SEO is one of the most effective ways to grow a blog. You can get your blog in front of a massive number of users who are so interested in your content that they are searching for it. But, if you don’t know how to write SEO-friendly blog posts, you won’t rank.
That could mean hours of creating and editing content without anyone even seeing it. And just like most bloggers or businesses, I’ve been in that position too. It’s painful.
Luckily for you, this article will walk you through the entire process of optimizing a blog post so that you can grow your blog. And no, this won’t be an article with generic advice that you already know; I will show you how to optimize your posts based on data that Google gives you.
So, without further ado… Let’s get started.
The Common On-Page SEO Misconception
The common on-page SEO misconception is that you need to follow generic rules like:
- Keyword density: Use the keyword in X% of the text
- Use the keyword in certain headings, etc.
- Use the keyword in a certain number of images
- Write X number of words
While these can work and show Google what your page is about, they are a very generic approach that I would consider hoping for the best.
Don’t get me wrong, in most cases, they will work, especially if you beat your competition in other ranking factors.
However, a better strategy would be to check how the sites ranking on the first page have optimized their articles. This way, we know what Google is looking for because it has already ranked pages that have optimized their page similarly.
The rest of this article will explain how to use Google’s information to write near-perfect optimized blog posts.
How To Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts
Note: You don’t have to do this for all your blog posts. But, this process will give you the best chances of ranking.
As already mentioned, you must look into the pages’ ranking before writing your blog post. However, this can be a pretty tedious task, as you’d have to manually check all the data listed below of every single post on the first page:
- Keyword in URL?
- Keyword density
- Number of images
- Alt tags in images?
Note: Wordcount itself is not a ranking factor, but it’s a good indicator of how comprehensively a topic needs to be covered. If someone is researching a guide on digital marketing, the word count might be 2000-5000 words.
However, if they are looking for “how much is the digital marketing industry worth,” they’re looking for a much shorter answer. So, by looking at the word count, we can often get an idea of how long an article should be.
Luckily, a tool called audiit.io lets you see all of this data in one click.
Audiit.io has a free plan, but the founder, Chris M. Walker, is also offering a lifetime deal for the premium plan. In this deal, you’ll get access to everything Audiit.io has to offer, with unlimited reports.
I suggest picking this up, as it will make this process much easier.
If you would like to get access to this deal, you can get access to the special lifetime pricing below (Normally $67 per month)
P.S: The lifetime deal costs less than the regular cost per month!
For this tutorial, I will assume that you have already got the keyword(s) you want to rank for. However, if you don’t, then make sure to check my tutorial on how to do keyword research for blog posts.
Also, keep in mind you do not have to do this for every single blog post. Sometimes, you may be writing on an easier keyword or are simply adding value without writing on any particular keyword. In those cases, you don’t need to do this in-depth analysis.
But for important blog posts that are written on keywords you really want to rank for, I recommend using this process.
Step 1: Make Sure The Keyword Matches The Search Intent
As a freelancer myself, I often get requirements from customers that include keywords.
The most common mistake I see is not analyzing the searcher’s intent, making it almost impossible for the article to rank.
So, before you write the article, look at the Google results. If Google is mostly showing you product pages, then that’s probably because their behavior data shows that it’s what searchers are looking for (on this term).
Therefore, a blog post probably won’t rank.
For the keyword “Buy Vitamin D,” the results look like this:
Full of results that aren’t blog posts.
MEANING: You’re probably not going to rank with a blog post because the person isn’t looking to read a blog post. They want to buy vitamin D right now, so your post won’t help them.
However, when searching for the keyword “best vitamin D supplements,” the user wants to see several options. Therefore a blog post that lists the best vitamin D supplements is more likely to rank… Just like the ones below.
Key Takeaway: If the SERP doesn’t include blog posts, your blog post probably won’t rank. Make sure to check the keywords you are targeting and ensure the user wants a blog post… If they don’t, Google won’t show yours.
Step 2: Start With Your Title
When crafting your title, you’ll want to make sure that the main keyword you’re targeting is in the main title. This will also be your meta title, which I’ll cover in more detail later on.
This is the main indicator that Google uses
Step 3: Open Audiit.io & Paste In Your Keyword
The next step is to take your keyword and open up Audiit, the tool I told you about earlier.
You’ll want to paste in the primary keyword you want to rank for, then let Audiit work its magic.
Once you’ve done so, Audiit will spit out a report that looks something like this:
As you can see, Audiit shows you the word count and other on-page factors of the pages ranking at a glance. You can create these reports for any keyword, and it will show you the data based on articles on page 1 of Google.
Step 2: Analyze The Data and Look For Trends
Now, it’s time to analyze and look for trends so that we can draw conclusions and create our article. However, something to keep in mind is that we are looking for trends, not super-exact figures.
Let’s go back to the screenshot of the example.
As you can see, most pages have an article that is around 1000 words, while some have a bit less.
They also don’t seem to be following any keyword density rules, so there is no need for me to do so. You’ll want to do the same analysis for all the on-page factors that audiit.io shows you. Then use those factors to create your post.
You can also get a quick idea of how you need to optimize your page by clicking on the “averages” tab on the top. But keep in mind, you don’t have to follow them too closely.
So, in this case, I would probably write a 1000-word article with no real keyword density. In this case, as my site is new and has very low authority, I would put the keyword in the H1 tag, URL, etc., naturally to ensure Google knows what the page is about.
Extra Tip: If there are sites in the SERP similar to yours (based on authority/traffic), take them into account more strongly. The reason for this is because a high-authority site might have a 500-word article, but if you have that as a brand new site, you’re probably not going to rank.
