I’ve started to ‘clean up’ my blog to increase SEO lately and I’ve learned a LOT about how to write a great blog post, article, or feature to increase search engine optimization. No matter what your business, passion, topic, area of expertise, or idea… when you own a business, your time is money so it’s important to think about how you can use your valuable time to increase traffic flow to your website. When you write a great blog post, you spend much time researching and writing so it should help to drive traffic, views and be optimized to increase your searchability on Google and other search engines. Here are some tips I’ve learned about how to write a great blog post to increase SEO.
First of all, to get really good at writing blog posts to increase SEO, I highly recommend using a WordPress Theme and uploading a low-cost plugin called Yoast. Just having the plugin on my site is so helpful… and many of my new insights and learning have been directed from Yoast’s suggestions that are automatically generated in each draft post I create before I publish.
Each post gives me feedback on several areas that are important for Google Rankings. Here are some quick tips.
1. Gather Your Ideas To Organize Your Blog Post Content
It really pays off to think about the structure of your piece before you actually start writing. The structure is the skeleton of your text: it will help the reader grasp the main idea of your text. In this post, I will give practical tips to help you set up a nice and clear text structure.
2. Categorize and Order Your Content
There are different ways to categorize ideas in your content that will increase your SEO. You can use chronology, go from easy to hard, choose to focus on a problem/solution format, or focus on a theme to help create your blog post structure. Whatever you decide, first create an outline so you can stay on topic and enhance your SEO score.
Powerful paragraphs are crafted from good content. First, gather your ideas, bundle them together, then see if there is some way to order them. Powerful writing is powerful writing whether it appears on a blog or in a book. Ordering ideas makes your text easier to scan and helps readers decide if they want to read further, and Google loves lists! Most content can be bundled and grouped into different categories and it will really help to keep your post focused on a topic.
3. Use Transition Words to Increase SEO
First of all, according to Yoast, your blog posts should contain a minimum of 30% ‘Transition Words’. Transition words create connections between sentences and paragraphs. These words are also known as ‘signal words’ and guide your reader by providing some type of direction within your text. Adding more transition words also increase readability.
So transition words that:
- enumerate (first of all, another)
- summarize (and, too)
- compare (less than, rather)
- emphasize (most of all, especially) or
- conclude something (thus, consequently, hence).
will supercharge your text and really increase the SEO between your sentences.
4. Focus on Readability to Increase SEO
There is an objective scale (known as the Flesch Reading Ease Score) that was created to determine readability (reading ease) and textual difficulty of any online content. Reading ease is determined by objective factors such as word length, number of syllables and sentence length. It’s unclear as to whether the readability of a certain post enhances its organic ranking factor or if this is determined magically through their advanced algorithms.
|90 – 100||easily understood by an average 11-year old student|
|60 – 70||easily understood by 13-15 year old students|
|0 – 30||best understood by university graduates|
The Flesch Reading Ease Score of this blogpost is: 70.8.
Basically, the Flesch Reading Ease Score ranks the difficulty level of your content. If the score is too high, the text may be too hard to read for your audience. Frustrating your readers makes them leave your website.
In fact in this article from Hubspot published in 2014, the title says that 55% of your blog readers average 15 seconds of time on a blog post. Therefore complex sentences will likely result in a high bounce rate (this is people who leave your site quickly) and this will lower the SEO ranking for your website over time.
5. Avoid SEO-Loading In Your Blog Posts Increase SEO
Some people are natural writers and use their blogs for expression. And your blog is a great place to express yourself! But have you ever read blog posts that don’t really read well? SEO Factories write SEO-laden articles, and if you’ve ever tried to read one, you know it’s frustrating! I receive requests from guest authors to be featured on SaneSpaces.com weekly, and some are much better than others.
So, when guests send submissions that are written purely for SEO purposes. You can spot those articles because they’re loaded with SEO tips cited in this article, but really don’t make much sense to a human reader. The nice thing about Yoast is that it gives you live feedback about your SEO and readability as you’re writing your blog post draft. See the image below from this article. You can see that the feedback it dynamic and also uses color to call attention to the areas where you need to focus to enhance your post’s SEO.
6. Avoid Common Mistakes & Write Compelling, Well-crafted Paragraphs
But what makes a compelling paragraph? Compelling paragraphs typically form a theme throughout, contain one core idea that is lead by the topic sentence of the paragraph, and be visually scannable. You can enhance the scannability of your blog posts by better utilizing white space, headings, and subheadings. Some of the most common mistakes while creating paragraphs include:
- Random white space – some authors place returns in their text on random places for aesthetic purposes but don’t think about the coherence and structure of the text.
- Skimpy paragraphs – some authors create paragraphs containing only one sentence. This can affect the coherence and continuity within and between paragraphs.
- Paragraphs can be short or long. Keep your paragraphs as short as you can. You can always add whitespace. Paragraphs can be anywhere from 2 to 15 sentences. The optimal website post has short paragraphs (less than 6 or 7 sentences).
- Unclear topic sentence – Start all paragraphs with the most important sentence. Then explain or elaborate on that sentence. A reader will be able to grasp the most important content from your article, just by reading the first sentences of your paragraphs. Conclude with a summarizing sentence in the last paragraph to make your point extra clear.
In summary, to create a compelling paragraph, at least 25% of your sentences should contain 20 or more words and should be written in the active voice. Try to limit passively-voiced sentences to 10% of your content. (Yoast helps!) When you follow these guidelines and avoid mistakes you will dramatically enhance your SEO.
7. Use Headings and Sub-Headings
In addition to all the tips above, headings are important to increase SEO. Search engines such as Google’s work with mathematical algorithms that reference headings to determine the topic of your blog post. These algorithms are also used to analyze all the content on your website. Therefore you should always use headings to optimize the SEO in your post and on your website.
Headings have higher ranking on Google so all Headings and subheadings should avoid using ‘Stop Words.’ Stop words are some of the most common, short (yet functional to readability) such as the, is, at, which, and on. Unfortunately, stop words used in headings and subheadings, can cause search problems. Stop words used in headings decrease SEO because people type (or say) search phrases in their own voice. They may NOT use the same shortstop words. Some may use none at all when searching. So it’s important to re-read your headers and your page ‘slug’ and strip out stop words whenever possible.
Additionally, headings help your readers and blog readability score as well. Busy, time-crunched readers can quickly scan content when your article has headers. Therefore it’s important to use headings to pique interest and outline your content. Headers greatly help your reader and save time.
Use a header to highlight paragraphs that contain similar topics. The headers should reflect the structure of your text. You can even place a header above long paragraphs in your content simply to enhance readability.
There are many ways to increase the SEO of your blog posts. A good SEO strategy is a good place to begin. First you need to know how to write a great blog post. Then, you need to enhance the SEO of your web pages and blog posts. Readability, coherence, white space, ordering and categorizing, and using headers effectively not only enhances SEO, but it helps readers better understand your message. When readers like what they read, they will be much more likely to share your post on social media or purchase your offers. Good luck enhancing your blog posts with the information here!
Which of the tips above most apply to you? What can you take away from this post and use TODAY to enhance your SEO and make great blog posts in the future? I’d love to know – please share in the comments below!