What is SEO (Search engine optimization) and a seo-friendly blog? Having an SEO-friendly blog is crucial for driving organic traffic to your website and improving your visibility in search engine results. In this guide, Flowclass will explore the key elements of an SEO-friendly blog and provide you with actionable tips to help your content rank higher in Google searches.
What Are SEO-Friendly Blogs and Why Should You Use Them?
An SEO-friendly blog is one that is optimized to meet the requirements and preferences of search engines like Google. By following certain guidelines and best practices, you can increase the chances of your blog ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), brand visibility, and potentially more sales or conversions.
From Google’s perspective, a good SEO blog standard includes high-quality content that is relevant to the user’s search query, as well as a positive user experience. This means that your blog should be easy to navigate, load quickly, and be mobile-friendly. Google also looks for blogs that have high-quality backlinks from other reputable websites.
SEO Basic Requirements: Word Count, Structure, Image Size
To create an SEO-friendly blog, there are several basic requirements that you should follow:
- Suggested word count: 1500-2000 words
Word count is an important factor in SEO because it helps search engines understand the depth and breadth of your content. Longer content tends to rank higher in search engine results pages since it provides more comprehensive information on a given topic. This not only adds value to your readers but also signals to search engines that your content is valuable and deserving of higher rankings. Furthermore, longer content tends to attract more backlinks from other websites, as it provides a deeper and more valuable resource. However, it’s important to remember that quality is more important than quantity. Your content should be well-written, informative, and engaging.
- Organized structure with headings and subheadings
In addition to word count, the structure of your blog is also important for SEO. Your blog should be organized into sections with clear headings and subheadings. This makes it easier for users to navigate your content and for search engines to understand the structure of your blog. You should also use internal links to other relevant content on your website to help users find more information on related topics.
- Image size: less than 500 kB
Finally, properly optimized images can help improve the user experience and make your blog more attractive to search engines. Images should be compressed to a size of less than 500 kB to avoid slowing down the page load time. You should also use descriptive file names and alt tags to help search engines understand the content of your images.
A Step-By-Step Guide:
A. Keyword Research
1. Keyword research
Keyword research is the essential first step because it helps you identify the specific words and phrases that people are using when searching for information related to your blog’s topic. There are various tools to aid in keyword research, like Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest. You can discover relevant keywords that have a moderate to high search volume and relatively low competition, allowing you to optimize your content effectively.
Ideal Standard For Search Volume and SD (SEO difficulty):
- Volume: should be 10-4000
- SD (SEO difficulty): Green
2. Search Intent & Long-tail Keywords
Furthermore, understanding search intent helps align your content with users’ needs. Search intent refers to the underlying purpose or motive behind a user’s search query. By analyzing keywords, you can create blog posts that meet their expectations. Long-tail keywords, specific phrases targeting a niche audience, may have lower search volumes but higher conversion rates. Including them in your blog content captures targeted traffic and engages potential customers or loyal readers.
B. Heading and Meta Description Optimization
1. Formatting Lengths for different sections
- Meta Title: should be less than 60 characters and contain your target keyword
- Meta description: should be max 160 characters and contain your target keyword.
- Course banner text: should be one sentence long (as concise as possible).
- Blog Intro section: should be between 200 – 350 characters max.
Meta descriptions provide a brief summary of the blog post and should also include relevant keywords. This can help improve the visibility of your blog in search engine results. It should be brief and should provide a summary of the content of your blog post. They should also include relevant keywords to help search engines understand your blog’s content. Meta descriptions should be no longer than 155-160 characters to ensure that they are displayed properly on search engine results pages.
2. Meta Title, H1 and H2s
- All main headings should be set in the ‘Heading 2’ format and not in bold. Double-check this as the bold formatting tends to stick when copy-pasting across from a Word document.
When creating headings, you should use the H1 tag for the main heading of your blog post. You can use H2 and H3 tags for subheadings and sub-subheadings, respectively. Headings should be descriptive and should include relevant keywords. This helps search engines understand the structure of your blog and the content of each section.
