Content marketing takes time and effort. That’s why you want every online article you publish to deliver results. If you want your blog posts to drive long term return to your website, you need to ensure that they rank in Google’s search results.
From identifying the right keywords to include, to conceptualising and creating a quality piece – writing and SEO friendly article be a tricky process.
Read on to learn about our 10-step process to writing a blog article that ranks.
1. Understand your business and its core USPs
Before you start ideating your content, ensure that you have a good understanding of your target customer and the tone of voice that will speak to them. You need to know what reading level you are writing for, and more importantly, what type of content will either be helpful, informative, entertaining, or inspiring.
Set your content goals early on and plan your blog post topics so that they communicate the value of your key products and services.
2. Do your keyword research
Keyword research is crucial. Try to find a list of keywords that are related to your business and have high search volume with a low to moderate level of competition.
The less people that are trying to rank for your keyword or blog topic, the easier it will be to reach the front page. The more niche the search term, the higher quality traffic you will also attract to your site.
The cost per click of your keyword will give you an indication of how much advertisers are willing to pay to rank for those words. Therefore, you should look at this metric to gauge how competitive and valuable they are.
3. Analyse the content that is already ranking for your keywords
Look at the related content that is already online and plan how you can outdo it. Maybe a competitor has created a list of 10 must do’s. That means you should probably write 15.
Look at the type of visuals, research, quotes and statistics they use, and similarly try to include your own credibility building approaches. Both Google and the reader will look upon this highly.
4. Plan your article structure and H2s
Once you’ve got a good list of keyword variations planned out, think about how you can use them to structure your article and include them in your subheadings. Google will pick up the keywords in your H2’s when it’s trying to determine what your article is about and what it should rank for.
5. Remember to alt tag your images
Remember to fill out the alt tags on the images and media that you include. Alt tags are designed to help blind users understand what your website is about.
However, they also help Google to read what is included in your image. By including this positive SEO signal, you also increase the chances that your blog image will be included in the image search results.
6. Write for online readers
It’s much harder to read on a screen than it is to read off paper. That means you need to use shorter, catchy paragraphs. Also utilise bullet points, numbered lists and subheadings to make your text easier to scan and understand. Google might even include your lists as a featured snippet at the top of the search results!
7. Write an awesome headline
The headline statement is crucial. It’s often easier to write this after you’ve written the whole article. It needs to entice people to click on your listing from the search results and it must be keyword rich.
People love to see numbers. If you’ve included a list, then write 5 Things You Need to Know and so on. Highlight what’s in it for the reader and be sure to use power words.
8. Include relevant links
Google also likes to see that you’ve included helpful outbound links. Linking a quote or statistic that you have used shows that your content is well researched and credible. If you’re recommending an online tool, or a destination to visit include a link as it’s much more user friendly.
Likewise, try to encourage other websites to link back to your own article to increase your exposure and domain authority in the process.
9. Don’t forget to fill out the meta title and description
Meta data needs to be keyword rich and entice people to click on your article from the search listings. It also guides Google to recognise what your article is about.
10. Now promote it!
Share the article across social media to generate traffic and engagement! Direct traffic and brand name searches are strong Google ranking factors because they indicate that your brand is popular both online and offline.
Google simply wants to provide the best experience for its own users. So always remember to write for people first, then build credibility and strategically placed keywords into your piece.
Crafted the perfect blog post? Now learn how to repurpose your blog content for social media.