10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post

10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post

10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post

July 28th, 2015 – 59 Comments

Writing a blog post, like all other writing, is a skill. To keep your reader interested, you should think about the structure of your copy and write appealing texts. You can help your readers to grasp the main idea of your post by providing headings, subheadings and clear paragraphs. If people understand and like your text, they are much more inclined to share, like, tweet and link to your post. And that will increase your rankings. So, in order to improve your ranking in Google, you should definitely try to maximize your writing skills!

10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post

For some, writing for SEO purposes and writing to attract and captivate your audience could seem two contradictory goals. I totally disagree with this. Indeed, if you not only want a good but also an SEO-friendly blog post, the words you want to be found on should be in a very prominent place. But, using your keywords too often severely damages the readability of your text. So, you definitely shouldn’t do that.

In this post, I would like to give some tips on writing blog posts that are both very readable as well as SEO-friendly. I genuinely think those two goals should (and easily can!) go hand in hand.

Elementary writing tips for good blog posts

Before anything, your blog post just has to be a good piece of writing! A lot of bloggers just begin to write when creating a new blog post. They just type what comes to mind. For some, this may be sufficient because they are natural writing talents. Others might need some help. I always follow the next set of ‘rules’ myself.

1. Think before you write!

Think hard about the message of your text. What do you want to tell your readers or which central question do you want to ask? What’s the purpose of your text? And what do you want your readers to do at the end of the page? Write down the answers to these questions before you begin writing.

2. Write down the structure of your blog post.

Start your post with creating a clear structure. Every post should have:

  • some sort of introduction (in which you introduce your topic);
  • a body (in which the main message is written);
  • a conclusion (which should summarize the most important ideas or deduce some new idea).

Write down what you want to write in all these three sections. You now have a kind of summary of your post. The real writing can begin.

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3. Use paragraphs.

Everybody uses paragraphs, but make sure to use paragraphs that make sense. Do not start a new sentence on a new line, just because it looks nice. There should be a reason for making a new paragraph. Every paragraph should have a main idea or a main subject. Ask yourself what the main idea of each paragraph is. You should be able to grasp that main idea in only one sentence. If you need more sentences, you simply need more paragraphs.

4. Use headings.

Headings structure the entire page, so you should use headings. They’re important for readability, but for SEO as well. Headings help Google to grasp the main topics of a long post and therefore can help in your ranking. If you want people to find their way in your articles, you should use subheadings. Subheadings will lead people, help them scan your page, and clarify the structure of your articles. Make sure you use your keywords in some subheadings. Not in each and every one of them though, as it will make the text unreadable.

5. Use signal words.

Signal words help people to scan through your text and help people to grasp the main idea. Let’s say, for instance, that there are three reasons for people to buy your product. You should use signal words like: ‘first of all’; ‘secondly’ and ‘finally’. Also, words like ‘nevertheless’, ‘surely’ and ‘indeed’ give a clear signal to your readers. Readers will instantly get that a conclusion will follow after words like ‘consequently’, ’so’ or ‘for this reason’. Signal words are therefore very important to structure your text.

6. Let other people read your post.

Before publishing your post, let someone else read your post first. Ask him/her whether he understands the main idea of your post. Correct typos and sentences that aren’t formulated correctly.

7. Optimize the length of your article.

Make sure your articles have a minimum of 300 words. Google likes long articles, if your article is too long though, it might scare away users. So try to stop at around 700 words. And, as a general rule of thumb: try to put your search terms in about 1 to 2 percent of your text. So in an article of 300 words, you should mention your search terms 3 to 6 times.

8. Link to previous content.

If you already wrote some content about the topic of your current post, don’t forget to link to these posts. It will make your post stronger because you show some authority on the subject. Next to that, your link structure is important for your ranking in Google as well. And of course, your reader might be interested in these related posts too. You should read Joost his post about cornerstone articles if you want to read more about this.

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9. Add content regularly.

Adding actual and functional information to your website will give Google the idea that your website is alive. If it’s not an active website, Google will crawl it less often. This might affect your rankings negatively.

10. Use our Yoast SEO plugin.

The content analysis tool of our Yoast SEO plugin helps you write an SEO-friendly blog post. You start by choosing your focus keyword. This is the most important search term you want people to find this particular page for. Our plugin checks your post to see whether you use the keyword in the right places, and it measures many other aspects of the text. These are the most important ones:

  • The plugin allows you to formulate a meta description.
  • The plugin analyzes the text you write. It calculates a Flesch reading ease score, which indicates the readability of your article.
  • It checks whether or not you used your keyword in 5 important locations: the article-heading, the title of the page, the URL of the page, the content of the article and the meta-description.
  • The plugin also checks the presence of links in your article and the presence of images in the article.
  • It calculates the number of words and the density of usage of the focus keyword in the article.
  • Above that, the plugin also checks whether or not other pages on your website use the same focus keyword, to prevent you from competing with yourself.

