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Sure, there are a lot of experts out there who state how following certain SEO practices will help you drive traffic. But they really don’t go into the major points of writing blog content. It’s more than just search engine optimization.
In fact, you could follow the absolute best advice with “proven” results and still not pull in an audience. You could do everything “perfectly” according to all the best SEO strategists and people still do not read the material.
So, why is that?
Today, I’m going to go over the five most important things to do when writing blog content.
If you’d rather watch the video, you can do so below from WriterSanctuary’s YouTube channel.
Writing Blog Content for Your Audience
With the vast number of websites on the Internet, you need to do something to make your blog stand out. Otherwise, you’ll drown in all of the competition. When you put a search phrase into Google, take note of the possible results.
Essentially, this is the number of competing pages you have to surpass to show on the top of Google.
Luckily, a large portion of those sites really don’t put a lot of effort into SEO or content development. This means they are easier to pass in terms of search ranking.
Here are five things you can do to enhance writing blog content to improve your chances of being more relevant for your niche. Some of these are connected to the best SEO practices. But you’ll want to pay attention to others that focus more on your content.
5. Post Structure Best Practices
The overall structure of your blog post plays a crucial role in attracting and keeping an audience. It’s more than just choosing the best words or finding relevant search phrases.
Meta Descriptions and Titles
The meta description and title of your blog post will drive a higher click-through-rate in Google. This means people are more likely to click your post when doing a search.
Your meta description and title need to stand out and essentially convince someone that your content is the best source for the information. It can take a bit of practice as you really don’t have a lot of characters in either of these sections.
Good Flow of Information
Another aspect of post structure is the flow of information you provide. The blog post should have a seemingly connected flow of consciousness from one thought to another.
You really don’t want subtopics of the blog to be scattered all over the place. Creating confusion for the reader only encourages leaving and perhaps increasing bounce rates. And this looks bad in terms of search ranking.
Every sentence needs to support the topic. Your visitors should leave the blog feeling they learned something, not that they wasted their time.
Use Headers and Subheaders
Headers and subheaders help break up the content and make it easier to read. This is especially useful when you consider how many people are using smartphones to browse websites today.
When you think about your text, also keep in mind the size of screens these mobile users have. Does your text show up as a wall of words? It shouldn’t.
When creating subheaders, also keep in mind they need to reflect the content underneath. For instance, take this post. Above, I am using the subheading “Use Headers and Subheaders.” This tells the reader exactly what information is available in that particular section.
4. Optimal Keywords and Phrases
Using the best keywords and phrases is part of any content strategy. And it’s incredibly important to match your keywords with the topic.
However, many experts don’t tell you that some of these practices mean facing a world of competition. You’re not the only one who is using those terms you find using Google’s Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest.
It takes more than just knowing the best keywords to use when writing blog content. You also need to keep in mind latent semantic indexing.
I know some experts out there who state LSI doesn’t really hold any merit. However, it does matter when trying to engage your audience and target what they are searching. For this reason, it’s worth including relevant synonyms and terms regarding your topic.
You can find terms like these using LSI Graph, a free tool for similar search criteria. I also include using the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension. It’s like having Google’s Keyword Planner built right into your browser.
But like I said before, it all comes down to your competition. Just because you’re using a keyword that is searched one million times per month, doesn’t mean you’ll score well in the results page.
You need to create content that stands out and is somewhat unique to the thousands of other sites focusing on the same term.
I had a client once who thought just because he added a keyword once in his small blog that he would be on the top page in Google. It doesn’t work that way.
It’s all about the content surrounding that keyword or phrase.
3. Writing Blog Content to Make it Readable
Even if you have the best keywords possible for your topic, it means nothing if the content isn’t easy to read. Readability is what drives someone to stay on the website.
If a visitor cannot understand your text, he or she will leave. This impacts bounce rates and on-page time in Google. The end result is appearing lower in search.
And I’m not just talking about grammar and proper spelling, either. If your text cannot contain a complete thought, or if your sentences seem to ramble, it’s going to look poorly on you when writing blog content.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to be an English major when putting your blog together. But, you do need to convey a message in a clear and concise manner.
Spelling and Grammar Tools Help, But…
Using tools like Yoast SEO to improve readability can only go so far. These are great to determine whether your sentence structure and syllable use are good. But they don’t understand the text to let you know if the topic is confusing to the reader.
While using Grammarly can help string together well-designed sentences, it does nothing for ensuring you are delivering a solid fact or thought.
Sentence and Paragraph Length
The actual length of your articles when writing blog content goes along the lines of being able to read it on smaller devices. Sentences and paragraphs that are too long can impact the user experience.
Personally, I try to keep paragraphs to around two to four sentences, depending on the topic. Then, I focus on trying to keep each sentence under 20 words.
I know sometimes you’ll surpass these numbers depending on what you’re writing. However, it’s a good rule of thumb if you want visitors to read your content with ease.
2. Marketing After Writing Blog Content
Once you have a blog post ready, how much marketing do you do? Do you just click “Publish” and cross your fingers?
Using Google XML sitemaps can help the search engine find your content. But you shouldn’t merely focus on organic search for traffic.
While it’s true that organic search will make up the majority of your readers, there are so many other opportunities.
Every time I publish a new blog post, I use Jetpack’s Publicize function to send links to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Although I don’t generate a lot of traffic from these sites, a few people do wind up clicking to visit the blog post.
Other tools I like for sharing on social media include:
All of these platforms have free versions, which work exceptionally well to share after writing blog content.
Social media is a powerful tool when used correctly. This means using hashtags, sharing content in groups and being…well…social. Interact with your community and they will respond by supporting your content.
Add the Link to YouTube Videos
One thing I found to work well is to add the link to specific blog posts in the description of a YouTube video. Of course, you want to make sure the blog post is relevant to the video.
For instance, I talked about adding contact forms to WordPress with a link to WriterSanctuary’s Contact Form. Low and behold, I had an increase in clicks to the page from the video.
Answer Questions in Sites Like Quora with Links
One way to get your content seen is by answering questions in sites like Quora. Since you can add links to Quora when responding to someone, giving the person a way to see your blog post to support the answer improves visibility.
Just make sure your blog post is relevant to the question.
Blog Submission Sites
Blog submission sites are not all that bad. In fact, CrossingColorado.com gets quite a bit of traffic from Blogarama. However, not all submission sites are worth the effort.
You need to find those which will work to boost visits. Some of them just are not as good as they used to be.
One thing I do like about something like Blogarama is that it will pull the new article shortly after I publish the content. It’s automated and doesn’t require further input from myself.
1. Your Overall Content
Now for the number one point of writing blog content that performs well. It doesn’t matter if you have the best keywords, have awesome grammar, share the content everywhere and write beautifully in terms of holding a complete thought.
If no one is looking for the content, they’re not going to read it. It’s not about what you want to write, but more about what the audience wants to read.
Your content is going to dictate how successful you are as a blogger. Things like visitor interest and topic popularity are going to weigh heavily when writing blog content.
This is the one thing that bugs me about most “experts.” They really don’t share how it’s the topic that will control success.
You can’t publish an amazingly written blog post and expect people to come in droves if it’s regarding a topic no one wants to read.
A good way to avoid this issue is by keeping an eye on trends in Google. You can also see what people are searching for with tools like Keywords Everywhere that I mentioned earlier.
My point is your content is the make or break aspect of the blog. This is true for any media, including YouTube.
Writing Blog Content Others Want to Read
While SEO practices are still a requirement for getting noticed in search results, don’t underestimate the value of creating something people want to read. It’s not about what you think is awesome, but what your audience wants to absorb.
Take your time and create something amazing.