How to write a Blog Post for SEO: The Keyword-focused Approach
Getting to the top takes time, but who wants to wait? When you’re writing a blog post for SEO – that is, with the goal of getting it ranked in search engine results – it’s important to have the right keyword strategy. Using the right keyword strategy can help you rise through the ranks of search results because automated search engine software will know what your page content is about.
But, don’t forget that readers will see your post too (that’s the whole point, remember!), and when they do, they should get some real value from the content. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of writing a blog post for SEO while still presenting quality content for the people who will read it.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a tactic to increase the amount of web traffic to your website through the ranking systems put in place by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.
The trends and rules of how search rankings work change over time as search engines improve their ranking methods. Blogging is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your company’s rankings in search results. Learning how to write an keyword-focused blog post can enable you to improve your website’s SEO – and, as your rankings improve and your site traffic increases, people will see your company as an active and credible source of insight.
First things first: ‘Keyword’ refers to what a user would type into a search engine to find results for. A keyword can be anything – for example:
- “Family law firm”
- “Star Wars”
- “How to write a blog post for SEO”
You might be thinking to yourself, “Why is it called a keyword if there is an entire phrase?” Sometimes it’s one word, but often times, people search a string of words. That is the difference between “short-tail” and “long-tail” keyword searches. Short-tail keywords are typically harder to rank for because of how general the keyword is. “Family law firm” is very broad and will bring billions of pages of results related to family law firms.
In general, people have begun using long-tail keywords more often than short-tail keywords. People are using their phones to search sentence-styled phrases, such as “Best family law firm in Austin” or “What is Soylent Green really made out of?”
These long-tail keywords are more specific and therefore easier to rank for because there is often less competition from other companies.
The focus point of a blog written to be seen by the search engine is the “focus keyword.” When Google uses their algorithm to find the most relevant sources to answer a search query, the software will see repeated uses of your focus keyword and is more likely to present your blog post in the search results.
Using Your Keyword
You will typically want to select only one of your targeted keywords per post – this is your “focus keyword” – and you will want to make sure it’s something that your target audience is likely to be searching. Here are a few ways to implement the focus keyword throughout your blog post:
When anyone looks at your blog, the title will be the first thing they see. So, including the keyword in your blog title is imperative.
Make sure that while the title of your blog post includes your focus keyword, it also has a hook to entice the readers to click.
It’s important to utilize your keyword several times in the body of your blog, which shouldn’t be a surprise. What might be surprising, however, is that there is a sweet spot for the frequency of your keyword use.
Certain tools that help with keyword tracking will let you know how close to the sweet spot you are. These tools also help you know when you’ve used the keyword too many times. Google will penalize bloggers who overuse their target keyword phrases, called “keyword padding.”
Yoast, a company that creates SEO software, recommends that your keyword usage should be greater than 2% but should not exceed 4.5% of your total blog post word count. So, if you’re writing a 300 word blog post (which is the minimum recommended length) you should use your keyword phrase between 6 and 13 times.
Including your keyword in your blog post’s URL will help your SEO goals. It’s usually pretty easy to use your title as the URL for your blog post.
When you’re ready to post your blog, you should edit the meta description, which is the descriptive text you see underneath the title of search result rankings.
Meta descriptions serve as both an SEO boost and a summary aimed at informing viewers why your blog is relevant to their search, which it definitely will be because you wrote it and you’re awesome!
Ways to Improve Your Post’s SEO
There are a couple of great ways to further the SEO work on your blog. Keyword density and meta descriptions are the foundations, but these tips will help you strengthen the SEO so your post will be seen by as many people as possible.
Adding photos to your blog post not only makes it look great and easier to read, doing so can also help give your SEO a push up the rankings. When you add a photo to your blog, you should utilize the alt tag, which is alternative text for your photo on your page.
Including the focus keyword in your alt tag will enhance your SEO efforts.
Take it from BuzzFeed, lists attract viewers. Information is just easier to digest as a list. Look, lists are:
- Short and to the point
- Helpful organizational tools
- Fun to cross off
- Great at getting SEO content into your post organically
When you are mapping out a blog post, it could help to create it in list format, outlining the points you want to make.
Google loves external links on your website. If you’re writing a blog, it can be very smart for you to include a few links to outside sources.
Beyond trying to just increase your SEO, adding external links helps build your credibility. There are millions of people writing strange things on the internet, and if you want to separate yourself from them, you need to include sources for what you’re saying.
Kickstarting your SEO isn’t meant to be a headache. With our easy steps, you’ll be on your way to placing your blog posts higher and higher through the rankings. If you want to learn more about SEO, give HubRunner call today.