posts instead of writing new ones on the same topic.
To sum up
Don’t get discouraged if the web traffic doesn’t crash your site in the first week. Pay attention to all the relevant details before, while you write SEO-friendly blog posts, and after the article is published. Search engine bots will find and rank your post if you optimize it well, and visitors will come and stay if they find value in what you write. Focus on the relevant – and that is a balance between quality and quantity – and good results will show in time.