Updated: 4 days ago
Writing a blog post that will optimize traffic to your website takes a lot of thought. It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
That is why we have come up with 5 SEO blog writing tips to help you maximize your audience through search engines like Google.
Each of these SEO tips can be implemented with the help of SEMRush.com, one of the top competitors when it comes to Search Engine Optimization analysis.
We have partnered with SEMRush to give you a 14-day extended free trial of their services.
With the following link, you can utilize SEMRush to research keywords for your article, analyze what backlinks will encourage the most traffic, and compare your blog post against competitors. But more on those later.
First, here is the link: http://djm.design/go/semrush
Before we get to our 5 tips for making your blog posts SEO friendly, I think it's important to define what SEO WRITING really means.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is the act of writing purposefully in order to increase the number of people who are able to find and engage with your content through search engines like Google.
But then what does it mean to write purposefully? That is where SEMRush.com comes in.
SEMRush provides tools that help you research the sorts of keywords and links that are driving traffic to your competitors' blogs. By utilizing the information and statistics SEMRush provides to implement our tips, you can drive your competitors’ audiences over to you.
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Start with Keyword Research
The very first thing you need to do when writing an SEO-friendly blog post is conduct Keyword Research.
This step will be useful in implementing each of our 5 tips. Without any keyword research, it will be extremely difficult to know what phrases to plug into your blog in order to drive traffic.
Analyze a keyword's value through online statistics
Discover which keywords perform best within your given topic
Explore a database of user-friendly keywords
Compare your keyword campaign against competitors
Create organic traffic through the use of keywords
There are so many ways to begin in SEMRush because there are so many useful tools hiding in the sidebar. My recommendation would be to do a little exploring for yourself—click on each tab and play around. It never hurts to familiarize yourself with a program before diving into using it professionally.
For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on the section conveniently titled Keyword Research.
When I was using this program to develop keywords for this article (Woah, blogception!) I started in the Keyword Magic Tool.
Keyword Magic Tool
With the Keyword Magic Tool, you can type in a word or phrase that you believe is important to your article. For instance, in this article, I began typing phrases like “SEO Blog Writing” and “Optimized Blog Posts.”
Using the keywords you type in, SEMRush produces similar phrases that it has found on the internet, and it provides you with statistics to see how well these phrases perform at driving traffic.
The amount of information it gives you can seem overwhelming at first, but don’t let it discourage you. All of the statistics it provides are for your benefit, and you get to pick and choose what information you use to optimize your blog posts.
Personally, I found 2 columns to be extremely useful: Volume and KD%.
The Volume column is the first column to the right of the keyword. It tells you the average number of monthly searches for the given keyword over the course of a year. In SEMRush, this is the default organization of the chart—the keywords appear in descending order from most searches to least.
When choosing keywords to implement in your blog, you definitely want to THINK ABOUT USING PHRASES THAT GET A LOT OF SEARCH TRAFFIC. This means more people have a chance of coming across your blog in their pursuit of that keyword search.
Another column that I found helpful was KD%, which stands for Keyword Difficulty. This column shows you how hard it would be to get your website to appear among the top searches for a given keyword. The bigger the percentage, the less likely your blog post is to appear on the first page of a Google search.
Next to the numbers in this column are small circles of either green, yellow, or red. Red indicates that it would be very difficult for people to find your blog among the keyword search results. Green is at the other end of the spectrum.
I found that the trick to using the Keyword Magic Tool is to strike a balance between Volume and Difficulty. You want to find and implement keywords that are searched often but don’t yield that many results.
If you can nail both of these elements with your keywords, it is way more likely that someone searching Google for your topic will stumble upon your blog.
When you find a keyword that you believe fits the bill, you can save them to a list in your Keyword Manager to refer back to later. Start by going to that tab in the sidebar. This is where you can create your lists—labeling them to fit your various blog post topics.
