If you spent time researching and writing a blog post, and if the post doesn’t earn a rank on SERP (Search Engine Results Page), it can be a disappointment.
Fortunately, there is SEO or search engine optimization to help you drive traffic and ensure your posts reach your audience.
In this post, we are going to detail 11 steps to help you write a blog post with SEO. Follow these 11 steps to create a high-quality blog post with SEO that can rank on Google.
Step 1: Select a Proven Topic
A proven topic is something trendy, and people want to read about it.
Here are five quick ways to generate trending content topics:
1. Related Searches
Search on Google about your niche and look at the related searches section at the end of the search results page.
You can see questions directly asked by your audience. Pick a few topics from there.
Go to the sub-Reddit section and type a keyword related to your niche, and you can see trending questions asked by your audience.
Turn these ideas into content topics.
Similar to Reddit, you can use a keyword on Quora to see what your target audience is talking about and turn those questions into a topic.
4. Competitor Blogs
Check competitor blogs in your industry and see what they are posting. Try to generate content topics around those blog posts.
Tip: For an upper hand in the ranking battle, offering more value than your competitor blogs are
5. Audience Persona
Create an audience persona or imagine yourself as the target audience and think about what you want to discover about your niche.
Consider your audience persona before selecting a topic. It helps you understand the pain points of your audience.
Open Google docs, write all your content topics, and select the one you are most familiar with.
If you already have topic clusters and multiple content pillars, you’re familiar with the niche. You can skip to the next step.
Step 2: Choose Target Keywords
Keywords define your search intent and help you rank on the search results page. It is an essential SEO metric.
You need to use keywords in your blog post to rank on Google.
Use these tools to generate keyword ideas:
Type a word or your topic, and you can see variations of your keyword along with keyword difficulty(KD) scores.
This is the keyword search for ‘how to make a website.’ You can observe the keyword difficulty is 100%, which means it is challenging to rank for this keyword on SERP.
You need to use these keywords directly in your blog post because the audience uses them to search for content.
This website tells you what people have been talking about recently in your niche. All you have to do is type a word or topic, and you can see all the recent questions people are asking and pick your keywords from there.
For example, you can see the results of the word ‘Garden’. They are potential keywords for a garden niche.
3. Google Suggest
Google suggest shows the trending keywords or what the audience is searching for.
You can include the suggested queries in your blog post to satisfy a user’s search intent.
Choose the main keyword for which you want to rank for. It can be your blog topic or a variation of it.
Try to target long-tail keywords with less KD because they have clear search intent and the potential to generate organic traffic, whereas most short-tail keywords have higher KD and are dominated by a handful of authoritative websites.
Step 3: Run a SERP Analysis
You can analyze SERP (Search Engine Results Page) to examine the top search results and understand why and how they rank on top.
It helps you identify what to write in a blog post.
For instance, if you are writing a blog post on ‘how to create a garden, it might be confusing to figure out whether the blog post should be about a garden in the yard or terrace.
You can analyze the top search results to see what they are writing and write something similar but better because Google’s top results show blog posts that match search intent.
Thus, if all the top results on the SERP are writing a gardening guide for the yard, it means more people want to create a garden in their yard rather than a terrace or anywhere else.
Here’s how to do a SERP analysis:
- Open the top 10 organic search results page of your blog topic.
- Study the content format, whether it’s a guide, listicle, or definitive post.
- Focus on the content angle, for example, something unique in their content, like gardening for beginners or flower garden, and create your own unique pointers in the blog post.
- Research the content gap. Observe missing information in the blog posts and research if you can add additional points and provide more value to the reader.
- Observe the dominant content, whether there are videos or images, to help the reader.
- Write a blog post with more solutions than the ones on the search results page.
Step 4: Write a Compelling Headline
Your headline is an important part of your blog post.
It should make people curious to click on your blog.
For a compelling headline:
Use power words like ‘remarkable,’ ‘noteworthy,’ and ‘amazing’ as these words can make the audience think that the blog has something valuable.
Insert parentheses in your headline to strengthen your title tag.
For instance, ‘how to make a pizza at home (with pictures).’
If possible, include the year as well; blog headlines with the year tend to get more views.
For example, ‘how to write an email in 2022’. It makes the reader think that the blog is updated and has some new tips for email writing.
Include an offer in the headline to make it more enticing.
Eg: ‘how to create a timetable (free template).’
Step 5: Create an Outline
An outline is the skeleton of a blog post with SEO.
Create a template for your blog post. Write all your possible headings and subheadings and decide what to write under them.
You can observe the top search results and design a similar outline for your blog post, but with different subheadings and better presentations.
Here are two steps to help you create better outlines for your blog post:
1. Use Personal Experience
If you have a personal experience related to the topic of your blog post, you can use that to create an outline.
Imagine you are a dietician expert and have to write a blog post on a balanced diet for dancers.
You can use your experience to create an outline for your content.
2. Content Gap Analysis
Audit the top content on Google and find keyword gaps.
You can use a keyword gap tool to find missing information and use them as subheadings.
Observe these three things when conducting a content gap analysis
- The content freshness of the competitors – when was the content updated last time?
