Have you ever considered creating an SEO-friendly blog post?
Did I hear, “SEO is dead”?
Well, many bloggers do think alike. But truth be told – SEO is still here.
In an article, columnist Stephan Spencer claimed – SEO is not dead; it’s just a shape-shifter. He added, “While SEO is NOT dead, the way that you’re doing it might be”.
This is all that SEO knows – transit from one phase to another. And this is how we grow.
A Quick Glance at the Subject Content
- Long-tail Keywords = Less Competition
- Crafting a Great Headline
- How to Structure Your Blog?
- Starting Your SEO-friendly Blog Post
- Add Subheadings to Easy-navigation
- Structuring Paragraphs
- Reducing Bounce Rates to Making a Better SEO-friendly Blog Post
- Write Long, Write Frequently
- Add Images
Creating Your Own SEO-Friendly Blog Post
Tip#1 Long-tail Keywords = Less Competition
Earlier when SEO was relatively new, bloggers and SEO experts were used to adding tons of keywords in their content. It seemed as if they’re writing for the machine only. And it’s true back then. But not anymore.
Now that web crawlers are smarter than before, you can’t fool them by using tons of keywords in your content. You too need to change your attitude towards SEO.
One way to check their smartness is to see how search engines process when you make a certain query. To understand their smartness, let’s try to perform an easy task. Type ‘fix car engine’ in your search bar and get search results.
Not a single result came with that exact same keyword. But earlier we’re able to get matching results. What’s story behind this?
Like Spencer mentioned, SEO has transitioned from that old-fashioned technique to an advanced level. Keywords are more concerned with the topics. They are no longer a way to fool web crawlers.
If you try a more specific and a longer-tail keyword, it would give you a more precise result. So, for the next search query try ‘how to fix a car engine’.
Not even this search query provided us that exact same keyword. But the results were more accurate this time. This shows that long-tail keywords help users finding a more accurate information.
Try to narrow down this search query. Using an even longer-tail keyword and being more specific would give you a clearer result. Try this ‘how to fix a car engine at home’.
Again, not a single query with that exact same keyword. However, this query showed a more relevant search result.
Did you notice something in three of the above examples? The length of your keyword is a direct proportion to the time taken to search a query. And is inversely proportional to the results. In other words, a longer-tail keyword takes more time to provide fewer results. This shows the relevancy of your query.
From this study you would’ve learned four concepts:
- Keywords are no longer the soul of your content
- They are now widely used to develop or gather information
- The longer the keyword, the longer searching time is required
- Long-tail keywords means less competition
So, it’d be clearer that keywords are no longer a shortcut to optimize your content. You can’t rely on a bunch of short keywords to create an SEO-friendly blog post. Try using one focus long-tail keyword (as is also suggested by Yoast).
So now to create an SEO-friendly blog post, focus more towards long-tail keywords. One way to get ideas on long-tail keywords is using BuzzSumo. This tool will help you generate content ideas from keywords and give you some ideas which keyword is more shareable and what readers want to hear.
Tip#2 Crafting a Great Headline
Now that we’ve tons of WordPress plugins, it’s getting very easy to craft a great headline that’s more SEO-friendly. However, when using WordPress certain SEO plugins could do more harm to your content than good.
An outreaching SEO plugin is widely installed by WordPress users all over the world. It guides them to put their focus keyword in prime locations. But when you’re done with those instructions, you’d find an end result, which is quite disappointing often. You’d feel as if your content is following the old fashion – a content filled with unnecessary keywords.
But again (like said in tip# 1) – keywords still matter. So, when that tool asks you to add your focus keyword in the heading, listen to it. You’d need to be smarter than the tools.
Try to craft a headline which is catchy and prone to readers’ attention.
This tip doesn’t end here.
The headline is the first element which could bring a garnering traffic to your blog. And putting a focus keyword in the headline is not the end solution.
So how could you create a headline which grabs attention?
According to Marina, a great headline is a blend of numbers, adjectives, and a call-to-action.
But, more could be added here. Some other top producers recommend creating a great headline by making it more emotional, empowering, and fruitful for the readers.
All these tips are non-other than a way to push readers to move to your content.
An easy way to create great headlines is the use of headline analyzers.
