Do you want to improve your blog post SEO but don't have the time to learn about all the latest changes? Or don't have access to all the latest SEO tools?
We can help with that!
Our streamlined workflow steps below will help you write better, more engaging blog posts that will keep your readers coming back for more. Plus, our SEO writing tips and tricks will help you rank sooner and higher on search engines (Google is the only search engine that matters), so more people can find your content.
It's easier than you think! And with our help, you’ll be able to write better content in no time. And the best part is that it won’t take up much of your time – we promise. So, what are you waiting for? Get started now!
So please bookmark this page and share it with those that could benefit. Take all or part of this process to improve your writing for better SEO.
But before we begin, remember this:
The best content for Google to show is content that is helpful and insightful. Write for humans first, not search engines.
The below process will help you write better and more thoroughly based on what is already ranking. And it will help you rank in more places within a Google search results page, not just the normal search results.
Keyword and Topic Research
Begin the process by identifying 2 or 3 keyword phrases or topics you want to write about. The next step will narrow these keywords to one main and perhaps two or three secondary words.
Here's A Quick, Efficient Research Process
Google is an excellent research tool. Use it to research your keywords and topics - the goal of this step is to narrow down the terms and topics you’re going to write about that have the most economic value. And then, to gain insights into the ranking pages so you can write even better content.
Free Tools to Help You Do Quick Keyword Research:
Google Trends: Head over to Google Trends and type in your search phrase.
Here's an example where I typed in "Content Marketing" and changed the date range to show 2004 to 2022. Right away we can see this has been trending up consistently since 2010.
The default timeline is the last 12 months. You can change that to see longer timelines as I did and that will help you see trends (here's a more in-depth post about using Google Trends for marketing).
Keep in mind that Google Trends is big data so you won’t get all sorts of keyword variations or more granular insights, but it will give you hints into other topics and perhaps something you didn’t consider, along with trends. Some topics that are low volume will have little data here.
Next, scroll down and pay attention to the Related Topics and Related Queries for additional ideas that perhaps you had not considered. Do any of these resonate as better topics to write about?
You can also change this to show "Top" Related Topics and Top Related Queries - just click the word Rising with the down carrot. You can then click on any of those terms for more trending insights.
Google Ads Keyword Planner:
This free tool will give you hard numbers on monthly search volume along with additional related phrases. It also gives CPC data per keyword - cost-per-click - an indicator of relative economic value. The higher the CPC, the more valuable the word is since companies are willing to bid it up.
Once you are logged in you should see the below options - choose, Discover new keywords.
Then you will see much more detailed search data that you can use to refine your topic keyword selections.
Once you have the keyword phrases you’re considering, do a Google search for each keyword - incognito, of course, to get unbiased search results. Scan through the top 5 - 10 results on the first page. Pay attention to the following:
Here's a related post on how to develop a blog strategy that you might find helpful, too.
Create an SEO Template
Summarize your research in just a few bullet points.
Here's an example:
Write Your Headline, Blog Post Title First
The headline contains the most important words you will write for the page. Its goal is to pique the reader's interest, stop them in their tracks and get them to read the sub-headline and the rest of the content. Plus, it sets the tone for the entire article. The main keyword should be used in the headline. Here's a related post just on proven headline formulas.
Also, make sure the blog post URL, or in WordPress it’s referred to as a Slug, is the same or similar to your Blog Post Title or primary Headline. Keywords shown in the URL can help improve the click-through-rate (CTR) from search results to your page.
As you can see in the results below, our page ranks first and also has the keywords in the URL. Compare that result to the next two - one has "One the Line > Marketing" and the other, "Blog."
Write The Blog Post
Now that you have an SEO template in hand and your headline is written, the rest should flow more easily, depending on your writing process.
Keyword usage guidelines:
General guidelines for keyword usage are 1 or 2 times throughout the article. However, don’t worry about this too much - if you write for humans first, you likely will be just fine. Just make sure the keyword is used at least in the headline and perhaps one other time in the article.
