When writing a blog post, working to balance appealing to your human readers and search engine algorithms is essential to driving quality organic traffic.
Use the following elements to increase the likelihood of getting copy or content in front of your target audience.
Consider these questions during your keyword research:
Including the right keywords in your headlines, body copy and URLs helps web crawlers rate the value of your content and rank it appropriately on search engine results pages (SERPS). Keyword research also provides opportunities to create blog post topics specific to your audience’s searches.
It’s important to use precise keywords and phrases. It will be difficult to rank on the first page of a Google SERP if you’re using a high-volume keyword. For instance, including “pre-owned cars” in a blog post isn’t specific enough to improve your ranking. “Pre-owned blue sedans for sale” is a more specific phrase that narrows the search competition.
Headlines: A blog article’s headline should hook users and give them an overview of what they’re about to read. Headlines, or H1s, should include relevant keywords at the start of the phrase. They also need to be concise. A study conducted by Semrush reported headlines with seven words or less got 36% more traffic than those with 14 or more words.
Subheads: Headings include H2s, H3s and H4s. Subheads improve an article’s readability by breaking the content into digestible sections. Search engines like to find keywords in your subheads, too.
Lists: Your long-form blog posts will be easier to read if they feature lists. Including a list every 500 words organizes your content and allows readers to scan for essential information.
According to Semrush’s research, blog articles with a higher word count attracted more organic traffic and backlinks. However, the consensus varies on the right length for a high-performing blog article. Word count will depend on your audience, topic, article structure and the frequency of your posts.
Your blog post should be long enough to thoroughly explain your topic and answer your target audience’s questions. Posts that include a personal approach tend to perform better than promotional or sales content.
An argument can be made for concise and detailed content: search algorithms prefer shorter posts, but long-form content may be more enticing to readers, especially if they’re looking for answers to specific questions.
Internal and external also help optimize your blog articles. Web crawlers don’t index every inch of your copy, but they do look for hyperlinks. Internal hyperlinks help readers navigate to other articles and services on your website. External links supply information from other websites to support the arguments in your blog post. Your hyperlinks’ anchor text should include keywords related to the linked article or page.
Images and videos are more appealing to the eye than long blocks of copy. Like lists, visuals can draw your reader’s attention to certain parts of an article. Infographics and videos can provide readers with a post synopsis and improve the number of clicks and backlinks. Web crawlers index images and video, so include alt text in all your visual elements.
The TouchStone Digital team offers blog and content development services to optimize your digital marketing efforts. Contact us online for more information.