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How to write the best articles for SEO

How to Write the Best Articles for SEO

If you’re embarking on an SEO campaign, there comes a time when you must learn the art of blog writing. Though challenging, you can reap massive rewards once you perfect your process. Here’s how to write the best articles for SEO.

Optimised blogs and articles are a fundamental aspect of SEO strategies. It takes a broad range of skills to produce SEO optimised articles, and therefore it can take multiple team members to collaborate. Plus, since writing for SEO requires a lot more than just writing, a lot of work is required before and after the actual writing takes place.

Successfully optimised blogs can provide greater site authority and increased organic traffic. However, the three main reasons marketers embark on SEO blog writing are to increase brand awareness, educate audiences, and build trust and credibility. No wonder so many people want to learn how to master the craft!

Let’s start with the basics and then move on to how you can write the best articles for SEO.

Importance of SEO: Explained

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a sector within digital marketing used by businesses to improve the positioning of their web pages in SERPs (search engine results pages).

Although conducting SEO practices costs money, it is distinct from paid advertising techniques as it harnesses organic search. Did you know that 86% of people ignore paid ad banners? Perhaps that’s why 70% of digital marketers prefer SEO to pay-per-click advertising when it comes to generating sales. There is a lot of potential in organic search!

Despite SEO practices requiring things such as web design and development, internal and external linking, site cataloguing, URL structure, and site speed, the production of online content makes up a large part of it. This can also be called content marketing, which includes social media content and, more importantly to this article, blog posts.

We’ll run through some essential steps in this article that will help you produce SEO optimised blog posts. The steps are transferable across industries and niches, so they are helpful to marketers and business owners within any sector.

In short, blog posts are SEO optimised if they are 1) relevant to their audience, 2) provide expertise and useful information, 3) communicate themselves clearly to Google bots, and 4) are founded on trustworthy sources.

Keywords Are Your Best Friend

Keywords lie at the heart of SEO optimised blogs. They signify to humans and Google what your content and site are all about. Plus, if you use the most relevant keywords in your content, it will have the best chance of being found by your target audience.

Keywords can be single terms or several words, although the latter is usually called “long-tail keywords.” You can find your ideal target keywords by thinking about your audience: how do they find you? What search terms are they likely to use? What words are associated with your products or services? What audience pain points can you solve?

Years ago, it was common to use keyword stuffing; this is when you include as many keywords in an article as possible. Although these articles were impractical, incomprehensible, and unhelpful to readers, they did rank well on search engines.

Nowadays, Google will not reward keyword-stuffed web pages and will actually penalise them. This is because Google’s main aim is to provide valuable information to its users, and only the most helpful and genuine articles do this.

Kyle Roof is an SEO pioneer, and he has his own content optimiser. He encourages blog writers to include keywords in the meta description, title tag, subheadings, URL, and main content body. So, if you’re wondering where to place your keywords, you’ll be good to go if they’re in these five places.

When it comes to conducting keyword research, there are some tools that will help:

  1. Ahrefs
  2. Google Search Console
  3. Semrush

Finding the right tools is an essential component of conducting keyword research and writing the best articles for SEO. They can help you identify search volume and ranking difficulty, which will be influential factors in deciding which keywords to target.

If you can get your keyword implementation down to a T, it has massive potential: “the average top-ranking page will also rank in the top 10 search results for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords.” (Ahrefs)

When a blog post is ranking well for a valuable keyword, levels of organic traffic can skyrocket, your site authority will improve, and your business will be in a much better position to attract leads and receive sales.

Your Content Must Be High Quality

Although you can use blog posts to promote your services and products, they’re not meant to resemble sales copy. Reserve that tone of writing for your advertising and email marketing campaigns. The ideal tone for writing the best articles for SEO is a genuine one. Your blogs will do well if readers find them to be charming, clever, compassionate, and helpful. They’ll be deterred if you’re promoting something, and this will be reflected in the SERPs.

Websites with SEO optimised blog posts have obtained many valuable things. Their high-quality content is useful to users, making these sites highly trusted and revisited for advice. Furthermore, an engaging blog post can encourage site visitors to explore the rest of your website.

Generally, search engines like Google prefer longer articles and are more likely to reward them in the results pages. An article of 700 words isn’t bad, but writing over 1000 words is better. You can use tools like Wordmetrics to get a suggested word count to rank well for a specific long tail keyword.

Longer content is just more likely to contain valuable information and therefore provide more usefulness to its readers. Of course, length isn’t the only ranking factor – it’s also important that the blog is high-quality.

You can ensure quality by solving your audience’s problems. Ask yourself what unique thing you could offer them, something that sets you apart from others. Use your research skills to find out what’s gaining search traffic – Google Trends is a brilliant tool for this. Top-ranking articles that solve customer pain points tend to take one of these forms:

  1. How-to guides
  2. Top 10 guides
  3. Best of guides

These forms are helpful by nature. To ensure your content is helpful, make sure it’s well researched. There’s more on this below, but citing trustworthy sources is an essential component of producing expert advice and information.

