Blogging for SEO: How to optimise online content

06/08/2021
4 min read

We’ve all heard about the benefits of blogging and using SEO to help online content stand out from the crowd, but what does SEO actually mean? And how can we use it when writing blog articles?

 

Let’s start with a little crash course on SEO.

First, SEO stands for search engine optimisation. That means that search engines like Google can find your article, blog, or website amongst the almost infinite amount of content on the internet and place it within their search results. The more optimised the content, the more attractive it will appear to search engine crawlers, and the higher up in the results it will appear.

Sounds simple enough, right? You would think so, but search engines regularly change their algorithms, which means what may have worked last year, won’t be as effective this year. Plus, it’s important to remember that real people will be reading the blog, so it has to be user-friendly and enjoyable to read, as well as optimised for SEO.

 

Target audience and SEO

If you are writing a blog for a business website, then the goal is most likely to increase web traffic and ultimately boost sales. Before writing anything, the first thing to consider is the target audience. Who are you writing for, and what would they want to read?

Understanding the target audience and the type of information they would search for on the internet is crucial when writing for SEO. Not only will it help to generate topic ideas, but it will also make it easier to identify certain words and phrases that will attract the target audience. That’s where SEO keywords come in.

 

SEO keywords

One of the easiest ways to stay ahead in the SEO race is to include relevant keywords in the content. Keywords are words, phrases, or questions that people regularly type into search engines to find out more about a certain topic.

For example, if writing a travel blog post about New Zealand, here are some keywords that could be included:

-    Travel New Zealand

-    Travel New Zealand campervan

-    Travel New Zealand cheap

-    New Zealand travel guide

-    How to travel New Zealand

The best places to include these keywords are in the title, in subheadings, in the body of the text and in the conclusion. However, the writing still needs to flow, so be sure not to overuse the keywords, which will just turn readers away.

 

Blog title and URL

The title of a blog is important because it’s the first thing that people will read. It should be attention-grabbing while also providing some context about the topic of the article. Click-bait titles have dominated the internet in recent years, but most online users have become savvy to that tactic. Avoid following the crowd and inject some integrity into your work by choosing an honest, engaging title.

Going back to the topic of a New Zealand travel blog, a suitable title could be, How to travel in New Zealand in a campervan. It includes the relevant keywords of “travel”, “New Zealand”, and “campervan”, as well as providing the reader with the knowledge that tips on how to do it will be included in the article.

Next, the URL should represent the topic while remaining SEO-friendly. For the New Zealand article, the automatically generated URL would be how-to-travel-in-new-zealand-in-a-campervan. However, it can be modified to travel-new-zealand-campervan. It still honestly conveys the content in the post but has been simplified to be picked up by search engines.

 

Paragraphs and subheadings

When writing for SEO, paragraphs should be kept short, with no more than two to three sentences per paragraph. This is to ensure the content is easy to read and understand, especially for people reading on a mobile device.

When it comes to subheadings, use them wisely to break up the text and include keywords. For the New Zealand blog post, an example of a suitable subheading could be, Top campgrounds in New Zealand.

Formatting is another important consideration, such as using headings in the correct hierarchy. For example, h1 should only be used for the main title, then h2 and h3 used respectively throughout the article.

 

Add internal links

Linking a blog to other internal articles within a domain is an effective SEO tool.

Not only does it provide search engines with more information about the content on a page, it also offers readers additional content on a topic and encourages them to stay on the website by visiting other pages.

When formatting internal links, the anchor text should be a keyword that offers context about what the linked page contains, such as the word “beach” linking to an article about beach holidays.

 

Optimise images for SEO

This tip is something that many people forget when writing a blog but ranking well in search engines is not only the result of the words used in the article. Correctly optimising images can have a huge impact.

Often when we upload images to use in a blog, the title may be something like image23.jpg. That means nothing to the search engines. However, a photo with the title Campervan-NZ.jpg provides more information.

And it doesn’t stop there. The Alt Text provides further details and is another opportunity to include some keywords such as, Travel New Zealand.

 

Share and review

Don’t forget to share blog articles on social media channels. The aim of blogging for SEO is to increase web traffic and you want to encourage as many people as possible to visit the website. Writing for SEO takes time, research, and effort, so don’t let that go to waste by failing to promote the content.

And finally, regularly analyse the results of your blogging. Review the statistics for your website to find out which articles and keywords are working well. The world of SEO is constantly evolving, but blogging remains an effective way to boost your rankings, and, when done correctly, a little SEO can go a long way.

 

Hayley Maguire

Hayley Maguire

Copywriting | PR | Events

Hayley Maguire is a PR professional and a freelance copywriter. With a background in journalism and a love for travel, Hayley has worked with clients all over the world to help them achieve their goals through engaging content. Find out more about Hayley’s copywriting services.

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