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When you're searching for tips to write SEO-friendly blog posts, you'll probably end up with tips about content. That's a great and important start. However, there are some tips & tricks to get your content higher in the search ranks and we'll pilot you right through it.
Search engines such as Google and Bing (there are plenty more search engines out there) rank your content based on multiple algorithms. These algorithms will look at the quality of the content. But you might wonder -justly- how a machine can tell what quality content is.
Well, to do that it looks to several parameters, like hyperlinks (did you already notice the one above?), subtitles, images, and mostly keyword density, next to a whole lot more things. So let us teach you how to 'trick' the search engines and make your SEO-friendly blog post pop up highest in the ranks.
Here's a quick overview of what we're going to cover:
Before you even start writing a blog post, you need to know what your keyword is. The keyword is the word or word group (keyphrase) that your customers will look for on the internet. For example, the keyphrase of this blog post is 'SEO-friendly blog posts'. Not sure what to write about? Get your hands on the Google Chrome extension WMS Everywhere. For every search query, they'll make a list!
Keywords are your north star. They will guide search engines to your article, so you need to use them in your blog post a lot. Now don't use them in every sentence of your blog. The algorithms will also penalize you if you overuse keywords. We suggest using a minimum of 1 keyword per 200 words and a maximum of 1 keyword per 30 words.
Furthermore, you need to distribute your keywords evenly in the text. You can't just use your keywords a lot in the beginning and forget about them at the end of your article. Search engines need to know your whole blog post is worth reading, not only a part of it. By the way, be sure to add your keyword in your intro as well as in your meta description (maximum 156 characters) and slug (read: everywhere).
In retrospect, we recall this for keywords:
As mentioned above, subtitles are incredibly important to your blog post. The search engine algorithms think titles are more important than your overall text. Search engines know what a title is because in the HTML of your website (in which the search engine will look) it is marked as H1, which is your main title or H2, H3... which are your subtitles.
So, if you know the algorithms will scan your (sub)titles first, you know you need to add your keyword(s) in your title and one or more subtitles. We suggest putting the keywords as much to the beginning of your title as possible but don't start writing phrases that wouldn't make any sense. Notice how I sneaked my keyphrase into this subtitle.
Adding images to your text is a must-do! Now, what a lot of people tend to forget is to add an alternative text for images, also known as alt text. An alt text is a text that appears when an image can't be loaded. This barely ever happens but a more important feature of the alt text is that it tells search engines what you can see on the picture.
This way, the Googles can index your image and your content piece better. Now what's important here is that you include your keyword in the alt text. As said before, your keyword is your north star.
Using links in your article is another metric the algorithm keeps in mind when deciding if your blog post is important or not. The trick here is to add both internal as well as outbound links.
We already used an outbound link when referring there were more search engines than just Google and Bing. Now for an internal link, we suggest reading this blog post with 5 tips for better notetaking.
Bonus tip: make your internal links stay on the same window, while outbound links should be opened in a new window.
The more time readers spend on your page, the better it is for the algorithm. The Googles out there will think you have an interesting article and that's what search engines want to offer: quality links for one's search query.
Thus, the longer the text, the more space you give to your readers to stay on your page a little longer. However, you shouldn't just write text to have a long blog post. Even the very end of your blog post should contain a value for your readers.
The absolute minimum number of words for your article should be 300. By the way, if you're still here reading this: thank you!
Readability is yet another aspect of SEO-friendly blog posts. That's why you should write in paragraphs. Each paragraph should have its subject. The subject of this paragraph is the use of paragraphs. Paragraphs can be as short as one line, but should not exceed the maximum of five lines.
The length of your sentences itself matters too. A maximum of 25% of your sentences can contain 20 words or more. You should also vary between long and short sentences. For most writers, this will come fluently.
Using signal words is a perfect way to sew your sentences or paragraphs (or both) together. Signal words add structure to your text. Therefore, they are improving the readability of your SEO-friendly blog post. Notice that the subject of this paragraph is the use of signal words.
Spelling mistakes are just... painful. Of course, it's hard to write without mistakes all of the time, especially if you're writing in a language that isn't your mother tongue. That's why we suggest showing your text to someone else before you publish it. For some reason, it's always easier for someone else to find mistakes in your text than it is for yourself. It's just your own mind that tricks you, you know.
Better yet is to use a computer to scan your text for mistakes. Apps like Grammarly will correct your text in the blink of an eye. Lucky for you, Grammarly comes with a free version as well.
If you used all of the above tips, you'll have a perfectly SEO-friendly blog post. Still, it's possible that your content piece isn't first in ranks. Don't worry, SEO takes time. As you build your blog post section, you will see results. Consistency is key!
Having trouble working from home in the new normal? Check out our 5 tips to work from home productively.
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