1. Line Spacing and Paragraphs
- When copy pasting from a word document, you’ll also need to ensure that the line spacing between paragraphs and titles is correct as it tends to create extra spaces when copied from word. In general, there should be one space in between Heading 2 titles and paragraphs and in between paragraphs.
- Use H3 titles and bullet points where possible to break up your text and make the article easier to read.
- Remember that you want the text to be as easy to read as possible. Avoid having large blocks of text and always break up large paragraphs into smaller paragraphs of 3-4 lines.
When creating headings and meta descriptions, it’s important to remember that they should accurately reflect the content of your blog post. Misleading or clickbait headings and meta descriptions can lead to a high bounce rate, which can negatively impact your SEO.
1. Internal and External Linking
- Make sure that internal and external links are copied across correctly when adding in your text. Internal and external links should be added organically throughout the text (rather than a list of links at the end of the article, for example).
2. URLs Structure and Permalinks
Optimizing URL structure and permalinks can boost search engine visibility:
- Target keywords should be included in the URL structure: As relevant keywords in the URL structure provides search engines with additional information about the content of your blog, it will help them understand its relevance to specific search queries.
- Descriptive and readable permalinks: **Clear URLs enhance user experience and make it easier for search engines to interpret and index your content, driving more organic traffic to your blog.
SEO-friendly content is optimized to meet the requirements and preferences of search engines like Google. To create SEO-friendly content, you need to understand your audience and their needs, conduct keyword research, and follow best practices for content creation. To incorporate keywords strategically throughout your blog, the simplest way is to include your target keyword in the blog title and headings to signal its relevance. For instance, if your keyword is “HKDSE English,” a suitable blog title could be “10 Tips To Success In HKDSE English”. For your body, try to aim for a density of 1-2% (‘HKDSE’ should appear at least 1-2 times per 100 words). By strategically placing keywords, you can improve the visibility and relevance of your blog in search engine results. Other points that you should pay attention to:
1. Image Optimization
If you decided to insert images into your content, you will need to optimize images so that you can improve the loading speed of your website, enhancing user experience and reducing bounce rates. This involves compressing images without compromising their quality, striking a balance between file size and visual appeal. Additionally, adding descriptive file names and alt text to your images helps search engines understand their content and improves accessibility for visually impaired users. By implementing these image optimization techniques, you can create a visually appealing blog that loads quickly and provides a seamless user experience.
2. Mobile-Friendly Design
Mobile-friendly design is crucial in today’s mobile-driven world. Make sure your content appears and functions seamlessly across various screen sizes and resolutions. This involves employing responsive design techniques, where your blog layout automatically adjusts to fit different devices. Having a mobile-friendly design enhances user experience, encourages longer sessions, and reduces bounce rates. It is essential to test your blog on different mobile devices and screen sizes to ensure a smooth and consistent experience for your mobile users. By prioritizing mobile-friendly design, you can reach and engage a broader audience, contributing to the overall success of your blog.
3. CTA and Social Sharing for Engagement
Finally, at the end of your content, you are recommended to promote it through social media and other channels to increase its visibility and attract more backlinks. CTA (‘Call-To-Action’) banner is here to help you do so and prompt readers to take all desired actions such as subscribing your mailing list, sharing your content, reading related blogs, booking consultations, joining coming up events and so on. A typical example could be ‘Wanna know more about the last-minute tips for DSE Maths? DM us now!’.
Example: Creating a New Blog Post On WordPress
1. Fill in the Home Page Card Options
- Title: Fill this in with the H1 Title (remember it should be >60 characters)
- Description – write a brief description similar to the meta description (>150-160 characters)
- Save your work by selecting ‘Save Draft’ in the top right-hand box on the page.
2. Fill in the Course Banner Section
- You’ll need to fill in the Course Banner Section with the title.
- The ‘text’ field should outline why you should read the page and give a bit of an introduction.
- Add your H1 Title at the top of the page
- Leave the remaining fields in the Courses Banner section blank/unticked.
3. Fill in the Flexible Blog Section
Once you’ve filled in the title and courses banner box, to start building the body of the article, you’ll need to use the ‘Flexible Blog’ section which allows you to break down the content into sections.
