Understanding something, like the necessity of optimizing your website for search engines, is different than putting it into action. A blog SEO checklist is one place to start making sure your posts cover the basics, but there is so much more than goes into creating optimized content time and again.
How do you go from creating SEO blogs for beginners to leveling up? You might assume the keys to this require years of practice. While experience will help, the truth is that most of this is simple enough to understand. You have to be willing to put in the time to look at your analytics and optimize your content.
You need to review your posts to see what resonates with your audience. Then, create content that does more of that.
In this post, we’ll take a deeper look at the basic actions for creating a blog post for search engine traffic and the next steps to optimize for long term success.
How to Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts
- Keyword research: Step one is simple. For any SEO plan, your first step is to do your keyword research.
Choose a focus keyword for your post, and then add in semantic keywords. These are known as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. The basic idea is related keywords to your main one. Many bloggers will search their focus keyword and then scroll to the bottom of the results. You’ll see related keywords there you might use for LSI. Here is another place you can find LSI keywords:
- Keyword position: You will want to use your focus keyword in your title. You will also want to distribute it naturally throughout your content. Some places you may use your focus keyword are your introductory sentence, headings, concluding paragraph, and your anchor text when you link to other content within your website.
- Topics: Below, you’ll find more information on coming up with SEO blog topics and structuring your posts when it comes to actually writing. Do come up with a topic that will be useful to your audience. When someone searches for your focus keyword, what would they find more useful? Keep this question in mind as you write your post.
- Practice: When you’re first starting out, it is a good idea to practice writing blog post titles. This is your headline and it counts for a lot. When someone sees your post on the search results page, they are judging whether to click on your result based on that headline. It should include your focus keyword and also a power word or two. A power word is one that strikes some emotion in the reader. Many professionals use free headline analyzers online to better judge whether their headlines are working for them.
- Search old posts: Once you have outlined your post, you may want to search your old posts on the WordPress dashboard to find some relevant content you can link back to. Internal linking is a good way to encourage the reader to find more useful content on your site. It also looks great with search engines. WordPress has multiple internal linking plugins you can use to link your content, for example Rank Math:
(Image Credit: Ultimate Blocks)
- Include images: Include an image or two, and possibly a video, in your post. Users love seeing images. You can include your keyword in the alt tags for the image. It makes your post more scannable.
- Make it scannable: Speaking of scannable, your post needs to be easy to read. This will keep them on the site and lower your bounce rate, which counts a lot with search engines. Use short paragraphs. Use headers and bolded text, especially on keywords. Lists are often helpful. All of these structuring techniques will add more white space to the page, which is a relief for the eyes. It makes your content better stand out and seem accessible to the reader.
- Use categories: Use categories and tags to organize your posts. These can also be useful keywords for your website. For example:
- Consider your reader first: While you’re accomplishing everything above, make sure you are always thinking about the reader first, and the search engine second. That’s the way the search engines want it. Google wants to please its users by sending them great content. You want your content to build trust with the reader so they will further engage with you and eventually make their way through your funnel to become a customer.
How do you create SEO friendly blog posts? You create content that is useful and engages with the user. More on this below.
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How to Find SEO Blog Topics
What should you blog about?
- Topics your audience finds useful and interesting.
- Topics where you can utilize your keywords.
- Topics that are relevant and focused to your niche.
- Create content that answers your customers’ questions.
How do you do this? Start with your keywords. You can find more of these by looking through your analytics as well. You’ll sometimes find surprising searches that brought a user to your website. Those can be a goldmine for blog post topics relevant to your audience.
Test a few topic ideas with your social media following. What do they engage with? Every once in awhile, ask them what they’d like to see more of from your blog. They are your audience. They may have great ideas! Social media is a great place to survey your audience, for example:
(Image Credit: Buffer)
Ask your employees what your customers are asking them about. Cover these topics more in-depth on your blog.
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Types of Posts: An SEO Blog Template
Your posts should have some basic structure to them. Most posts will have an introduction, a conclusion, and headers breaking up the body. The posts should include some links, images and/or video, and enough formatting to make it easy to read.
