How to write SEO friendly blog posts

It isn’t easy reading from a screen. As well as making sure your blog posts are interesting, informative and relevant, it’s important to understand how to write SEO friendly blog posts. The most significant factor in your blog post ranking well in Google is the quality of your content. Despite Google’s many algorithm changes, their focus and ambition remain the same; Google wants to deliver the best result for any given search term. Being the best result means concentrating on your readers and addressing a pressing need well.

What does this mean to you?

People who read an entire blog post are more likely to come back for more and moreover want to buy stuff from you. Also, engaging, readable blog posts that address a genuine need and that meet a need in your reader and much more likely to rank well in Google. Here are some tips on writing SEO friendly blog posts that people will also want to read.

Start with a keyword or phrase

For SEO purposes, you should always start with a need in mind. What does a potential client struggle with and how would they search for a solution? The words that they use to search in Google are called keywords. Always start by asking what your client’s need is? And then how would they use Google to find a solution?’. Tailor your content to include similar words and phrases that they might use – here’s a guide for how to pick the perfect keyword. For example, if you found this blog post in Google, the chances are that you are looking to publish blog posts that you want to rank well in Google and are interested in advice on how to write SEO friendly blog posts.

Use the right language for your audience

There’s some talk online about using the simplest possible language at all times, aiming for the lowest common denominator. Maybe that makes sense if you run an online shop where your buyers range from rocket scientists to young teens. But it makes more sense, if your website is aimed at rocket scientists, to write with them in mind instead of trying to simplify the language. Equally, it also makes more sense to use incredibly simple language for an audience of sixteen-year-olds. If you want to understand how to write SEO friendly blog posts: you need to focus on your audience rather than trying to catch everyone.

Use plenty of paragraphs to split your post up

If you’ve ever come across a blog post that just runs on and on, just one enormous paragraph, you’ll know how impossible it is to read. Split the information into bite-sized chunks, separated by appealing, relevant subheaders, and you’ll make it a whole lot easier for people to read comfortably and quickly, and to find the exact information they want. In our experience, we recommend that paragraphs should have no more than 300 words in, before using another header to break up the content.

Make your argument clear up front

What is the post going to discuss? The first paragraph is where you present your premise, telling people what you’re going to say. Take a look at the first paragraph of this post – we’ve explained that the premise of this article is ‘how to write SEO friendly blog posts’. We then quickly set out that we believe the key is readability and focussing on your audience needs. By addressing this early on in the blog post, you know what to expect as you work your way down the post.

Avoid passive language like the plague

Passive sentences are both marketing and an SEO no-no. If you write something like ‘it was decided to…’ rather than ‘we decided to…’, consider rewriting the sentence. It’s a sure-fire way to put people off, make yourself sound utterly pompous, distance yourself from your content and push your audience away.

Be personal, be quirky, express opinions

Too many companies are scared to get personal, have opinions, put their money where their mouth is. The result is an awful lot of dull posts providing bland information in a bland way, with no zest or fun or personality. The best and bravest brands are not afraid to say how they feel. If you want to understand how to write SEO friendly blog posts and convert visitors into a new business opportunity, have an opinion. It goes a long way.

Being human

The best-loved brands don’t write like they’re a corporate entity. They express themselves in an interesting and exciting way, and they write like real people. Don’t slip into corporate speak. And avoid industry jargon unless it’s the only way to make your audience understand what you’re talking about, or your audience is sure to comprehend it.

Tell stories with a beginning, middle and end

Stories sell. We instinctively tell each other stories. We have done since sitting round stone-age fires. Do you remember writing essays at school and college? That’s how you need to structure a blog post, with a beginning, middle and end. Every piece of content is a story. The best online content is simply storytelling with a marketing edge.

Make the information worth having

It can be tough dreaming up relevant, interesting blog post subjects week after week, year after year. But it’s better to say nothing at all than say something just for the sake of it. Make every piece of information you communicate worth having, whether that means entertaining, useful, essential, interesting or unique. If someone else has created a post on the same subject, it’s your responsibility to do a better job of it.

Develop a recognisable writing style

Does your blogging style reflect your brand’s personality? If not, why not? When people come across your blog, they should recognise your style, a writing style that dovetails perfectly with your website design and your brand values. If it doesn’t, there doesn’t seem any point in developing a brand in the first place. Without a brand identity and house-style to fall back on it difficult write SEO friendly blog posts.

SEO friendly blog posts – tips to ignore!

There’s some excellent guidance online about how to write SEO friendly blog posts. But there are also some commonly-proposed tips that, on close examination, don’t make a lot of marketing sense. Here are the two most important.

  • Do you have to use short sentences and avoid long ones? Some say it’s important to use short sentences. Yes, short sentences are sometimes easier to read and understand than long sentences. But don’t make it a hard and fast rule. We think it’s more important to get the punctuation and physical layout right since punctuation is designed to help people navigate longer sentences with clarity and accuracy.
  • Do you have to avoid ‘difficult words’? Have a look around, and you’ll see plenty of people recommending you avoid words more than four syllables long. We think this is silly advice. The number of syllables in a word doesn’t affect its ‘difficulty’, whatever that means in this context. Excellent, concise, intelligent communication focused to the audience in question is the important thing, and the English language offers a vast array of beautiful words to use, some longer than others.

Should you use the Yoast SEO plugin?

If you run a WordPress site, you may have heard your WordPress developers talk about the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s a useful piece of kit because it guides your SEO efforts on a post-by-post basis via all sorts of important checks and balances. It really can be a great starting point when learning how to write SEO friendly blog posts. The only thing we’d recommend you are wary of is the readability check, which assumes the lowest common denominator is always best. It isn’t.

So, how to write SEO friendly blog posts?

We’ve covered the basics here. SEO friendly blog posts should be well-written and focus on solving a potential need you have identified. It’s important to sure your blog posts are interesting, informative and relevant. The most significant factor will be the quality of your content. So it’s better to write nothing than writing something poorly without a point behind it.

Being the best result means concentrating on your readers and addressing a pressing need well. Do your research and choose a keyword well. Then write like a human for other humans. And lastly, review it carefully to make sure it’s easily understood and contains a few relevant keywords or phrases.

Above all, make your content readable and enjoyable for your specific audience, and you’ll see better results. If you need great content, we can help write it for you