Understand SEO and use it to drive more traffic to your blog
Tired of spending hours a week writing blog posts that don't rank on Google and hardly anybody reads? Fear not, this post is for you.
Here’s how to write SEO blogs that rank on Google
In this post you’ll learn:
What is SEO, Keywords, Tags and Metadata and why they’re important
The best SEO tools to help you find the best keywords for your posts
The best places to use keywords in your blog posts - this will dramatically improve your results
This post will help copywriters, entrepreneurs and business owners understand how to write blog posts that rank on Google. By the end of the post, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what SEO is, the most popular keyword tools on the market and the best places to use keywords in your blog posts. All of this will help you write more SEO-friendly blog posts driving more traffic to your blog.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. You can optimise your blog posts with the use of high-ranking keywords. Before we go any further let's go through some definitions and clear up any confusion around terms such as keywords, tags and meta-data.
A keyword as it relates to SEO and digital marketing, is a specific word or phrase that represents the main topic or subject of a piece of content. Keywords are used to optimise content and make it more searchable online.
They play a crucial role in determining how well a web page or blog post ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs). Keywords can be short and generic, like "dog food," or long-tail and specific, like "organic dog food for large breeds." Effective keyword usage is vital for SEO success. Learn more about keywords and how to use them effectively in your business here.
Tags are labels or keywords that you assign to content to categorise and organise it. They are commonly used in content management systems (CMS) like WordPress to help users and search engines easily navigate the space and find their way around.
Tags are more about organising and internal navigation within a website or blog. For example, a blog post about copywriting could have tags like "email marketing," "website copy" and "product descriptions."
Tags are often displayed at the end of a blog post to provide links to other related content. This is another clear distinction between keywords and tags; keywords are hidden inside the content and tags are visible at the foot of the content.
The other term you'll need to know more about when you write SEO blogs that rank on Google is metadata.
Metadata is the information that provides data about other data. In the context of websites and SEO, there are two main types of metadata:
Title Metadata: This is the title of a web page or blog post that appears in search engine results and in the browser's title bar. It should be concise, relevant to the content, and contain important keywords for SEO.
Meta Description: This is a brief summary or description of a web page's content. It appears in search engine results below the title. A well-crafted meta description can entice users to click on the link, so it should be engaging and contain relevant keywords.
Metadata is not visible on the web page itself but plays a crucial role in SEO. It helps search engines understand the content and its relevance to user queries. Effective metadata can improve click-through rates and the overall SEO performance of your blog.
SEO tools to find keywords for your blog post
OK, now that we're all on the same page about some of the most common blogging terms let's pivot back to keywords.
Here are some of the best SEO tools to help optimise your blog post with effective keywords.
Google Keyword Planner: This free tool provides keyword ideas, search volume, and competition data. It's particularly useful for beginners. You’ll need a Google Ads account to get started but it’s free and worth it.
SEMrush: A comprehensive SEO tool that offers a powerful keyword research feature along with competitive analysis, site auditing, and more.
Ahrefs: Known for its backlink analysis, Ahrefs also offers a robust keyword research tool with data on search volume, keyword difficulty, and more.
Ubersuggest: Neil Patel's Ubersuggest is a user-friendly tool for keyword research and content ideas, with both free and paid options. As I said, a moment ago, this is one of my go-to tools for keyword research.
KeywordTool.io: It generates keyword suggestions from Google's autocomplete feature, making it a valuable source of long-tail keyword ideas.
AnswerThePublic: This tool provides unique insights into user queries and can be a great source of content ideas.
Many of these tools are free so the barrier to entry is really low. Try them out!
The best places to use keywords in your blog post
The key to effective keyword usage is balance and natural-sounding integration. Your primary focus should always be on providing value and useful information.
Keywords should be used to enhance the content's relevance to both readers and search engines. Don’t overuse keywords or repeat them unnecessarily (keyword stuffing). It can backfire, leading to penalties from search engines and ultimately turning readers away.
Here are 12 of the best places to use keywords in your SEO blog post
1. Title Tag: Include your primary keyword in the title tag of your blog post. The title tag is what appears as the clickable headline in search engine results. It's a critical place for your primary keyword.
2. Headings and Subheadings: Use your keywords in headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) and subheadings to structure your content. This not only helps with SEO but also improves the readability of your post.
3. Opening Paragraph: Introduce your primary keyword naturally in the opening paragraph of your blog post. This signals to both readers and search engines what the content is about.
4. Throughout the Body Copy: Sprinkle your primary and related keywords throughout the body of your content. However, avoid overusing them (keyword stuffing). Instead, make your copy sound natural.
5. Anchor Text: When linking to other pages within your website or to external sources, use descriptive anchor text that includes keywords. This helps search engines understand the context of the linked content.
6. Image Alt Text: For images within your blog post, include descriptive alt text that contains your keywords. This helps with SEO and makes your content more accessible to visually impaired users.
7. URL Structure: If possible, include your primary keyword in the URL of the blog post. Keep the URL concise, relevant, and user-friendly.
8. Meta Title and Meta Description: Your primary keyword should also be present in the meta title and meta description of your blog post. This is the information that appears in search engine results and influences click-through rates.
9. Conclusion: Reinforce your key points and primary keywords in the conclusion of your blog post. This summarises the content and reinforces its relevance.
10. In Internal and External Links: When linking to other pages on your website or to external sources, consider using keywords in the anchor text.
11. Keyword Variations: Use different varieties of the primary keyword in your blog post. This makes the content more appealing to readers.
12. Header and Footer: In some cases, you may have a header and footer that appears on multiple pages of your website. Consider including keywords in these sections but only if it makes sense and provides value to users.
The key is to add keywords to your blog posts in a natural-sounding way and by using them in certain places you improve the readability and overall performance of your blog post. Learning how to write SEO blog posts that rank on Google takes time. It’s not achieved overnight. But when you understand SEO and use it to drive more traffic to your blog - by following some of the guidelines shared above - you should start to see positive results.
Keywords, tags, metadata and SEO strategies are important when it comes to writing blog posts that rank on Google but so are headlines. The headline you use for your blog post needs to grab your reader's attention and inspire them to click to learn more. With a strong headline and an SEO strategy in place your blog posts should start to generate results that promote growth.
Share your thoughts below. Was this post helpful? Do you write blogs and do you use keywords? What are your favourite SEO tools? Share your answers in the comments.
Take this further by following and learning from some of the brightest brains in the industry when it comes to SEO and for more interesting stats and facts about blogging check out this post by Ahrefs.