Are blogs good for SEO?
A common question we get from our clients is ‘Does blogging help SEO?” – the answer is yes!
Writing a successful, engaging and SEO friendly blog post is a true art. It’s all about drawing the reader in, offering digestible and relevant content, using ideal text and paragraph length and adding links to other pages of our site and that calls to action. If you keep Search Engine Optimisation in mind when writing your content you will truly be rewarded. Let’s find out why and how, step by step!
Why blogging is important for SEO
Having a blog on your website, no matter if you are selling shoes or offer shuttle services, is a great opportunity to add new content and keywords to your website. Adding new content to your site on a regular basis will signal to search engines (like Google) that they should crawl your website more often and that it is up-to-date and legitimate. In the long run they will reward you for it by improving the ranking of your site!
Adding relevant keywords to your site will increase your chance of ranking for those particular words and phrases. And you do want to get to that first search engine results page, don’t you? The more keywords you rank for, the more people will find your site!
How to write SEO friendly blog posts
First of all you need to get an idea of SEO basics – you can read our blog post about where we have explained it in an easy way. Secondly, read our checklist below and make sure to tick every box.
Let’s dive right into it and learn how to write a blog article for SEO:
1. Choose a relevant topic
First of all you need to choose a topic for your post. We have listed some ways of Finding Blog Content Ideas to inspire you. Make sure that the topic is relevant to the services or products you offer, and that it truly is of interest to your audience. Keep in mind that your customers are most likely seeking an answer to a question or a problem, and that’s why they have reached your site. You need to provide them with the answer or solution to satisfy them.
2. Keyword research for blog posts
When you have selected a topic to write about, it is time to choose your target keywords. These are the words or phrases that will trigger your post to show on a Google search.
Broad vs narrow keywords
Your keywords should obviously be relevant to the topic and they can be both broad and narrow. If you are selling shoes and write an article about running shoes, Google will pick up on the fact that you mention ‘running shoes’ in the title tag, in headlines and in the body of the article. This means that the post is more likely to rank higher for searches for ‘running shoes’.
Since ‘running shoes’ is a very broad term you could write a more specific article about the importance of choosing the right model of running shoes. The phrase ‘choosing the right running shoes’ has a lot fewer searches than ‘running shoes’ but it would also have less competition when it comes to ranking.
Be mindful of keyword stuffing
Top Tip: Don’t over-use the keywords as Google will pick up on this and ‘punish’ you for it. Rather than adding the one keyword over and over again, choose a small number of relevant keywords and spread them out naturally in the copy of your post.
3. How long should a blog post be for SEO?
When it comes to the ideal blog post length it is up to you but we do recommend a bit of a mix – some longer posts and some shorter. Readers tend to prefer shorter content as it is easier to digest, whilst Google will reward longer content as it signals expertise. A rule of thumb is to write at least 500 words per post. At the end of the day it’s more important that you write high quality content than 1,000 words of bad and plain content.
Top Tip: You can easily count the words and characters of a text using Word Counter.
4. On-Page optimisation
Let’s talk about blog post On-Page Optimisation. This is vital for a SEO friendly blog post.
Blog Post Title Tag
This is the title of you blog post and its main goal is to draw readers in and making them click on your post to read it. You do not need to include keywords in the title tag (save these for the body of the post), instead you should focus on making it engaging. Tips! Read our blog post about how to write successful title tags.
Blog Post Meta Description
This is the blurb that tells the reader what the post is about, and it appears below the Title Tag on the Google search results page. It does not need to include your target keywords. Ending the description with a ‘find out why!’ or another call-to-action may trigger more readers to click on it.
Blog Post Headings (H1 & H2)
The first heading that appears on a blog post is called H1. We only want one H1 per blog post and its mission is to tell Google about the topic of our post and it will help Google to categorise it. The sub headings of your post should be H2 or H3 headings, to break up the content into important sections and hierarchies.
Image Alt Text
Our last advice for today is to include images in your blog posts. Images will draw attention, break up the content and make it easier for the reader to digest the information. Remember to upload photos of an appropriate dimension – large images will slow down the page loading speed but too small images will look less visually appealing. Also remember to add so-called image alt text to your images. Include your target keywords and keep it at around 6 words. This will increase the chance of ranking for the keywords through your images.
If you want your reader to stay on your page and to read more of your content you need to add internal linking. You can link to other relevant blog posts about the same subject, or to your contact page or your service pages. Keep it relevant and simple.
FOR THE PRO’S
If you know your way around coding we strongly recommend adding article schema to your posts. If you have no idea about what we are talking about right now, don’t worry – this is something that you can get help with from an expert. Flick us an email if you need a hand.
How often should I post new blog content?
Blogging on a regular basis is great for your SEO as it shows Google that you are up to date and continuously have relevant new information. Google will reward you by giving you a higher ranking. Adding new posts at least once a week will also give you credibility and it will give you more opportunities to add your targeting keywords in the content of you website.
If you are mainly using your blog as a way of getting more traffic and better rankings for your site then we advise you to write a new post at least once a month. You can definitely post more often if you have the time for it. Every time you publish a new post you should share it on your Google My Business profile (read our separate blog post about optimising and posting on Google My Business) and on social media to get more readers and attention straight away.
Summary: SEO blog post checklist
- Keyword Research
- Post Title
- Check Post Length
- Blog Post Title Tag (include keyword)
- Blog Post Meta Description
- Headings (H1 & H2)
- Image Alt Text
- Internal linking
- Relevant Content
So, next time you hear someone say ‘are blogs good for SEO?” you know the answer – yes! We hope this is helpful to you and wish you best of luck with your future blogging! Get in touch with us if you have any questions or queries, we are here to help.