If you’ve written a blog post before, you know how much time it can take.
From choosing a topic to collecting research, writing the post and pressing “Publish”, the process often takes hours. That’s why it can be a huge disappointment if your post isn’t getting the traffic you expected.
Fortunately, there is a way to combat low traffic: search engine optimization. As marketers, we always strive to write content that is high on Google, and SEO is the bridge that will help you get there. That begs the question: how do you incorporate that into your content?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’re going to learn about 12 ways to master SEO writing.
What does SEO write?
SEO writing is the process of writing content to rank on the first page of search engines like Google. To do this, you need to search for keywords, write quality content that matches the user’s intent, and optimize your headers for easy page crawling.
A 2020 study by the Search Engine Journal found that the click-through rate for websites in position 1 on the search engine results page (SERP) is 25%. That number drops dramatically to 15% for sites in second position, and then to 2.5% for sites in position 10. When you get to page two on Google, that number gets even lower.
This means that if your website is not on the first page, there is little chance that consumers will find your website organic. Fewer visits to your website mean fewer opportunities to generate leads and ultimately revenue.
Your next best option is to invest in advertising to get these users to your website. But it costs money and if you are on a tight budget why not invest time in SEO writing? It’s free, and it’s likely to bring you traffic for a lot longer than a campaign.
12 Tips for Incorporating SEO into Your Writing
1. Use headings to your advantage.
Headings help Google web crawlers understand your blog post and the sections in it.
Think of the crawlers as readers scanning your blog. You want an overview of what is covered in your article, this is your first semester. Then your H2s, H3s, H4s break up the subtopics within the piece.
Hence, your sub-headings should reflect the content of the body and include high-intent keywords. If you use the right keywords i.e. those that your target audience is using, you have a much higher chance of ranking on the SERP.
2. Optimize your content for selected snippets.
Selected snippets on Google are the most direct answers to search queries. For example, if I were to search, “How do you write a blog post?” Google may use a selected snippet to show the best answer.
To get a featured snippet on Google, you need to answer the question thoroughly and succinctly.
For example, if the search term is “How to take a screenshot on a Mac”, you can use “How to take a screenshot on a MacBook computer” as H1 or H2, followed by the steps in a numbered or bulleted list.
Next, make sure to include part of the question in your answer. Using the example above, you would start the paragraph like this: “To take a screenshot on your MacBook, do the following …”
Start each sentence with an actionable verb, such as “click” and “select”.
If the keyword for which you want to collect the selected snippet needs definition, write a response with a maximum of 58 words.
3. Write for people, not search engines.
With all of these SEO guidelines, it’s easy to forget that a user searching on Google is looking for an answer. The best way for you to improve your ranking chances is to write high quality blog posts.
How does it look? Thorough answers, scannable sections, organized sub-headings, and visual aids.
Keep an eye on your buyer personalities, their motivations, challenges and interests. It’s also important to choose topics that resonate with your prospects and address their weaknesses.
4. Add keywords to your meta description.
Are you adding meta descriptions to your post? If your answer is no, chances are you’re not giving your post the maximum exposure possible. Let’s examine why they are important.
Meanwhile, we’ve talked about a few ways a blog post can communicate with Google: sub-headings, keywords, and snippets. However, this is not an exhaustive list.
Meta descriptions are another area that Google searches to get search rankings. Meta descriptions are descriptions with one to three sentences that you can find under the title of a result.
Use meta descriptions to summarize what your post is about and remember:
- Hold on short.
- Use one or two keywords.
- Make it convincing. Eventually, there will be similar posts that are similar to yours so you want your description to stand out from the rest.
Most content management systems (CMS) have meta description fields built in, so you probably won’t have to search far to use the feature.
5. Add alternative text to the images.
With every image you add to your post – picture or body images – you’ll want to add alt text.
The alt text describes what’s happening in the photo and helps Google (and the visually impaired) understand why the photo is in your post.
For example, let’s say your article is about virtual events and you add the following image:
The alternative text should read something like this: “Businessman attending a virtual event is sitting at a desk with a pen in his hand.”
This phrase is descriptive and contains the main keyword “virtual event”. Even if the reality is that it is an archive image, you can still create a narrative to match your blog post.
6. Start with keyword research.
It is estimated that Google processes over 70,000 searches per second. Breathtaking, right?
If you want to get rid of the SERP clutter and leave your competitors behind, you need to target the specific keywords and phrases that your prospects are looking for. How else do they find your content and website?
Start with a keyword research tool. Websites like Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner can tell you what users are looking for and how popular those queries are.
