Blogging is a key pillar in a content marketing strategy.
This is because search dominates online traffic and blogging is one of the best ways to entice people to your site and build your audience. Since your blog is frequently updated with new posts, this will keep readers engaged and build a loyal audience that returns to your site.
Therefore, blogging remains the most important content format for many organizations.
But how do you go about writing a blog post that is search engine optimized (SEO)? Discover the step-by-step guide on how to write SEO-friendly blog posts.
For more SEO tips, check out my blog post on how you can optimize your WordPress blog posts and rank higher on Google (includes an example of my blog post being chosen for Google’s Featured Snippet!). You can also hire an SEO expert from Fiverr.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through these links. Your support encourages me to continue blogging and help with the costs of hosting this site. Thank you!
1. Do Keyword Research For SEO
Keywords are a crucial element in SEO.
Google crawls the web, looking for new pages then indexes them (when appropriate). Blog content that is updated more often gets crawled and indexed more quickly than static pages. When a user types into the Google search box, Google quickly goes through its index to find pages that coincide with keywords in the user’s search query and respond to the question. See how important keywords are now?
Keyword research can be conducted by using keyword research tools like KWFinder. You can start by finding keywords related to your products or services and industry. Then, maybe narrow down on low-competition keywords or long-tail keywords (keyword phrases of at least 3 words). KWFinder has a Keyword Difficulty metric that you can take into consideration. You can then choose keywords that are easy and possible to rank for.
Perhaps, you already have a topic in mind. That’s okay too. You just have to search keywords related to this topic and again choose keywords that you have a higher chance to rank for.
Or maybe you got inspired by your buyer persona. In a customer interview, your customer might mention that he or she wants to know more about a certain topic but your website is missing content on this topic. You can then use your blog posts to fill these missing content gaps. This is another great way to generate ideas for your blog content.
The key is to write a blog post that people are interested in (even better if you can get it ranked on search engines~).
2. Create An Outline
An outline for your upcoming blog post can help to organize your ideas so they flow logically. It doesn’t have to be detailed or lengthy. It’s just a rough guide of what your blog post will be like.
You can consider including your target audience or buyer persona in your outline document. This will ensure that you write in a way that resonates with your customers and prospects. It will help you to keep in mind the tone, language, voice, style and jargon.
Do think about the key takeaways of your blog post too. What do you want readers to learn at the end of your blog post?
Decide on the call-to-action (CTA). What do you want your readers to do next? It could be signing up for your newsletter or downloading a free resource (which readers can get after filling up a form).
This is also the time for you to decide the type of blog post it’ll be. Is it a how-to tutorial, a list of resources or industry news? Check out the types of blog posts that you can create to add variety to your editorial content~
Generate a few working titles. A good blog post title will include the topic and keywords. It should also be catchy and specific and makes people want to click to read more. You can then decide on the blog post title after you’re done writing and editing.
Next, you can jot down some bullet points for the content to be included in the introduction, body and conclusion. It can be concise with short sentences. Or it can include details like the websites and articles that will substantiate your points. The key is that the outline should be sufficient to guide you when you’re writing. It should help you stay focused on the topic with enough content for each point.
Lastly, you can share this outline with your team or editor and get feedback before you start writing the blog post.
3. Start Writing The Blog Post
Now, you can write your draft based on the outline you’ve created earlier.
If you’re writing in the content management system (CMS) itself like WordPress, do remember to use headings like H2, H3 and so forth (H1 heading should be kept for your blog post title only). Ensure that these headings are keyword-rich.
Do add images and videos to enhance your content, support your points, explain complex topics, improve the flow or add humor!
Your introduction needs to hook your readers.
You can begin your blog post with a question or an astounding fact
The key is to arrest your readers’ attention. Do mention what the blog post is about. Perhaps, include a brief overview or key highlights that you’ll elaborate more on later.
Just like your outline, you should have a few sections with bullet points for the body. Each section can be elaborated further with more subpoints. This should give you meaty content to start writing.
If your blog post seems short after writing, you can consider adding more sections. For example, I add “Bonus Tips” to some of my blog posts because it’s relevant and adds value.
As mentioned earlier, do use keyword-rich headings. You can also number your headings so it’s easier for readers to follow your train of thoughts and digest the content.
This is where you summarize everything. Feel free to ask questions like whether they’ve implemented the tips or if they encountered any issues.
4. Edit Your Draft
After you’re done writing the draft, you should self-edit first. Use proofreading tools like Grammarly and ProWritingAid. They’ll help double-check and correct your grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes.
Or even better, get someone to check your blog post. It’s always good to have another pair of eyes to examine your writing. Do ask them for feedback and revise accordingly.
5. Conduct SEO Audit
Next, you should optimize your blog post for SEO.
This can be done by simply installing Yoast SEO WordPress plugin.
- SEO Analysis: Identify problems & areas of improvement such as meta description length, internal links, outbound links & title width
- Readability Analysis: Check for transition words, passive voice, consecutive sentences, sentence length, paragraph length, subheading distribution & Flesch Reading Ease
- Focus Keyphrase: search term that you want a page or post to rank for most
- Cornerstone Content: most important & extensive article on your site that you want to rank in search engines
You can also create a checklist that you’ll go through before publishing your blog post. Here are some things that you can include:
- Are the blog post title & subheadings keyword-rich & SEO-friendly?
- Did you link to relevant pages or blog posts on your site?
- Did you link to relevant articles outside your domain?
6. Publish & Promote Your Blog Post
When you’re done editing and optimizing your blog post, you can hit the “publish” button!
But that isn’t all.
You’ll have to promote it to your customers, readers and the rest of the world.
This could be an email to your newsletter subscribers or simply sharing it on your social media channels.
The key is to get the word out about your new blog post.
7. Monitor Performance & Optimize Your Blog Post
Before you start a blog, I’m sure it’s part of your content marketing strategy. This is why you put so much effort into researching keywords, writing the blog post and promoting it. Thus, keeping these goals and reasons for blogging, you might have already identified key metrics that you want to track. If you haven’t thought about the KPIs to measure success, here are some suggestions:
- Page Views
- Time spent on page
- Returning Visitors
- Comments/Social Shares per blog post
- Email Subscribers
You can also monitor your traffic source or channel, top blog posts, SERP ranking and more.
This will give you a rough idea of whether your blog is helping your business and which blog posts are the most effective.
Optimizing an already published blog post can be as simple as updating the content, especially if they are outdated. You can also link your new blog post to old published blog posts if they’re related and relevant. Such internal linking will pass link juice and give Google an idea of your website structure and hierarchy and thus, help in SEO ranking.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you have any tips for writing SEO-friendly blog posts?
If you have marketing budget or prefer spending time on more important business matters, you can consider hiring an SEO expert from Fiverr instead. There are also top-rated professionals from Fiverr Pro who are hand-vetted for stellar quality and service.