Writing a SEO blog is a bit of an art form, kind of like poetry. Ok, not quite like poetry but anyone who has ever had to write a haiku, squeezing 17 syllables into five lines, will attest that an SEO blog has some similarities. I’m not talking keyword stuffing obviously, we don’t do that in our Content Marketing team. When faced with crafting a blinding SEO blog post, you need to cover a few bases to give it a leg up in the SERPs. You can’t just let your creative juices flow willy nilly; there’s a bit of formula to follow. So, if you’re tasked with writing an SEO blog and wondering where in the world to start, here are 5 basic things I cover in every SEO blog post I have the pleasure of producing. Hold onto your hats :
Well where else did you think I was going to start? Keywords are the bedrock of the SEO blog. If Fred Flinstone is the blog post, Barney Rubble is the keyword, doing all the actual hard graft. Keyword research, search volumes and user intent are a whole other topic. By the time you come to write your SEO blog, you should already have your keywords boxed off.
Start with a solid seed keyword, one that sets the tone for the rest of the content. This is the keyword you’ll use in things like the metadata and the H1 tag. Then make sure you’ve got some variant keywords in the locker. Not only will it make your content sound more natural, but it’s great for salience in your SEO blog.
Salience, in a nutshell, is the value of the entities (or words) in relation to what you’re writing. So if you’re writing about a sunrise, you won’t be talking about the moon and stars, you’d be using words related to the sun and the morning. It’s linked to keyword clustering, but basically, use keywords that make sense, bring the content back to the subject matter and match user intent.
Try to get at least one keyword into every paragraph. As long as it sounds organic. Don’t say ‘the sunrise was a beautiful sunrise and far as a sunrise goes I’d never seen a sunrise like it’ because that’s just lazy. And sounds crap. Decide on your keywords and then get creative with fitting them into your content.
2. Internal links
I love a link. If I’m struggling to get keywords into the content for whatever reason, then I’ll use a link instead. Don’t go overboard, it can look ugly and be overfacing; no-one can be arsed reading a blog that hurts your eyes.
Internal links are the virtual pat on the back your SEO blog needs. If you fancy trying a new restaurant and you ask a mate where’s good, they’ll tell you where they like to go. If someone else chimes in and agrees with their recommendation, you’re more likely to believe it. Links are the ‘someone else’ in the conversation. They back up what your SEO blog is saying by showing your reader that you aren’t making shit up.
Make sure any links are relevant, whether internal or external. Writing an SEO blog about dog food and linking it to Cat’s Protection website is just dumb. Writing about dog food and linking to an internal blog about joint health in older dogs could corroborate any claims about the health benefits of said dog food. You see what I’m saying?
3. HTML heading tags
HTML Heading tags are a perfect opportunity to get some keywords on the go. Don’t neglect them, but also, they aren’t glitter, don’t spread them everywhere. I start any SEO blog post with a H1 tag that includes my seed keyword. Then I’ll write a short introduction underneath followed by a H2 tag with a variant of the keyword. So, if the SEO blog post is about ‘white wedding dresses’, that would be my H1. My H2 might then be ‘designer white wedding dresses’. Depending on the client you can go a bit more wild in the aisles with your HTML header tags.
If possible, I’ll try to chuck in some H3s as well. This will usually form part of a list. Which leads me nicely on to the next SEO blog post tip…
Mostly because I like the word ‘licticle’ to be honest. Google is a slippery fish and likes to continually move goal posts to serve users up the best content it can. One way it does this is with the helpful content system. So, any SEO blog you put out there should be original and valuable to the reader. It should demonstrate experience, expertise, authority and trust (E-E-A-T). The Quality Rater Guidelines tell you all you need to know, but are about as fun as stripping woodchip in your 1930s renovation project.
A quick fix is to whack in some bullet point lists or a longer more detailed listicle using H3s as headings. This separates the content out clearly, making it easy for the reader to digest and displays the information concisely. This is especially useful if it’s a long SEO blog post. It’s probably easier for Google’s bots to crawl as well. Lazy bastards.
5. Spelling and grammar
Yes I am the person who gets irritated if you mix up ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. In line with producing helpful content, making sure your SEO blog post is actually well written is pretty important. I would say that I’m a writer, but some standard practices to produce a well written SEO blog include:
- Short, sharp sentences – less than 20 words is ideal. This might change depending on the client and the audience but, as a rule of thumb, 20 is plenty
- Simple language – the average UK reading age is around 9 years old. Users should not need to consult Susie Dent to get through your SEO blog
- Commas are your friend – commas are a grammatical Kit Kat if you will. Use them to add in neat little pauses to make your SEO blog readable and interesting
- Spellings – no-one is expected to know how to spell every word (‘broccoli’ is, and always will be, my nemesis) but spell checkers, AI tools and even good old Google docs can sort that out. And proofread every SEO blog post to double check you didn’t miss any glaring mistakes. Just makes you look better you know
SEO services from Dark Horse
So that’s your starter for ten. There’s a whole lot going on behind the scenes when it comes to writing even a very simple SEO blog post. Writing one that racks up over 2000 views in under a week takes expertise. Not to mention the other factors that play a vital role in pushing your website up the greasy Google pole. Tech SEO, Digital PR and Content Marketing are the throuple you need if you really want to start ranking.
If you want to vastly improve your SEO blog posts, and make Google stand to attention, then get in touch with Dark Horse. We’re waiting.