How to Write a Blog Article for SEO
A client recently asked, “How do you write an effective blog article?” It turns out that he has a summer intern and he wants her to write some blog articles in her spare time. Knowing that we are working on getting his business on the first page of search results, here’s what I told him are 7 important considerations for writing blog articles for SEO.
1. Start by creating high-quality content. Your blog post should provide useful and/or informative content that solves the reader’s problem or answers the reader’s question. It should help the reader accomplish the task for which they were searching. Don’t try to sell your product or service in the article. If you are genuinely helpful, you will strengthen your brand and create goodwill with the reader. Sales will follow.
2. Know the keywords your readers use in their search, and use them. 70% of all search traffic is comprised of “long-tail” keywords and keyword phrases. So, use relevant search query phrases in:
- the title
- your headline
- the first and last sentence
- URL if possible
- Image alt text
- Meta description
- Throughout the content
However, be sure to avoid overusing any keyword (also known as “keyword stuffing”). Keyword stuffing reduces the readability of your text, and may result in your website being penalized or banned in search engine results. The general rule of thumb is that keyword use should be 1%-2% of your text. So in a 700-word article your keyword should be used 7 to 14 times throughout the article.
3. Write an attention-grabbing headline. My advertising hero David Ogilvy once wrote, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” Therefore, your headline should:
- offer a value to the reader
- be specific
- summarize what is in the article
- be compelling
4. Write an engaging introduction. The purpose of a good introduction is to engage the reader’s interest. Connect with your readers by restating the purpose for their search, demonstrate you understand their problem, and assure them the article will provide what they are looking for.
5. Make your main points “scannable”. Google likes long articles. The ideal article length is around 700 words and should never be less than 300 words. However, with the average human’s attention span less than that of a goldfish, an article that is too long might scare away readers. So, make it easy for readers to scan your article for information of interest to them:
- Use bullets and numbers
- Use bold face
- Use illustrations or photos to explain complex ideas
- Keep your paragraphs to 2-3 sentences
6. Provide a clear call-to-action (CTA). Your CTA tells your readers the next action to take. The reader may not be ready to buy your product or service after reading your post, but you can invite them to learn more about you or your product. The CTA can lead them to more information or a special offer. You can invite them to subscribe to your list, share your post, or leave a comment. All these activities will help your search engine ranking.
7. Link to previous content. Be sure to link to articles you have already written on similar topics or that relate to the current article. Doing so will demonstrate your authority on the subject. And link structure is important for Google ranking.
You earn higher rankings in SERPs, get more web traffic, and increase conversion rates by writing blog articles that are optimized for both your readers and search engines. Provide useful information that engages the reader, is easily scanned, and provides a clear CTA. And that’s how to write a blog article for SEO.