Do you write your blog for SEO, or search engine optimization?
There are a million reasons to write a blog: to inform clients of a new product or service; take a stance on an issue; impart information on the industry, etc. In most situations, the rules on style, word choice, etc. are completely up to you.
Writing a blog for search engine optimization, or SEO, however, is a different matter. You should take certain, particular steps to optimize your post so Google can find, index, and rank it as highly as possible in the search engine results. These steps include proper use of keywords, including backlinks in the copy and attention to the length of the blog elements.
An SEO freelance copywriter can help you craft your blog posts for search engine optimization but if you are doing it yourself, this checklist can help you make sure your blog is properly optimized before you press the “publish” button. Use it regularly to ensure your blog posts will rank highly in the search engines!
KEYWORD SELECTION AND INCLUSION The first step to writing anything with search engine optimization value is keyword selection. If you don’t know what your SEO keywords should be, try google keyword planner. There you can plug in different ideas and see how many searches are launched a month for each keyword. It also provides new keyword ideas and tells you how high the competition is for each keyword. After you’ve selected your best two or three keywords, it’s time write content for the blog post, using the keywords you select.
TITLE w/keyword and 65-70 characters. This is the length Google wants to see. Also, make sure one of your keywords is in the title tag of your blog’s page.
KEYWORD DENSITY of no more than 3% per keyword. It’s detrimental to stuff your blog full of keywords. There are many free, online keyword density checkers, but my favorite is the Live Keyword Analysis.
KEYWORD IN FIRST PARAGRAPH Try to get a keyword in the first sentence of your blog. In this case, I have done that by using my keyword “writing for SEO?” in the first paragraph.
SEO BLOG POST KEYWORDS IN SUBHEADS. See what I did there? My keyword for this post, SEO bblog post, is slipped into the subhead. Subheads are a good place to use SEO keywords.
KEYWORDS IN IMAGE TITLES When you name your “image” for your post, don’t just name it “blog image.” Seize the opportunity to add a SEO keyword. For this post, the name of my blog image is checklist–seo-blog.
LENGTH LONG ENOUGH TO BE INDEXED AS RELEVANT Google likes longer posts. Shoot for a minimum of 500 words. Longer is better, but only if you are adding value. If your post is repetitive, nobody will read it and you could risk alienating your audience.
3-5 BACKLINKS If someone is reading your blog, perhaps they would be interested in the other posts you have done. However, they need some incentive to go there. Here’s where backlinks come in. Your backlinks can be to your website pages, including other related blog posts, your web pages (and not just the home page!), online samples of your work, or press notices of your achievements. You can also offer backlinks to industry resources, strategic partners or other service professionals, but consider the consequences. If your reader leaves your site to access the backlink, they may not return.
BACKLINK IN CTA A call to action should always appear at the end of the blog, to motivate the reader to “do something,” whether it be call for an appointment, make a donation, seek more information, etc. Here is a good place to put in a backlink to make it as easy as possible for the reader to follow through on the desired call to action.
COMMENTS/SOCIAL SHARING Ideally, your blog should have a place for your readers to share your work. Provide if you can.