Step 3: Write an Outline With All Your Keywords (That Follows The Guideline)
Once you have got a general idea of the SEO guidelines, you should write an outline of the headings. Make sure to include any topics you want to cover in the article. You can also get some of the common headings from the pages’ ranking on page 1 already, as that’s quite often essential information too.
If you have secondary keywords, you can also include these in the headings to maximize the chances of your article ranking for those keywords.
For example, if your keyword is Nike Zoom 2K review, your outline might look something like this:
- About Nike Zoom 2K
- Nike Zoom 2K Review: The Good
- Nike Zoom Review: The Bad
- Nike Zoom 2K: Everything Else You Need To Know
- Final Thoughts/Conclusion
Of course, you might have sub-headings in each section explaining your points in further detail. These can also include keywords.
You can choose how detailed you make the outline based on your preference. If you are going to hire a writer and want to ensure your guideline is followed, you can also explain each heading in more detail to ensure they’re on the same page as you. But, again, that’s up to you.
If you have specific SEO guidelines you like to follow, like including the keyword in the introduction/Conclusion, you can also add that into the outline.
Bonus Tip: You can sprinkle in more keywords by adding an FAQ section at the end. This will allow you to add more question keywords in subheadings within the article for more potential visibility.
Step 4: Get Writing/Hire a Writer
Once you’ve got your outline, you can start writing with clarity. Thanks to the outline, you’ll be able to write much quicker.
If you are writing it yourself, I recommend writing the whole article in one go and editing it at the end. Otherwise, you can get caught up in editing the article too much as you go along, which can take forever.
Also, don’t be afraid to add sections that you might have forgotten about in the outline.
How To Hire a Writer
If you are looking to hire a writer, you have a couple of options. I’ve explained how to hire bloggers in the article below, but I’ll also briefly explain it here.
The best writers will usually be ones that specialize in your niche specifically. However, they can be quite hard to find and sometimes charge a lot, depending on the niche.
Alternatively, you can head over to Legiit.com, which is full of endless talented content writers.
If you do want to use Legiit, I recommend following the tips below to maximize the chances of getting your articles written correctly:
- Provide the writer with an outline
- Explain what a perfect article would look like
- Ask the writer if they are comfortable with your niche
Want highly engaging and optimized content like this? Check out my writing service here.
How To Optimize Your Blog Posts For On-Page SEO
At this point, you should have your blog post written up. But there’s still some work to do before you can publish. This includes making it look nice and finishing off the on-page SEO. Below, I’ve explained what else you need to do before publishing.
Audiit.io provides you with insights related to images too. You’ll see how many images your competitors have and how many times they used the exact keyword in the alt tags.
I recommend doing something similar, although it doesn’t have to be the exact average or anything like that. Try to add images where they’ll be helpful for the user. In most cases, you can add the exact keyword in the cover image and maybe in one or two others.
Try to keep your URLs nice and short, so for example, domain.com/main-keyword.
You don’t really need anything else in the URL. Just make sure to use – instead of spaces, if your keyword is several words.
Meta Title & Description (VERY IMPORTANT)
Format the meta title so that it looks nice. You can use a plugin like Rankmath or Yoast SEO to do this. Make sure that the Meta title includes the main keyword, and if possible, at the beginning.
Personally, I don’t really bother with meta descriptions too much as I have never read one before clicking a result. However, feel free to fill that out and include the keyword if you want to. It’s just not something I personally do.
When it comes to internal linking, most people like to follow a SILO structure shown in the image below. However, if you have a blog and are posting to it a lot, that can definitely be quite hard as you have too many posts.
Personally, I insert internal links wherever it makes sense. For example, if I’d have another blog post about internal links, I would probably include one here.
I also add some at the end of the article to keep users on my site. But, as long as you aren’t too messy with it, you should be fine.
That’s it! I hope you have enjoyed this article on how to write SEO-friendly blog posts. Keep in mind; this is just what I personally do and have picked up from what many other people do. You don’t have to follow the exact steps that I have outlined and may have a different way of doing it.
Just remember that in most cases, generic guidelines like using an exact keyword density % for all your keywords probably isn’t the best choice. That’s a very “one-size-fits-all” approach, which isn’t the best way to do it.
Then again, it’s up to you.
If you would like to read more posts like this, make sure to check out some of the related posts below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lastly, I wanted to answer some frequently asked questions about writing SEO-friendly blog posts.
How do I SEO my blog?
If you have an existing blog with posts that are not optimized, follow these steps:
- Research keywords around the blog posts you have written
- Optimize the blog posts you have written by adding in the keywords where it’s natural (follow the steps in this article)
- Make sure to internally link between your blog posts
- Ensure your blogs are easy to read, include images and match the search intent.
- Get a technical SEO audit to ensure your website doesn’t have any errors
- Build external links to your posts
How do I get my blog noticed by Google?
Google will naturally notice your blog if you keep posting content and share it on social media. However, to ensure that Google understands what your site is about, you must optimize your blog for the right keywords.
To do so, make sure to research keywords first and then optimize your posts using the steps explained in this article.
Where Can I Hire Writers To Write SEO-friendly Blog Posts?
Here are some places you can find writers to hire:
- Check out your competitors’ author pages, and reach out to the writers.
- Ask in Facebook Groups
How Can I Monetize Blog Posts?
Here are some ways you can monetize your blog posts:
- Sell your products or services
- Affiliate links
- Sponsored content