SEO blog writing helps search engines find your website. In this article, we'll uncover the connection between your blog and SEO and provide tips on how to write your blog articles so that they're both SEO- and user-friendly.
Imagine that your business had a massive advertising budget, the type of money that it takes to make a Super Bowl commercial. But instead of airing your ad during the Big Game, you decided that it would play on TV at 2 a.m. during Law & Order re-runs. How many people would see it?
B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms.
The scenario we describe here – unlikely as it might seem – is essentially what happens when you write blog posts without thinking about search engine optimization (or SEO). You put a lot of work into creating something valuable, but the execution ensures your target audience won’t see it.
When you practice blogging for SEO, you’re making it easy for people looking for the keywords connected to your business to find you on search engines. Want to make sure your content finds the right audience? Here are a few tips from our partners at Hubspot to help you master SEO blog writing.
Long-Tail Keywords Are Key
SEO blog writing takes skill beyond incorporating keywords into an article. After all, no one wants to read a blog post that’s overflowing with keywords -- not your readers, who will be turned off by unnatural repetition. And certainly not Google, which penalizes websites that engage in keyword stuffing.
Instead of overusing a few short keywords again and again, sprinkle long-tail keywords throughout your post. The term “long-tail keywords” refers to a specific phrase that people search for when they’re interested in your business – or what your business makes or does.
For instance, if you had a landscaping company in Philadelphia, you might choose to target the long-tail keyword, “Philadelphia lawn care,” as opposed to something like “landscaping.” There’s less competition for long-tail keywords, and you’ll see higher-quality traffic.
Where to put your keywords
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, make sure you’ve placed them in four specific sections of the blog post. This part of SEO blog writing is where the balance between art and science come into play.
- Title/headline: Crucial to let both readers – and search engines – know if your post is relevant to them, titles and headlines should contain keywords within the first 65 characters.
- Body copy: Ensure you incorporate keywords naturally into the body of the post so that they're reader-friendly.
- URL: The URL helps search engines determine what your post is about, so it should contain the full long-tail phrase you're targeting.
- Meta description: The meta description gives readers and search engines a quick recap of your blog post.
The keywords you choose are important, but so are the images you include with your post. Read on to see how to optimize your images.
Can Search Engines See Pictures?
Images are helpful for readers on the web. They illustrate your topic and make the page more lively and engaging. But search engines don’t view images the same way readers do -- they only can read text. For this reason, you need to optimize your images by incorporating your chosen keywords into the alt text.
Make Sure Your Blog Is Responsive
This SEO blog writing tip focuses not on what you write, but how readers view it. According to Google, more people search for things on mobile devices than on computers. It has begun to display mobile-friendly results first, which is why your blog must appear on a mobile-friendly – or better yet, responsive – website. When you use responsive design, your page can adapt to whatever device displays it: mobile, desktop, tablet, etc.
As Hubspot puts it: “This helps your post's SEO because any inbound links that come back to your site won't be divided between the separate URLs. Any SEO power you gain from these links will be centralized, helping Google more easily recognize your post's value and rank it accordingly.”
SEO blog writing Lets People Know that You exist
Imagine you’re throwing a party, and a lot of people show up. It’s a great party, and you don’t even mind that some of the guests are people you didn’t actually invite and don’t even really know. Still, the friends that you did invite, they’re the ones you really value.
This scenario is the same for website traffic from SEO sources, including your blog. SEO brings in visitors who are searching for topics that you are writing about, or products and services you're selling. Not all of the visitors will purchase from you -- they're kind of like the people at the party you don't know. They're just getting to know you. But many will make a move -- and these are the "friends" you care about. SEO traffic converts at a higher percentage than any other traffic source. And one of the best ways to bring this traffic to your website is by keeping a well-written, well-maintained blog.
Know Your Audience
As you’ve embarked on your inbound marketing journey, you’ve likely started to build buyer personas, the fictional versions of your ideal customer.
If you know who they are, you’ve already begun to define your audience, which is the first step to figuring out what you should write about in your blog. As you write posts, you’ll get feedback from replies directly on the blog, emails from readers, or comments on social media. All of these communication sources are valuable methods for you to get to know your audience even better. Pay attention to the questions they're asking and the topics that interest them. If you're exchanging dialog with your readers, you can ask about the types of content they'd like to see so that you can plan to produce articles that align with their interests.
If you know your audience, you know what keywords they're using to search for information and solutions online. The SEO blog writing topics that you create should reflect those phrases. When your audience finds content that they value, they’re more likely to share it on Facebook or Twitter, or link to it from their own blog. This way of content sharing helps you build inbound links to your website.
As you build up your blog, be sure to link back to previous posts and other sections of your website, which is another SEO trick that drives organic traffic to your site. Believe it or not, readers like older posts. HubSpot analyzed its blog earlier this year and found that 75 percent of its blog views and 90 percent of its blog leaders came from older posts.
To ensure searchers click on your post, create an enticing meta description for each post. Meta descriptions are a brief summary – typically 150 characters -- that lets readers know the value of the content in your post.
be sure the blog posts you create are:
- Timely: Your blog topics can address what's happening at your company. Another way to work in a timely angle is to write on trending topics.
- Focused: Ensure your blog posts remain grounded in what your company does and its objectives.
- Solution-based: Visitors to your blog aren’t all necessarily thinking, “Who’s the best [fill in your industry] company in town?” Instead, they might have found you because they have a problem. Providing solutions to those problems in your blog post is a surefire way to improve your SEO performance and conversions.
Use Other Blogs As A Guide
“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” That quote gets credited to a lot of sources. So, is it something we "copied"? Of course!
Let’s be clear: No one is suggesting that you plagiarize someone else’s work. Rather, we’re saying that if you find that someone else has written about what you do, it’s okay to use that topic as inspiration for your blog post. Just be sure to put it in your own words, with your point of view.
More SEO blog writing = More Leads
According to research from HubSpot, companies that posted 11 or more blog posts each month saw significantly more leads. The numbers vary depending on whether the companies were B2C or B2B. B2C companies that published more than 11 times each month ended up with four times as many leads as their counterparts posting only four or five times a month.
With B2B companies, the difference is slightly less but still worth noting. Businesses that posted 11 or more times each month got 1.75 times more leads than B2B firms posting six to 10 times a month. That means they earned 3.75 times as many leads as those posting three or fewer articles a month.
If you still have questions about how SEO blog writing can help your company, we have the answers. We can help you create engaging, relevant content that will attract visitors and turn them into leads. With a robust and frequently-updated blog, you can draw in that cherished organic search traffic and establish your business as an authority in your field. Contact us to learn more.