Would you like your blog to be more profitable? Of course you would! But how do you write SEO-friendly blog posts that get traffic, leads, and sales? The answer is simple to understand but not so easy to implement.
The good news is that many website owners don’t realize the power of content. They think a few decent blog posts will somehow convert into customers or clients. By understanding that isn’t how it works, you’re already one step ahead of them.
If you have a website or blog that makes money, there’s a good chance you’re already creating “SEO-friendly” content. But maybe your content could rank better. Maybe it could engage the reader better or convert to sales at a higher rate.
Keep reading to discover how to do all of that and more.
This article contains affiliate links. If you follow them and then make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional expense to you. Thanks for reading!
What is SEO and Why is it Important?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of getting a web page to rank high in the search engine results when someone uses a relevant query. The better your SEO, the higher you will appear in the results. This is important for two reasons:
- It implies that you’re an authority on the topic.
- It gets you more targeted traffic.
That means more leads and sales.
SEO is often called the highest ROI (return on investment) marketing strategy. This is because once you have good SEO and rank for many keywords, you only need to do enough work to maintain the rankings.
Meanwhile, you’ll be getting relevant traffic from people interested in your products or services for no additional cost.
What are SEO Friendly Blog Posts?
“SEO friendly” means something different than it did 5+ years ago. In recent memory, you could rank high on Google and other search engines through a process known as “keyword stuffing.”
This is the practice of using keywords as often as possible in your content, even if it makes no sense. Some SEOs back then would even add white text in the white space of their websites so they could stuff in extra keywords.
Fortunately, search engines have gotten smarter, and this no longer works.
Remember, the whole point of content is to provide value to your audience. And the more value your content has, the more likely they are to share it with others or link to it. If you create valuable content that is easy to consume, it might even “go viral.”
These days, an SEO-friendly article means an article that contains the right topics and keywords. But it also means a post that is well written, well structured, and provides real value to its intended audience.
How to Write Blog Posts That Rank on Search Engines
The good thing about modern SEO is that it’s getting more accessible and easier to understand. It can also be broken down into a series of achievable steps that a beginner can follow. If you haven’t done so already, the best way to start is by nailing down your customer avatar.
Building a Customer Avatar
The first step to creating content your potential customers want to consume is building an avatar for your target audience. An avatar is a way of representing your ideal customer or client in a single, easy-to-remember profile.
While customer avatars are completely fictional, they should have the same qualities as your best customers or clients. If your business is new, think about your prospective customers or clients.
A good avatar is a critical part of your content marketing strategy. It can help you craft messages that will resonate with the kind of people you want to do business with.
Once you’ve created your customer avatar and know what kinds of things they’re interested in, it’s time to research those topics.
The first step in researching SEO-friendly content is to know what your target audience is interested in. The only way to learn this information is by properly researching the topic.
Recommended tools for topic research:
- The Interwebs
Topic research is the process of identifying the subtopics, questions, and keywords that are related to your main topic. You can do this using free resources such as Google search, Quora, Reddit, and other online communities.
Once you have a well-rounded understanding of the main topic, the next step is to list all of the relevant subtopics you could write about. This can be done several ways, but I recommend using a simple spreadsheet. You can create as many spreadsheets as you want for free with software like Google Sheets.
Another option is to create a mind map with keywords as the nodes. This is a great way to get started if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. You can then add other nodes to represent related topics and use the mind mapping software to help you organize your ideas.
The next step toward creating content that ranks is keyword research. The purpose of this step is to find words related to your topics that are commonly searched with the right intent.
Tools recommended for keyword research:
- WriterZen (paid)
- Google Search (free)
- Keywords Everywhere (free or paid)
- SEO Minion (free)
- AnswerSocrates (free)
- Ubersuggest (free or paid)
The most crucial part of keyword research is intent, meaning how the keyword is used. You don’t want to pick a keyword that your readers aren’t using, and you also don’t want to prioritize those with no buying intent.
An excellent way to test whether or not your keyword is searchable and relevant is to use a tool like WriterZen.
With a single click, you’ll be able to see how many searches are being performed for your keyword, how competitive the search is, and how much traffic you could potentially drive. You’ll also get a number of related keywords.
