In 2021, there seems to be someone writing on everything imaginable and in fact blogs for pets, video games and other topics are more popular than ever.
While writing blogs with new perspectives and even evergreen content to gain visibility is important, you want to give your reader an engaging experience that if you're a blog or business owner, you want readers to spend as much time on your website as possible, sign up for a newsletter, click on your affiliate links or become new customers or clients.
While many people think this is easier said than done, the right combination of personal experience and storytelling along with best blog writing practices go a very long way in the eyes of your readers, and those of Google & Bing.
We're going to give you a brief overview of the best practices to consider when creating blog posts including SEO considerations, how to format your blog posts, connecting interlinking pages as well as the best ways to utilize images. We'll also give you some examples on how to choose topics for your personal and business websites.
All of these topics are important to understand when you are creating an article meant to build a specific audience and draw them in to not just your blog post, but to explore your website and turn them into potential subscribers or clients.
Essential SEO Knowledge for Your Blogs & Your Site
SEO is a very complex web of settings, phrases and tags. However, there are some very simple elements of SEO to keep in mind when writing a blog article. When you create a heading, you can assign it a number (H1, H2, H3, etc.). These numbers should be looked at as rankings of importance for your heading.
Heading Tags in SEO
- Your H1 heading should be used only once per page and it should be the heading that most summarizes the blog article.
- Your H2+ tag should be used for topic headings in your article that you believe people will be Googling, For example, if this report were a blog article, I would have my H1 tag be “How to Write an Optimal Blog Post for Your Website” because it is the title of the post and the most directly related heading to the blog article overall.
My bolded topics ahead of each paragraph would be labeled as H2 tags because they are relevant to the blog topic, but not as relevant as my H1 tag. H3 would be used for subcategories such as “Heading Tags in SEO.” Think of Heading tags as ways to highlight what is important in your article and the numbers as ways of ranking the importance of those highlighted topics.
Providing an article description is also an important element of your blog article writing. This meta description should be an original very short summary of what is covered in the article. This description will be read by Google and other search engines, so incorporating your Heading tags and other Google-ready phrases is an easy way to assure you are getting the most of it.
This description is as important or even more important than the article itself. This is what anyone searching about your topic would read first before deciding whether to click on your link, taking them to your site and bringing you traffic to your blog post.
Without an engaging description, or even worse no description and search engines autofill in what they think the page is about and in these instances, many times I've seen Google pull data from the Navbar and the footer as replacement text.
How to Format a Blog Post
When you 've decided on a topic, you will need to settle on your format.
While there is always room for customization, the most basic blog format is very simple. At the start on your page you will give a two or three sentence breakdown of what the entire article will cover, including direct reference to the questions you will answer or the topics you will cover.
This is important because it is the first things users see and is often used as a preview when your article is linked on Facebook and other social media.
Below that intro, you can include simple headers that break up each section of your article.
These headers should be drawn directly from Google-able topics and avoid overly-general language as well as overly-specific language.
For example, if an attorney were writing an article trying to inform potential clients about issues relating to a potential divorce in Illinois, I would include headers answering questions such as “What grounds must be met to file for divorce in Illinois?
You wouldn't include too general phrasing such as “custody” however you're able to make a keyword rich article with terms such as parenting time agreements, spousal maintenance and other relevant information surrounding your keyword topic for your article.
Managing these headers is the most important element of the entire body of your article as they will be what Google prioritizes over the rest of your blog’s content when deciding what pages to show as results. This report is formatted like a typical blog post as well, so you may want to use it as an example.
You may also benefit from bullet points as they are easy ways to fill space and provide an excuse for heading tags.
Why are Internal Links Important on Your Blog?
Linking internally to other pages on your website is important for several reasons.
The most obvious is that it tells users where to go next and helps keep them on your site, taking them one step closer to using your services. However, these internal links also help with Google performance. A site that links to several of its own pages regularly will rank higher than a site with disconnected pages as it reads as more professional.