If you write a relatively SEO-friendly blog post (based on the aspects mentioned before) the plugin will indicate this with a green bullet. Writing pages with green bullets will help you improve the ranking of the pages on your website.

Note that not every dot has to be green for the overall score to be “good”. For instance, these are the results of this post, which does have a “good” score:

example of an seo-friendly blog post

If you’re not on WordPress, we also have this Page Analysis tool available on our site. It’s still in beta, so we’d love your feedback!

Looking for more optimization? Check out our Yoast SEO Premium plugin!

Conclusion

The era in which some SEO tricks were sufficient to get your website to rank high in Google has long ended. Nowadays, good content is king. And good content also leads to more Facebook likes and shares, tweets and return visitors to your website. Of course, you can do some extra things to maximize the SEO friendliness of your post, but most important is: just write a very, very good post!

Read more: ‘SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide’ »


59 Responses to 10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post

  1. Chris
    By Chris on 11 August, 2015

    Yeah I would prefer to do some research and get a keyword/phrase that I can rank highly for and get traffic coming in organically. Then structure my post around it.

  2. George
    By George on 8 August, 2015

    Add content regularly : This is the best part, you can get a page to rank well by using this method without having any DA and PA.

    By the way I liked yoast premium WordPress SEO plugin.

  3. Leo
    By Leo on 7 August, 2015

    Think before you write!

    It’s so funny but I actually think of the keyword first then make this as step 2: Think before you write!

    And that’s because of the YOAST plugin! Very helpful! By the way, i’m a new blogger and in less than 2 months Google approved my Adsense request!

    Thanks a lot Yoast and Team!

    Cheers!

    Leo

  4. Dinesh
    By Dinesh on 5 August, 2015

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post . It is important and very useful, and the articles are nice to share everyone.

  5. Guttulus
    By Guttulus on 4 August, 2015

    Thanks Marieke van.your post is really useful for content writing beginner .point cover on this post all is important for good blog/article writing.i agree with your all point.

  6. Karol
    By Karol on 4 August, 2015

    You’ve mentioned about headings.
    Is creating “table of contents” based on headings of any use from SEO perspective?

  7. Amir Fahimnia
    By Amir Fahimnia on 1 August, 2015

    Great post. A good timing for me to read it, when i have just started my blog a couple of days before. Keep sharing the tips :)

  8. Rizwan Safdar
    By Rizwan Safdar on 1 August, 2015

    The main focus in off-page SEO is link building and blog commenting is the most commonly used tool to create back links. Here are some useful SEO tips

  9. Andrew
    By Andrew on 1 August, 2015

    Thanks for this clear and useful information! I would suggest that most bloggers not only run their work by someone first, before publishing, but that they find a person that is very literate and understands the proper usage of the language they are using, in my case, English. For instance, if the person doesn’t understand the difference between ‘to’, ‘too’ (as in also, very), and two (meaning the number 2), you have someone that will not be able to render an educated opinion for your blog work, and probably will not understand how to make the writing flow smoothly as it is read. Unfortunately, this appears to be most people nowadays, even many newspaper and magazine writers. Thanks!

  10. Arup
    By Arup on 31 July, 2015

    Yoast is the best ever seo plugin. I use it all of my blogs and client website. Just install configure a bit and forget about it.

  11. Faraj Sawani
    By Faraj Sawani on 31 July, 2015

    Thank you for the valuable info. You say write good content, and that’s all I do, but nothing changes; maybe things differ if you blog in Arabic or just that my blog is still very new and fresh!

  12. Sereyboth Yorn
    By Sereyboth Yorn on 31 July, 2015

    Yeah! Write Lengthy Article really help you to target more long tail keyword.

  13. Seo Jakarta
    By Seo Jakarta on 31 July, 2015

    How for Optimize keyword density, i’m confuse about that. i was add some keyword anchor and link but still red notification

  14. Tam
    By Tam on 31 July, 2015

    I love plugin by Yoast. It help write post very good. And your site have many articles useful.

  15. Mrs P
    By Mrs P on 31 July, 2015

    Thanks Marieke. Having recently started my blog, I’m still learning all the SEO tips and tricks. This post is very helpful and points me in the right direction.