- Content usability – is the blog post useful?
- Thoroughness – Does it covers all the pain points?
Note down what extra value you can provide as subheadings in your outline.
Step 6: Write a Comprehensive First Draft
A comprehensive draft covers everything about a particular topic or keyword.
Write a blog post 10-15% longer than the average top-ranking blog on the search results page. But ensure you can justify the increase in content length in proportion to its value offering.
The average length of most high-ranking blogs tends to be around 1400-1500 words.
Comprehensive blogs can rank higher than 500–800-word blog posts because your audience can find everything about a topic in one place.
Also, Google ranks long-form-content better because:
- Long blog posts provide more information, and Google views them as more relevant and satisfying than a short-form blog post.
- Longer blog posts can answer searcher queries thoroughly.
- They attract more backlinks. Thus, boosting organic traffic.
Therefore, write a comprehensive blog post and make it better than your competitors by adding pictures, infographics, graphs, and opinions from industry experts and providing value to your reader.
Step 7: Keyword-Optimize Your Content
If you want your blog post to rank on Google, you need to optimize it for your keyword.
Keyword optimization allows Google to identify your blog post as a relevant search result for your topic.
Here is how to keyword optimize your blog:
Use your keywords in the meta description of the blog.
The meta description is a small snippet on the search results page. It helps Google and your audience know about the content of your blog.
Insert keywords in the heading, introduction (especially first 100 words), first two subheadings, and conclusion.
Optimize your keyword density throughout the article and learn a thing or two about strategic keyword placement for better results.
For example: If you use a 3-word keyword, try using it at least 7-10 times in a 2000-word article.
There is no fixed keyword density percentage; it depends on the blog post length.
You can also use related keywords or LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords to ensure Google considers your blog relevant for the search intent.
For instance, if you are writing a blog post about ‘how to draft an email,’ you can use related keywords such as professional email, Gmail, Outlook, application, yahoo, or business.
The related keywords are available on keyword explorer tools, and the ‘people also ask’ section on SERPs.
Step 8: Optimize For On-Page SEO
You should optimize your blog post for on-page SEO to rank on Google.
On-page SEO refers to optimizing your blog for search ranking and boosting organic traffic.
To optimize your blog for On-page SEO:
- Write brief paragraphs to make it mobile-friendly.
- Use a title and heading tags to allow readers to easily navigate your blog while reading.
- Shorten your blog URL as they rank better and improve user experience.
- Insert alt tags in images. Alt tags allow Google and visually impaired people to understand your image. Try to insert your keywords in alt tags.
For example, if you are writing a blog post on ’how to attend an online meeting’, you can insert an alt tag as ‘a man reviewing reports with his team in an online meeting’. Now, the alt tag has the blog keyword ‘online meeting’.
- Insert interlinks in your blog post. If there are more relevant blogs on your website, you can interlink the web pages with one another.
It will help your target audience read related blogs on your website, eventually reducing the bounce rate.
- Provide quality and authoritative outbound links if you are quoting stats or facts in your blog post.
Step 9: Edit Your Post
The first draft is never perfect. You need to edit it until perfection for SEO.
After writing your first draft, leave it for a day and get back to editing.
Here’s what you need to do while editing:
Check grammatical errors. Google is not fond of grammatical errors when ranking a webpage. You can use Grammarly to remove grammatical errors.
Read your draft loudly and correct mistakes.
Break long sentences into short ones. Your blog post with SEO should be convenient to read on smartphones. Otherwise, long sentences and paragraphs can break the reader’s flow.
Use formatting if possible. Try to include bullet points, lists, bold, and italics to make your blog post visually attractive.
Include transition words and cliffhangers to ensure the rhythm of the blog posts is engaging and not static.
Check the readability score of your blog post on the Hemingway editor. Ensure the readability of your post is between Grades 8 and 10.
Content with easy readability ranks higher on Google because the search engine assumes through past data that more people can understand it.
In a nutshell, edit, polish, trim, and rewrite the SEO blog post before publishing it.
Step 10: Publish Your Blog Post
The last step is to publish your blog post.
Prepare a checklist and ensure you have included everything in the blog post.
- Check plagiarism
- Keyword frequency
- Spellings and grammar
- Heading tags
If everything looks good, hit publish and your blog post will go live on your website.
It might take 1-3 months for Google to crawl, index, and display your blog post on the search engine results page.
Step 11: Start Promoting Your Post
If your blog post is valuable and helpful with a sprinkle of SEO, Google will show it on SERPs, but ranking on top results can be a challenge.
Therefore, start promoting your blog on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Try to get backlinks from authoritative websites. Send emails to website admins and tell them how a backlink to your blog post can help their readers.
Once your blog posts start getting views and organic traffic along with backlinks, your ranking will substantially improve on SERPs.
Writing a blog post with SEO is necessary to ensure that your blog reaches those who can benefit from it.
A blog post without SEO will never reach its intended audience. Instead, it will become one of those millions of unindexed and uncrawled pages on Google.
Thus, implement SEO, and write a mind-blowing blog that matches search intent to make Google rank your content.