The next step for how to write SEO friendly blog posts is to look at adding a more familiar structure that readers like to see.
There are a few key types of post structures that work really well as an SEO blog template. They resonate with audiences and make creating a successful post for the search engines a lot easier. You’re probably familiar with enough of these types of posts that you will recognize them yourself, even if you haven’t given them much conscious thought before.
- The List Post. This is possibly one of the most common types of posts online. They still manage to grab the audience and they are easy to brainstorm. Sit down with a piece of paper, set a ten-minute timer, and write down everything you can think of under a topic. For example, ten tips for how to use your product. Another example would be ten benefits to using your service. These examples are more focused on promoting your business, but lists can also be created around anything in your niche. They are an easy way to highlight a few topics and give you simple headings for each of your paragraphs. This content can be faster to create. While experts will use a great list post, they are also easy SEO blogs for beginners to pick up.
- A How To Guide. This is another area great for beginners learning to create SEO blog posts. These posts are educational and therefore useful. When a user finds your guide through a search, your post will hopefully be structured to give them exactly the kind of information they are looking for. That’s a strong way to build trust with an audience!
- What They Did. With this type of post, your audience is looking to achieve something. For example, they want to grow with their Instagram following. Your post will take a look at the ways five different companies went about building their Instagram followers. This post might include tips directly from the example companies, or simply your own observations on things they did.
- Comparing Products. You can choose two or three of the top products in your industry. Then, you compare their features. This is a guide to help a user who might be debating what to use. If you created a guide on how to accomplish something, and they will need to choose a particular product to go along with that, you can create a companion post comparing their options.
- A Detailed Case Study. You have accomplished things. How did you do it? A detailed case study may take a bit more writing skill since you’ll need to think through your journey and the steps along the way. Give yourself some time to outline your headers for this kind of post. This is typically long-form content. You will give a step-by-step personal account of something you did and how it went. This may be your experience trying a particular product. A lot of bloggers in the fitness niche will try a routine and then write a case study to let users know how it went for them. The best case studies are honest and reveal where the blogger stuck to the program, where they might have slipped, and details on their expectations as they went through the process along with the actual results.
Blogging for SEO Success: Revisit Your Old Blog Posts
Make a habit of going through your old blog posts and updating them. When you do this, add internal links to your newer blog posts. This is a step many users skip, but it can keep your old content fresh. This makes sure it is still useful to the user. It also signals to search engines like Google that this page is still relevant and hasn’t been abandoned.
How Many Blog Posts for SEO
You are blogging for SEO success. So how many blog posts do you need before you start to gain some ground on the search engines? And how often should you be blogging?
The answer to this is that it will depend on your own audience. This is always a frustrating answer for a blogger to hear, but let’s look at how you figure this out.
It comes down to your analytics. Yes, you need to be consulting your analytics for pretty much every decision you make when it comes to your blog. Many site owners resent doing this and skip it. That leaves room for the blogger who takes this step to get ahead of those who don’t. There are many tools you can use to check your blog analytics; here is one called Power BI from Microsoft:
(Image Credit: Power BI)
Let’s look at an example.
A blogger makes a habit of posting twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays. This is a common posting schedule. They decide that they are doing quite well. They have been posting on this schedule for three months and now have gathered analytics on their social media engagement and on their site traffic.
They decide this is going well and they have the resources to up their posting schedule to three times a week. They decide to post on Mondays and Wednesdays as usual, but add a post to Fridays.
A few months in, they have gathered enough data to see two things. One, they are getting more search engine traffic. Two, their social media engagement has dropped. Each individual post is getting less engagement and their posts are being seen less overall.
In this example, the blogger had both an advantage to posting more and a disadvantage. How do they decide what is best for their business?
How many blog posts for SEO success in the long term?
In the end, they will need to look at what brings their site more traffic in the end. They may also decide, in this scenario, to continue posting three times a week to their blog but to not post about each blog post to their social media account.
In the end, it was their analytics that gave them the right step forward.