  16. Omri Sumba
    By Omri Sumba on 30 July, 2015

    Thanks Marieke,
    We sometimes think we know everything but we don’t :)

  17. srisathvika
    By srisathvika on 30 July, 2015

    Very good post. these tips help me lot to improve my website. thanks for sharing this post.

  18. Nathan - KortingButler
    By Nathan - KortingButler on 30 July, 2015

    Nice tips! Will use them for our next blogposts…

  19. Koemsie Ly
    By Koemsie Ly on 30 July, 2015

    Nice Tips! Your article clean for me to update my website. I follow this style for later on.

  20. Seni Berpikir
    By Seni Berpikir on 29 July, 2015

    this helps me so much. We do write contents, often, but to be an SEO-friendly article will always take time and efforts.

  21. Rita B. clark
    By Rita B. clark on 29 July, 2015

    Its really a great post… Its help me to make a seo friendly blog. Thank you author.

  22. Steve
    By Steve on 28 July, 2015

    This is a great post. Beginners like me will definitely get some benefits after reading this post. Thank a lot buddy :)

  23. Sovann
    By Sovann on 28 July, 2015

    Great post. Thank so much.

  24. Anil Agarwal
    By Anil Agarwal on 24 September, 2014

    No doubt all of tips shared in this post are must in case we want to have a SEO friendly blog post. I’m using Yoast plugin on my blog which takes care of lots of SEO issues on my blog.

    Apart from linking to my own blog posts, I look at ways if I can link to other websites to add more value to my blog posts and then find a good video to add more media elements into my blog posts.

  25. Tommy
    By Tommy on 23 September, 2014

    Brilliant guide, thanks!!! excellent for beginner bloggers and seasoned writers

  26. borris
    By borris on 22 September, 2014

    Use signal words : they should be bold, colored, higligted ?

  27. James
    By James on 20 September, 2014

    I have just migrated my site over from another plugin and love the features of WordPress SEO.
    Having the Flesch reading score is such a great tool. When you have done a heap of content all day, it is good to have this to check readability.

  28. Janmejai
    By Janmejai on 19 September, 2014

    Nice article with some nice tips related to SEO strategies.

  29. Marketing by Data
    By Marketing by Data on 18 September, 2014

    I use your wordpress plugin on all my sites and clients sites. I train them how to get the dot to become green for when they write their blogs. Since I am not able to train every client to be an SEO expert your plugin allows them to get content as close to optimized as possible without extensive hand holding.

  30. Nigel Abery
    By Nigel Abery on 18 September, 2014

    I really like your WordPress SEO plugin. It would be great if you can make one for Joomla also!
    Cheers!

  31. Shimul Baran
    By Shimul Baran on 18 September, 2014

    Hello, here i made some easy steps to make the best use of Yoast for

  32. Prabhat
    By Prabhat on 17 September, 2014

    Great article. I think that most people dont use H2 and h3 headings properly. they either overuse it or dont use at all. That impacts the whole article and it can be a bad thing. SEO by yoast is a great plugin..Kudos to you for developing such a great tool.

  33. Elvia
    By Elvia on 16 September, 2014

    Hi! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    • Patrick Grzyb
      By Patrick Grzyb on 16 September, 2014

      For 100% WordPress guru use WordPress :).

  34. Patrick Grzyb
    By Patrick Grzyb on 16 September, 2014

    Is anyone have problem with seperator from the latest version of yoast wordpress seo ?

    Google Snippet preview showing :
    Sliding Wardrobes | Fitted Furniture | Furniture Factory Marco
    in google search results :
    Furniture Factory Marco: Sliding Wardrobes | Fitted Furniture

  35. Abu Zafor
    By Abu Zafor on 14 September, 2014

    Do you believe, Longer content means more SEO traffic and good rank in Search engine or it’s just another myth?
    I often write longer blog post but always try to make that user friendly to read. Sometimes the content goes to longer than 1500+ word and sometimes less than 300 word.
    So is there any limit for maximum length In SEO?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 15 September, 2014

      Hey Abu,

      longer content definitely seems to rank better in the search results… Less than 300 isn’t as good in my experience, 1500+ definitely can work wonders :)

  36. Nestor
    By Nestor on 14 September, 2014

    Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance. I must say that you’ve done a amazing job with this. Also, the blog loads super quick for me on Opera. Superb Blog!

  37. Tony
    By Tony on 13 September, 2014

    Good article again, but I think only good content,well structured, and using yoast plugin is not enough to get your site ranked on Google. I,m blogging for almost a year and I noticed that also on-site optimazation has a big influence on your ranking and the domain age too. I tried to rank for some blog-post but it seems impossible to outrank some of my competition I´m always just behind them using the same techniques they do by. I,m using your plugin in combination with squirll plugin but still my site keeps having problems with on-page optimazation.