(Image by CoSchedule Blog Post Headline Analyzer)
CoSchedule Blog Post Headline Analyzer is one such tool which helps you create a great headline. You type in your headline and the tool will give it a score.
Not only it scores your headline, it also guides you to create a better headline. And their tips on crafting great headline is no less than an expert’s advice.
Tip#3 How to Structure Your Blog?
Be it a blog, a research or a film script, the basic structure of a viral content is almost the same:
- An intro
- A detailed information/story
- A conclusion/founding/climax
This is easy to remember, and we’ve been following it since our school days. Remember the essays we used to write? Or the stories we read? All followed (and still follows) these three basic steps.
This was the easy part. Now to the comparatively harder part.
To start with the more complex section, let me first tell you a short story.
I settled a meeting with a new prospect over the phone, a few days back. He asked me to visit his office at 11 in the morning to discuss the matter in detail. The client’s office was in a high-rise building. I parked my car in the lot and went in the building. The security officer led me to the client’s office. He greeted me well and offered me a cup of coffee. I started explaining the services I offer, with the benefits the client could get. I also showed him some of my impressive achievements. He had several questions, which I promptly answered. Making him realize the importance of my services for his venture. Then I shook his hand firmly and left his office.
Why am I telling you this story?
To understand the value of a structure.
Let’s go back to the story and see what you’d learn from that:
- I called the client and introduced myself – an opening statement;
- I briefed a little about my services and offered to help him – the purpose of my visit;
- The protocol officer guided me to the client’s office – his directions to the exact location;
- We discussed the subject matter (the services) – a problem-solving discussion, with a session of questions and answers;
- Shook hands with the client – concluding our deal;
This is the structure you’d also follow whenever you have a meeting. If you’ve done it right, you’d secure the business. Otherwise, you’d have to look for another client.
I was able to secure the deal as I understood the importance of steps required to close a deal.
Now, if you’d deploy these steps to your next SEO-friendly blog post, chances are that you’d get a good traffic on your blog.
A step-by-step guide to your SEO-friendly blog post:
- An opening statement – Headline: create a headline which leads your reader move ahead;
- The purpose of the visit – Starting Lines: the starting few lines are very important. These will decide if the reader would like to go ahead or not;
- Directing your visitor – Listing: if you’d create a list of the key elements under discussion, it’d guide the reader better. This is a way to show your concern for the time a user intends to spend on your blog;
- Discussing the subject matter – Main Content: this is the key section. It widely serves the purpose of reader’s visit to your blog;
- Concluding the business – Call-to-Action: this part is for the reader. Let them decide if they’d like to go with your services or information or not;
In easy terms, the concept behind structuring your SEO-friendly blog post is – an easy guide to a problem-solving content.
Tip#4 Starting Your SEO-friendly Blog Post
(Image by: MAGENTO SEO)
Like every discussion you have, your blog also needs some fruitful thoughts, to begin with.
Brian Clark, the founding father of Copyblogger shares his understandings of opening a blog post with a bang. According to him, a blog should have:
- A relevant question
- A quote from a famous personality
- Help the reader think deeper
- Make the reader emotional
- Share some facts
These startup points seem amazing. And you’d be thinking to start your next blog with the same bang. But, I don’t want to be rude, but you can’t always run your blog like this. No one can. And you mustn’t be so rule-supporter. Even Brian couldn’t incorporate all the points of his founding in that blog post.
For me starting a blog is never easy. And after reading this blog, it became even harder. But then I looked around and found that not all bloggers do the same, at least not all the time. So you also don’t have to think too hard when start writing the first few lines.
An easy guide to help you make your content SEO-friendly is;
- Try incorporating your focused long-tail keyword in the first part – this helps the crawlers find your content and also help the audience understand the core of the content
- Be engaging
- A promise to provide relevant information
And lastly, don’t drag the first few lines too much, the reader might run away from your blog. After all, it’s just the first FEW LINES. Not the first MANY LINES.
Tip#5 Add Subheadings to Easy-navigation
The purpose of subheadings is quite simple – helps the reader more in understanding the subject matter. It also reduces the mess. And even if your writing isn’t as attractive as it’d be, people might still come to read what you’ve shared in your less-messy content.
To make your post more SEO-friendly, you can add your focus keyword in the subheading as well. But don’t get used to it. It isn’t wise to add the focus keyword in every subheading.
