So, you’re writing a blog for your business. Chances are you’re doing it to increase your website traffic and to attract your ideal audience. While you can write an interesting and enjoyable blog without any SEO knowledge, it probably won’t get much attention.
Writing a quality piece of blog content takes time and planning, so get the most out of your efforts! Follow these steps to create an SEO-friendly blog post. Then grab my free Quick Guide for SEO-Boosting Blogs at the end.
Today’s blog at a glance
- Before You Start Writing
- Research keywords
- Choose a topic
- Do Your Homework
- SEO-Friendly Blog Structure
- Calls to Action
- Meta Description
Before You Start Writing
A traffic-boosting blog starts with preparation. Planning your posts will ultimately save you editing time, make it easier for you to write your blog, and engage more readers. Take the time to work through each of these steps before you start writing.
Think about what you want your business to be known for, and consider what your ideal clients want to know. What search terms would lead them to you? What questions do they have? How does your business provide them with solutions?
There are a lot of tools available for keyword research. Use one or two to investigate keywords related to the topic you choose. Then, identify one primary keyword and two to four secondary keywords to use in your blog.
Choose a Topic
Choosing a topic tends to be where new bloggers get stuck. Start with your primary keyword and explore what topics are tied to it. For some topic ideas to start with, check out my post on How to Pick Topics for Your Blog.
Once you’ve narrowed in on a good topic, ask yourself a few questions:
- Will a blog on this topic give your audience valuable information?
- Does a blog on this topic help them understand why your business’ services or products are something they need?
- Does the topic align with your brand?
Do Your Homework
Unless you’re writing a personal blog, you should always gather several credible sources to support your content. Fact-based evidence will always make your posts more credible.
It’s good to find popular articles on your topic and reference/link to them. Depending on the subject matter, you might locate helpful statistics. Quotes from experts and industry leaders also give credibility and support points in your blog.
SEO-Friendly Blog Structure
Now that you have your keywords, you chose a topic, and you’ve done your homework, it’s time to start writing!
Optimizing a blog post for SEO is setting it up so that search engines and readers can quickly skim it to see what it’s about. I’ve outlined the key points you’ll want to cover to ensure your blog content is SEO-friendly.
Heading tags tell search engines what your blog is about. Search engines prioritize the copy in your headers over the paragraph text in your blog, so you’ll want to make sure they relay their sections cover.
Add keywords to your headings, so search engines pick up on them as they crawl your post. Typically, H1-H3 tags will suffice for a blog post. H4 and beyond aren’t usually necessary for blog content.
- H1: This is used for your blog post title, which captures your post’s overall theme and topic. Craft an eye-catching title that has your primary keyword.
- H2: H2 subheadings introduce and organize subtopics within your blog. They break up your blog post into easily-skimmed sections.
- H3: If you need to break down H2 subtopics further, H3 will help you do so.
Images are aesthetically pleasing, break up text, and set the tone for your blog’s topic. One of the most common mistakes bloggers make is not adding Alt text to images. Don’t miss this step! Alt text gives search engines (and visually impaired site visitors) explanations and context for images.
Your featured image is the one that shows up on your blog post list or index page. You might also display it at the top of your blog post itself. This image expresses your blog topic, and it’s usually the first thing a reader will see when they visit your blog post. Find a clear, optimized image that aligns with the blog’s subject matter and is consistent with your branding.
If your ideal audience uses Pinterest, you need to include a pinnable image in your blog posts. Adding Pinterest images to your blogs will help you promote posts, get even more traffic to your site, and engage with the people you want to work with. The image should be vertical, and you’ll want to add a “Pin It” button to your site if you can.
Internal and external links support your content and show search engines you’re credible. Linking your content to other websites implies that the information you’re sharing is well-researched. It also supports a better reading experience for your audience.
Internal links direct readers from your blog post to other pages on your site. Your readers use the hyperlinks in your blog to check out other resources and information on your website. Search engines use them to figure out and track what your website is all about.
External links point to another website outside of yours. Linking to other websites that are related to your blog helps search engines get a feel for your niche. It also boosts their trust in your site and the quality of your content. Some experts say external links play a significant role in your search rankings, so this is a step you don’t want to miss!
Call to Action (CTA)
Any blog related to your business should include a CTA that encourages readers to take the next step in engaging with you. End your blog post with an inviting CTA that will get their interest and attention.
Here are a few CTA examples for your business’ blog posts:
- Sign up for your newsletter
- Download a freebie
- Subscribe to your blog
- Follow you on social media
If you haven’t heard of meta descriptions, pay attention! These are important. Meta descriptions are summary snippets of your blog. At no more than 160 characters, they give a brief breakdown of your post. Search engines display meta descriptions in search results when they include searched-for keywords, so these are an essential spot to add your primary keyword.
Even if you’re entirely new to the world of SEO, these simple tips will optimize your blog post and increase the traffic it (and your website) gets.
Be sure to download my free Quick Guide for SEO-Boosting Blogs. It has more information on planning your blog, an easy-to-follow SEO-friendly blog structure, and a breakdown of all the essential elements your blog should have for SEO.