1. Structure the content in your head before you write it.
While nobody is saying you need to sit down and create a “brain map” of your various ideas, content that supports good SEO is the opposite of an impressionist painting. Instead of being random and sudden, it is methodical and categorical. Because of this, brainstorming content is a powerful way to ensure that you’re including all of your main points and topics, and that you can use the content to input links, keywords, and other important SEO elements.
To this end, think about all of your content, with these questions, before you write it:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- Which keywords will you include?
- What’s the overall point of your material?
- What do you want the content to communicate?
- By thinking through the course and structure of your content clearly, it’s easier to publish great content that lends itself nicely to SEO.
2. Structure your content for easy readability & long-tail keywords.
Great blog posts rely on great structure, and good SEO does, too. With this in mind, consider mapping or outlining your blog posts before you write them. In addition to giving you a structure to abide by, this simple task will also help you lay out your introduction, body, and conclusion, and ensure that your content is easy to read, which, in turn, makes it more reader- and search engine-friendly.
Long-tail keywords are your best friends in terms of optimizing for keywords that won’t break the bank (take too long or too much $).
3. Format all of your content into short chunks.
A large brick of text is intimidating to readers, and it will push people away. With this in mind, be sure to divide all of your content into readable chunks of text, with a beginning, middle, and end.
As a general rule, paragraphs should be only 3-4 sentences in length, and you should do your best to insert subheaders at intervals of every 300 or so words. This makes your content easier for readers to approach and helps keep it from feeling intimidating on the page. It also has the potential to improve your click-through rate, which can boost your overall SEO scores.
4. Make your headings descriptive.
Beyond just using headings, you need to know how to make them descriptive and useful. Headlines are meant to guide readers through your blog post, and headlines that are highly descriptive and include target keywords will do the best job of this. They’ll also work as a sort of advertisement on Google’s search engine results page and, if they’re written well enough, will draw more people to your content.
5. Nail the transition.
Transition words are important to your writing, and they can go a long way toward making it smoother and easier to understand for readers. While this sounds simple, it’s important to remember that good content is the foundation of good SEO, and content your customers can’t read doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance of ranking well.
With this in mind, don’t hesitate to use transition words and phrases like “However,” “Secondly,” etc. These help your readers keep pace and will work wonders to streamline your writing.
6. Have other people proofread your posts.
While you may be an effective writer and editor, having other people read your posts will cut down on errors and improve your writing. With this in mind, hire an editor or another writer to help you look over your post before you publish them, and don’t ever make a habit out of publishing something you’ve not adequately proofread, since this is a recipe for mistakes and sloppiness, both of which can damage your rankings.
7. Make sure your articles are long enough to provide ample main content.
According to Yoast, every article you post should have at least 300 words. The reason for that is that content shorter than that doesn’t provide enough of what Google, in its updated Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, calls “main content.”
While it’s true that longer articles tend to perform better in the world of SEO, the main priority you have as a writer is simply to ensure that your articles provide enough main content to be useful to search engines and people.