Anyone (including robots!) can write a blog post. But with over 200 ranking factors at play in Google's algorithm to determine which web pages will rank the best, writing a blog post simply isn't enough.
In 2023, your blogs need to be SEO-friendly.
Luckily, there are tried and true SEO strategies that can help you create content that will get you recognized by both search engines and human readers alike. And this type of visibility can do wonders for your eCom business.
So, if you're looking to maximize your content marketing strategy for 2023, then you'll definitely want to read on to learn how to make your blog posts as SEO-friendly as possible.
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SEO blog writing doesn't just employ your standard set of writing skills. Instead, it's a process of writing SEO content that will allow your page to rank high on the first search engine results page.
Writing SEO-friendly blog posts is a process, to say the least. It involves conducting keyword research, matching the search intent of your target audience, optimizing your blog structure, and more.
Suffice it to say that writing SEO-friendly blog posts is a unique skill set in and of itself. But that's not to say you can't also employ SEO best practices to create well-optimized blog posts!
Below are our top SEO tips for writing a blog post you want to rank within the search engine results pages. Follow these and you'll be sure to reap the rewards of a well-optimized blog post.
Before you start writing your blog posts, you want to know what particular keywords users are actually searching for. This way, you can craft your content around a target keyword while simultaneously optimizing your blog post for relevant keywords or related keywords.
Many think that a target keyword or primary keyword is often only comprised of one word. But that's not necessarily the case.
Long-tail keywords have click-through rates that are 3-5% greater than regular keywords.
That means people are more interested in keyword ideas or phrases, not just a singular main keyword alone. Using a keyword research tool, you can craft your blog posts around this keyword phrase while maximizing your chances of receiving organic traffic from Google search results.
And while conducting target keyword research may seem like a no-brainer to get an idea of the competition, establishing target keywords or keyword phrases isn't as common a practice as you might think.
Only 50% of bloggers are performing keyword research for most of their content while 17% of bloggers never research keywords.
But for you, this is great news! This means you have ample room to get a leg up on the competition when you publish a new blog post that's been optimized with target keywords in mind.
Another key component to crafting SEO-friendly blog posts is determining users' search intent. Search intent refers to the types of web pages that come up within the top search results for your target keyword.
For example, if your target keyword is "best lip gloss for dry lips," the search results will most likely churn out other blog posts or listicles that compile the best lip glosses on the market for dry lips right now.
But, if you're looking up "how to grow herbs in your kitchen," the search results will most likely be blog post guides with numbered headings. Understanding the search intent behind your main keyword will be integral in helping you craft your SEO-friendly blog posts.
After all, you want to give users the answers they're looking for.
In fact, 17% of blog post titles are "How-to" headlines.
This simply speaks to how popular "how-to" blog posts are nowadays. Plus, this blog post format is recognizable to readers so they know exactly what to expect when they click on the URL.
Not only do you need to come up with a good and interesting title for your blog post. You also need to make sure you use your headings appropriately throughout.
But why? Because not only do you need to write an informative article for human readers. You also need to appeal to Google's web crawlers who will be going through each title tag in your blog post.
In short, Google's web crawlers need to understand what your blog post is about in order to rank it accordingly within Google search results. And divvying up your content into sections and subheadings helps these machines do that with ease.
On average, the best-performing content includes 14.5 headlines.
And that's for the sake of both readability and search engine optimization. So as you go about crafting your blog posts, make sure your headings remain in their correct order, i.e. H1, followed by H2, followed by H3, followed by H4.
That being said, it's important to remember that each new blog post you publish is ultimately for humans, not search engines.
This can seem a little contradictory considering the fact that you're literally optimizing a blog post for the sake of search engines themselves. But at the end of the day, both you and those search engines are looking to create a pleasurable and enjoyable experience for human readers.
You might think that ChatGPT would be perfect for churning out SEO-friendly blogs. But AI, even with its amazing capabilities, still comes with its own limitations too.
For 28% of people, the human touch is still needed to get the job done.
A blog post could be perfectly optimized for search engines. But it could also read terribly to a human reader.
So as you go about crafting your SEO content, don't forget to humanize the language throughout. So far, no form of AI has managed to replicate the human spirit, even in a blog post for SEO purposes.
Writing for humans doesn't mean you should be crafting lengthy sentences with lofty language. In fact, you should be doing quite the opposite.
73% of people admit to skimming blog posts while 27% consume blog posts thoroughly.
This means that your content needs to be 1) easily digestible, and 2) short and to the point. Most often, people reading a blog post are looking for answers.
They're skimming through the content for target keywords or quick tips. And that means you need to hit them with the facts first.