Once you have a list set up, it is very easy to save keywords there. All you have to do is click on the little plus to the left of the keyword in the chart, and it saves that keyword to your list.
In the Magic Tool, try a number of different words and phrases that you think are relevant to get a strong list of keywords started.
Next, pick a phrase that stands out to you for having a high Volume and low Difficulty. Head on over to the Keyword Overview tab and type that phrase in to get even more stats on it, like the trend of searches for your keyword, frequently asked questions that include your keyword, and even the global volume of searches.
What is also really amazing about this feature is that if you scroll down to the section labeled SERP Analysis, SEMRush provides you with the Top 100 Google results for your keyword search.
I recommend you open a few of these links in new tabs. Not only can you compare these sites to your own blog post later, but you can also get more inspiration for keywords by scanning their site.
You can also expedite this process by utilizing the Keyword Gap function. By entering the websites you discovered, you can compare what keywords each of them uses. In this chart, you still have your Volume and Difficulty columns to analyze, and you can continue saving these keywords to your list.
As you can see above, there were two distinct websites I found that relate to this article, and they gave me some great inspiration! You can check those out at the following links:
If you would like more information on driving traffic to your website in general, check out our other article, which also touches on Search Engine Optimization, but dives deeper into other strategies: 20 Quick Tips to Increase Your Website Traffic Engagement for Great ROI and Better Customer Service Solutions
"By using SEMRush, we at Daniel James Media have doubled traffic to our blogs, no joke."
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Now that you have some tools to conduct Keyword Research, hopefully building up an extensive list of words that will help drive traffic to your website, you need to know how to implement these keywords into your blog writing to get the most out of your SEO. That is where our 5 TIPS FOR WRITING SEO BLOG POSTS finally come in:
1. Use SEO Keywords to create an Optimized Title
It is no secret that a title is crucial to attracting a reader. It will be the first BIG, bold statement they see to indicate that your blog post is what they’re looking for.
But a title is also important in getting Google to recognize and recommend your post to those searching your topic.
"A Google search is still about 50-60% of the organic search traffic that creates engagement."
The key is to work in as many of the most relevant keywords you found into your title.
Of course, with all of these tips, it is important to NEVER SACRIFICE READABILITY FOR THE SAKE OF CRAMMING IN KEYWORDS.
You could jam in a hundred of the most optimized, searchable phrases you discovered, but if your title doesn’t make any sense, no one is going to click on your website and read your post.
I recommend typing out a few of the phrases that stand out to you as driving the most traffic while still being unique. Once you have those in front of you, it is sort of like a puzzle: Try to fit the pieces together into a coherent, relevant title.
I went through this exact process with this blog’s title. I started with keywords like “Writing SEO” and “SEO Blog Posts” and the result was a title that hits the mark on keywords while still capturing the content I am writing.
2. Add Image Alt Text to all Photos
A good way to engage readers in a blog post is to include at least 3 images as well as a video. These work to break up the monotony of text with visuals that reinforce the points you are trying to make. That is like Blogging 101.
But what you probably didn’t know was that there is a way to embed text into each photo that your reader won’t see but Google will, increasing your chance at attracting an audience through their Google search.
This text is called Image Alt Text: It is a short description you can add to all of your photos to give Google an idea of what is happening within the photo.
Search engines like Google cannot see what the image is, but they can read what you type in the Alt Text box.
This description is the perfect place to cram in some keywords because readability is not as important. YOUR READERSHIP WILL NEVER SEE THE ALT TEXT YOU TYPE. This is for Google and Google alone, to help you drive more traffic.
3. Aim for Longer Blog Posts
But actually, it’s quite the opposite, especially when it comes to pleasing Google in your Search Engine Optimization.
"The longer your content is, the more Google has to work with in terms of boosting your website and driving traffic to it."
Of course, you still have to hook your readers, so I’m not recommending you ramble on endlessly or write a piece full of fluff, but it is definitely worth your time to draft longer pieces if you want to please Google.
