Ever play that game Operation? Despite it completely horrifying children into believing they’re harboring butterflies in their stomachs, the game actually is a pretty decent metaphor for an exceptional search engine optimized blog post.
The fact is when writing an SEO blog post, just like when playing Operation, you have to have skill and the ability to carefully complete one section of the anatomy before moving on to the next.
Otherwise you’ll hear that grotesque buzzing sound and nobody wants that. Nobody.
SEO Blog Posts: Deconstruction Time
Let’s first look at the different components of a blog post:
Pretty simple stuff, right? So how are you supposed to optimize each one of these components while still creating a complete and informative product? Just take each piece step-by-step and channel your inner five-year-old surgeon.
Don’t Get A “Head” of Your Self
See what I did there? Headings (or headlines) can make or break an SEO post because they’re prime real estate for keywords.
Above all else? Never forget your reader. Sure, a blog post is like a pretty dress you wear to catch Google’s eyes (er, something like that), but ultimately it’s a connection you make with your audience, and the last thing you want them to do is disengage.
Subheadings: Exactly Like Headings Except Not
Subheadings are exactly like headings. Except not at all. Sure they’re related, but whereas headings have more of that “in your face” feel, subheadings are a little more subtle, still packing a punch but enticing you to read the rest of the copy.
Make sure your subheadings dig into the real meat of the story, but still spark a sense of curiosity in your reader that keeps them wanting more.
Content is King…Or Queen. Your choice.
Content is king, but seeing that I’m of the female persuasion, I like to think of content as a Queen that has the power to win you favor or ruin your reputation for funsies.
You have to realize content’s potency before you send it sprawling through the interwebs. This means everything you write needs to have a purpose. It needs to be based in fact and backed up with legitimate sources. It needs to be relevant to your industry and a great fit for your audience.
Once you’ve checked those essential boxes, read your content. Then read it again. Then have someone else read it, preferably your mother. Your mother never lies. Then and only then, push “publish.”
Need a little help sprucing up the ‘ol content? Try these go-to sources for great content writing:
Link. It. Up.
Remember what I just said about sources? Linking your content with credible sources is pretty heavy stuff, not just because outbound links let your audience know you’ve been doing your homework, but they’re kind of a high five to other content producers, letting them know you’re a fan of their work.
And really, good linking karma is not to be underestimated. Internal linking also has it’s place as long as you’re linking to a page on your own website that’s relevant to your content and helps your audience navigate your site.
Keywords Are the Reason We Wake Up in the Morning…Creativity is the Reason We Stay Up
Ah, keywords. When I first learned what search engine optimization was back in the Stone Age, I had a permanent question mark branded on my face. “You mean some online content outranks other online content based on the main words used throughout the content???” Ah, young Ericka, yes, essentially this is what great content writing is all about…or is it?
Yes, keyword research is pretty much a no brainer when developing content. But you also have to be able to creatively weave these keywords through your copy or you just end up looking like someone who should have never been told about the Internet.
Don’t hesitate to stretch your creative muscles and find new ways to make your keywords fluidly blend in rather than stick out like a sore thumb.
A Thousand Words
Alt tags. The phrase is now synonymous with “image” in my mind. I never upload an image without optimizing my image because that would be pretty much the same as publishing content without having my mother read it first. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t need my mother slowly shaking her head in disappointment.
Just like words, the pictures you publish online should also be search engine optimized. Why? Well, let’s say someone is looking for a picture of a dalmatian running on the beach. They type in “dalmatian running on the beach” into Google and go to check out the images. They see a beyond cute photo of a dalmatian and when they click on it, they end up right on your blog…well, actually mine in this example.
Because I optimized the dalmatian image’s alt tag, I now have people checking out my site that hadn’t originally planned on it . And what if one of those people is a marketing savvy business owner who wants a few more marketing tips in their bag of tricks? Instant connection! I’ve just grown my audience by being an SEO rock star, and so can you!
Really, a killer SEO blog post needs to be taken step-by-step just like anything else. Now who’s up for a game of Operation? No buzzing. I promise.
What methods do you use when writing an SEO-friendly blog post? Thoughts on Operation? Other than “best game ever”?
PHOTO CREDIT: Brian Fisher on Flickr