Your blog is arguably the most important part of your website, so it’s essential to keep it up-to-date, SEO-optimised and fresh at all times. If you have enough time and resources, we encourage you to update your blog at least twice a month.
How practical is it to create a truly great SEO-optimised post though? Ultimately, creating great content is not enough if your potential customers are not able to find it in the first place. Therefore, it’s essential that you consider SEO requirements when creating your blog content.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a set of practices to improve the appearance and the positioning of your web pages in organic search results. The organic search results are the unpaid listings that appear on a Search Engine Result Page.
Search Engines show results that are more relevant to the user query by crawling website pages in search of content that is semantically connected to the search.
SEO can sometimes feel quite daunting or like an endless list of technical things to remember when all you’re trying to do is make some readable content.
However, it can be straightforward – we promise! To ensure your blogs reach your ideal customers there are a few easy things you can do.
We’ve rounded up our top 9 tips for writing an SEO-optimised blog post. Once you get into the habit of taking on board these tips, we promise this won’t seem as complicated as you think.
1. Ensure you are consistent with your blog headings.
Consistency is essential here. Remember to stick to the following rules when creating your SEO-optimised blog.
- H1 = These are your main keywords and subject matter i.e. what the overall post is about. Your H1 heading is always your biggest heading (only include 2 max on your blogs).
- H2 = These are sections to break up content, using similar keywords to the H1 tag. Your H2 headings need to be nested in your H1 heading(s).
- H3 = These are subcategories to further break up the content, making it easily scannable. Your H3 headings can be used as an extra option.
Use ‘Paragraph’ for body content and try to keep each paragraph under 300 words.
This handy article from Search Engine Journal gives you some great insights if you’d like to know more: How To Use Header Tags: SEO Best Practices.
2. Be mindful of consecutive sentences and passive voice.
Avoid using the same word at the beginning of two consecutive sentences and try not to overuse the passive voice in your copy.
Passive voice is sometimes hard to avoid, however always try to use the active voice where possible. A good example to highlight here is the McDonald’s tagline. What if it was ‘It’s being loved by me’ rather than ‘I’m loving it’? This would be much more difficult to read and digest and have a lot less impact!
Why is this so important though? It’s quite simple really, Search Engines (like Google) reward websites that answer the searcher’s question exactly as it’s typed. The websites (or blogs) that do this with a high degree of readability rank higher.
3. Prioritise punctuation and consider sentence length in your SEO-optimised blogs.
Whilst it’s always good practice to be on top of your game in terms of punctuation, it’s even more important when SEO is concerned. To ensure your SEO-optimised blog is truly successful then punctuation and sentence length must be prioritised.
How you use punctuation is key. You must consider the story of the information conveyed and also the way you use punctuation in the text. Punctuation is very important for the flow of content; it makes your message easy to understand and creates a better user experience. Therefore, we recommend keeping your sentences short and snappy. This is great for scan-ability too.
We recommend Grammarly to all our clients to help you keep your spelling and grammar at an A* standard when you’re trying to do 101 things!
4. Get creative with transition words.
Of course, not every sentence contains a transition word, but when one does, the transition word is usually critical to its question or statement. If you’re unsure, then remember a transition word is generally used at the decisive point where the core message is communicated. For example: therefore, in fact, overall, etc.
It’s important to remember that not all transition words are individual words. Sometimes, you need a whole phrase to make a smooth transition in your writing. For example: in conclusion. To create an effective SEO-optimised blog you must be creative as well as technically focused!
Readability is very important for SEO and transition words make your text easier to read and understand.
Check out our recent article ‘Saltoria’s guide to writing engaging and effective blog content’ to give yourself some extra insights about readability.
5. Make clever use of your blog focus keyword.
Always include your keyphrase in the title of your blog post, in the first sentence of paragraph one and in your meta description.
When possible, try to include your focus keyword in other subheadings too (for example, in your H2 and H3 headings).
Repeat your focus keyword several times throughout the text (roughly 4-5 times across 800 words).
Check out Yoast’s fab article for more tips: How to choose the right focus keyword.
6. Meta descriptions are a key factor in SEO-optimised blogs.
This is very important for SEO. Here you need to be enticing and unique and you shouldn’t duplicate this across your blog or website. You can include your brand name and keywords are useful to include here (but don’t go over the top!). Be as descriptive as you can. This is a catchy marketing one-liner essentially. Character Count: Min 50 / Max 160 (aim for between 145-155)
Hubspot describes a meta description as ‘the snippet of information below the blue link of a search result. Its purpose is to describe the contents of the page to the searcher. Any words that match the search term are bolded in the description. The end goal is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website.’
Read more in Hubspot’s guide: How To Write Meta Descriptions.
7. Ensure you always have alt descriptions on your images.
It’s not just good practice and the right thing to do, but Google will reward you for being accessible – so prioritise this! The benefits are boundless. Alt descriptions are useful for many reasons – they support visually impaired people but are also good for SEO too.
Our top 6 tips for alt-tags are:
- Remember screen-readers will read punctuation so think about how it sounds
- Make sure you pay attention to the ‘title’ of the image (filename)
- Be descriptive in terms of what you’re seeing (and the meaning).
- Be sure to include relevant keywords too. For example, we would recommend using phrases like ‘an icon representing‘ or ‘an email being sent’.
- Add the alt text first THEN add the image (add alt text and reinsert your image if the alt text isn’t in the media library).
- Top tip! It’s recommended that 125 characters minimum should be used.
8. Be mindful of your blog URL.
Think carefully about what someone is searching for – do you match their needs? Does it answer the intent of the customer?
Make sure you Google lots and do your research – what other stuff comes up when you Google your title? Look at alternative search terms too.
It’s essential to remember that your page title needs to be unique. Google will display the first 50/60 characters of the title – therefore put keywords at the front end of the title.
9. Link to other website pages and sources.
Link to internal links (e.g. a service or another blog) at least twice and ensure that these open in the same tab. You want people to stay browsing and explore your website as much as possible!
Add at least 1 or 2 external links (weave this in naturally eg. related posts). Ensure you choose your sources carefully and make sure they are relevant and are the best content possible.
For example, we would often link out to leading marketing organisations like the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Hubspot (which you have seen already in this article!). These websites hold SEO ‘weight’ so by linking out we benefit by association.
For more info on how your business can benefit from SEO tactics, then check out our easy 3 step video: 3 SEO tips for business growth
There you go! There are our top 9 tips for creating SEO-optimised blogs. If you or your team would like extra support with creating SEO-optimised blog content we offer both copywriting and copyediting blog services and we’re here to give you lots of guidance along the way.
Why not get in touch for a quick chat to discuss your next steps?