As with any other writing, writing a blog post is a skill. If you want to keep your reader interested, you have to think about structuring your text and writing in a an appealing style. You should help your readers to grasp the main idea of your post by providing headings, subheadings and clear paragraphs. If people understand and like your text, they are much more likely to share, lie, tweet and link to your post. This will increase your rankings! So, in order to improve your ranking in Google, you should definitely try to maximize your writing skills!
For some, writing for SEO purposes and writing to attract and keep attracting your audience could appear as two contradictory goals. However; I totally disagree. If you not only want a good but also an SEO-friendly blog post, your text must be written in such a way that the words you want to be found, have a very prominent place. Using your keywords too often severely damages the readability of your text. Therefore; you should never do that!
In this post, I would like to give some tips on writing blog posts that are both very readable as well as SEO-friendly. I genuinely think those two goals should, and can easily, go together.
Elementary writing tips for good blog posts
Your blog post has to be a very good piece of writing to begin with. Many bloggers just start to write after creating a new blog post. Justin typing whatever comes to mind. If you’re just that good of a writer, this can work for you, because clearly you are categorized as a natural writer. For others, you need help, therefore; this will not work for you. Here are the set of rules that I abide by.
Simple writing tips for good blog posts
1. Think before you write!
Consider the message of your text. What point do you want to get across to your readers. What is the purpose of your text. What do you want readers to do when they finish reading your page? Jot down the answers to these questions before you even think about writing.
2. Write down the structure of your blog post
Every post should have some sort of introduction, in which you introduce your topic. Following the topic, the body, in which the main message is written. Finally, a conclusion, which should summarize the most important ideas or deduce some new idea. Jot down what you want to write in all of these sections. This is an outline, or summary of your post. Now the real writing can begin!
3. Use paragraphs
Everyone uses paragraphs, but ensure to use paragraphs that make sense. Don’t start a new sentence on a new line, simply because it looks nice. There should be a reason for making a new paragraph. Every paragraph should have a main idea or a main subject. Ask your self what the main idea of each paragraph is. You should be able to grasp that main idea in just one sentence. Should the need for more sentences arise, you just add more paragraphs.
4. Use Headings.
If you want people to find their way in your articles, you should use subheadings. Subheadings will lead people, help them scan your page and make the structure of your articles that much clearer.
5. Use signal words.
Signal words help people to scan through your text and help people to grasp your main idea. If you have three reasons for wanting to sell a product, you should use signal words as: First of all, Secondly and Finally. Also words as Nevertheless, Surely and indeed also give a clear signal to your readers. Readers will instantly get that a conclusion will follow after words as Thus, So or Therefore. Signal words are, therefore; very important to structure your text.
6. Let other people read your post.
Before publishing your post, let someone else read your post first. Ask them whether or not they understand the main idea of your post. Correct typos and sentence that are not formulated correctly.
Additional tips for writing an SEO-friendly blog post
When you start writing, remember using the tips above. Don’t compromise the structure of the readability of your text for SEO purposes. If people like and understand your post, they are much more likely to link, tweet and share your posts. This will lead to higher ranking and more traffic. Nevertheless, without compromising on structure or readability, you can do something to improve your ranking even further.
1. Write rather lengthy articles.
Make sure your articles have a minimum of 300 words. As a general rule of thumb; try to put down your search terms in about 1 to 2 percent of your text. Therefore, in an article of 300 words, you should mention your search terms 3 to 6 times.
2. Use headings.
Heading are vital for readability, but for SEO as well. Ensure that your keywords are used in the subheadings, but do not put your keyword in every subheading, as it will make the text unreadable. Headings help Google to grasp the main tops of a long post and this can help in your ranking.
3. Use our WordPress SEO plugin.
Our WordPress SEO plugin actually assists you write an SEO-friendly blog post. If you want the help of our plugin, you should start by choosing your focus keyword and entering it in the appropriate box. This is the most important search term you want people to find this particular page for in the first place. Our plugin actually measures many aspects of the text you are writing and helps with making your blog post SEO friendly. I’ll describe the most important ones:
The plugin allows you to formulate a met description. This description has to be a short text which indicates the main topic of the page. If the meta description contains the search term people use, the exact text will be shown by Google underneath your URL in the search results.
The plugin analyzes the test you write. It calculates a Fiesch reading ease score, which indicates the readability of your article. The Fleisch reading ease score for example takes into account the length of sentence.
The plugin does a pretty big number of checks. It checks whether or not you used your keyword in 5 important locations: the article-heading, the title of the page, the URL of the page, the content of the article and the meta description. The plugin also checks the presence of links in your article and the presence of images in the article. It calculates the number of words and the density of usage of the focus keyword in the article. Above that, the plugin also checks whether or not other pages on your website use the same focus keyword, to prevent you from competing with yourself.
If you write a relatively SEO-friendly blog post, based on the rules above, the plugin will indicate this with a green bullet. Writing pages with green bullets will help improve the ranking of the pages on your website.
It should be pointed out that not ever dot has to be green for the overall score to be “good”.
4. Add content regularly.
Adding actual and functional information to your website will give Google the idea that your website is alive. If it’s not an active website, Google will crawl it less often and it might become less appealing to Google to include the page in the search results.
Bonus tip: Link to previous content
If you already wrote some content about the topic of your current post, don’t forget to link to these posts. It will make your post stronger because you show some authority on the subject. Next to that, your link structure is also of importance for your ranking in Google. You should read Joost his post about cornerstone articles if you want to read more about this.
The era in which some SEO tricks were sufficient to get your website to rank high in Google is now a footnote in history. Good content has the highest likelikhood to result in a higher position in Google. Good content also leads to more Facebook likes, shares, tweets and return visitors to your website. You can do some extra thing sto maximize the SEO friendliness of your post, of course. However; the most important this is to just write a good and interesting post!