Learning how to write SEO friendly blog posts is not hard, but it is most definitely time consuming. In this article we’re going to talk about how to write blog posts in a streamlined way that will both rank well and save your time.
Here is the 10 Step Process for producing great results. Read on below for the know-how:
- Translate your post idea into a great keyword phrase
- Discover 3-4 related keywords to your main phrase
- Create a title that uses your main keyword phrase
- Create your meta description using your main keyword phrase
- Outline 3-4 headlines using those related keywords
- Draft your content under these headlines
- Break up the content using on page elements
- Conclude with a call to action
- Get your links in – internal and external – throughout the text
- End with an Author information box with links to contact info
How to Write SEO Friendly Content
Writing a great article always starts with a great idea. Once you get that great idea, you need to turn it into “keyword-ese.” Also known as keywords, long tail keywords, or as I call them keyword phrases.
It’s not enough to just write a great user-focused article, although that is extremely important. You have to help people find that great content, which is done through links and keywords.
In order to do that, you need to have a short list of those keyword phrases first so you know how to write an article that ranks well.
We won’t focus on keyword research in this article because that’s a whole world in and of itself, but for now just know that you’ll need the following:
- Your Main Keyword Phrase (what you’ll be writing the article on)
- 3-4 Related Keyword Phrases (which will become your headlines – usually related specific topics within the main keyword)
How to Optimize Blog Posts for SEO
This is where we get into optimizing your article for high search engine results. Now that you know your goal, the keyword phrases, you can structure your article to give you the best chance at ranking for those terms.
First, start with your related keywords. These will become the headlines or subheads in your article. You can dress them up by adding extra words after the keyword if you need to.
For example, this headline could be “how to optimize blog posts for SEO in the USA.” The main related keyword phrase “how to optimize blog posts for SEO” is still in the headline, but I’m able to either get it more specific or more attractive by tacking on additional information at the end.
How to Write SEO Friendly Articles | Writing Content for Your Blog Post
Now we’re talking the meat and potatoes of the article, what goes underneath the keyword headlines. The grunt work is done! Now you know what to write about, you just have to do the writing.
Below I’ve outlined several types of content elements you should mix and match as you craft your article. As you write your paragraphs, be sure to throw in bulleted or numbered lists, pull quotes, captioned images, and call out boxes.
Using these elements serves two purposes:
- It makes it easier for your user to read/scan
- It makes it easier for Google to feature your content
You will need to write in very succinct sentences – eliminate the fluff. Stay on topic and to the point. The goal is the help the reader get the information they came there for in the most easy to digest format. That means breaking up the content into a bunch of small chunks.
An example blog post layout would be:
- Headline 1 (main keyword phrase)
- Paragraph 1
- Paragraph 2
- Paragraph 3
- Headline 2 (related keyword phrase)
- Headline 3 (related keyword phrase)
- Headline 4 (related keyword phrase)
- Paragraph 1
- Paragraph 2
- Paragraph 3
- Conclusion/Call to Action
- Paragraph 1
- Pull quote
- Paragraph 2
- Author Information
The best way to write blog posts is to keep the paragraphs extremely short. We’re talking 2-3 sentences, and to break that content up a lot with captioned images, bulleted lists, pull quotes, call out boxes, and more. You’re looking to break up the page to make it easily readable/scannable.
Bulleted Lists/Numbered Lists
Using lists to break up your page content, particularly early on, allows both users and search engines to scan your content quickly. In Google’s case, it can take bulleted lists and post them as Featured Snippets on the search engine results page (SERP).
Like paragraphs, keep the lists fairly short and to the point. As a rule of thumb, they should not exceed 10 items. You won’t get penalized if there are more, but they could get truncated if featured in a Featured Snippet.
Pull quotes are just a fancy way to describe quotes that have a lot of space around them. They were “pulled” out of the text to draw attention to them.
These are especially useful for adding length to a page or section, as well as highlighting key points of your article.
Pro Tip: If you’re using WordPress, it has a handy quotes button built in. Here is the quote button inside the editor:
Pull quote icon within the WordPress Editor
Here is the pull quote as it displays on the page:
Published pull quote in WordPress
Not to be confused with the featured image (that comes later), captioned images are smaller images on the page that have a small bit of text underneath to describe the image.
You can usually align these left and right within your content management system (i.e. WordPress, Drupal) so they show up accordingly in your text.
Captioned image within text in WordPress
Call Out Box
Call out boxes don’t come standard in most content management systems, but here’s an example of a quick one I coded. They are simply text, usually within a box/shape, sometimes with a shaded background, that holds related content.
Think quick tidbits that you want to share with your audience but aren’t necessarily part of the article’s main thought process. Often they’re used for hints, definitions, or “wrap up” text throughout a longer article.
Call out box shown in text
Call to Action/Conclusion
This is probably the most important part of the whole article – to you that is. This next part is the sell your wares/services section of the article. It’s the part where you have to ask yourself, what action do I want them to take?
Do you want them to make a donation? Buy a product or course? (i.e. Basic SEO Blog Post Template) Visit and subscribe to your YouTube channel (i.e. Wendy Litteral YouTube Channel)? Or do you want them to share this article with others?
Yes you should do a short summary of the above, but extremely short. Think 1-2 sentences max. The point of this section is to help move the page’s visitors to the next step, whatever that may be.
Transition from the summary to the sales pitch with the same format you’ve written the rest of this article. Keep it extremely short, to the point, and written in a very user friendly, readable format.
Example with a course on Raising Chickens:
To wrap this up, here are the four points you should walk away with:
- Point 1’s Title. This is text about point one and how helpful it is.
- Point 2’s Title. This is text about point two and how helpful it is.
- Point 3’s Title. This is text about point three and how helpful it is.
- Point 4’s Title. This is text about point four and how helpful it is.
If you are trying to learn more about raising chickens, I do have a course that walks you through building the coop, purchasing chicks, raising them, and troubleshooting common issues. To learn more, please click here.
Author Bio Box
The Biography Box, or Author Box at the end of a blog post is key because it establishes your authority both to your readers and to Google. Write enough blog posts, Google will recognize your name with your industry. Write enough blog posts, your readers know you to be a resource.
So what goes in an Author Bio Box?
- Your name
- 2-3 sentences that establish your authority in the space
- Your contact information
- A clear direction you want people to go in (i.e. a link to your website, YouTube, Instagram, etc.)
- Pro Tip: Don’t put a million social networks on here. Drive people to 1, maybe 2 places. That’s it.
So, to wrap this up let’s summarize with a few takeaways:
- Keyword Phrases. Have this first because it forces you to tailor your article for keywords that will rank, and it outlines your post for you.
- Craft Clear and Enticing Headers. Using your related keywords create your subheads and then add a twist on the end to keep the reader engaged.
- Write, write, write. Content must be scannable, with very short paragraphs that is broken up with page elements such as lists.
- Call to Action. Close out your article with a CTA that drives the desired action.
- Author Bio Box. Leave the article with your information so it helps establish you as an industry leader for both search engines and readers.
If you are trying to put this all into a simple template, please consider checking out my SEO Blog Post Template. It covers all that we just went over, but puts it into a simplified layout. In fact, I used it to make this blog post! To learn more, please click here.