  38. Rezan Ferdous
    By Rezan Ferdous on 13 September, 2014

    I was confused about keyword density. Now its clear thanks for the tip.

  39. James Deschuymer
    By James Deschuymer on 13 September, 2014

    I will have to start writing blogs for my website soon. It sure is hard to get started. But thanks for the all your helpful tips. The information in this article makes it easier for me to get started and just write something.

  40. Mikey
    By Mikey on 13 September, 2014

    is keywords meta tags relevant to use in SEO Plugin ?
    What do you recommend 1-2% of keyword use as density?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 15 September, 2014

      We don’t think meta keywords are useful at all, read my post about them.

      As for keyword density: it has to do with length of the article a lot… We’re actually working on improving that functionality. For short texts (up to 300-400 words) 1-2% is better, whereas for longer texts you don’t have to go that high.

  41. V Coulter
    By V Coulter on 12 September, 2014

    Any specific recommendations on how often to “Add content regularly,” or, put another way, what length of time between posts may cause a blog to look abandoned? Is once a month often enough? Twice a month?
    Also, I agree with Linus’s earlier post today about adding images and using alt text.

  42. Linus
    By Linus on 12 September, 2014

    I would add also that one or more images (with keywords in the file name and Alt text) help optimizing SEO. WordPress seo plugin, as you write, detect the presence of images in the blog post.

  43. Mike
    By Mike on 12 September, 2014

    Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appeal. I must say you have done a amazing job with this. In addition, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Firefox. Excellent Blog!

  44. Alexander
    By Alexander on 12 September, 2014

    I also like to use a table of contents at the start of a lenghty article to make things easier for readers. As for the most part they are not interested in reading everything, no matter how amazing it is :D

    Currently I use the WordPress plugin TOC+ for this task. Also gives you nice site links if your website has the right amount of authority with Google.

    Well, very nice summary of all the parts that flow into a good blog post for readers and search engines. The most important point in my opinion: Think before you write / Think about a structure before you write.

    Greetings from Austria,

    Alexander

  45. Prakash Yuvaraj
    By Prakash Yuvaraj on 11 September, 2014

    Adding content regularly is the tough task for the bloggers , much motivational needed to that IMO. and Bonus point is good one . Thanks much Marieke for the tips.

  46. Mark Woodruff
    By Mark Woodruff on 11 September, 2014

    It’s’ reassuring to hear that we don’t have to focus TOO much on achieving the Green Dot. That often can be a bit of an obsession for us!

  47. Fernando Bernardino
    By Fernando Bernardino on 11 September, 2014

    Great article. As a pretty new blogger myself I’m always looking for straight to the point information to help me with my writing. This definitely hit the spot. Thanks!

  48. sushrut zemse
    By sushrut zemse on 11 September, 2014

    nice article
    I always tried to obtain all green bullet. But for some article all Green bullets are not possible. Specially for stop words.
    The word table of contents contain stop word ‘of’.

    but now i understand not all Green bullets are necessary.

    I like page analysis feature while writing post. Which gives us best practice to improve On page SEO.

    Yoast plugin does well job by creating “SEO pack by yoast”

    • Marieke van de Rakt
      By Marieke van de Rakt on 15 September, 2014

      I am actually planning to write a post next week about the green bullets!

  49. Mark O.
    By Mark O. on 11 September, 2014

    Would recommend adding ‘table of content’ like in wikipedia for articles with a hard structure.

  50. Neil Ferree
    By Neil Ferree on 11 September, 2014

    For a long time, I used All-in-One SEO plugin and now I use Yoast SEO and all my law firm clients to do.

    I find it very useful and seo friendly to embed a slideshare deck and/ior a YouTube video to enhance and connect these other socials to my WordPress articles.

  51. Maruti Mohanty
    By Maruti Mohanty on 10 September, 2014

    Yet another enriching blog, and what a timing for me to read it, when i have just started my blog a couple of days before. You guys rock. Keep sharing the tips :)

  52. Harpal Singh
    By Harpal Singh on 10 September, 2014

    Very informative article as always, Thanks Marieke. Publishing content on regular basis actually brings lot more traffic from search engine.

  53. Claude
    By Claude on 10 September, 2014

    Thanks a lot Marieke for detailed guide. I was little confused about paragraph style as I’ve seen many people are following this style – “one sentence per line” but now there is no any confusion.

    What do you think about using LSI keywords instead of repeating same keyword phrase at different places?

    Regards,
    Claude


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