If you can’t find any relevant keywords with the right intent, you may need to rethink whether SEO is the right strategy for your niche.
You can use free tools like Google search auto-complete and AnswerSocrates to find out which words are commonly searched. You can then plug these keywords into WriterZen or UberSuggest to get search volume and even more keyword ideas.
Once you’ve picked a target keyword to rank for, you can move on to the next step.
How to Do Keyword Research For Free
If you don’t have access to a premium tool like WriterZen or the paid version of Ubersuggest or Keywords Everywhere, you won’t have a reliable way of determining search volume. Fortunately, you can complete most aspects of keyword research without needing search volume stats.
One of the best ways to find keywords, including easy-to-target keywords, is nicknamed alphabet soup.
To implement alphabet soup, do a google search for a broad topic in your niche, such as “affiliate marketing.” Then, put the cursor in front of or behind the text, add a space, and type a letter.
Google will autosuggest popular relevant searches that use the same words when you do this. For example, when I add an “a” to after the term “affiliate marketing,” it returns a list of longtail keywords, including:
- Affiliate marketing Amazon
- Affiliate marketing Amazon Canada
- Affiliate marketing for beginners
And more. If I then backspace the “a” and replace it with a “b,” Google will suggest new topics, including:
- Affiliate marketing business
- Affiliate marketing books
- Affiliate marketing blogs
If I finish typing any of the keywords Google suggests, it may recommend a long tail keyword that includes that term. For example, when I type “Affiliate marketing blog,” Google adds the word “examples.”
This method is called alphabet soup because you can go through the entire alphabet from A-Z and find dozens or even hundreds of keywords.
Creating a proper outline is essential for creating SEO-friendly blog posts and making your articles easy to read and understand. A good outline will set you up for success and reduce the time you spend writing.
Recommended tools for outline creation:
Outlining your content creation is similar to creating a checklist before writing anything. It is a map you can use to make sure you hit all the important topics and subtopics.
Like any page of content, an outline should contain only one H1 heading.
Beneath the H1, you can use as many H2s as necessary to cover the relevant subtopics. H3s cover the subtopics of those subtopics, and so on down to H6s. Most SEOs do not go past H3s or H4s because there seems to be a point of diminishing returns.
For most topics, a strong outline will include at least a few questions as headings so you can answer them explicitly in the main content.
You’ve made it this far – now you finally get to write! Article drafting is the process of writing an article without worrying about whether it’s perfect. Instead, the purpose is to create a first draft or “rough draft,” which you can sculpt and optimize into a finished article.
Recommended tools for writing all different types of content:
Those three software platforms are all AI writing tools that can significantly speed up the drafting process. They aren’t a replacement for a writer, but they can supercharge a writer’s effectiveness.
When writing for blogs, it’s best to use short paragraphs and punchy sentences where possible. Having structured data such as lists and tables is also ideal; they break things down and make it easier to absorb the information.
People who skim through articles tend to have a much easier time with shorter paragraphs and tables and lists.
While the AI writing tools I mentioned are amazing, Google Docs and Google Sheets work fine. Regardless of which tools you use, the vital part is producing high-quality content.
Note: I recommend spending some extra time working on your article’s title. The title is often the most important factor for determining whether a user actually reads your content. It’s ideal to have a title that is 59 characters long or less because anything longer can get cut off in the SERP display.
Keyword optimization is a critical part of SEO writing, and it applies to many aspects of your content. You’ll want to include primary keywords in the title, headings, meta description, and page content. You’ll also want to use secondary keywords, often called LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords, throughout the content.
Recommended SEO tools for keyword optimization:
You can use the tools listed above to find out the exact keywords you should use to help your article rank. They even recommend specific keywords for specific parts of the content.
While keyword optimization might seem complicated, it’s straightforward. The most important thing to remember is that you’re not just trying to include keywords. You’re trying to cover all of the relevant topics in such a way that the keywords are used naturally.
Editing and Proofreading (and Plagiarism Check)
This is arguably the most challenging aspect of blog writing to teach and master. Ultimately this is the step that will determine how successful your blog is, so it’s essential to invest time into learning how to do it well.
