We’ve all heard that having a business blog (either as part of your website or as a standalone entity linking back to your main website) is a good idea. It’s a way to show your audience you’re an authority in your field and know what you’re talking about, can act as a kind of 24/7 salesperson for your brand, helps engage your customers, and also boosts your ranking in search engines.
And that’s where many business owners get a little nervous – writing content that’s not just engaging and informative, but also ticks the slightly mysterious boxes of search engines! Luckily, it’s not actually as tricky or daunting or as it sounds. Here’s how you can write better blog posts without having to spend hours researching the latest SEO techniques.
There’s been a huge amount of debate on what the right length for a blog post is. There seems to be no doubt that search engines prefer longer blog posts – but you also don’t want to bore your potential readers by going on and on about the same points just to reach that elusive word length target. As a general rule, try to keep your posts at least 300 words in length, and ideally 600 words or more – but let the content dictate the final total. If you have a lot to say on a particular topic, then by all means go for a longer post, but don’t add in unnecessary filler text just for the sake of it. A massively long article can potentially scare readers away, and that’s the last thing you want.
Writing an article that ranks high is one thing, but what do you want it to rank high for? What’s the phrase you want potential readers to have entered into a search engine in order to find your blog post? Those words or phrase will be the main focus keywords for your article. Ideally, they should appear in these five places:
- Headings and subheadings
- Page URL
- Image alt text
- Meta description
- Interspersed naturally throughout the content
Avoid the temptation to overuse your keyword in the post however, as this is obvious to both search engines and readers!
Focus on unique, quality content
Never copy and paste content from another website unless you’re actually directly quoting them – and make sure to link back to your source if this is indeed the case. Above all else, search engines try to deliver results that will answer the searcher’s question and provide them with entertaining, informative and engaging content. If you write in your own unique voice and use your own words, you’re much more likely to be delivering just that.
Link internally and externally
Search engines like content that provides the reader with the chance to explore a related topic or learn more about the subject matter discussed – and you can provide that option by using links in your blog posts. Again, don’t overdo it, but try and keep your linking natural. It could be to another one of your blog posts that provides the reader with more info, or to a high-quality external site. Not only does this help boost your rankings, but if you’re lucky that external source might even link back to you!
Update your blog regularly
A blog that sits idle for months at a time can negatively affect your search engine rankings, so try to add new content on a regular basis.
Keep an eye on spelling and grammar
In an effort to make sure low-quality content like that churned out by so-called ‘content shops’ doesn’t rank high, search engines actively penalize content that has poor grammar and spelling. And of course, humans don’t like text that’s littered with errors either – so make sure to check your work for typos and mistakes before you publish it.
Use an SEO plugin
Many website platforms like WordPress offer built-in SEO plugins that can guide you on ways to make your posts more search engine friendly, and “train” you so that thinking about these things as you’re writing eventually becomes natural. It can also help you with the more complex aspects, such as meta descriptions, page titles, and keyword density and placement, which might seem a little daunting at first, but will definitely help you boost your rankings naturally.
Get a professional to help!
If all you really want to do is write a post and then give it someone else to sort out the SEO, there’s nothing wrong with that either! Professional SEO agencies like Ruby Digital can take all the stress and hassle out of it for you.