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How to write an SEO-friendly blog post

Posted on 11th October, 2017 by Greg Doyle

Content Marketing, Copywriting, Search Engine Optimisation

Having a company blog can really help with your SEO efforts. It’s something you can update regularly with relevant content, which Google will pick up on each time it crawls your site. But when you’re writing your posts, it’s important to make them as SEO-friendly as possible in order to see the best results with your search engine rankings.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry – we’ll talk you through the very simple process of writing optimised blog content.

Create the structure for your post

Instead of going in all guns blazing, take some time to plan the structure of your blog post. This can be as simple as making a list of bullet points showing what you’ll cover in each paragraph.

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Not only will defining a structure help you to write in a clear, concise way, it’ll also come in handy if you haven’t got time to finish the post in one sitting. You’ll easily be able to gather your thoughts and pick up from where you left off.

Write a great title

The title of your post is what grabs readers’ attention, so you need to make sure it’s gripping whilst also being SEO-friendly. An optimised title is vital, as it indicates to the search engines what the page is about.

A top-notch title should include your target keyword, and if possible a ‘power word’ (a word that has been proven to improve the click-through rate). A great tool to use is the headline analyser from CoSchedule, which will tell you what percentage of your headline is made up of power words and give you a score based on how clickable it is.

Also bear in mind the length of your title. Ideally, it should be 55-60 characters so that it’s displayed without breaks in the search engines.

Tweak the URL

Always make sure the words in your URL are separated with a hyphen. Your CMS will usually automatically generate the URL based on the title, but it’s a good idea to remove unnecessary words to shorten your link before publishing your post.

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If you want to make any changes to the URL once the post has been published, you’ll need to add 301 redirects – otherwise your rankings could be at risk.

Optimise the meta-description

The SERPs will most likely choose to display your meta-description, so it needs to be captivating to encourage people to click through and read your blog. You only have 156 characters to play with, so every word has to count!

Use headings correctly

Your title should be your only h1 tag on the page, and should include your target keywords. Following that, your headings should follow a hierarchal structure – with main sections being h2 and sub-sections being h3.

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Not only do headings make your post easier for users to read, but it also assists the search engine spiders during the crawling process.

Add relevant links where necessary

Internal linking is a really effective SEO technique – it helps search engines identify new pages on your website and indicates what your page is about.

So, whenever you create a new post, see if you have any existing articles that you can link to from it. Make sure the links are relevant though, otherwise you’re at risk of being penalised by Google.

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Adding links can also reduce your bounce rate and keep visitors on your website for longer periods of time. It’s a win-win situation.

Be mindful of overusing keywords

Whilst keywords are crucial for SEO, overusing them (known as keyword stuffing) can have the opposite effect on your rankings.

If you find yourself using the same keyword over and over again, use Google’s Keyword Planner to look for closely related terms that you can use instead. That way, you’ll also improve your chances of ranking for alternative search terms that you may not have otherwise thought of.

Keep the length of your post in mind

The search engines focus on quality content, with articles that are longer than 2,000 words often being featured on page one. With that in mind, it’s worth scheduling some long-form posts into your content calendar.

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Long-form content showcases your brand as a trusted source of information, and studies have also shown that longer pieces get more engagement when distributed on social media.

However, this doesn’t mean that shorter posts won’t do well in the search engines – just be sure to use relevant links, correct formatting and keywords that are naturally incorporated into the copy. Above all, make sure shorter posts are written to a high standard.

Ensure your images are SEO-optimised

Adding images, infographics and videos is a great way to jazz up a blog post and make it more visually appealing – and rich media can also add SEO value to your piece.

All you need to do is use meaningful file names (separate each word with a hyphen) and ALT text that is relevant and includes keywords. It’s such as simple thing to do, but it can really make a difference to your SEO.

Whatever your next blog post is about, you’ll have peace of mind that it’s contributing to your SEO when you follow the tips we’ve outlined.

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