How To Write SEO-Friendly Blog Posts (My Core Philosophy)
Do you know how to write a good blog post for SEO?
If you want to learn how to write SEO-friendly blog posts, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve got tons of tips for you to add to your blog post SEO checklist.
Here is a few straight off the bat:
Google rewards helpful content in the SERPs.
The word count of your blog content is largely irrelevant.
Offer upfront value in your meta descriptions.
Use “People Also Ask” to inform H2 subheaders.
Identify long-tail keywords with high search volume.
SEO is NOT about optimizing content for Google.
It’s about optimizing content for readers. Google doesn’t want you to optimize content for their algorithm.
They want you to optimize content for those using their search engine to find answers to their problems.
How To Write SEO-Friendly Blog Posts (Core Philosophy)
Google rewards content that solves problems.
To appear #1 on Google, you must solve a problem in the most effective way possible.
That means using images, videos, graphs, graphics, bullet points, statistics, citing studies, interviewing experts, sharing your personal options, and linking to authoritative sources.
SEO Tips For Blog Posts (Hit The Ground Running)
Google loves (and rewards) helpful content
The first few sentences of a blog post are critical.
You need to front-load the article will value and immediately answer any questions posed in your title.
If you’re writing a “How To Do XYZ” article, you must immediately tell the reader how to do XYZ.
Google wants to show helpful content to searchers. They don’t want to show content that forces readers to scroll and scroll.
“Most geniuses—especially those who lead others—prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities but by exploiting unrecognized simplicities.” — Andy Benoit
Start strong and dive deeper
Once you have immediately provided the reader with value in the first few lines, the rest of the article is about building out the major points you’ve raised at the start of the article and going into more detail.
You need to think carefully about how you are going to structure the content.
I’d always recommend adding a table of contents that breaks down the different subheaders.
How To Write A Good Blog Post For SEO (Structural Tips)
Deploying Hyper-Optimized H2 Subheaders
Usually, I like my H2 subheaders to be questions.
Sometimes, I’ll take these questions from the “People Also Ask” section on Google.
So, I’ll type in the keyword on Google and then take all the questions from the “People Also Ask” section, throw them into a Google Document, put them in a logical order, and then create H3 subheaders to break down the content inside of those.
My H2 subheaders are usually optimized around the target keywords (or keyword variants) and then the H3 subheaders are not optimized.
For instance, I’ve I’m targeting the keyword Best Donut Recipes, I would type this into Google and take a look at the “People Also Ask” section.
I would take a question from the “People Also Ask” section and add this to a Google document and turn it into an H2 subheader.
From there, I would create a load of H3 subheaders with different recipe ideas.
Let’s Skip To The Good Part
Much like the introduction to your blog post, you need to immediately answer these questions.
You shouldn’t have a massive build-up.
If you want Google to turn your answers into a featured snippet, you must answer the question in just a few words before diving into your H3 subheadings with all the different types of recipes.
For instance, if you had the H2 subheader “What are the best donut recipes?”, you could create a bullet point list of the best types of donut recipes
You could then use each of those as H3 subheaders and break down the recipes from there.
This way, you’re providing an immediate answer and immediate value while also diving in deeper later on.
Ideal Blog Length For SEO
The word count of your blog content is largely irrelevant.
Every new blog post is another opportunity for you to rank for a different cluster of keywords.
You should aim to write as much as possible.
But it’s got to be good.
Baking “writing time” into your daily routine is a good way to kickstart SEO content production.
Consistency and frequency are important.
Generating Original Product Reviews
Google loves personal opinions.
When you provide a unique perspective on a product or service, you are offering value to the reader.
If you do not have anything new to bring to the table, why should Google rank you higher than the existing content?
To beat the competition, you must find an original angle.
When I am writing about a product, I want to generate original product reviews that you cannot find anywhere else.
I use HARO (Help A Reporter Out) to submit a request for reviews on specific products or services.
I am looking for short and snappy snippets to weave into my existing content.
Just a few sentences from a consumer sharing their personal opinion.
I wrote this Twitter thread breaking down my process for using HARO to collect quotable opinions for product review articles.
How To Write Meta Descriptions (Forget Conventional Wisdom)
When it comes to meta descriptions, you need to go against conventional wisdom.
As you want to get as many clicks on Google as possible, it’s tempting to just tease the answer to a particular question or summarize what the content is going to be about.
This isn’t the way to do it.
Instead, you need to provide the value upfront. For instance, if you are writing an article about the best donut recipes, the meta description can literally be:
The best donut recipe is the rocky road chocolate chip. Here’s why.
By doing this, it’s a clear indication to Google that your content is packed with so much value that you’re willing to provide value upfront.
How To Find The Best Keywords For SEO
If you’re looking for the best keywords, you need to use a tool like Ahrefs.
Semrush is good - but I prefer Ahrefs.
And by the way, I’m not an affiliate for either of these tools.
I also use Google Trends to get a sense of what keywords are starting to become more popular and also to identify potential opportunities that other domains are overlooking.
Ideally, you’re looking for long-tail keywords (typically in the form of questions) with high search volume and low competition.
If your domain has low authority (and this can be measured by the strength of your backlink profile), this will slightly restrict the type of keywords you can go after.
How long does it take for content to rank on Google?
The easiest way to accelerate the indexing process is to connect your website to Google Search Console and resubmit your sitemap for indexing.
If you are constantly publishing new content, you can also submit individual URLs for each article for indexing on Google Search Console.
Do you need backlinks?
Niche-relevant backlinks are important.
Never pay for backlinks.
Focus on writing exceptional content that naturally attracts backlinks from high authority domains like TechCrunch, Indie Hackers, and Mashable.
I recently went on The Alpha Algorithm podcast to share a ton of unconventional and unusual SEO tips.
Go take a listen and let me know what you think.