A Quick Guide To SEO-friendly Blogging 

SEO-friendly blogging

Writing has changed. People don’t read how they used to. Here’s how to write your online content with SEO-friendly blogging and make it worthwhile. 

Everyone considers themselves a ‘good writer’. I mean, what is the actual definition of a good writer? Someone who can craft a tone, avoid spelling and grammatical errors, and simultaneously ensure that the words aren’t boring? 

We all believe that we can manage that.

Should you ask an author (or an online influencer *shudder*) that question, you better sit yourself down with a coffee – because the answer is going to take a while. Every writer has a differing and lengthy viewpoint on what makes a great wordsmith. 

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However, if you want to know the answer to that philosophical question, look to the readers. What are they looking for? Some are looking for entertainment, and some are hunting for enlightenment. In contrast, others seek answers to their questions – whatever their topic revolves around. A great writer pleases their audience. 

And it’s the latter that most internet users require. Being an excellent online writer is vastly different to what is necessary for print media. 

To be a good writer in any regard, you need to get your message across. For online sources, you need to answer search terms – especially if you are marketing a service. 

Appeasing an online audience is wholly unalike from drafting the next great American novel. In fact, writing for online publication goes against what Charles Dickens, Arthur Miller, and Oscar Wilde, may have taught you. 

People read a printed article differently from how they purview its online equivalent. There are different rules and mantras between the two. There are different flows, different word structures to adhere to, and the ungodly shadow of SEO engulfing all proceedings. 

Dickens, Miller, and Wilde would have a meltdown of raised-eyebrow proportions if they were to have their efforts judged by keywords, length, links, and digital readability. How could algorithms and strict formatting dictate works of culture? 

It’s the way of the modern world. 

So, how can you make online content effective in the name of your business? And what are the differences between online writing and print media? 

Let’s begin.  

The Difference Between Writing for Online vs Print

The Difference Between Writing for Online vs Print 

Mainly because the internet bombards readers with mind-numbing amounts of content, people have developed contrasting behaviourisms to printed formats. 

Audience trends usually dictate how successful content is constructed, which means that writing for an online audience requires different attributes to be considered, compared to traditional methods

For making that leap from paper to screen, you need to take article length, SEO, backlinks, readability, and reader attention into account. And that’s just for starters! 

Online articles need to fight for a reader’s attention. There’s a tremendous amount of content on almost every subject imaginable out there, and therefore reader attention is often short. 

The average amount of time an online reader spends scanning an article is around two minutes. That means you only have 120 seconds to get your message across. A printed report rarely achieves any focus point by then. 

It’s the same story for paragraphs. Whereas novels and newspaper columns may opt for long prose segments, online articles stick to short sentences and only a few lines per paragraph.

It has nothing to do with intelligence levels, as some aristocratic snobs might state, but rather to do with the way our eyes read a screen. 

When reading electronic media, we tend to scan and search for things that stand out. Bold typeface, bullet points, headings, and images take preference. In theory, for a piece of online content to get its message across, readers need to absorb the message quickly. 

But not too quickly, if Google has anything to do with it. 

To make matters complicated, all of the above aspects need to take SEO (Search Engine Optimization) into account. And for making things REALLY complicated, an online article basically needs to exceed 1500 words to gain Google’s trust as an authoritative piece of content. 

As you can fathom, writing for an online medium is an art form. It’s a fine line to balance where the message needs to come across quickly, with appropriate media and SEO, structure, and tone. It’s why digital content takes such a long time to prepare correctly. 

But what if you don’t have the time and budget for spending on digital content? This is where we can give some pointers to ensure your content is as prepared as you can make it. 

Alternatively, if you just can’t be bothered with all this complication – get in touch with us. We have a blog writing service that may appeal to you. 

SEO-Friendly Blogging – Step 1: What Is Your Message?

SEO for Blogs

Before you sit down to type, take a moment to think about the message of your blogging article. To capture your audience, you need to think about the article from the reader’s perspective. 

What are they seeking by landing on your article? 

What search intent does your audience have? 

What do you want to tell your readers? 

Are you answering a question? 

One way to ensure that you stay on track is to write down the answers to these questions and then build content around them.

If you are struggling to gain insight into the search intent, take a look at the search results on Google (other search engines are available) for the search term you are targeting. 

Boil down what you find on Google into keywords. This leads us to the next step.

SEO-Friendly Blogging – Step 2: Which Keywords Are You Using?

Keywords for seo blogging

Don’t just hash-bash your way through an article for the sake of posting something that appeases your inner writer’s ego. Writing for an online presence requires tact with your subject matter

From Step 1, figure out which words your audience will likely use when employing Google to return a query. These are the words that you should preferably base your article on. 

For example, suppose you are targeting a more conservative demographic. In that case, their search behaviour (usually long-tail key terms) will require content that differs from all the short-hand, text-style search terminology used by younger age groups.

