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Bloggers have a lot to handle when they first start their website. Getting everything up and running is a huge task in and of itself, but once you start the process of crafting posts, that’s when the real fun begins. Blog content is designed to rank in organic search results, but to do that, it needs to be properly optimized.
We always say that we’re writing for people, not search engines, and that’s true. Even so, there’s a balance between giving people what they want, and giving the search engines what they need to find and rank your content. Let’s find out where that balance lies.
The 3-Step Guide to Writing Perfectly Optimized Posts
Search engine optimization is a beast that’s constantly evolving and changing. However, some things always stay the same, regardless of how many updates or changes Google makes to the algorithm.
Let’s take a look at three steps that will always result in optimized posts for your blog:
>>Step One: Do Your Research
A great blog post starts with great research. No one likes sifting through web pages, but in the case of SEO, keyword research helps you get a strong concept for your post. There are numerous tools out there that help you find keywords, but here are my top picks:
You can also think outside the box and try some tactics like typing your subject into Google and taking note of the suggestions provided. The best way to perform this research is to start with the tool you prefer and input a broad topic that relates to your blog.
The keywords you get will start to narrow down options for topics you can cover. Their popularity and volume will show you what people are looking for in that niche. Including these words in your post is SEO 101, but covering those topics in-depth is the true purpose of this research.
You should also target strings of keywords for better results. Known as long-tail keywords, these phrases of two words or more offer a larger piece of the pie. You’ll notice they have less volume, but that’s because their targeting more effective audiences.
It’s the decision between a small piece of a big pie, or a large piece of a smaller one. You’ll get more mileage if you’re using this long-tail variations, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing and developing topics for posts.
>>Step Two: Structure and Style
A big portion of SEO is about the user experience. Google wants to show people articles that not only provide the information someone is looking for, but provide in a way that is pleasant and efficient.
There’s a lot of factors that go into designing a user-friendly website, but your content is a great place to start. When you’re writing your posts, be sure to follow the concept of an inverted pyramid. This tried-and-true tactic involves putting all of the important information front and center in your posts.
Then, as you work your way down, you can cover the less important topics and the supplementary information people may want to have. While you’re doing this, make sure you follow a set structure with these practices:
- Separate paragraphs into 3-4 lines per. No one likes blocks of text
- Use bullet points to create short lists of important information
- Incorporate images to break up the text
- Bold and italics can be used to emphasize points
- Separate sections with headers (H2, H3, etc.)
Following these practices will ensure your content is easy to read for both desktop and mobile users. Just remember to stay on topic and cut out any fluff between the reader and the answers they’re looking for.
>>Step Three: The Finishing Touches
So, you’ve written this amazing post that deeply covers the chosen topic, and you love it. Time to publish? Not quite. We need to put some finishing touches to ensure it’s fully optimized. For starters, if you’re using WordPress, you should have the seo plugin for blogger Yoast SEO plugin installed.
This handy tool will assist in the next steps to publication. Here’s a checklist to follow before you finalize any of your posts:
- Customize the page title and meta description using the plugin mentioned above. These are the snippets you see in the search results, so treat it like a billboard for your post. It’s not directly related to SEO, but it can bring more clicks, which will improve your overall ranking.
- Make sure you’ve linked to your sources in the text, and to other pages on your site
- For your images, make sure you’ve provided alt-text that describes what the image is (this is for search engines to properly understand them)
- Make sure you didn’t stuff your post full of keywords, and that it flows naturally
If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to optimizing the content in your posts. Continued research into the SEO industry will offer further insights as well. Pretty soon you’ll be making money through WordPress and running a successful blog.
How do you ensure your posts are optimized? Let us know in the comments!
Keith Randolph is an SEO expert with over a decade of experience. He applies his knowledge to helping others optimize the content on their websites and blogs.