So you have your blog up and running, now you wanna learn how to write a blog post properly for SEO while making it easy to read and valuable to your readers right? Maybe you’re like me when I got started and need a checklist that covers everything an article should include. This way nothing gets left out and you put yourself in the best position to rank on the search engines. I mean, in the end, you want people to find your content, take action, and even share what they’ve read, correct?
So everything you’ll find in this post will contain the most important things every blog post must have.
Without these, your blog can potentially kill your business results quicker then you can say “Really?”
So, what are the main points that you should NEVER leave out? Well, it must occur in your mind that, unlike in the past, SEO has really evolved today. The old strategies that were used in enhancing one’s online visibility are no longer valid. To ensure that your blog post ranks high, you must be ready to cover important points that implement the latest ranking strategies. Google and other leading search engines have already adopted new ways of ranking web pages and if you want to keep your content competitive in your marketplace, you need to play the game according to their rules.
So how do you know what their rules are? I got you covered, just read on…
Fortunately, there’s a great deal of things you can do to ensure that your blog posts ranks high. However, you must place your main focus on “On-Page” optimization. The quality of your content is KING. This is the kind of optimization that is done on your post and dashboard (if you use wordpress) itself.
Here are the most crucial search engine optimization points you can’t miss for your blog post. In no way does this serve as a guarantee that you’ll rank on first page. It takes much more then JUST on page optimization to rank, especially for highly competitive keywords, it takes dedication and constant action to out-perform your competition. In addition, backlinks and social signals, also known as “Off Page Optimization” also play a HUGE factor in your rankings. However, we’ll cover that in another article.
However, when you implement everything in this post, you’ll position yourself in the best situation given you also have great optimization off page.
So let’s get started crushing your competition and writing highly effective, Google loving, articles.
Things You Should Include When Writing Your Blog Post
Title: One Of The Most Impacting In SEO
It’s been confirmed that 80% of web surfers do not read beyond the title of a blog post. This is simply because a title creates an impression of what to expect in the content ahead. Basically, the success of your blog post will greatly depend on the kind of title you have for it. It is greatly advised that you create appealing, attractive, compelling and above all, relevant title for your blog post.
First, it’s important to incorporate the main keyword in the title. It doesn’t have to be in order but it does have to be in there in some sort of variation. For example, if your main keyword is “The best Mercedes for Mom’s”, then you’re title may be something like…
Secondly, you should spice up the title with some sweet adjectives and adverbs. Doing so will go a long way in attracting high traffic to your blog. It’ll stand out among the others in the search results.
2. Header Tags (H1, H2, H3)
Header tags are basically headlines which carry the main keyword in them. They must be part of your blog post SEO checklist since they carry a very strong impact. You can decide to begin with the main headline followed by other consecutive sub-headers in the content. However, this does not mean that each and every sub-heading should be tagged. For your information, keywords must be used strategically in any SEO piece.
It’s common to use H1, H2, and H3’s. Normally H4’s don’t have to be used unless your post is longer then 1000 words. These “H” tags aren’t as important as they used to be according to Google, but it still helps them know what your post is primarily about, especially if it’s a long post.
Tag Titles should contain your keyword in different variations. For example, if your keyword was “lose weight fast”, then you can have the following…
H1 main Title – How To Lose Weight Fast in 2015
H2 secondary subtitle in the post – Three Steps To A Fast Health Transformation
H3 – Weight Loss Checklist To Remember
As you can see, I’ve spread the main keyword in different ways amongst the 3 subtitles. Google will see this as relevant and know what your post is primarily about without seeing your post as keyword stuffing or obvious planting in your keyword for on page optimization. Make it natural, and make it ready nicely for your readers.
3. Meta Descriptions: Must Be In Your SEO Checklist
Meta description can be termed, in layman’s language, as the text that appears just below the title when your content is searched in the web. The description is used to bait and entice surfers to read your piece even more. Though not strictly, It is advised that you incorporate the main keyword in your meta description.
In this example, I searched “Las Vegas Real Estate”, and here are the Meta Descriptions…
Aside from that, you must ensure that the tone used in your meta description is indeed very sweet and enticing. The primary aim is to encourage as many clicks as possible to your blog post. The use of questions, adjectives and adverbs is recommended greatly when structuring your Meta description.
I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve read the description under the titles on the search results that determined which result to click on. The one with the most attractive description usually wins my click.
4. LSI (Relevant and Related Words To The Main Keywords)
LSI keywords are simply synonyms or other related terms to the main keyword in your blog post. Such keywords are very imperative since search engines use the Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) system to rank posts. In other words, the more you use LSI keywords, the high the possibility of assuming top rank in Search Engine Results pages (SERPs).
Finding LSI keywords is not as daunting as people take it. It is just a matter of using the Google search bar and a list of suggestions will pop as you type along. You can also scroll down the main results page and get related words and phrases at the bottom.
Another way of finding similar words to your main keyword is typing in your main keyword in quotations plus “Wikipedia” in the Google search bar. So it would look like this.
Once you click on the wikipedia listing, you’ll see all similar words that relate to your keyword. For example, for the keyword “Real Estate”, similar words highlighted in the photo below.