This type of writing can also help you rank within the featured snippets, AKA the most direct answers to a search term query. You can bet that users aren’t scrolling past the first page of Google results to find what they're looking for.
So, if you want to outrank other pages and other posts, make sure you get to the point - and quickly!
Any blog post is the perfect opportunity for you to engage in some link-building strategies. And while you might think external linking is the only way to go, consider this statistic below:
42% of SEOs claim to spend an equal amount of time building external links and internal links.
Internal links are any links pointing to another page within your website. And these types of links can be particularly valuable for keeping readers on your site longer while reducing your bounce rate and increasing your chances of conversion.
And, if you have the capacity to do so, make sure to document the anchor text you use when linking in and out. This way, you can maximize your linking strategies while varying your anchor text across pages.
Keyword stuffing your blog post is a slippery slope. You want to use your target keyword enough times throughout your blog post, but too many times can result in a penalty from Google.
In fact, keyword stuffing is the most common reason for receiving a Google penalty.
As Google is becoming smarter, it's understanding that SEO content wants to appease search engines. But if you're crafting your blog post with only search engines in mind, then you're forsaking the human user experience as a consequence.
Nobody likes to be at the mercy of spammy content marketing. Instead, SEO is all about striking that fine balance between appeasing the search engine while also producing valuable content for humans that feeds into your overall digital marketing strategy.
For the most part, you can count on all content marketing strategies to follow the same rule of thumb: keep things short and sweet. And the same goes for the length of your content.
The average blog post is 1,376 words.
That might seem like a lot of words to some. But remember: 73% of people are skimming the content at best. That means they want to find answers within a short amount of time.
75% of the public prefers reading articles under 1,000 words.
But keep in mind that the length of your blog post will also depend on the search intent of your keywords. For example, if you're writing a health-based blog post, readers will most likely want to have substantial data and statistics readily available throughout the content.
Otherwise, the health-based content you produce won't seem nearly as credible or trustworthy. For blogs like these, you might find that the optimal blog length is more than 1,000 words since you're tasked with backing up your scientific claims.
All of this is to say that the length of your blog post should always be considered within the niche search intent of your particular market.
We live in a visual society. But if those images are taking too long to load the rest of the page, users are more likely to opt out altogether.
In fact, 40% of visitors will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
That might seem like a crazy short amount of time. But social media marketing and other digital strategies have trained us to appreciate and crave immediate gratification.
Ultimately though, the user experience is what matters most when it comes to SEO. And if users are left staring at the spinning rainbow wheel of death, then that isn't going to scream "excellent user experience."
Simply compressing your images can do wonders for your page load speed. Besides, people are reading blog posts to learn something, not to look at stock images they can find elsewhere online.
There are a lot of different elements to keep track of, so if you're using a host platform like WordPress or Shopify, you'll definitely want to make use of the SEO plugin available.
These elements range from alt text for images to a meta description that gets featured on the first page. While these elements might seem small in the grand scheme of things, they actually make a huge difference in your web page's ability to rank.
Only 33% of websites pass the Core Web Vitals threshold.
Again, this all goes back to the user experience. Without proper SEO elements and core web vitals, you could end up tanking your blog post's ability to rank. But making sure you have a handle on all things SEO will help you far more than you may think.
That being said, we understand how difficult DIY SEO can be. That's why, as an SEO company ourselves, we've made it our mission to help companies increase sales, dominate organic search, and attract more customers through tried and true SEO strategies that cover all the bases.
From 2020-2021, we managed to 35x one luxury beauty company's organic visitor growth, resulting in 605 unique organic sales in 10 months and ranking them for 6,500 keywords in Google's Top 100 results.
With 35+ years of experience, we know how to deliver the SEO results you want to see. That way, you can focus on what actually matters - running your business!
Your optimization efforts don't end once you publish a new blog post. In fact, when you put anything out there on the Internet, it's important to keep it up to date as it never really goes away.
73% of bloggers are updating old content.
That's how important this last SEO tip is to those of us within the SEO industry. They say “writing is rewriting,” and in SEO terms, it's “optimizing is re-optimizing.”
So as you enjoy the fruits of your labor, don't forget that SEO is a constantly evolving entity. Keeping up with the latest trends, updates, and more will help your content reign supreme for a long time to come.
Writing SEO-friendly blogs in 2023 is no small feat. But with these SEO best practices, you'll be ranking your blog posts in no time!
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Up Inc. eCommerce Agency is a digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles, CA. Founded in 2021, Up Inc. specializes in eCommerce, generating growth for brands by focusing on visibility, customer loyalty, and digital revenue. For more SEO tips and industry insights, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.