These days there are more people blogging than ever before. As we’re writing this, somewhere in the great wide online world, thousands of people are writing, posting, or tweeting a blog.
Believe it or not, according to statistics, almost 5,000 blog posts are published every MINUTE. That’s a lot of competition for anyone considering starting their own blog.
However, don’t be discouraged, there are ways that even the most novice of bloggers can get their content read. Of course, hire a digital marketing agency and you’ll benefit from tried and tested experience and blogging expertise that’ll elevate your content authority to both Google and audiences, but for anyone who’d like to share their knowledge of something in particular, encourage interaction with the audience, and earn followers, there are a handful of SEO methodologies that you can bring to your blogging.
Want to learn the basics of how the professionals build communities with blogs? We’ve got the lowdown for you.
Starting a personal blog is a journey. One that requires a little planning. Most people have an idea about what they want to blog about, what they think their audience wants to read but – and here’s the most important thing – they don’t know for sure.
The good news is that you don’t need to rely on guesswork. You can do keyword research and find out exactly what their audience is searching for. Then all a blogger needs to do is to answer the questions.
SEO professionals always factor keyword research into any content they write. This is one of the ways that they get your website higher up rankings. There is a wealth of keyword research resources, like SEMRush, that you can use to find keywords and come up with ideas for future blogs.
But the bottom line with keywords is to look for those with high search volume and low competition.
Choose an Attention-Grabbing Blog Title
What you write about is important, but so too is the title of your blog. Remember, as good as the content of your blog is, without a title that really grabs attention, no one is going to read it!
A good blog post title makes your article more relevant to the search query. More importantly, it motivates users to click on blog when you see it in the search results. Think about it this way, here are two blog titles, which do you think is the best:
- The Five Best Coffee Shops in Melbourne
- I am Looking for a Coffee Shop in Melbourne: Which Is the Best?
The answer is ‘The Five Best Coffee Shops in Melbourne.’ Why? It’s simple, direct, and easy to read. Better still if your keyword is ‘best coffee shops in Melbourne’ you have that in the title and Google will reward you.
If you want to know how to write an effective headline, there’s one golden rule to remember: stress emotional marketing value. Use power words to trigger emotion.
Make Sure to Link to Internal Pages
The more you blog, the more you’ll be able to get an impression of what type of content your audience likes. Knowing this allows you to point your audience in the direction of other content they’d be interested in – boosting the overall value of your blog.
Think of it as building a contextual relationship between new and old posts – even other pages on your website. So, let’s say that you want to tell your audience about the best mountain bikes for less than $700AUD. It would make sense to add a link to the mountain bikes you discuss, right?
Make it as easy as possible for your audience to find what they’re looking for. This is exactly what a link will do, after all, it will save them from writing the name of the mountain bike into Google to find a retailer.
Add Images and Infographics
The more engaging your content, the more likely it will rank well. The words you write are just one element. The other elements are your images and/or videos.
No one wants to read an essay online. They want to find out everything they need to as quickly as possible. Eight-line paragraphs one after the other don’t exactly lend themselves to quick and efficient reading.
But, what’s more important is how you display your content. Just as no one wants to read eight-line paragraphs, they also don’t want to read blocks of text one after the other. This is where images and infographics come into play.
A word of caution though, don’t just copy images from other sites. It’s likely they will be copyrighted, meaning you’ll need the owners’ permission to use them. Don’t worry, there is a wealth of free-to-use image websites from which you can pull images from.
Make Sure Your Posts Are Easy to Read
People have little to zero patience online. They take seconds to decide if they want to read the content on a page. Articles that are easy to read and well structured not only appeal to people wanting to learn more but search engines who are constantly evolving to improve user experience.
Remember too that most people don’t read blogs with heightened concentration absorbing every word, they skim-read, scanning the content. That means that you could have seconds to get someone’s attention.
Make your posts easy to not only read, but scan. Write smaller paragraphs, break your content into subheadings, don’t waffle, add bullet points, and make sure that there’s plenty of white space on the page.
Aim to Get Your Content in Snippets on Google Rankings
This is a big one, mainly due to Google’s impending update in May, Core Web Vitals, as any digital marketing agency with their finger on the pulse of the digital world will tell you. This aims to answer key user questions as quickly as possible by introducing a featured question answer box that appears near the top of the search engine.
Google will generate a custom snippet from the article’s content which highlights the part their algorithms believe is the answer to the users query. Now, Google doesn’t have any specific guidelines that tell you how to get your snippets featured, but by creating content that provides users with the answers they’re searching for you’re on the right track to getting featured.
If you’re not 100% sure what your users are searching for, remember your keyword and blog title research.
Don’t Write Short Blogs
Now, in times past, short blogs were all the rage. Google recommended that you keep article lengths to between 300-500 words, packing in your keywords six to eight times. This hasn’t been standard practice for years. So, what is?
Search engines love topic-specific blogs packed with information. Why? Basically, they offer greater value to audiences. If you can sprinkle some semantically similar keywords (those that are related to your keywords).
For instance, if one of your keywords is ‘SEO blogging’, try adding ‘SEO blogger’ or even ‘what is SEO?’. These variations add depth to your SEO and diversity to what you write, putting you in a win-win situation as they will improve your writing and boost your chances of your blog being ranked higher.
You don’t need to be an SEO whizz to start a personal blog and achieve a reasonable ranking. Follow these points and you’ll build a solid foundation that’ll give your blog enough scope to attract, engage, and influence whoever reads it.