These should be included in your blog post so Google will know that your post is primarily about real estate. It will also crawl your page and realize it’s value to the topic is very clear to what the search is about.
5. Keyword (KW) Optimization: Very Important For Any Blog Post
Before writing a post, you must know what you’re writing about, who you’re writing to, and what the goal of the article is. Is it to generate sales and subscribers, or is it to basically give solely information. The very first thing you need to do is find the keyword to write around. You can use Google Keyword Planner for free to search for this as well as see the search volumes and competition factors for each one.
It’s good pick a KW that has enough searches that makes it worth while to invest time in writing about the subject. If you spend hours or days writing a post about a topic that gets no searches, then most likely, you’re out of luck, wasting your time, and you’ll get frustrated due to NO results.
Once you find a keyword to use, search for it and see who is already ranking. This is important because based on the age and authority of those sites already ranking for that KW, determines your capability to out rank them or not be able to rank at all because of the competition. I use the Chrome plug-in “SEO QUAKE” to show me the stats of the sites in the search results easily. It’s free and saves you a lot of time in research.
So, gone are the days when the use of many keywords was the trend. Keyword stuffing no longer works effectively in modern SEO and will actually penalize you heavily. Instead of using the main keyword repeatedly all along your blog post, you should aim at optimizing it. In other words, the keyword must be used sparingly and economically. A 2% density is good to have with a variety of similar words explained in point 4.
So if you have a 1000 word post, it’s good to have 20 keywords AND “related” KW’s (point 4 above) combined in your post while being easily readable and very informative about the specific topic. The more value and answers to the needs of the audience the better.
Google has for the last couple of years been penalizing bloggers and website owners who over-use keywords. This is because the act is considered a shortcut in getting high ranking through manipulation of search engines. You might acquire high ranking through keyword stuffing but the position is not bound to last. Optimization is therefore paramount.
6. Outbound Links
The great benefit of specifying your niche is that you’ll be in a position to garner high traffic to your site. This can be achieved with the help of outbound links. These are simply links that connect your blog to other domains within your niche. Doing so helps search engines to understand where your niche lies hence rank your blog post in that regard. Other benefits of outbound links include:
• Increased trust for your site
• Helps in reaching out to your targeted audience
• It creates a chance for you to interact with other leading bloggers in your niche.
If all you do is link to your other posts, there’s a limit as to the variety of information that can be found in your site. You should link out to authority sites such as wikipedia and other relative niche sites in addition to linking to your other related posts.
7. Internal Links
Internal links should also be included in your checklist in writing proper blog posts. To be precise, internal links are used to lead visitors to another page of the same website or blog.(mentioned slightly in point 6) The main aim of using internal links is to create a sequential way of relaying information on a certain topic. A defined and established information hierarchy is created with the help of internal links hence prompting in-depth understanding of the main topic by the readers.
Aside from that, there is great ranking power in internal links. Note that such links indicate how established and broad your blog is hence making is notable in search engines.
8. Best Plugins
The essence of plugins for SEO is that they provide you with the freedom to set the metadata for every new blog post you make. This means that you can formulate your title and description easily to ensure that you content achieves high ranking in search engines.
I’ve also included the most recommended plug-ins to help the performance of your blog. The way I see it is if your blog performs poorly, you’ll lose your visitors quickly and you’ll never get your posts read if the pages take too long to load.
I like using plugin’s like Yoast or All In One because it guides me to make sure that I don’t leave anything out. On top of that, it keeps the best optimized settings to make sure my blog performs at it’s best.
Some of the SEO plugins you can consider include:
- WordPress SEO By Yoast Plugin (have a fully optimized WordPress site)
- Quick Cache Plugin (speed without compromise)
- WP Super Cache Plugin (very fast caching engine for WordPress)
- W3 Total Cache Plugin (designed to improve user experience and page speed)
- Askimet (control the spam)
Here is a video on how to set up your W3 Total Cache if you want to do it yourself. Or you can always hire someone on Fiverr to get it done for you.
9. Quality Content
Out of the many things done to enhance online visibility, creation of quality content comes first. In simple terms, quality should be your #1 priority. In the past, you could have tools generate content for you and you could survive. However, with all the Google algorithm updates, business’s who did this saw their ranking fall massively. Some companies who were making 5 figures per month all of a sudden fell to ZERO cause their rankings went from first page to nowhere to be found. Currently, Google and other search engines are really strict and do not in any way compromise on quality.
In summary for quality content, your article must be written by you or a real writer and not in any way spun. It must flow and also be grammatically correct and relevant to your niche. It’s easy to find quality writers these days who are great at research and transferring it to a blog post. One place to find these talented writers is Iwriter.
Get Ready To Blog
It takes profound efforts to ensure that your blog garners high traffic. You must remember that the web is a very broad platform and ranking top may not be an easy task. It takes more then on page optimization. Backlinks and social signals also play a big part in letting Google know how relevant and valuable your blog post is and shouldn’t be ignored. If the above points are taken seriously and taken action upon consistently, you will position yourself to get your blog seen by the most targeted visitors possible.