Writing Great SEO Content for Your Blog, People have been telling you: SEO Content is important. It does not matter if the person is your marketing guru or a spammer trying to get you to click links when you are moderating your blog comments (I still do not recommend clicking unsolicited links as you never know what is legitimate advertisement and what is hiding malware), they are correct. If you want regular visitors to your site and for those visits to meet your site?s goals, you have master the basics of SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the ease with which a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo can locate search terms on your site. The search terms are commonly called keywords, and including these in your site will help people find you. You can include keywords in a few different places, depending on the type of website you have.
- Title Tags
- Image Descriptions
Since you are learning about SEO content writing for your blog, we will be focusing on building keywords into your content.
Before you can place keywords into your content, you need to know what keywords will actually work. That means understanding how your target audience is searching for information about the topics you blog about. You can go to SEO experts for keywords. If have an AdWords account, you can also use the AdWords Keyword Planner. Having an AdWords account is free, and the Keyword planner is available to you, even if you never create an AdWords campaign. Simply enter the URL for your blog, for a site similar to yours, or for the topic of your blog. You can also use the keyword search tool for topics of individual posts so that you can pull keywords specific to a post topic. If you click on the Avg. Monthly Searches column header, it will organize keywords by most searched. The ease with which you can find keywords makes this one of the most valuable SEO tools you have.
Figure 1 Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a valuable keyword search tool that allows you to find optimal keywords for your blog and blog posts. You can get SEO recommendations by link or by topic.
Figure 2 When creating a website, it is important to use keywords that are both relevant and regularly used. The keyword tool allows you to rank keywords by average monthly searches, so that you know what people look for.
Optimizing Keyword Usage
To optimize your keyword usage, you have to know where to put keywords. On a blog, you will focus your keyword usage in three places.
- Title and Headings
When you are creating your title, consider your keywords and determine how you can use your top keywords in your title. For the blog site title, you may or may not be able to create an SEO title. You should always try to put SEO content into individual blog posts. When you are creating headings, look at your keywords to determine which ones can be used for headings as well. You will not SEO keyword all of your headings, but you should attempt to include keywords in at least one or two of your primary (H1) headings. If you have difficulty fitting keywords into your text content on your site, the headings are a good place to get your keywords onto your page without interrupting the readability of your content. Most blog platforms allow you to add tags to your posts and pages as well. Include your keywords in the tags. That is what the tags are for, so that you can list what search terms you want your site to show up under.
Figure 3 The first step to good content writing is to organize your information. By creating headings, you can see the structure of your site. You may also find where headings may need to be removed later or adjusted.
Another way to ensure good SEO for your blog is to organize your content. This will mean outlining your posts before you put them up. Organize your ideas and then pick out topics that will become your section headings. I recommend using Word to write out your post and then copy it over to your blog platform. SEO-friendly platforms will usually keep your section headings in place and will maintain most of your links (though you may have to rebuild any links you place within the document itself). Organizing your section headings in Word will give you a clear picture of your article?s organization.
Good SEO means more than just putting keywords into your page and organizing your content. It also means promoting your content. Share blog posts through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social networking sites, turning them into valuable SEO tools. Some blog platforms will allow you to do this automatically. You can do that, or you can share them manually. That will depend on how you use your social networks. Become involved in groups that relate to the type of content that you write. Create a page related to your blog and when possible, share that page with your groups. Facebook pages have a call to action button that you can use to direct people to any site, store, newsletter sign up, or blog.
Figure 4 Facebook Pages include a Call to Action button that can be a valuable SEO Tool for your blog by creating an external link to your site.
Consider writing content as a guest-blogger for other blogs as well. This is a good way to create link-backs to your own blog and share your interests and expertise with a wider audience.
