Do you wanna write SEO friendly blog posts? Oh man, who don’t want to do it and rank on SERP i.e. search engine results page; this might be the question in your mind when I asked.
Everyone can write an article but writing SEO optimized articles is not so easy for all. It’s an art which can take your blog or your writing career to the next level.
Many of you, I know, have started your new blogs and now thinking about how to write SEO friendly blog posts? So, I am here to share with you some SEO checklist to write great articles that will rank better in search engines.
Beginner’s Guide on Writing SEO Content
As you are a beginner in this field of blogging and writing articles, I will recommend you to use Yoast SEO plugin in your WordPress blog. It is one of the most popular SEO plugins which have really great features that can help even a newbie to write amazing content.
After activating Yoast SEO plugin, when you open Add New Post screen there will be many SEO options by Yoast at the bottom of the page which will guide you what to do and what not to do for writing SEO friendly articles.
There are two main aspects if SEO optimized blog posts, first on is the SEO itself and other one is Readability i.e. the structure of content, paragraphs, sentence length, transition words etc.
I will soon discuss about all these things, for now let’s see the SEO checklist.
Process to Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts
- Research for keyword
- Identify the right word limit
- Scout Google o find the right format for your article
- Create an outline by analyzing the top 10 results
- Make a list of questions from “people also ask” section of the search
- Deciding post title and meta title
- Post meta description
- Image Alt text
- Interlink within a post using good anchor text
- Post permalink
- Use proper heading tags (H1, H2, H3)
Keyword Research (Focus Keyphrase)
If you want to write great content, then start with keyword research. First decide the topic on which you want to write about, search it on Google and get an idea about what people search.
The words/sentences search for in Google and other search engines are called keywords. You have to first decide which keyword you are targeting to rank for, and then write your content as per the knowledge you have and what people want.
Searching on Google is the easiest and also the free way to get an idea about keywords. But, if you have budget then try Ahrefs and SEMrush like tools. One more thing to note here is that your targeted keyword is known as Focus Keyphrase in Yoast SEO plugin, so don’t be confused about it.
SEO friendly Articles Blueprint
After deciding the right keyword (focus keyphrase) search it on Google and have a look on the top 10 results. Open those websites and analyze the word limit, the page structure/format, number of images & videos embedded; and make a blueprint/outline on your mind about how will you write SEO friendly blog posts of your own.
If you wanna compete them and outrank, then you have to write lengthy articles than their’s. Also, you should place more images and other media files in comparison to their articles.
One more thing, whenever you search anything on Google, you might have noticed a section “People also ask“. You can get related keywords from there as per the focus keyphrase and I would highly recommend you to include them and answers related to them.
Post Title & Meta Title
Now, many of you might be thinking about the difference between post title and meta title. So, post title is the actual title of the post which your viewers will see, and meta title is that title which appears on SERP (search engine results page).
Yoast SEO plugin allows you to change the meta title to that of post title. If you don’t alter it then by default your post title will be the meta title. Try to keep the meta title so compelling that searchers click on your article first.
The same way, you can also write meta description which will be shown in SERP. Writing your blog’s main points or central idea in meta description can really help you in getting more clicks on search.
Image Alt Text
You all know that a single image speaks a thousand words. Adding images on your articles improves your content quality, viewers understand the information quickly and also search engines treat this act as a great point to rank your blog.
But, search engines can’t read images. They can only understand text, so then comes the option of Alt Text. It is an alternative text for the image posted by you that your search engine can read.
The importance of adding Alt Text is not limited to this only. Many-a-times, when we visit any website images fail to load due to low internet speed or any other reasons; that time Alt Text is shown in the webpage.
In this way, viewers can easily understand that there is any image which is about this. So, always write Alt Text on all of your images and try to write it according to your keyword (including it).
Interlink & Outerlink
Whenever visiting any website, you might have noticed some links with read also notice. There you can find links of other posts of the same website (internal link) and relevant posts from other website (outbound link) also.
This practice of linking some related posts will help you a lot in SEO terms. If there is something you have talked about in previous articles, then you can give links of those. Also, if you have talked about any new thing in your blog then you can give link to other websites which have content of that sort in detail.
One more thing to keep in mind while outlinking, try to link those websites which have high domain authority and page authority. This will also improve your blog’s SEO.
How tot Write SEO Permalink?
Every post in your site has a unique link and the words in that link (after your domain name) as a sum is called permalink. I have seen that many people write the permalink on the date on which the article is written or published. This is not a good idea in terms of SEO.
Your permalink only contain your keyword fully or partially with or without some minor changes. For example, if you are writing an article about “How to Write SEO Friendly Blogs” then your permalink will be like (www.mnhemant.com/how-to-write-seo-friendly-blogs) or with some changes like (www.mnhemant.com/write-seo-articles)
The first example is exact to the keyword, but it’s not optimized because it contains a stop word (to). Words like “a” “an” “the” “and” “to” and many more are ignored by the search engines. So, simple remove those stop words if they are in your keyword.
Use Proper Heading Tags
If you really want to rank your articles in less time, then you must not ignore the proper use of H1, H2, H3 heading tags. These tags actually tell about your articles to the search engines what your content is all about.
In most of the WordPress themes, the post title uses H1 heading tag. So, fo the next headings start with H2 then H3 and so on. According to some SEO communities, it’s a good idea o use your keywords in H1, H2 and H3 heading tags.
Yoast SEO Checklist for Quality Blogs
So, there are some of the major points you must be following while writing your article if you want to rank your blogs on Google SERP and get organic traffic. Now, let’s talk about some points recommended by Yoast SEO to write SEO friendly blog posts.
- Your main keyword (or the focus keyphrase) must be present on the very first paragraph.
- Writing your keyword at least 1-3% of the total word count is good for SEO, it’s also called keyword density.
- If the keyphrase comes in your meta title, meta description and the permalink, that’s great.
- Yoast SEO recommends to keep the focus keyphrase of 4 words, but you can also increase it.
- Some internal links and outbound links in your blog help the search engines to determine the topic/content more easily.
- All of your images should have alt text and some of they must contain the main keyword.
- You should also include your keywords in the subheadings of your article.
If you want to rank your articles on search engine’s first page on specific keywords, you should write at least 1000 words. More than this (2K-5K) will be great.
Keyword research is very important if you want to get your articles ranked on search engine. It’s basically the practice of finding a good blog topic with high search volume and low competition.
If your website is new and want to do SEO for it, your site should have 20-50 unique articles of high quality; I mean not copied.
SEO is nothing but optimizing your site as per the favourable traits any search engine shows best results on a search. Site title, meta description, sitemap submission, writing unique and high quality articles and getting some authoritative backlinks can really boost your site’s SEO.
There are many SEO experts in the market who charge for doing the same. But, if you have no budget, don’t worry because you too can do SEO with plugins like Yoast SEO, All-in-One SEO and many other.