But if you’re concerned about understanding keyword usage for this topic, go back to the ranking articles and search for how many times each article uses the term. And then calculate the keyword density (frequency count of the keyword / total keywords on the page).
Write the Title Tag and Meta Description
Use your keyword in your Title tag and Meta Description, along with a benefit and call to action (CTA). Stick to approximately 55 characters for the Title Tag and 155 - 165 for the Meta Description. This is your free advertising space in the search results so use it wisely to pique people’s interest to click through to read your article.
Create one or more infographics or images for the page. Take ideas from the other articles. Can you improve upon any of the images they have?
How can you help break up the textual content with images? Can you represent data on the page in an image as a chart?
The benefit of effective image usage for SEO is that you can rank in Google’s Image search and Image tab, which has a massive volume of monthly searches. Therefore, your goal should always be to rank in as many places within Google as possible and images are one of those ways. Here's an example of a blog post we wrote on using Facebook Ads to market your restaurant - we have two images ranking in the number one and number two position.
Once your content is written, identify any pages or posts on your website that you can link to that would be helpful for the reader. I link wherever I can on any page or post within my site that would be helpful to the reader. Linking internally on your site benefits the readers, increases your site's engagement, and helps SEO as it passes relevant internal link equity between pages within your site. As a matter of fact, here's a link to a blog post I wrote on just that - internal linking.
If you have a lot of content on your site, a PRO TIP to find content that you can link to, or that can link to this post, use an advanced URL operator in Google to find relevant posts. Here's an example below.
In this example, I searched the 39Celsius.com site for any content that includes the words, "content writing." Just vary the keywords you use to find content on your site. Here's the actual advanced operator - site:yoursite.com [whatever keyword you want]
Google will list the content on your site in order of most authoritative.
In your article research you did in the beginning, did you notice any questions and answers in the Google search results? Sometimes these show at the top of searches in a Featured Snippet ranking in the zero position or further down below in a Google section labeled as “People Also Ask."
Include common questions and answers in your content that people are searching for in Google. And then, if you have someone more technical on your team, have that content marked up with schema code and added to your page in the <head> section of the html - this will make it clear to Google that you have FAQs on the page and allows you to show in additional places in a search results page.
Here's a related post I wrote as well on how to update content for better SEO and in that example, I show results of a page that had FAQ and Video schema added and the incremental lift in clicks and impressions that post received.
Do you have any videos on the same topic you can embed? Preferably YouTube videos. Embed these videos into the page. Not everyone wants to read, so you’re giving people another option to engage with your content. Here's another post on using video embeds to help with your SEO.
The SEO benefits are clear - your page can rank in the Video tab of a Google search results page, so that’s one more spot you can occupy.
And as we did with the FAQs, markup this video with schema code. Video schema markup will make it clear to Google that there is a video on the page and give it details about what that video is about. Otherwise, Google likely will not recognize an embedded video on the page.
Submit Content For Indexing
Submit your blog post to Google to let it know it exists and get it indexed sooner.
Here is where you paste in the new page URL for your blog post to let Google know you have new content.
So, to round up the advice here, the goal was to provide non-SEO writers with an easy workflow or blog writing process that improves the SEO of your posts, without relying on the hardcore SEO tools. And after you go through this several times it becomes faster and easier. It should not be too time consuming. But applying these 10 steps will get you on your way to ranking your posts more quickly and for more keywords. Finally, here's a related post on how to use WordPress Categories for improved usability and better SEO.
Got more questions?
Finally, if you want to dive into a much more thorough, technical post on SEO this one is for you.
Using AI can be helpful in speeding up your writing and improving the content. However, for SEO purposes, be careful relying too heavily on AI machine learning content. Always write for humans first. Content that is insightful and helpful is best. Google's Helpful Content algorithm update in 2022 targeted sites that were writing primarily for search engines to rank, which AI generated content is often written for.