A good rule of thumb is between 2500 and 5000 words, with 3000 being the ideal sweet spot for blog length.
Extending your article doesn’t have to mean restating the same sentence in different ways like you remember doing in college to hit the word count on your essays. The trick is to implement the keyword research you conducted once you run out of words.
So start with what you write originally. Assess how many words it is, and how much more you have to go to get an acceptable length for SEO. From there, you can use the websites you found in the Keyword Gap to draw more inspiration, or you can simply use some of the keywords you found to add more sections and topics to your post.
4. Include Backlinks (3 to 5 external backlinks; 1 to 2 internal backlinks)
In SEMRush, you might have noticed the Link Building tab, which includes references to backlinks.
Backlinks are just what they sound like: direct links back to previous blog posts.
Google likes backlinks because they drive traffic from one website to another. When a website includes backlinks, it is giving its stamp of approval to other content.
It also increases SEO on both sites, because it encourages more visits, thus increasing a site’s visibility in a Google search.
It is a good idea to link at least 1 or 2 of your own blog posts because that drives circular traffic to your other work.
If someone is enjoying the blog post they’re on, they will be excited to click on the link to another one.
For instance, if you like getting the most out of your business endeavors—like you are doing by reading this blog—you will probably also enjoy getting the most out of your phone plan, which you can read about in another of our blog posts:
It is also important to link about 3 to 5 external sites that are relevant to your topic. Not only does this add credibility to your article—showing that you put in the research and have found good sources to reference—but it spreads the wealth by driving traffic to those websites.
It also indicates to Google that your post is related to that content, increasing your SEO.
That's what you call a win-win-win-win!
5. Use keywords in the Meta Description and H1/H2 titles
The final tip is a BIG one, and outside of the title, probably the most important use of your keywords:
Optimize your traffic in Google by including keywords in your Meta Description and all headers.
You may be asking yourself what in the world is a Meta Description??? Sounds kind of trippy right?
It’s really not so complicated. A Meta Description is simply the short blub that appears beneath your title in a Google search.
Once a person has read your title, but before they go so far as to click the link, they may skim the meta description to see if your blog post fits their need. That is why it is very important to include those keywords that people are searching for in this description.
But the catch is, the Meta Description is not its own separate piece of text. The Meta Description is just the first 500 words of your blog. That is why it can be tricky to write: You have to keep in mind the keywords while writing the introduction to your blog. As I mentioned before, it is super important that this description isn’t just a pile of keyword vomit, but a coherent, relevant group of sentences.
I would recommend taking a similar route as you did with your title. Type out a few of the most significant keyword phrases and from there, formulate them into a couple of sentences that introduce your article.
And instead of jumping right into your point, just give a brief summary that hits on the keywords SEMRush told you would attract the most traffic.
Another place to add these keywords is into your H1 and H2 titles. This sounds just as complicated as a Meta Description, but this is just talking about the heading in your blog.
H1 means Heading 1
and H2 means the slightly smaller Heading 2
Google stops reading keywords after the Heading 3 copy size—although even H3 does not yield much search from Google. That means that your body copy, called “Paragraph,” is not taken into account for Google’s search analysis of your website. So even though you should include your keywords throughout the blog post to keep it relevant, the most important place to add in your top keyword phrases is in the headings of your blog.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, DON'T SACRIFICE READABILITY FOR THE SAKE OF KEYWORD OPTIMIZATION.
There is a way to strike a balance between hitting those keywords and still having a heading that makes sense in the flow of your blog.
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If you found any of these 5 tips helpful and want to implement Search Engine Optimization into your future blog posts, feel free to follow the link below to get a 14 day free trial on SEMRush.com:
I wish you happy blog writing and lots of traffic to your website!
If you have any questions or want to add to this article feel free to do so below in the comments.
We reply to all comments added thanks and have fun shopping!