Since the beginning of time, we human beings have been interested in sharing our thoughts, private experiences, and personal take on things. The invention of the internet was no exception when it came to sharing these concepts. Instead of using a diary, a variety of websites started to serve as our own platform for personal blogs. As the internet evolved, so did the idea of
Nowadays, blog posts are considered an essential part of website optimization. Whether your website’s content involves political issues, lifestyle, clothing, food, travel, etc., the ultimate goal is to drive more revenue to your business. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is undeniably one of the most crucial ways to increase visibility to your website, and blog posts are a small yet essential part of it.
So, how do we write our blog posts in a way that improves our CTR (click-through rate) and helps our website rank higher on the search result pages?
In this post, we will discover how blog posts are related to SEO, what qualities make a click-worthy blog post, and how to rank your blog post higher on search engines.
SEO and Blog Posts
If you are familiar with the basics of SEO, you probably know that it is a crucial online marketing tool that essentially makes it easier for search engines to understand what you do and what your product is. Consequently, blog posts boost websites' relevancy to what users are looking for on the web. The main objective of writing a blog post is to answer the questions of web users or provide information about what they are looking for while keeping consistent traffic to your website.
Search engines, mainly Google’s, algorithm updates itself regularly when it comes to SEO. When creating a blog post, it is important to know how to lay down the basics and conform to those updates. When it comes to publishing the right content for the readers, it may seem a bit complicated and difficult at times. However, rest assured that there are many blog ranking factors to take into consideration, and once these factors are clear, a good blog post will find its way to the top!
We will cover these SEO tactics, but before we do that, it is important to keep in mind that one of the most common mistakes that bloggers make is using all these tactics at the same time. While it is important to understand and familiarize yourself with all the SEO-friendly tips out there, you must also prioritize your needs when it comes to implementing them. Also, be aware that not all these tips are directly related to SEO, but most of the time, they have non-straightforward effects.
How to Write a Click-Worthy Content
While some bloggers prefer to sit down and write whatever comes to their mind, not all bloggers have a clear structure in their head before they start writing their posts. It may depend on your experience or your expertise on the subject. However, to create an SEO-friendly blog post, it would be best to follow certain guidelines, especially if you are a newcomer.
Let’s start with the basic questions you need to ask yourself before starting your blog post. Do you have a clear message? What is your main objective? Do you know what you would like your readers to take away from what you have to say? It is important to address these questions to have a clear structure in your head.
Like any other good article, an SEO-friendly blog post needs to have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Before creating this structure, it is a good idea to write down a few words for each section and summarize your thoughts in a way that would help you write an informative, easy-to-read, and enjoyable blog post.
Optimizing the way you are using your paragraphs and headings is essential. You need to make sure you start the paragraph with a core sentence that would make your readers pay attention to it. Long and complicated sentences may look fancy, but when it comes to blog posts, they are not too reader-friendly. It takes a lot of mental work to read them, and your readers may lose interest in what you have to say.
The same goes for the headings and subheadings. They emphasize what your article is about and are a great way to highlight what your readers can expect to learn from your article. Instead of reading posts as a whole, most readers prefer scanning what they are looking for in the article. This is understandably an easier way to decide if the content is useful to them. So keep your headings and subheadings relevant to your paragraph. While the structure of your blog post is not directly related to SEO, it is important to know that it benefits your post consequently. An easy-to-read quality blog post makes better reading and attracts more visitors, which will ultimately boost your SEO!
Keyword density is one of the most popular blog post tactics that may serve its purpose if used proportionately. Doing thorough keyword research is necessary when it comes to creating your post. There are many online tools (free and paid) you can use to do your research. However, overusing keywords may rub the search engine algorithms in the wrong way, which may cause your blog post to lose ranking in the long term.