You can also get a feel for which keywords are popular at any given time using Google Trends. If you find that searches for a particular keyword are steadily decreasing over time, you know that this is probably not the right keyword for your marketing. The opposite is true for rising trends.
If you ever run out of keyword ideas, take some inspiration from your competition. Use competitive intelligence tools to determine which keywords your domains are currently ranking for. If these keywords are relevant to your business, then be sure to use them.
Keep in mind, however, that the most obvious keywords won’t always align with your strategy. Additionally, your focus keywords will evolve over time as trends change, terminology changes, or your product / service line grows.
Do keyword research regularly to make sure you continue to focus on the right keywords for your target audience and don’t miss out on important ranking opportunities.
7. Resist the urge for keyword content.
The goal is to completely optimize your page and not make it intrusive. Find natural matches for keyword additions, but don’t force them to the point where your content is illegible.
For example, if your keywords are “Account-Based Marketing”, “Startups”, and “Sales”, avoid a meta description like this: “Sales for Account-Based Marketing Startups”.
Instead, try to focus on a keyword or two to make the description more natural: “Are you looking for killer strategies to improve your account-based marketing game? Explore our research-based techniques in this post.”
With this approach, you’re still using keywords, but you’re not oversaturating the post. Remember, your goal is to solve for your audience. If your users have a poor reading experience, it signals to Google that your post may not meet their needs.
8. Link to high authority websites.
When building your blog post, don’t be afraid to include external links.
Linking to reputable websites not only provides blog readers with additional reading material to expand their knowledge, but it also shows search engines that you have done your research.
Nothing empowers a blog post like research-backed statistics from influential websites. Compelling statistics will help you come up with a more compelling and concrete argument that will help you gain the trust of your readers.
9. Aim for scannable, longer posts.
In a time of short attention spans, you’d think shorter blog posts are the way to go. In fact, search engines like Google prefer longer, in-depth blog posts.
Think about it: the more content there is on the page, the more clues search engines need to figure out what your blog is about. At HubSpot, we found that the ideal length is between 2,100 and 2,400 words.
The disadvantage of longer blogs is that they can overwhelm your readers. One way to counteract this is to break your content down into bite-sized, scannable pieces.
Turn a lengthy sentence into two and keep your paragraphs down to three sentences or less.
Don’t forget the bullet points – they are very attention grabbing and easy to digest, especially on mobile devices.
10. Link to other posts on your website.
By linking to other pages or blog posts on your website, search engines can create an accurate sitemap. It also helps your audience discover more of your content and know you as a trusted, credible source of information.
On the user side, internal links to other valuable content keep readers on your site longer, reducing the bounce rate and increasing the potential for conversion. Isn’t that what it is?
Use natural language for your anchor text when linking to pages on your website or even external sources. Avoid spam or generic calls to action like “premium cheap laptops” or “click here”.
Instead, use descriptive keywords that give readers an idea of what they will find when they click the hyperlink, e.g. B. “Download your SEO guide”.
Never force links to your top websites, featured products, or discounted items. Include links that improve the points made in your posts and of course are related to the topic.
11. Compress images for fast page loading speed.
Google rewards pages with high loading speeds as it improves the user experience.
One of the main causes of page lag is large, heavy images. If you have multiple images in your post, and each one is over 100KB in size, it can dramatically affect page speed.
Fortunately, there are free apps like Squoosh.app that compress images without sacrificing quality.
If you suspect your low ranking is due to slow page speeds, visit Google’s PageSpeed website for free analysis and recommendations.
12. Design a link building strategy.
Link building is crucial for your search ranking.
Why? Think of search results like a competition where the winners get the most votes. Any webpage that links to you counts as a vote for your website, making your content more trustworthy in the eyes of Google. This in turn means that you continue to rise in the ranking.
So it is good to write posts that other websites or publications want to link in their own posts. To make your website blog post more linkable, add quality elements like original data and thought leaders to your posts.
Conducting interviews with experts is another effective way to get traffic back to your website.
How To Title Blog Posts For SEO
Even with a great SEO-friendly post-body, a bad headline could hurt you on the SERP.
To label your post with SEO in mind, write something compelling that also includes your main keyword. Here are some tips:
- Include numbers. For example: “5 ways to rock a matte lipstick.”
- Include your offer in the title. For example: “How do I write a cover letter [+ Free Template]””
- Add a teaser. For example: “We tried the new [Insert App Name] App: What happened here “
They know how to write content that the audience will love. Now is the time to include elements that Google will love too. It can sound difficult at first. These SEO tips will have you on Google’s first page in no time.