When you’re writing a blog post for a client, you have to think beyond the act of writing the content. Content marketing often intersects with search engine optimization (SEO). Therefore, it’s a necessity to ensure the content you write for blog posts is SEO-friendly. That’s because SEO-friendly content helps improve user experience and increases search engine rankings so that it’s easier to find the blog post. Here are seven simple ways to get it done:
1. Use SEO-Friendly Titles
Your content is the most important element for ranking well in search engines, and the title is the first piece of content that an audience reads. Take advantage of this opportunity to make it SEO-friendly by creating titles that are relevant to your topic. Use keywords or phrases, but don’t add any more than two keywords in your title. This tactic helps reduce keyword stuffing. Consider using numbers, action verbs, and adjectives in your titles to demonstrate how the reader can benefit from reading the post, such as, “5 Cool Ways to Write Faster Today.” There are even SEO tools you can use to help you analyze your title or help you create one, such as CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer and Inbound Now’s Blog Title Idea Generator.
2. Add Image and Alt-Descriptions
Image and alt-descriptions help the search engine spiders know what the image is about since spiders can’t crawl images. Therefore, it’s important to include them. Make them descriptive so that your audience understands what the image is about. Include a caption for your image. Include your keyword where it is appropriate in the image and alt-descriptions.
3. Use Appropriate Outbound and Internal Linking Tactics
Linking information is crucial to optimizing a page because links are heavily weighted in SEO rankings. Thus, it’s important to link outbound and internal links appropriately. Link to authoritative sites in your content. For example, when citing statistical information, it’s better to link to reliable sites, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website as opposed to Wikipedia.
Consider linking to industry-specific authoritative sites for your topic, such as Forbes or Inc for business topics. Additionally, use anchor text by linking keywords or phrases that your client is targeting to other web pages. Link internally to relevant pages within the client’s website or blog. For example, you can link your content to a previous blog post from the client’s site that further explains a topic you mention in your article. By integrating these internal links, you can help your clients increase traffic to their sites.
4. Embrace Keyword Optimization
Some clients will already have specific requirements for incorporating keywords, such as not using keywords more than 10 times or using the keyword phrase a minimum of three times. However, it’s also important to apply keyword optimization best practices when your client leaves out any keyword or phrase requirements.
For example, using a keyword just once in your content may not be resourceful in helping your client’s content rank for that keyword. You can mention the keyword or phrase at least two to three times organically throughout the post as a rule of thumb. The key is to naturally incorporate keywords in your content without overdoing it.
5. Write Relevant Meta Data
You may occasionally receive a request from clients to create a title or even come up with meta data. This is the information that shows up in search engine results and includes the title of the web page and the description of the content on the page. It’s important that the content you provide is relevant but concise. Title tags are very important in SEO, so creating a title tag that is SEO-friendly can mean the difference between improving your ranking or ending up on the third page of Google’s search results.
Place keywords or a keyword phrase at the beginning of the title tag, followed by the brand name in the following format: “Article Title | Brand Name.” Also, keep your title tag between 55 to 60 characters so that it doesn’t cut off in the search results. Limit your meta description to roughly 156 characters. Additionally, include keywords in your meta description. These words appear in bold text in search engine results.
6. Format for Readability
The way your content is structured is also important. It helps improve the user’s experience so they can read your content easily. Here are some readability tips to incorporate in your blog posts:
- Use subheadings and bullet points
- Use numbered lists when appropriate
- Include relevant images
- Keep paragraphs to five sentences or fewer for easier and faster reading.
7. Provide Quality Content
Your content is the most important way to improve ranking. Research also indicates that long-form content typically ranks higher than shorter content. But rather than just aiming for a specific word count, consider your content’s substance. Aim for more in-depth topics to give your readers what they need to know. Include a call to action or conclusion so readers know what action to take or what information they should gather from the post. Create content that is unique about the topic, and write for your target audience first. Include keyword phrases naturally throughout your content.
As a writer in today’s digital world, you’re doing more than just writing a blog post. The content you provide and how you structure it can directly impact how well it ranks. SEO and content are partners and should work together. By taking a strategic approach to writing using these SEO tactics, you can help your clients improve their rankings while providing their readers with useful and relevant content.