In line with the keyword research, search intent is another substantial point when it comes to creating a blog post. Understanding the reason behind people’s search and their overall search habits gives you an upper hand with your content. Many keyword research tools have filters that show these intents, which mostly include questions like who, where, what is, how, and so on. While it is okay to create your blog post using your instincts and knowledge, it is definitely better to base it on data. This is the main reason why keywords are essential to make your post SEO-friendly. A data-driven approach helps you understand the search engine user’s tendency and would benefit your blog post in a way that suits your SEO needs.
Optimizing your Images
Images that you use in your blog post are another aspect that boosts visibility. High-quality visuals attract users and benefit your blog post’s click rate. There are plugins you can use to optimize your images to downsize the image. These plugins also help reduce page loading time and improve your website’s speed. It is also a good idea to use descriptive names for your images for a more user-friendly appearance. For example, instead of using IMG_456.jpg, it is much better to use tiny-flower.jpg as a filename.
Do not miss the chance of creating your images if you have the ability to do so. Creating infographics, charts, etc., would lead to other content makers using and crediting your images, thus allowing backlinking to your blog post. (If you are not familiar with the term, do not worry. We will talk about backlinks in the upcoming topic!) However, if you do not know how to create images, you can always use stock photo websites. There are many free-of-charge options out there for you to benefit from. It is not a very good idea to use Google Image Search or other well-known search engine sites since those photographs are uploaded by other content creators and may not allow a free license for you to use.
URLs and Meta Description
In the world of SEO, time has proven that URLs are highly important to search engine crawlers. They understand what your post is about in a very general sense. Structuring your URLs in an SEO-friendly fashion would give you a competitive edge. For instance, shortening your URLs and using one or even two keywords in your URLs would help your blog post rank slightly higher on the search engines.
The same goes for meta descriptions. Simply put, they are small descriptions that users can read under the blue link of a search result. They basically give the search engine crawlers and your readers a better understanding of what your main objective is by providing a more detailed explanation of your post’s content. This allows search engine algorithms to rank your page in line with what users are searching for. Most search engine users prefer asking questions on the search bar. Meta descriptions are best to be set up in a way that provides an answer or an explanation to these questions.
Let’s make this a bit more clear with an example! Say you have a food blog page that has a detailed recipe for an apple pie. Most users would search for an apple pie recipe by simply typing “apple pie recipe” or “how to bake an apple pie?” In your meta description, you need to find an enticing way to attract your readers so they would prefer clicking to your recipe instead of another blog post. In line with this, one way to set up your meta description would be “With this easy homemade recipe, learn how to bake the most delicious apple pie for you to enjoy with your friends and family”. This description potentially answers the user’s questions while highlighting the fact that they can enjoy your recipe with their loved ones.
Unless you use a meta description, the search engine will pick a snippet of text on your page’s first paragraph and display that in the search results. While this seems like an option, it deprives you of providing a more personalized description of your blog post, as you can clearly see from the example above.
Rich Snippets for Blog Posts
In the world of SEO, structured data/rich snippets may often be undermined. This amazing tool is essential when it comes to boosting your click rate. There are rich snippet markups, also known as schema, you can implement on your blog post and help improve its visibility on the search result pages.
Search engines, mostly Google, have many rules and regulations that require accurate information when it comes to structured data. Not abiding by them may cause your rankings to drop significantly; however, used correctly, schema markups make a big difference for your website. Unless you are familiar with the concept of structured data, it is best to consult professionals who are in the business. Let’s take a quick look at a few useful markups you can use on your blog post!
Article rich snippets are one of the most useful blog post markups out there. You can simply put relevant information such as the headline, short description, author name, and an image. This markup would provide the right data for search engine users in a way that may motivate them into clicking your blog post link instead of others.
An FAQ page is always a good idea. Try implementing quick responses to general questions that may be asked by search engine users. Having your FAQ page showing up in the search result page as a rich snippet would attract users that are looking for the information you are ready to share on your blog post.
Depending on the content of your blog, say it is food-related, recipe schema would also serve your needs in the best way possible. This way, your potential readers would find out if this is the right content for them, especially if you include relevant information such as ingredients, calorie count, cooking time, etc.
