Did you know that the first result on Google attracts 92% of all traffic?
If you want to rank on Google and climb to the top of their results pages, then well-written, engaging content alone won’t cut it. You also need to focus on writing SEO-driven posts that tap into the user’s agenda.
Below, we’ve shared 5 essential tips for creating SEO-friendly posts without sacrificing the user experience and engagement. These are tips you should start using today:
1) Identify effective keywords
Google processes over 40,000 search queries per second. In order to cut through the noise, you need to target the keywords and phrases your potential customers are actually using.
Google Trends can give you a feel for what keywords are popular at any given time. If you see searches are steadily declining for a specific keyword, you know that’s probably not the right keyword to target right now.
If you’re running low on ideas, source inspiration from your competition. Use online tools (Moz, Screaming Frog etc.) to see what keywords they’re ranking for, but keep in mind that the most obvious keywords aren’t necessarily the best for you. Searchers tend to use specific “long-tail” keywords, phrases and questions when they’re looking for something, so don’t forget to take this into account when compiling your list.
Remember, keywords evolve over time as trends shift, terminology changes or your products/services change. Be sure to conduct research periodically to ensure you’re still targeting the best keywords for your audience and you’re not missing out on vital opportunities.
2) Naturally introduce keywords into posts
Once you’ve settled on a list of keywords, it’s time to feed them into posts. Using the trend data you’ve gathered, brainstorm topics and decide on one that will entice and engage your audience.
When writing, your keyword should be interspersed throughout the post. Your primary keyword should appear in these places:
- Post title
- Headings and subheadings (H1, H2 etc.)
- Post URL
- Alt text for images
- Meta description
- Throughout the copy
It’s really important to remember that you’re writing for humans, not search engines. Focus on engaging readers with a natural flair that takes their needs into account.
You should also avoid overusing a keyword (also known as “stuffing”). Stuffing may lead to your website being penalised, either temporarily or permanently. If your keyword appears too often and feels forced, you’ll sacrifice the user experience and compromise quality, which search engines really don’t like.
3) Link to influencers
As your post takes shape, don’t be afraid to link to other websites or blogs. Linking to applicable and reputable websites not only offers readers additional reading material, but also shows search engines that you’ve done your research.
4) Aim to write longer posts
We’re in an age where users have shorter attention spans, so you’d assume shorter blog posts are the way to go. But search engines actually prefer longer, more in-depth posts.
The longer your post, the greater chance it has of appearing at the top of results pages.
Think of it this way: the more content on the page, the more cues search engines have to figure out what your post is about.
We recommend writing a minimum of 300 words per post. This gives search engines plenty of keywords and copy to crawl – helping them understand exactly what your blog is about.
5) Don’t scrimp on internal links
Linking to other pages or posts on your site helps search engines create a more accurate sitemap. It also encourages users to explore and get to know you as a credible source of information.
Internal links help to keep users on your site longer – reducing bounce rates and increasing conversion potential.
Tying everything together
If you want your posts to rank, your focus should be on creating blogs that both users and search engines will love. By optimising for both, you earn higher rankings, boost traffic and increase conversion rates, and be honest, isn’t that why you began blogging in the first place?