There are so many ways that we can incorporate SEO techniques into our websites – some of them send small signals to Google and some are a bigger deal. If you’re wondering how to write SEO friendly blog posts then I have some great tips for you here.
The best bit about writing blogs are that they are a great way to build the content of your website and to have more there for Google to read and hopefully serve up. (You can see my great way of comparing Google to a waiter here in my what is SEO guide)
When it comes to writing those blog posts you want to keep them SEO friendly – here are 10 ways that you can do that easily:
- Decide what your keyword is before you start writing
- Find ways of rewording the keyword
- Think about the intent of the searcher
- Don’t write thin content
- Format your posts with headers
- Don’t stuff your keywords in
- Add relevant images
- resize your images so they aren’t too big
- Add internal links
- Add to Google Search Console
Let’s take a look at each of these tips in more depth
- 1 Decide what your keyword is before you start writing
- 2 Find ways of rewording the keyword or saying it in different ways
- 3 Think about the intent of the searcher
- 4 Don’t write thin content
- 5 Format your posts with headers – you can add your keywords here
- 6 Don’t stuff your keywords in
- 7 Add relevant images
- 8 Resize your images
- 9 Add internal links
- 10 Once written – add to Google Search Console
- 11 Bonus tip – external links
Decide what your keyword is before you start writing
Figuring out your keyword or at least having a vague idea is really important before you start cranking out the words on your laptop. Now you don’t have to have it perfect but knowing a keyword for your post will help you to create a helpful piece of content for the person searching.
For this post I actually had the idea before the keyword. I made a draft title and saved it to come back to the following day. Before I started writing I hopped over to Google to see how people actually phrase the keyword I was thinking about.
Quite honestly, that is my keyword research – I don’t always check for competition although you could do, and I don’t check volume on a tool. I know this will be helpful for my audience, I know the phrase is searched because Google suggests it as a term, so that’s good enough for me!
Find ways of rewording the keyword or saying it in different ways
Having your keyword repeated a number of times is really off putting to the reader and it makes your articles a pain to read. To make them more natural you might want to think about how you could reword the phrase or say it in different ways so that your article is strong on that phrase without it looking spammy or unnatural.
Think about the intent of the searcher
Put yourself in the shoes of the person searching the keyword or keyword phrase that you’ve chosen. What do you imagine they want to know about when they type this term into Google?
This is especially pertinent when you have keywords that are single words. For example, if I wanted this post that you’re reading to rank for the term ‘SEO’ and I thought about the intent of someone searching that I’d really struggle to write content that would satisfy that. That’s because it’s such a wide term – do they want an in-depth guide to do it themselves? Do they want to get an agency to do it for them? Do they want to know what it means? In reality we have no idea and Google will struggle to choose us too.
Tip – make your keywords phrases or questions
If we know the intent of the searcher we can create amazing content just for them and make sure it matches.
Don’t write thin content
Thin content means that you’re writing a really short article that doesn’t actually help or provide value to the reader when they read it.
For example, lets say I decided to just write this post and give the headline tips for making your blog posts SEO friendly – yes I would answer the intent of the person searching, but not in any depth. So it might help some people, but others might want to know more and so they’ll head back to Google for a more thorough post.
Always write enough that will satisfy your reader. Doesn’t have to be a mega post with thousands of words, but equally, a 300 word post might not be enough.
Format your posts with headers – you can add your keywords here
I like when people use headers in their posts – why? Because then I can easily skim down to the bits I’m interested in. As a user experience it’s super helpful.
From an SEO friendly perspective, it’s another place you can add your keywords, or the variations that you figured out earlier. It’s one of the markers that Google will look at when figuring out what your content is about. If your keyword is in a header then it helps show that.
Don’t stuff your keywords in
With the above point in mind about putting keywords in headers here’s a friendly reminder to not completely stuff your keyword everywhere. In my mind less is more and Google is getting better each day at knowing your content without the need to have your keyword repeated 10 times.
As a guide, here’s what I do:
- Keyword in my title
- Keyword in my URL
- keyword or a variation in my headers
- keyword or a variation in my first 100 words
- Image will be names with my keyword of a variation
I don’t aim for a certain percentage, I don’t aim for a green light from Yoast. I write naturally with my keyword in mind. I don’t want Google marking my site as spam – that would be bad!
Tip – you can always come back and edit blog posts. If you’re not getting the results you want you can always try adding your keywords in more to see if it helps. I like to err on the side of caution!
Add relevant images
Images are great for breaking up text and making your content more interesting so for the user it’s helpful. It helps them to scan the post like headers so they can get to the bits they want to go to.
I always like to have a header image for each blog post at the very least. In order to optimise them for SEO what I tend to do is rename the images before I upload them to my site. So on my computer I’ll find the image and instead of it being called img001.jpg I’ll call it mykeyword.jpg.
Sometimes I’ll go with a variation on my keyword, sometimes I’ll add it exactly.
Another thing you can do is add your keyword to the ALT tag. This was something that was done a lot in the past and I’m not so keen nowadays on doing it unless it fits.
The ALT tag for your image is used by people who have sight problems and have special image readers. The ALT tag should describe the image for these people.
Now, if you choose your image to be relevant to your blog topic then you may be able to include that keyword in your description. But do describe the image – it’s important to make your content accessible – don’t just use it as a place to add your keyword in.
Resize your images
On the subject of images, it’s important to resize them before you add them to your blog post.
Adding full size images might be amazing for clarity but they can really slow down a site when loading. Even if you have super fast broadband, your readers might not.
I tend to use Canva to do mine easily. I keep mine at a regular size which is 600 x 900 pixels and that should keep the file size down.
There are other ways to do this and apps that will compress images but getting into the habit of not adding the full size ones is the best thing to start doing!
Once you’ve written your blog post a good idea is to link other posts that you have already written.
So in the body of the post you’ve just written have a think if any of your other posts you have on your site could be helpful for your readers. If so add in a link to those.
Once your post is published you might like to look at your other posts and add a link to the new one from those too if they are relevant.
Adding links helps when Google is crawling your site to get information about your posts and it will help to provide context on what your posts are about. If all your posts on a topic are linked then it can strengthen it.
Once written – add to Google Search Console
Finally, once your blog post is published I like to add it straight away to Google Search Console. What this does is tell Google straight away that your post is live and you can request for them to index it.
Google should find your post even without doing this, but I like to do it as an extra step. It also reminds me to check that the URL that my post has is what I want it to be before it gets indexed. Sometimes WordPress does funny things to the url in my experience so this is like a final check for me.
How to do this: take the URL of your blog post and put it in the search bar at the top where it says ‘inspect any URL in “yoursite.com”
Google will then tell you that it doesn’t have this page indexed and you can request for it to be indexed. That’s it!
Another idea to really help your blog posts when making them SEO friendly is to get external links back to them. That means getting a site that you don’t own to have a link on their site that will take them directly to your blog post.
You can do this by writing guest posts, going on podcasts or collaborating with other sites and bloggers. Never pay for links though – that’s against Google rules and you could be penalised for it.
I hope this post helps you start to write your posts in a more SEO friendly way – there’s lots to think about but once you get started a lot of this will become second nature to you!