Anatomy of a Blog Post
How to Write Content for Maximum SEO
Good, relevant, and up-to-date content is critical to online business success, whether b2b or ecommerce. You should have a blog! How many times have you heard those lines?
Companies vie for attention and clicks in an increasingly competitive and cluttered online world. And we know that Google search rank is based on page relevance and site authority. A dynamic and informative blog on topics relevant to your market can be one of the best ways of increasing both!
The challenge we all face when shaping a blog post is to:
- Engage the reader and hold their attention
- Provide value
- Get the reader to take an action
Constructing a blog post for easy reading and maximum impact takes thought and planning. Here then, are some tips on how to structure posts in a way that will engage visitors, encourage them to spend more time browsing deeper, and increase the likelihood they will share your posts.
Craft an Engaging and Keyword-Rich Title
The blog title, like any page title, should be 5-8 words in length. It should include important keywords for maximum search relevancy. Avoid the urge to write something “cute” or clever which may not actually be meaningful to the reader or the search engines, and will not help with search. Address the reader’s needs, and they will quickly engage. You should have a target keyword phrase, and plan to incorporate related terms throughout the post. Here we are targeting “blog post” and terms like “content,” “write” and, of course, “seo.”
Consider Adding a Sub-Headline
A sub-headline at the beginning of a post can serve as a one-sentence summary of what the post is about. While not an absolute requirement, it can be an opportunity to add a few more related or similar keywords. Here, we used, “How to Write Content for Maximum SEO” as the sub-title, enabling the elegant addition of contextually relevant keywords to support the title and main idea.
Directly Address the Reader’s Problem in the Blog Content
Each post should focus on the needs of your readers and of your market. Visitors arrive to your blog because they have a question or are searching for specific information. They may need a business tips or a solution to a specific problem. Write informatively. Use a friendly and helpful voice. Speak directly to the visitor. Aim to make a connection. Use language that draws the reader in. Your blog is a dialogue. Don’t sound like a commercial or sales pitch. Write a post that educates. Let the visitor know what’s in it for them.
Break Up the Content with Sub-Heads
Web users don’t read. They scan. This is how most people approach Web reading, at least upon initial engagement with content. Your goal, as noted above, is to keep their interest and pull them in.
Length is not Crucial, but, Go Long
There are many opinions about the ideal length of a typical blog post. And it depends to a large degree on the nature of your business and of your readers. Having said that, the trend today is for “long form” posts. People scan headlines and sub-headlines, and dive in where they are compelling. Google too, likes to see “real” content rather than fluff. Aim for approximately 750 words to start. If you have a lot to offer, and if you keep providing value, then length won’t matter. But err toward longer rather than shorter. Always edit and re-edit your post for clarity and remove any unnecessary words or sentences that do not detract rather than add to your message.
Internal Linking Will Encourage Interaction and Provide Context
Link to related posts on your site. Enable new visitors to find related content they would not have seen otherwise. This will keep visitors on the site longer. And it will enable Google to see subject matter context on your site.
External Linking is for Grown-Ups
Linking to other sites from your posts is fine. It can even be a good thing. Some will argue that we want to keep people on the blog at all costs. But don’t be afraid to expose your visitors to related web sites. This will help establish your blog’s authority. If you provide value, through external links as well as your own content, readers will come back for more. It may also help you build relationships with relevant websites. And it could result in reciprocal links and traffic.
Select Appropriate Images
Images should be consistent. They should be visually appealing, relevant, and not all stock images. Name the image files with meaningful keywords and use ALT text in the code to describe them, with relevant keywords where possible.
Success Depends on Providing Value
The success of a blog relies on the value of the content. Relevant, keyword-rich content will increase traffic. Relevant, quality content will retain visitors and encourage sharing. The more original, quality content you serve, the more people will share your posts, engage with your firm and your site, and become return visitors. Earn their trust through real content. When visitors trust you, they will spend money with you as well.
The Most Common SEO Pitfalls (Part 2)