Whatever you decide for posting frequency, you will want to watch your analytics to see if it’s still working for you. You will also want to ensure you are staying consistent. If your audience is going to learn to turn to your blog as a resource, they will want to see that you are posting on a regular basis and care about your site.
It will take you a while to build up enough posts to gain ground with your audience and the search engines. While your mileage will vary, you can expect that you’ll need a few dozen posts at a minimum before you start to get noticed. These posts will need to be of high quality. That means optimized for the search engines and providing great value to your target audience.
SEO Plugin for Blogger Success
The most popular plugin bloggers use to gain SEO success is Yoast SEO. When you work with other bloggers, you will likely notice it on their WordPress dashboard. This plugin has been downloaded more than 200 million times.
You can’t rely on Yoast SEO to know everything about your post for you. It’s important that you have some search engine optimization understanding. This way, you’ll know why the plugin is suggesting different things for you, and then you can make the executive decision on whether to follow its suggestions for that particular piece of content. It does work well as a basic blog SEO checklist that is automated and easy to use. For instance:
(Image Credit: Temple University Sites)
Yoast SEO will give every one of your posts a green light, yellow light, or red light. This is helpful because it clues you into things you might want to look at. It can be easy not to notice that your main keyword is unevenly distributed throughout your post, but Yoast SEO will warn you with their checklist before you hit publish. It will also suggest things like keeping your paragraphs and sentence length short, using headers to break up your content, putting your keyword in your post’s title.
Another important SEO plugin for blogger success is Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WordPress by MonsterInsights. Now, you don’t need this, because you could always visit the Google Analytics dashboard to see your data. However, the plugin is free (donations appreciated) and it allows you to check your analytics right from your WordPress dashboard. Your analytics give you all the information you need to inform your future search engine optimization decisions, and having them easily available can be a powerful move. The image below shows you what the dashboard will look like:
(Image Credit: MonsterInsights)
We hope that you found this article useful.
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SEO Blog Posts You Can Be Proud Of
There was a time where search engine optimization was more about tricking the algorithms than about creating great content. Search engines wanted to please their users, though, and they’ve worked to align their algorithms to reward great content.
As you work on learning how to better optimize your blog, you’ll notice that the tips for optimization are also tips for creating more user-friendly content. Formatting your posts with headers makes them easier for users to read. Using your keywords in your headers and throughout your content lets users skim your content and see that it’s relevant to their interests before they decide to read in-depth. Linking to your other relevant content within your posts makes it easy for users to get more value from your website.
Create great blog posts that provide value to the user, and get rewarded with more traffic from the search engines.
Diib®: Create the Ideal SEO Blog Posts
Learning search engine optimization is an opportunity to learn how to create content that will better resonate with your audience and convert them into regular readers, and then hopefully, customers. Keeping track of your blogs and their metrics will be a critical part of optimizing your campaign. With Diib Digital, you’ll easily have the ability to see which posts are performing well and which aren’t, along with tips for improvement.
Here are some of the features of our User Dashboard we’re sure you’ll love:
- Keyword, backlink, and indexing monitoring and tracking tools
- Google Core Algorithm monitoring
- Blog campaign monitoring
- Alerts to broken pages where you have backlinks (404 checker)
- Alerts and Objective that guide you to strengthen your website
- Monthly call with a growth expert
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Blogs are a series of posts made by one or multiple bloggers. They appear in reverse chronological order with the most recent at the top of page one. They can focus on one topic or multiple themes.
Blog posts should be AT LEAST 300 words in order to rank well (or at all) in Google. Longer posts, 1000+ words, rank more easily than short ones with 2,500 word posts ranking the best.
There are several niche’s that are becoming popular for their blog posts. 1) Sewing and knitting are huge right now. 2) Parenting blogs are popular. 3) Health. 4) Lifestyle. 5) Frugal living. 6) Home decor.
Yes, blogs are still hugely popular. In fact, 77% of internet users report reading blog posts regularly.
According to the TrackMaven report from 2017, Sunday is the best day to publish a new blog post. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday have the lowest share counts.