Mobile Website Optimization
It is no secret that mobile devices are a huge part of our online presence. Optimizing your blog post for mobile-friendly use is essential in terms of SEO. Mobile optimization is more than just appearance. Search engines, again mainly Google, are not likely to direct their mobile users to websites with difficult navigation. The reason behind this is that the search engines are inclined to provide the most accurate and helpful content out there. Let’s see how we can optimize our blog post content for mobile devices:
- Shorten your content. Long posts and huge graphics tend to slow things down, so make sure you keep loading time to a minimum.
- Responsive design. Whether your readers are on their tablets or smartphones, your design should be responsive and UI-friendly for easy navigation.
- Keep the navigation simple. People, especially smartphone users, are inclined to find what they are looking for in a heartbeat. Make sure your mobile website has an easy-to-access search bar, navigational menu, and so on. Try avoiding “click here” moments as they can be frustrating to your readers.
- Finally, keep up with the latest trends and update your mobile-friendly content on a regular basis. Test your page with each update and make sure your priority is your readers’ convenience.
Ranking High on the Search Engines
All these SEO-friendly blog post tips we have covered are important tools to rank your page higher on the search engines in the long term. As we have already mentioned, these tips do not directly affect your numbers, but careful implementation would eventually get you there. Now that you know how your blog post content can be created in line with your SEO needs, let’s talk about what further can be done.
Granted, your content is the key, but that does not mean there are no other measures to take.
First things first, make sure you use internal links on your blog post page. Linking to other pages of your website, inbound linking, validates your website to search engines. This also keeps your inside traffic ongoing and consistent among your visitors.
Like most businesses, you need other people! If you already have a network, do not hesitate to use it. You need different websites to promote your content. These websites need to be relevant to your business for sure, but relevancy is a large spectrum. Let’s carry on with the apple pie blog post example. This particular blog post of yours can be mentioned on a website that belongs to a company that manufactures cooking aprons. However, in order to do that, you need to reach out to the manufacturer and contact the right people while leveraging your content in a way that benefits both sides. If you do not have an existing network, do not avoid getting out of your comfort zone. It may take time and patience, but keep in mind that more than 7 billion searches are made during a day on multiple search engines. That means there are many opportunities out there for you to discover and connect with.
That being mentioned, we need to understand the concept of “backlinking”. There are many ways to build links to your blog post. Your post being linked on different websites (company websites, other blog pages, etc.), significantly boosts your chances of ranking high on the search results page. You can also ask these websites if they would like to exchange links. You can refer to their pages on your blog post and vice versa. While some website owners prefer executing this exchange for a certain amount of fee, depending on their traffic, it may prove its return on investment in the long term.
Backlinks also create trust between your blog post and your readers. Being referred to on multiple websites improves your visibility while convincing your readers that your blog post is worthy of their time.
While backlinking, make sure to avoid paid links as well as irrelevant and low-quality links. Search engine’s algorithms are complex enough to comprehend whether your blog post has real value that is given by legitimate websites or not. Keep in mind that shortcuts are not always a good idea!
Let’s Rank #1!
In conclusion, creating a SEO-friendly blog post may require a lot of effort and attention to detail, but it is not impossible. Understanding how SEO works and how search engines prioritize their search results can help you tailor your blog posts to meet those requirements. By following the guidelines mentioned in this post, you can create a blog post that is both informative and engaging for your readers, while also optimizing it for search engines to rank it higher on the search result pages.
Remember to keep your content short, responsive, and easy to navigate on mobile devices. Use keywords and meta descriptions to make your blog post more discoverable, and don't forget to optimize your images and use internal links. Building backlinks and collaborating with other websites can also help increase your blog post's visibility and credibility.
In the end, the key to ranking #1 with blogging is to focus on your readers and their needs. By providing high-quality content that meets their expectations and interests, you can create a loyal following that will help spread the word about your blog and improve your search engine ranking.