Writing SEO-friendly blog articles seems to be an issue for many content writers – while they’re able to write a fantastic blog article, they can’t get it to rank well, so no one will see it. I’ve had many content writers, blog owners and business owners come to me to complain about their content simply not ranking and most often, the issue is that their content is not SEO-optimised. Instead of explaining how content writing and SEO go hand-in-hand to them each time, I’ve instead decided to put this blog article together – a blog article about writing blog articles. Let’s kick things off by clarifying what content writing is and why it’s important for SEO.
What is content writing?
The term content writing is an incredibly broad one which encompasses a wide variety of different types of writing – from short-form social media posts to long-format guides. In general, the term content writing simply refers to the process of writing any sort of content whether that be blog posts, scripts for Youtube videos or product descriptions.
Content writing is the cornerstone of a good website; you could offer the best product out there but if you don’t provide supporting informational blogs, you’ll soon find that your potential customers will be flocking over to your competitors who took the time to write detailed blogs and guides that teach potential customers how to best use the product and what it’s major benefits are. The more value you offer via your content, the more readers you will receive.
Why is content writing important for SEO?
Content writing and SEO go hand-in-hand when writing an SEO-friendly blog post or any other form of content for that matter. Google’s goal is to show its users the most relevant and best content out there. So for people taking SEO seriously, content writing will play a massive part in getting their websites or their client’s websites to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Now that you have a solid understanding of what content writing is and why it’s important for SEO, let’s jump into why you’re all here – advice on how to write an SEO-friendly blog post.
How to write SEO-friendly blog posts?
1) Keyword Research
It all starts with conducting thorough keyword research – essentially just finding out what users are searching for. Everyone will conduct keyword research differently but the core stages will remain the same – you start by making a list of all the ideas you can come up with, and then you search those terms in order to generate more keyword ideas – this should leave you with a long list of seed keywords.
The next step would be to enter all of those seed keywords into a keyword tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. These tools will show you the monthly search volume and ranking difficulty for each keyword you’ve searched for, as well as, variations of them. At this stage, you pick the keywords you think would be best suited to your blog article and pop them into a spreadsheet.
2) What’s the intent behind the user’s searches?
The next step to writing an SEO-friendly blog article is to narrow down which of your chosen keywords to target. The best way to do this is by figuring out the intent behind each term. Simply search for each term on Google and look at the first page results – are the results informational or transactional? For example, if you were to search for ‘SEO blog writing’ on Google, the first few results are all about providing SEO blog writing tips and explaining how to write SEO blog articles. This tells us that the user is most likely looking for pages like this since it’s what Google is showing them.
You want to focus on keywords that match your target users intent to your blog article ideas. It’s also a good idea to take note of the questions asked in the ‘People Also Ask’ section of the results page – this can help you create a structure later on.
3) What format does Google prefer?
Now that you know which keywords you wish to target, it’s a good idea to figure out what type of format Google prefers – short blogs, longer guides or Youtube videos?
This should help you get a good idea of what sort of blog article you need to write in order to rank highly for that specific keyword, how long it should be, whether it should include a Youtube video in it and so on. For example, I know that Google prefers longer guides for the keyword ‘SEO blog writing’.
4) Create your structure
Once you arrive at this stage, you should know which keywords to target, what sort of blog article to write and what questions to answer. Now it’s all about creating a structure using all of that information. For example, here’s the structure of this blog article:
Keywords to use:
SEO blog writing
SEO friendly content
H2 What is content writing?
H2 Why is content writing important for SEO?
H3 How to write SEO-friendly blog posts?
What’s the intent behind the user’s searches?
What format does Google prefer?
Create your structure
Write your blog article
H2 How long does it take to write 1000 words?
As you can see, I keep note of which keywords to target at the very top – this is a useful reminder to use those keywords throughout. I also create a header tag structure whilst writing the plan up – I find that it’s much easier to plan ahead than to figure it out later.
5) Write your blog article
Nothing too complicated here, make yourself a cup of coffee and begin writing your SEO-friendly content.
6) Technical SEO
Technical SEO can be quite confusing, especially if you’re new to SEO. It’s essentially just optimising the technical aspects of your website in order to help Google crawl and index it faster and understand the contents of your page better. If you want to ensure that your blog article is in a prime position to succeed, consider doing the following:
- Convert images to WEBP format – this reduces their size and improves page speed. Consider applying lazy loading to images too, this further improves page speed.
- Apply structured data – this helps Google understand your page’s content better and improves your chances of being featured in snippets. Visit schema.org to find the specific markup you need for your page.
- Apply alt tags to all images – this aids with accessibility.
- Include breadcrumbs.
How long does it take to write 1000 words?
The amount of time it takes to write 1000 words will vary depending on the skills of the writer and their knowledge of the topic. A beginner writer who needs to continuously research the topic should expect 1000 words to take around 90-120 minutes. Expert writers who know their topic inside out can write 1000 words in about 30 minutes. But for most people who find themselves somewhere between being an expert on a certain topic and having to do some research, 1000 words should take around an hour to write.
Writing SEO-friendly content is vital for getting your blogs and articles to rank highly in the SERPs, however, the process of doing keyword research, finding out user intent and doing technical SEO can be very confusing at times. If you’re serious about your SEO but can’t secure high rankings, drop me a line and let’s have a chat about how I can help you.