- Create the ‘Intro Section’.Tick ‘Show Intro Section’ and a text box will open. Fill in the text box with the introduction you’ve written. Note that this should be less than 450 characters (a short paragraph) for it to be formatted correctly. It appears as a larger text in the article (see screenshot below). Intro text (<450 characters)
- Add a Rich text box. Once you’ve added your introduction, you’ll need to build the body of your text by clicking ‘Add Component’ under the Flexible Container section. Select ‘Rich text’ to add an additional content block.
This will open up an additional content block where you can add the different headings and subsections of your text. In Rich Text Components, please ensure the main heading is set to Heading 2. You can do this by highlighting the heading and then selecting Heading 2 from the dropdown menu in the box.
For longer texts avoid uploading the whole body of content into a single rich text block. Aim to include 1-3 sections within an individual block followed by a CTA (Call to Action) block and then the remaining text in another rich text block.
The typical structure of a blog is always:
|Rich text box|
|Rich text box|
|Rich text box|
|Rich text box|
3. Add a CTA Banner. In between both of your rich text blocks, you’ll need to break up the text with a CTA Banner. To add a CTA banner click ‘Add a Component’ at the bottom of the Flexible Container Box and select ‘CTA Banner’.
This will open up the box below:
For CTA banners, keep the title as short as possible >50 characters and don’t forget to include the line of text underneath as well which can add more info. The button section itself should only be 2 or 3 words such as ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Apply now’ or ‘Learn More’.
Signing up for the updates/newsletter is another good CTA to include.
At the bottom of the rich text component, select ‘Show Sidebar’.
The Sidebar Title should be ‘Related’
Please choose a relevant sidebar out of the selection in the drop-down menu. Auto is the default or ‘More Resources’ is quite general and applies to any article, but try to select the most relevant option for the article.
5. Fill in the Metadata – Yoast SEO Premium Section
- SEO/Meta Title – this is where you can update the Meta Title of the article (the title that will show up in Google Search results). As discussed, it’s extremely important that the Meta title contains the target keyword.
You can choose to use the same title for the H1 and Meta title, in which case you would just insert the variable ‘Title’ in this section. Remember that the meta title should be >60 characters or it gets cut off in search results.
2. Fill in the Meta description. Remember that it should be less than >160 characters and should be as engaging as possible to encourage the reader to click on the link to open the article.
6. Review and Submit your work
- Check your work and ensure that you’ve filled in all of the necessary components in the checklist.
- Always preview what the finished article looks like by Clicking ‘Save Draft’ and then ‘Preview’ in the Publish box at the top right-hand corner of the page. This step is important as it will allow you to identify any formatting issues and to check whether the links, quicklinks and CTA buttons are working properly.
- Final Step: Click ‘Submit’ in the top right-hand box on the page. Done, well done!
7. Useful Resources and Tools For You
When it comes to SEO-friendly blogging, there are several recommended resources, tools, and WordPress plugins that can enhance your efforts.
- Google Analytics is a valuable tool for tracking website traffic, user behaviour, and other important metrics.
- Google Search Console provides insights into your website’s performance in Google search results and helps identify and resolve any issues that may affect your SEO.
- Yoast SEO (you may consider subscribing the premium account) is a popular WordPress plugin that offers various features like optimizing content, generating XML sitemaps, and managing meta tags.
Additionally, tools like BuzzSumo help identify popular content within your niche, while Grammarly assists in improving the quality and readability of your writing. By utilizing these additional resources and tools, you can gain valuable insights, optimize your content, and improve the overall SEO-friendliness of your blog.
Creating an SEO-friendly blog requires a combination of high-quality content, a positive user experience, and adherence to best practices for SEO. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can increase the chances of your blog ranking higher in search engine results pages and attracting more organic traffic to your website.
Remember to focus on creating high-quality content that is relevant to your audience, optimizing your blog for the user experience, and following best practices for SEO.
By doing so, you can establish your brand as an authority in your industry and attract more traffic, engagement, and conversions to your website!
SEO & SEM Team