How To Structure A Blog Post For High Performing SEO
Blogging remains a key factor for marketers and business owners to publish relevant content on the web for their target audience. Using blog articles to increase SEO rankings and as educational pieces answer the biggest questions presented from your audience pays dividends in the long run.
But how should you structure your articles to effectively share your message with your audience while implementing the best SEO practices for your website?
Let's get started.
What is the purpose of a blog?
The purpose is for you (the expert) to provide an educational piece to answer questions that your prospective clients might have about your product or service that fulfills the challenge they are facing.
What is an example?
Say you own or operate a shredding company that offers mobile shredding in your local market. Sarah is the administrator of an accounting firm that is looking to have their customer's confidential information destroyed but isn't sure if she needs to use an onsite shredding service or an offsite shredding service.
She goes online to do some research and finds your blog with information about shredding services that your company offers. Sarah discovers that your shredding service is not only NAID Certified, but you also offer clients to watch as their documents are shredded onsite.
In this situation, writing a blog article that explains the pros and cons of onsite vs offsite shredding could help answer any questions she may have about the differences and guide her to becoming a customer of yours.
Use Focus Keyword For Topic Title
Early in your blog strategy development, it is important to conduct keyword research for search terms your customers are actively searching online. The topic title of the article should be focused on the keyword you are trying to rank for on Google.
An important way to look at your title and subheadings as levels. If your title, which should be an H1, would be considered level one as having the highest importance.
So, if you are trying to rank for the search term "how to structure a blog post", putting that long-tailed keyword in the title is a great start.
Use Subheadings As H2s
Subheadings, like the one directly above this line, are important for not only your readers to understand the content within the following paragraph but also the bots that crawl your website.
Before, I mentioned that you should look at your title and subheadings as levels. If your topic title (H1) is level one, then your subheadings (H2s) would be level 2. This would continue down h3, h4, h5, and so on.
Make sure to include related or similar keywords to your focus keyword in the subheadings followed by paragraphs covering the subheading.
Include Internal And External Links
Backlinking is a critical part of a well-versed SEO strategy. The point of your blog is to provide a resource to your target audience for them to reference when solving a problem or challenge. Linking to articles that are related to your focus keyword provides the reader with additional resources.
Be sure to include links to other articles that you have previously written and external links to related content. It's important to note not to link back to your competitors, this would only help them out in their SEO.
The blog articles on your website are education resources addressing problems your customers are facing with a solution that you provide. Great marketers use this opportunity to lead visitors down a path and turn them into leads.
Why not lead them to the product or service you provide that is directly related to their problem?
Inserting CTA's (Call-to-Action) throughout the article is meant to direct them down your conversion path to turn your visitors into leads, and leads into customers.
Include Focus Keyword In URL Slug
The URL slug is part of the URL that identifies a specific page on your website. URL slugs do not have to be just words or numbers that identify the topic of the page, but can also be a series of letters, symbols, and/or numbers.
An important part of a good SEO practice is using human-readable words that let the visitor or bot know what the page is specifically addressing.
This is an easy-to-do step that can make a big difference when trying to rank for a particular keyword. Use your focus keyword in the slug.
Write An Informative Meta Description
The meta description is a short blurb that describes the content on a specific webpage on your website. This blurb appears under the title of that webpage in the search engines.
When writing your meta description, be informative and accurate using the focus keyword within the verbiage. It is incredibly important for you to use your focus keyword with a CTA.
Meta descriptions should be no more than 150 characters, including spaces.
Make Sure You Have Alt Tags For Images
This step is probably to most overlooked but just as important as the rest of the steps mentioned in this article. Alt tags are attributes for images that identify what a specific image is incapsulating.
Most visitors will not ever see what an image's alt tag might be, but this allows bots to understand what the image is about.
Important note, make sure to use your focus keyword within the alt tags, just link your title tag, subheadings, URL slug, and meta description.
SEO can be incredibly time intimidating but is a necessary step to increasing your online visibility. Going through these easy-to-do steps is a great way to get started with the basics.