Crafting search engine optimised blogs that will rank high up in Google search results is the bane of many website owners’ existence. It’s hard enough to sit for an hour or two, writing something about your business that—fingers crossed—your customers will love, but when you factor in Google’s new parameters for search engine rankings, it can just be such a chore!
SEO is changing. How can I keep up?
Every year, Google seems to have something new up its sleeve, which, most of the time only makes things more challenging or us business owners. Google gets really picky when it comes to choosing sites to rank in its most coveted page one! Some five years back, search results were dominated by giant, well-established companies, and their content have been up for 10 years or more. But today, you can find blogs that were published just last week high up Google search, and not all come from well-known websites. How the heck do they do it??
I know it’s frustrating, but we need Google in our lives. As much hard work as it requires, we don’t just want to increase traffic to our sites: we want to RANK high in Google search results! But to do this, we need to create blogs that Google will love.
What does Google want to see on my blog?
If you want Google to prioritise your content and serve it up to the massive searching population, here are the things you need to take note of:
1. Have a clear structure
Google wants to make sure your content is easy to navigate in. This means your blog should have a consistent flow that readers would find easy and enjoyable to read. For instance, we stick to this structure all throughout out blogs:
- Catchy image
- A headline that sums up what our blog is all about
- An awesome intro
- Paragraphs broken up into segments
- Bulleted items (for lists like this post)
- Invitation for reader’s feedback
These are just for the purpose of presentation, not saying our blogs are textbook (but we do think it’s awesome!)
When breaking up your paragraphs, we recommend using the header tags correctly. If you’re using WordPress, these can be found on your blog’s formatting toolbar (the one with Paragraph, Heading 1, Heading 2 and so on). Use the H1 tags on your title only. For subheadings, use the H2 tag, and then the H3 tags for the smaller segments within your content. These tags serve a greater purpose other than just for style; they help Google’s crawlers determine which information is important.
2. Keyword usage
The age-old SEO practice is to weave your keywords into your blog 10 times or more to make so Google can index your webpage better. This is called keyword stuffing, and this is considered bad SEO practice. It can even get you penalised by search engines!
If you have keywords you want to emphasise in your blogs, you have to use it strategically and in accordance with the context of the paragraph.
SEO best practices recommend including your keyword in your headlines. Once you have your headlines, the next step is to include the keywords within your post, but make sure you don’t overstuff it. To help Google categorise your posts, you have to include your keywords in the following:
- Title tag
- Meta tag
- Blog URL
- Image alt text
3. Length of post
Google requires a minimum of 300 words to index your content. According to Yoast, longer posts typically have better chances of ranking high in Google search results. This is because longer content helps Google better determine what your post is all about. Logically, write longer blogs and you’ll have more subheadings, more links, more images, and more chances of optimising your keywords.
The challenge, however, is how to get all the way down to the 700th word without getting flustered! Whatever happens, make sure you maintain a good structure. Finish with short paragraphs and don’t forget your subheadings.
4. Write something of value
Yes, all our attention is focused on how to make Google rank our content in search engines. But don’t forget your ultimate goal: to create something your customers will love! So make sure you are giving them something of value.
Generic blog posts will no longer make the cut. Google wants to show up content that readers will find relevant and highly useful, so your blogs should meet this requirement. Valuable content is something that not only answers their search queries but also pushes them to take action. Content that is actionable and relevant can obviously get you more traffic, and this is essentially what Google wants: it wants to give users only the BEST solution to their problems.
We recommend you start with a killer intro, as this already tells your readers what they will get from your blog. You can begin by:
- Asking a question
- Citing an important statistical fact
- Including an interesting quote from an expert
- Making a comparison
- Describing the current problem (our favourite approach)
Yep, impressing Google surely takes a great deal of work! The truth is, showing up on page one of Google is just an irresistible bonus. The real reward is to have an audience who thinks your content is awesome and would be willing to pay for more!
If blogging isn’t your thing, we’re here to give you a hand! Let us know and we’ll help you get that awesome blog out to the world!
What blog writing strategies do you employ? We’d love to hear it!