Value of Content
While this article focuses primarily on SEO content writing for your blog, it is important that you do not forget the importance of quality content. You cannot over pack keywords into your content, and SEO keywords must fit neatly and smoothly into your content. If your writing feels jilted because you are unnaturally including keywords or are overloading them on your page, you will turn off readers. Ensuring that your content is original and contains valuable information will do four things:
- Make visitors more likely to purchase your service or product (if you have one)
- Make them more likely to subscribe (which means visit again)
- Click on affiliate links or ads (which can mean money for you)
- Keep people on your site and clicking links to other areas of your site (which will reduce bounces and improve your SEO rankings)
While you want to have good SEO content to help new users find your blog, it is very important that you do not let your SEO worries overshadow what your site is actually about.
Understanding SEO is only the beginning to creating good SEO content. You have to understand how to put that knowledge to work and create a site visitors will find, want to visit, and want to come back to.
Writing a Blog
One of the factors of strong SEO rankings for a site is frequency of new content. Because blogs are updated regularly, sometimes daily, they are a great way to build a strong SEO presence. Simply having a blog, however, is not enough. You can write posts every day, and still not see any change to your SEO rankings or frequency of new visitors and signups. Here are a few things that will help you build a better blog, whether you already have one or not.
Organizing Content with Headers
Use headers to keep your content organized and help your readers navigate to sections that are most important to them. Visitors to a site do not have to read your posts from top to bottom to be engaged. They simply have to find what they are looking for on the page. Clear, informative headers will help your readers do just that. Use primary headers and sub-headers to organize your information. If you are hand coding your posts, these are your H1, H2, H3, etc. HTML header tags. Most blog platforms allow you to set headings without using HTML.
Using Pages to Create Other SEO Content
Blogs allow you to create multiple pages in addition to your post-page. Use these pages to create other SEO content. For example, glossaries and directories are excellent SEO builders for your site. Create a glossary of terms related to your specific interest or topic and include this as a page on your blog. You can link from a post to the glossary to create internal (deep) links. Glossaries are good because they attract people who do searching such as ?what is SEO.? Create a directory to help visitors find services related to the ones you offer. For example, suppose you are a freelance editor hoping to use your blog to attract clients. Your directory would include links to self-publishing platforms, networking sites for authors, agent directories, publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts, and cover artists. By providing this directory, you attract writers who are looking for these services to your site when they search for these things. You can in turn build trust and good will with these writers by recommending services through your directory.
Write to Your Goals
What is your site about, and what are the goals you have for your site? When you choose keywords, you want keywords that will fit with your overall content. Since this article is about informing the visitor, keywords relate around information. If the purpose of your blog is to sell a product or to direct a visitor to an affiliate to purchase a product, your keywords will focus on ?buying? terms. If you choose keywords that relate to your site?s purpose, then you will find that your keywords are easier to work into your content. This will increase your keyword density without sacrificing content and readability.
Write to Your Audience
Part of writing to your audience means understanding how your audience searches for information. Researching keywords will help you ensure you bring people to your site who are looking for what you have to offer. Write content that people are looking for. Research other sites to see what information they have and check their website rankings. You are your blog?s first reader, and you should be writing about something that interests you. When you look at other sites, do you find information you are looking for that is missing? Include that information in your content, and make sure that you include a separate header or sub-header to highlight this information. This will give visitors a reason to come to your blog, as you are telling them something others are not. Even if you include ?common knowledge? on your site, include it. Present it as information that the reader already knows and use language that validates the reader?s knowledge. People appreciate when you recognize what they know and validate them.
Write on a Regular Schedule
You do not have to publish to your blog daily, but you should publish on a regular schedule and stick to it. Use whatever technique keeps you on track, but be disciplined. Whether you use a Google reminder or a desk calendar, mark down the days that you will publish new content, and have new content ready to go. You should do this for both your posts and your static pages. Set aside time to update information on your static pages so that the information is up to date and relevant. Updating those static pages periodically, such as once a month, will also help improve the SEO ranking for those pages and for your blog overall.
Analyze and Reassess Your Site
Do not think that once you put up a blog post that you are through with it. Just as you will update your static pages, you should also reevaluate your regular posts as well. Set aside time periodically to review the SEO keywords for your site. Use your keyword search tool to determine if you need to update the keywords in old posts and change them as needed. If you find that it is difficult to put the new keywords into your content, add them as tags onto the post. Do this for posts and static pages to ensure that you maximize your keyword usage.