Tip#6 Structuring Paragraphs
After structuring your blog overall, you also need to understand to structure every paragraph, especially the points under discussion.
The basic rule is the same as structuring your blog. Some additional elements you might want to understand includes:
- Try using short sentences;
- Invoke white space all through your content;
- Add headings, where necessary;
- Keep your paragraphs small;
- Use bullets or numbers to make a list;
Note: SEO blogging is not only about keywords. We already know that SEO is now smart enough to ignore a keyword-rich content. SEO is now more about the reader. If your reader likes it, so would the search engines.
Tip#7 Reducing Bounce Rates to Making a Better SEO-friendly Blog Post
Now this is one of the key elements every webmaster, blogger, and site owner is most concerned about. This is going to be my next topic for the blog. But for now, we’ll take a look at few ways to reduce the bounce rate.
Bounce rate isn’t a good thing for your website, this you already know. But how you could get rid of it, you can’t. There will always be some factors which will make it certain that your website or blog never gets a fully loaded traffic.
But, you can resist them by helping your website friendlier.
Here my tips to reduce your bounce rate to generate an SEO-friendly blog post:
- Improve your content’s readability – one of the best ways to find the readability of your blog is using Hemingway App. This app helps you edit your existing content easier to read and understand;
- Get rid of popups – now would like a sudden bang while they’re reading your blog. 70% of the visitors complained that they leave and intended to stay away from those websites or blogs, which were sending too many popups. So if you’re planning to do something like this, forget it;
- Tell a story – not literally start telling a story. It’s accustomed to sharing a moral lesson in a storytelling way. Children loved it back then. And today, marketers love to follow those old ways. Explain your blog in a storytelling way. Don’t make it sound like a textbook. You know, more 50% of the students are not good in understanding their course books. But can read pages after pages of a novel or a story in one go. Adopt a storytelling method to engage your audience. But, also don’t deviate from your topic and don’t push them in black holes.
- Write a Meta Description – since we’re talking about an SEO-friendly blog post, you also keep in mind that a meta description is few of the first things which can catch readers’ glimpse. If you don’t add a meta description yourself, your website (CMS) will do this job itself. And it isn’t a good habit. Create a meta description telling users what you’re offering them. Make it precise and concise. And add your focus long-tail keyword.
- Speed the page loading – where 2 seconds aren’t that hard to wait, yet 47% of the visitors would leave you without saying a ‘hello’. Try to reduce the time as much as you’d to make it more user-friendly.
Tip#8 Write Long, Write Frequently
- Experts recommend – write long;
- Juveniles recommend – write short;
This has always haunted me. Everyone is telling a different story. But then I learned that it isn’t the length only. There are a lot of other factors which combines to make a content healthy. And quality, content structure, information provided and the tone used are few of the basic ingredients of any content.
Having said that, I don’t disagree with experts’ advice. I do prefer long blogs. But only when it has to be. For example, when I need to share some information, help people understand what I have learned, or when it’s a problem-solving content, a long post awaits me. But for news or bits of advice, a short to medium-sized content is good enough for me.
So, understand this – long content is not a rule of thumb.
Whereas for the frequency of publications, I would have to bow down. Long or short, you need to keep your web page or blog healthy enough to gather more and more traffic every day.
Related: 3 Simple Blogging Do’s and Don’ts
Tip#9 Add Images
Images work as the spice of any content. Photographers and designers argue that images worth thousand times more than words. But I would disagree. Of course, I have to; I ain’t a photographer but a writer.
Anyhow, images do have a lot of value. They help the reader understand better. And they also take a huge part of SEO. When you add images to your content, you’d be asked to give it a name. That name you give is crawled by the web crawlers. So if you’d incorporate your selected long-tail keyword to the image name, it’d help your post a lot in SEO.
Dear Blogger, the Time is on Your Side
Good news, we have discussed 9 simple ways to creating an SEO-friendly blog post. And these are good enough to start.
Before closing, I’d like to remind you – SEO is just a shape-changer. This time, it’s stepping back from unnecessary-keyword-rich content. Soon it’ll do something else. You’re always prone to dangers. But not if you focus the HUMANS as your key to success, not the machines.
If you have some suggestions or questions, feel free to comment. I’m always open to respond!