Recommended tools for editing, proofreading, and plagiarism checking:
- Grammarly Premium
- Hemingway App
- Google Docs
Ideally, you want to develop the skill to edit your content quickly and efficiently. When you spot a problem and fix it as soon as you read it, the process goes much faster.
The tools listed above will spot and recommend fixes for many errors. Still, there’s no alternative for an educated human’s ability to differentiate between necessary and unnecessary edits.
Checking for plagiarism is also crucial because, with so much content on the internet, it’s possible to write something similar to another blog accidentally. If you use Grammarly’s premium version, it comes with a built-in plagiarism checker that will give you peace of mind.
Once you’ve polished your blog post and made it shine, it’s time to publish it live on your site. This is a reasonably straightforward process, but it’s not quite as simple as copying and pasting some text.
When publishing your blog, you want to consider a few things:
- Are you using rich media such as images and video?
- Are you arranging the information in an appealing way?
- Are you adding internal links to other relevant posts?
- Are you adding external links to authoritative and relevant resources?
You’re probably off to a good start if you answer “yes” to all of those questions. You can get high-quality stock images from a number of free and premium websites.
Top recommended tools for sourcing and creating blog media:
And many others. It’s not so important where the media comes from – what’s important is that it’s relevant, royalty-free, and resized and compressed so as not to slow down the page load too much.
Rich media elements will improve the user’s page experience. This can reduce your bounce rate, which is a significant ranking factor.
Blog promotion is a process of attracting people interested in reading your articles. This includes many tactics and strategies such as social media, guest posting, email marketing, content syndication, and partnerships.
To attract the right people, you must write with their aspirations and pain points in mind. A blog should be a source of helpful information, not an ego boost for you.
For more details on ways to promote your blog, read this article on doing SEO without doing SEO. It takes a lot of work, but you will reap the benefits over time if you do it right.
One quick note: your promotional strategy may need to change depending on the type of content. For example, most brands are unlikely to promote “best of” posts or product reviews unless they are directly featured.
The Anatomy of a Beautiful Blog Post
If you want to write SEO-friendly content that matches search intent, it’s necessary to understand the subject matter. While you can acquire this through research, it’s much easier if you’re already an expert on the topic.
One way you can improve your blog posts drastically is by learning copywriting. Some people think that publishing original content full of relevant keywords is enough, but it won’t be in a competitive niche. That’s why I strongly recommend working on your writing skills in addition to your knowledge of digital marketing in general.
If you can create articles that people want to read and enjoy reading, it will create a positive user experience that can only have a positive impact on your search engine ranking.
Common SEO Writing Mistakes Beginners Make
There are many mistakes made by beginners when writing SEO content. Here are three of the most common:
- Overusing keywords (keyword stuffing)
- Not matching search intent
- Not providing real value for the reader
If you can avoid these mistakes, you’ll find yourself getting better results than at least half of your competitors.
Conclusion: Great Content is Key For Organic Search Rankings
Article writing is an integral part of SEO because it helps people find your website and allows you to communicate your value to them.
It will help if you write informative, engaging, and easy-to-read articles. If you’re struggling with creating quality content, review the tips above to improve your skills.
Ready to write awesome SEO content? Sign up for a free trial to Jasper.ai and get started today!
Frequently Asked Questions About Writing Content Google Loves
Here are some frequently asked questions about how to write SEO-friendly content.
How do I write SEO-friendly content?
Make sure you do proper research, create a solid outline, draft and edit the article, and optimize for keywords before publishing and promoting. For more details, check out the body of this article.
How do you know if an article is SEO friendly?
The best way is to publish the article and see if it ranks, but if you want to get an idea beforehand, you can run it through a tool like Surfer SEO.
What is an SEO friendly title?
An SEO friendly title should contain 59 characters or less and include the main target keyword as close to the beginning as possible.
How do you write an SEO meta description?
An SEO meta description should contain 159 characters or less and include your main target keyword. If you can use a copywriting formula or otherwise make it exciting and engaging, that will be a big benefit as well.