That article you made on Illinois Child Custody Laws you just made is pretty good. Now, your the attorney that wrote the article and you get someone who is searching for information related to parenting, custody or child support to read your article, what do you want them to do next? You want to convert them into a potential client who schedules a consultation, however in any profession you need to build trust with that potential client.
This is where internal linking can "show off" your other blog posts like the one you wrote on What To Expect in Paternity Cases in Illinois or Determining Custody in Illinois Divorce and Paternity Cases. Wherever relevant, you want to give your users more options and things to do on your site to build initial trust.
Whether you're an attorney looking for potential clients or a blog owner looking internal linking is one of the best ways to spur engagement & lower your bounce rate, especially when users are interested in your brand but looking to learn more.
Your “bounce rate”, which is how many people view your site on only one page before “bouncing off” also affects your Google ranking.
A lower bounce rate, meaning more people stay within your site longer, will boost your presence on Google. These internal links may be links to your services, links to other blog articles, or any other link that keeps the user within your domain.
External Links from Your Blog
External or outside links are also important.
These are links that send your users to other websites. External links on your site, and external links from other sites that send to you, significantly help boost your height on Google results as well. External links are very important to give credit to the original articles of blogs that you use for reference for your own articles.
It's usually recommended to have around 3 internal links on every pages of your site but to limit your external links to avoid losing your visitors.
Add Images to Your Blog Article
Relevant and vibrant images are significant, psychologically, in maintaining your visitor's attention and drawing their eye down the page. A visitor is much more likely to click off a page if it has no images, even if they do not know that is why they are doing it. Images are also a gold mine for Search Engine Optimization as every single image on a site can be given an alt-tag, which will be read by Google as part of your page.
Often, people use alt-tags inefficiently by just titling the image the file name they saved it as or a random name entirely.
Catering your alt tags to the Google-friendly topics we discussed earlier is one of the most important steps you can take that will make the difference between a site that does and does not draw in wide traffic. It is also important to not use images or logos that are owned by someone else. You can avoid this by using images you already own, or by using one of several royalty free websites such as PixaBay, Shutterstock or others that provide 100% free images for websites. Using copyrighted images can result in significant legal and financial consequences for your website and will almost always result in a temporary shutdown of your site.
Things to Consider When Adding Images to Your Blogs
Adding relevant pictures with proper alt attributions is important for every article you produce but the size of those images that you're going to display with your blog post can have a detriment to the speed of your site. Anything over 60-100 kilobytes and even less when you have multiple images can slow down the load speed of your page, potentially losing potential visitors and clients who are too frustrated or impatient to wait until your page loads.
Always review your posts and how the images you add look before you launch your blog post, especially when you have an RSS feed releasing your blog to aggregate sites or auto publish through Zapier,. if you mess up, more people may see your mistakes.
What are the Best Topics to Blog About?
First, you cannot have a blog article without a topic to blog about.
When your blog is connected to a specific business with services, it is good to blog about something that is being provided by your business. In our example above, we explained the approach of Serritella Law.
Their blog posts are meant to only draw in traffic that is specifically related to a service they provide rather than just any area of law.
There are several programs that can be used to determine what is being talked about, most notably Google AdWords. This site allows you to enter topics and phrases and see what is being Googled in relation to those topics and how much content is available covering those topics.
However, you can also simply Google topics you are interested in covering and see what questions or phrases Google suggests for you.
Providing an article that directly addresses Google searches that are on the rise and also do not have a large amount of competition is a major step in making sure your blog rises quickly.
Another great website with free website tools and keyword research is the Hoth.
If you're looking to write blogs on a wide variety of topics to spur interest in your portfolio or blog website, you have a much broader base of content to draw from.
When you write on topics that you're unfamiliar with, you need to own it. you need to dedicate your efforts into not only appealing to potential readers, but giving them new information, perspective or helping them make the decision to work with you.
From pets and entertainment to business related topics, blogs are one of the best methods to increase your digital efforts across the web.