Use an SEO-friendly Platform
Not every blogging platform is created equally. While you can find many SEO friendly platforms, the best is WordPress. You can host directly on WordPress.com or you can add the WordPress template to your own website. Both options allow you to use the WordPress admin tools to customize your blog, create new posts and pages, and quickly and easily update existing ones. WordPress works well for copying from Word to WordPress. You also have a variety of templates that you can choose from to create the look and feel that works for your site. If you self-host your WordPress blog, you can even create custom templates or download templates you like and use them. WordPress also encourages you to tag posts and pages, and helps you choose tags (keywords) that relate to what you have created after you publish your content.
Use a Template that is SEO and User Focused
When you are using a template, whether on WordPress or any other blogging platform, it is important that you use a template that is SEO and User Focused. Your template should allow you to display portions of your articles easily, offer you a clear place for links, categories, and tag clouds, and provide your visitors with an easy to use layout.
Difference between User Friendly and User Focused
It is important that your template is User Focused, not User Friendly. User Friendly refers to the cosmetic appeal of a site. Some common user friendly techniques are to use pink colors for sites dedicated to women, to use balloon, crayon, and toy images for sites about or directed to children, and to use sports imagery and colors on sites for men or about sports and sporting events. None of these, however, have anything to do with how a user actually uses the website, and some of them are stereotypical and may turn off users. Instead, focus on how a user uses a website. This is User Focus, and it is about making elements on a site intuitive and easy to find. Most users, for example look for page links to be at the top of a page. They will want to see Contact Us links at the top of the page, but will usually look to the bottom for legal information. Users will expect links to be to one side of the main content of a page (left or right), and this information should be presented consistently. If you have your links at the bottom of your page, your user is not likely to see them.
Crosslink within Your Own Site
When you create content, cross-link to content in your own site. You will do this when you create new posts, linking to previous posts or to pages as appropriate. When you put up new content, find related content in your older posts, and link to the new content from there as well. This will help users who are searching for old content find your newer information as well. These crosslinks help to reduce your bounce rate and increase user engagement.
Create Engaging Category Titles
Categories are an easy way to create crosslinks in your blog. Create engaging and informative category titles that will draw a reader?s attention and entice him or her to click.
Link to Other Popular and High-Ranking Sites
Find other popular and high-ranking sites that relate to your topic, even if they are competitive to you, and link to them. Make sure these links are quality sites. This may seem counter-intuitive to link to other sites. What you do, however, is turn your blog into a high-quality resource. Search engines will recognize this by your links and will rank you higher on search results.
Use pictures in your blog. Do not simply put in pictures, however. Give the photos titles, alt tags with keywords, and descriptions. Alt tags and descriptions are another easy place to work in keywords when you are having difficulty doing so in the rest of the text. The pictures will boost your SEO rankings by showing that your site has varied media content (you can use videos in addition to pictures).
This Article Is a Tutorial
This article does more than inform you about ways to create SEO content for your site. It also demonstrates how to put this information into use. Study this article carefully, and you will find the following elements, among others, from what has been discussed.
- In organizing this information for you, a number of keywords have been dotted throughout the page, some with high density, some with low density. To help illustrate to you the importance of keyword management and valuable, organized content, the keyword list is below. Search through the text to see where keywords are used and how they are structured into the text to provide search engines an anchor to find the page and provide readers a smooth experience.
- Search Engine Optimization
- SEO Tools
- What is SEO
- Content Writing
- Creating a website
- Keyword Search Tool
- Basics of SEO
- Writing a Blog
- This article is structured with multiple levels of headings, some of which use SEO keywords.
- Images are used to help illustrate information and build search engine optimization.
- Links are provided both within the article itself to encourage clicking, and to useful sites (WordPress) to help increase the value of the article and improve its SEO performance.