What? Blog length does matter! But we’ll get to that later.
If you’re here, you probably already know that SEO (search engine optimization) is a strategy to make the most money off of your brand by ranking well on search engines. Where it gets gritty is that it’s not as easy as throwing specific keywords into rushed content and Google picking up on green-lighting it.
Admittedly, that’s some decent wishful thinking. We like it, but nah. Not how it works.
A search engine optimized blog post contains a multitude of factors that make said blog the best. This doesn’t just mean that search engines are a fan of your post (blog), but that your readers are too.
Better Blogs: Blog-ception
As always, we have your back. We get that digging up the parameters that search engines prefer in a blog in order to get you ranking higher can be tiresome and even fruitless… so we did it for you.
Welcome to a blog about blogging. Blog-ception, if you would.
Here are our favorite pointers on how to create better blog posts. These are designed to teach you how to push your rankings to the top and leave your readers turning to you as their number one source for compelling content.
1 – Research and Authority
It should be a no-brainer that to provide quality content that people can trust, you actually need accurate and dependable information. If you yourself are not an expert on what you’re writing about, do enough research to at least educate yourself about it. After all, you’ve got to teach your audience the same information.
Another type of research essential for optimization lands on your keywords. If you are providing valuable content on a topic then chances are, you already include keywords without realizing it.
2 – Think It Out
For some (lucky jerks), sitting down and writing their thoughts without planning is easy and the end result is loathsomely perfect. For most of us, though, we need to actually think about what we’re writing. Contemplate the message of your text:
- What are you trying to convey to your readers?
- What’s the purpose?
- What type of action or reaction are you trying to encourage your readers to make?
If you need to, scrawl the answers to these questions down before writing. It can help you stay focused and on topic throughout your post.
3 – Structure
Every post should start with a clear structure. Your content should have three main parts:
- Introduction: Introduce your topic and briefly outline your article.
- Body: Where you convey your message.
- Conclusion: Summarizes the main points of your content and encourages action.
Once you know what you want to include within these sections, the real writing can begin. Take advantage of your paragraphs and headings. Your paragraphs should always have a focal point. Don’t start a new one unless there’s a good reason to. Use your headings wisely. They stand out to Google and can help your rankings.
4 – Wording and Placement
Finally! What you thought optimization was really all about: words!
They do play a huge part in ranking well and diverting traffic to your page. Once you decide on your message, target some keywords to include in your post. Make sure you’re using relevant keywords. The tricky part is placing them where they will have the most impact on your readers and search engine crawlers that index your content.
If you remember nothing else in this post, remember what follows next. The following places are necessary areas to include your keywords:
- Headings and Subheadings
- Concluding paragraph (mostly this adds to a sufficient keyword density)
- Introductory sentence or paragraph
- Title tags and meta descriptions
- Anchor text (text linked to other pages on your website)
Warning! We can’t say this enough: do not participate in keyword stuffing. It’s a black hat technique, and it’s so incredibly outdated and dirty. Keyword stuffing is when you fill your content with so many keywords that it becomes challenging and painfully repetitive to read.
That will naturally not only aggravate your followers but will earn you a penalization from Google.
All you need is a few keywords strategically placed keywords in one of the areas listed above.
5 – Length Matters
Google likes a long post.
Well, longer posts are associated with more detail and therefore offer a better source of information for Google’s users.
That wasn’t always the case, though. In previous years, the loosely agreed on number of recommended amount of words per article was 300-500. Now, most SEO experts and bloggers agree that the new ideal range is 1000-2000 words.
Keep in mind that those numbers may change in 2018 with Google’s swap to a mobile-first index.
A great way to determine how many words your post should be is to search the topic on Google. Look at the number one post and how many words it contains. If it has 700, write 1000. With the right keywords strategically placed along with valuable information written in a captivating way, your post will seem more detailed to Google and rank higher because it should (hopefully) give readers better information than the previous lead.
6 – Images
When uploading photos to your blog, include keywords in the file name and place a brief, keyword rich caption of the picture in the alternate text field. Easy enough, right?
7 – Editing
It can be hard to analyze our content for readability, understanding, and errors. We wrote it, so to us, it might make sense. However, it could leave someone else scratching their head trying to find meaning in your words. It’s always beneficial to ask someone to read what you write before you publish it for the entire world to see.
Ask them if they understand the message, to point out any errors or typos, and if it’s formatted correctly. Don’t take their criticism to heart. The feedback can only save you from embarrassment and harsh rankings later on. Thanking your “editor” with food or coffee is always a nice gesture, too.
8 – Links
Links are essential elements in superb optimization. Placing links to other blogs with relevant and quality information as well as links to previous related blogs that you wrote can give you good rankings in Google. That is because this proves to Google or any search engine that your content provides more valuable, reliable knowledge that can benefit your readers.
Better Blogs, Better Business
Optimizing your blog and website is not as simple as just throwing in some valuable words related to your topic. We wish it was, but we know better, too. Tons of factors contribute to the achievement of a beneficial post, beyond even what we’ve discussed.
Most importantly, take your time, think it through, and focus on the purpose of what you’re writing about. If you’d rather have the professionals worry about your content and ranking, talk to us. Just like this blog, we’ll make your business’ life easier and drive your ranking higher.