Since 75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of search engines, ranking on page one is of the utmost importance.

Cite Trustworthy Sources

It’s not surprising that authoritative sources are better than unestablished ones. Linking to a trusted site such as bbc.co.uk is going to give your article much more credibility than a less well-known source.

If you’re going to claim something scientific in your article, make sure you support this with links from academic journals. Remember, Google’s E.A.T acronym stands for expertise, authority, and trust. If you’re not supporting your claims with evidence, how can you expect to be seen as an expert?

Improve On What’s Already Out There

Before you begin writing your article, type your intended title into Google.

The top ranking articles will likely inspire your content, but that’s not all. These top ranking pages should inform your approach in a way where you are trying to improve on them.

These pages are ranking on page 1 of Google for a reason. In order to rank higher than them, your article not only needs to be at the same standard but also offer something more.

Sometimes you can search for something and wonder how on earth the top result got there – it’s a poorly designed website, and the text is difficult to read. These are golden moments where you can offer something better to Google.

Ensure Your URLs Are Optimal

It’s really important that your blog page URLs have your domain in them. That way, the SEO rewards you reap from your blog posts will benefit your main site too.

Your URLs should also be the same as your title or at least mention the target keyword. As Google bots scan your pages, the URL will inform them of what your blog contains. So, this section must be descriptive of the page.

Shorter URLs are also user-friendly, easier to share and help with link building.

Strike A Balance Between Writing For Humans and Google Bots

If you’re new to SEO, you might not realise that a large part of it is catering your website to bots. That’s right – it’s not just humans who access your site. Although bounce rate and customer satisfaction metrics will affect your SEO, bots have significant influence over whether your site ranks well in the SERPs.

Bots crawl sites, which is like reading all the on and off-page data. The easier your site’s data is to read, the more accurately it can be indexed. Even if your content is high quality, if certain things make it difficult for bots to read your site, your pages might not be indexed properly or shown to the right audience in results pages.

Although much of traditional marketing discusses making copy engaging and punchy, it should also be clear for bots to understand so they can categorise your site correctly.

Nevertheless, keyword stuffing can influence the readability of your content. So, don’t go overboard. Your content should remain as relevant, helpful, and clear to visitors as possible.

Use Correct Tag Hierarchy

“Header tags are a simple yet critical part of SEO.” Says SearchEngineJournal

H1 tags signify the main title or theme of the content (so there should only be one), whilst H2 and H3 tags are typically used as subheadings. H4, H5, and H6 tags are just there to provide any further structure, if needed, within subsections. Some like to think of headings as chapters in a book.

Since proper use of headings and subheadings makes it easy for page visitors to scan and skim-read your content, Google will reward it. After all, Google’s main priority is rewarding user-friendly content.

Headings and subheadings don’t just organise your content for your readers. Subheadings make it much easier for search engine bots to crawl your pages since they function as signals within HTML code.

Optimise Your Images

Blog posts might seem all about the writing. But images are important too. These must be optimised in size and name. Search engine bots will “read” your images when crawling your site. Therefore, it’s ideal to use your keyword in the images’ file names.

For example, imagine your company sold coffee beans, and you produced an article entitled “12 Best Countries to Visit for Coffee”. Here are two ways you could name your images. The second is most optimal as it is similar to the blog post.

  • “image-5.jpg”
  • “italy-best-countries-for-coffee.jpg”

70kb is the ideal image size – any larger and your pictures might take longer to load, which could depreciate user experience. For every extra second your website takes to load, conversion rates drop by 4.42%. Therefore, it’s important nothing slows your site’s loading time unnecessarily.

Don’t Forget About Your Articles – Update Them

You might think you can forget about your blog posts once you’ve spent all that time researching, writing, and editing. Unfortunately, your SEO efforts can’t stop there. You must keep an eye on certain metrics to track the performance of your blog posts.

You can do this by looking at the Average Time on Page, Pageviews, and Bounce Rate. Looking at this data will help you gauge how your audience engages with your content and might prompt you to make valuable changes.

You can also use Incognito browsing to see where your blog post is ranking in SERPs. The frustrating thing about SEO is the dreaded algorithm changes. One month a site’s pages might be ranking favourably in SERPs but drop down after Google updates its algorithm.

If this happens, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Look at Google’s Public Liasion
  2. Check SEO forums and those who report on algorithm updates
  3. Check algorithm trackers

Experts recommend updating your content once every three months, and once every six months if you can’t do it any sooner.

Get Started on Your SEO Blogs Today!

There are quite a few aspects to consider if you want to write the best articles for SEO. But the rewards are so numerous that it’s absolutely worth investing the time and resources to perfecting your craft.

If you want to learn more about keyword research, take a look at our article that discusses why not all keywords are worth pursuing.

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