Please make sure that you have a relevant keyword term selected! Otherwise, your article will not be found on Google’s search pages. Writing blind and hoping for the best is effectively a waste of your time. 

From the keywords selected, you now need to structure your article. But before we look at that, a quick tip…

Tip: Avoid Keyword Stuffing 

It is best to avoid using your keyword or term too often. Keyword Stuffing can land you an SEO penalty and hurt your rankings. 

Google is smart enough to clock when stuffing occurs and wants you to write natural-flowing content rather than trick the algorithms into advancing your page up the rankings. 

Not only that, but stuffing your article with focus keywords makes the content janky and challenging to read from a user’s standpoint. The way around all of this is to use synonyms and related keywords peppered throughout your article

SEO-Friendly Blogging – Step 3: Structure 

Blog structure for SEO-friendly blogging

As you may know by now, writing for an online presence is different to writing for print. To create an SEO-friendly article without detracting from user experience, you need to have a clear structure. 

Besides the commonplace introduction, body, and conclusion – stick to using short paragraphs (no more than three or four sentences) and H2 headings to separate each point. 

Proper headings not only help readers understand specific parts of your narrative, but it helps Google bots grasp the keywords and present your work on the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). 

Boiled down, you can use headings and subheadings to guide people and Google through your article, and help them scan your page. 

This all builds trust, encouraging users to return to your site and give you SEO advantages later on. 

Don’t forget to use your key term or your keyword in your subheadings! 

Keywords in your subheadings may sound like a useless exercise when you are in a rush, but the Google Bots scan a page akin to how the reader does. By including your keyword in the headings, you are utilizing your crawl budget properly.  

What’s a Crawl Budget? It’s effectively the length of time you have to prove to the Google Bots (which scan your page for content) that your content covers the subject intended. 

However, explaining the crawl budget in detail may be information overload at this point. We’ll dedicate a blog to that subject in a few weeks.

SEO-Friendly Blogging – Step 4: Blog Article Length

Blog length for SEO

For SEO aspects, as of April 2021, as a general rule, the ideal article length ranges between: 

1500-2500 Words. 

For Google to even recognize a post as worthy content, the bare minimum word count is 300 words. Don’t expect miracles from such a low word count, however. 

You really need to aim for a higher count to gain traction through the search engines. 

If the word count does not naturally stretch to 1500 words, then it is far from the end of the world, though. So don’t panic! 

With appropriate backlinking, alt-text, keyword research, video and social media embeds, and attempts to answer the Google’ Questions’, you can still achieve great search engine results without hitting the SERP-recommended word count. 

The lesson here? Writing longer posts should become the norm, rather than the exception

It is way more common for longer posts to rank better. However, ‘thinner’ content won’t necessarily get you heavily penalized unless ALL your posts are thin on the ground. 

Such a word count seems like hard graft. Still, if you create a go-to source about a particular niche topic with citations from multiple sources and a host of correct SEO aspects, you’ll reap the rewards! 

As a further point, always remember that it’s essential to ensure the content flows naturally. Don’t aim for the word count as your sole objective. If the article becomes padded and challenging to read, then your visitors won’t stick with it. 

If your readers don’t stick with it, your bounce rate will be affected – which can create a slow-burning SEO backlash and see your rankings slowly descend into obscurity, 

SEO-Friendly Blogging – Step 5: Links!

Back links for SEO-friendly blogging

If you’ve already written about your chosen topic, don’t forget to link back to it in your new blog article. 

This action will make both your new and existing post stronger, as it demonstrates your authority in the subject matter. This is known as internal linking

Link structure is imperative for SEO health and user experience; they will probably be interested in reading more and navigating the site. So, why not capitalize on that? 

If you have successfully created shareable content, you will reap the rewards from other websites’ backlinks. 

SEO-Friendly Blogging – Step 6: Regular Content Schedule

Importance of Blogging Regularly

By regularly posting new content, Google will understand that your website is alive and active. This is more important than you’d think, as should Google believe your site is dormant, then you don’t reach the top-ranking pages. You can find out more about the importance of blogging regularly with our previous blog post

If you don’t post regularly, then Google won’t crawl as often, and this could cause a negative motion on your rankings. However, don’t just post for the sake of posting, as doing so without structure will also cause negative rankings. Everything you post should be high quality

Armed with this knowledge, your online articles should provide a massive benefit to your business and, more importantly, your ROI. Good luck with your writing! 

About The Author

Calum Brown

Calum has worked with SEO for the best part of a decade and is proud of it! He previously created and led Bauer's SEO strategy for their digital classic automotive portfolio and helped to launch America's largest collector car site for SpeedDigital. Having come from an SEO, marketing and editorial background, and having studied Business Information Systems at Edinburgh Napier University, Calum now dedicates his time to all things SEO. He takes great pride in helping Physical Therapy businesses find their perfect (local) clients and drinks copious amounts of tea doing so. Best not to feed him after midnight.