If you know anything about SEO, you probably already know that you need top quality content to do it effectively. That could be copy on your website or it could also be blogs.
Blogs are a great place to practice SEO because they allow you to deliver relevant and valuable content to the people who are searching for queries related to your business and brand. But why does that really matter? And why is blogging important for SEO in the first place?
In this blog, we’re going to answer your questions about blogging for SEO, including what is SEO content writing all about, and how do you write SEO-friendly blog posts, with insights from our Setup for Lifetime Value podcast episode ‘Blogging your way to SEO success'.
What is SEO content writing?
Before we get to why blogging is important for SEO, let’s cover the first question that might be on your mind: what is SEO content writing?
On the most basic level, SEO content writing is the process of producing written content that’s optimised for search engines: content that’s written with the aim of getting found on Google. Creating SEO-optimised content involves lots of different things, from researching what users are looking for and including specific keywords, to internal linking and well thought-out meta descriptions.
Many people approach SEO content writing in a very prescriptive way, focussing primarily on things like keyword density and well-structured headings and URLs. However, this isn’t necessarily the right approach.
Ultimately, if you want your content to rank on search engines, it needs to solve a user’s problems. This requires a subtly different mindset to conventional content writing.
Why is blogging important for SEO?
So, why is blogging important for SEO? Is this something businesses should be investing time and money into?
Blogging is important for SEO because it allows you to deliver content to your target market, which helps you attract those users to your site.
More often than not, people on search engines like Google are searching for information. If you can provide that information in the form of well-thought out content that addresses the user’s intent, you can reap the rewards from it. It will help you to raise awareness of your product or service and drive relevant traffic to your site. It’s a win-win!
It’s worth noting here that blogging for the sake of blogging isn’t really going to help you. Instead, you need to create content that is engaging, concise and addresses the queries your target audience are searching for.
Now more than ever, search engines are focusing on relevance, and delivering the best content to the people searching. By writing well thought-out blog posts, you can create topical relevance around specific subjects, cementing your brand as a topic authority over time. Google will reward you for it.
How to write SEO-friendly blog posts
You might be disappointed to hear that there is no simple formula for “how to write SEO-friendly blog posts”, and there’s no step-by-step guide to getting your content ranking on Google. That’s because there are no guarantees in SEO, and the technique one business uses to achieve SEO success won’t necessarily work for another.
So, how do you do it? This is dependent on who you ask, as different SEO experts have different formulas for success. Here’s what two SEO experts say on the matter.
Peter Lee, SEO Specialist at Underwaterpistol
Writing SEO-friendly blog posts should always start with user intent. Whatever you’re writing, you need to write for the user first - not for the search engine crawlers.
The whole point of a search engine is to help people find the information they’re looking for, and as their algorithms change and the functionality of search develops, those search engines become more and more attuned to what content is truly valuable. With that in mind, if you write for people first, you set yourself a solid foundation from which to develop and grow.
A tip for producing useful and engaging content that your users (and search engines) will love is to include insights from industry experts wherever possible, and ensure that the information they give is accurate.
If you’re not good at writing about fixing cars, then don’t write about fixing cars. Instead, ask a mechanic to do it. The best way to write content for an industry is to get someone who knows it thoroughly to write it.
Ultimately, if you’re trying to write SEO-friendly content, you need to answer the questions your target audience are asking, creating helpful content around the topic and bringing value to those users. And don’t just stop at written content. Videos, downloadable templates and a whole lot more can help to add value and boost your rankings too.
Jono Alderson, Head of SEO at Yoast
Writing SEO-friendly blog posts isn’t easy, especially if you’re new to it. There’s a lot of nuance to SEO content writing, for example when it comes to things like structure, headings and internal linking.
Our tool Yoast is one that’s built to help people write content that’s optimised for search engines as well as users. It provides clear guidance on keywords, to help you distribute them organically and ensure you stay on topic throughout the blog post. It also helps with heading structure to allow blogs to be useful for people reading long-form content and also those who just want to skim through and extract information quickly.
As Pete said, authorship is also really important. When Google is deciding which blog posts to rank for a search, it’s going to want to know if your post is expertly informed. This is one of the things that will make it stand out against the trillions of others on the web.
Do you really know what you’re talking about? If so, prove it. Discuss what makes you an authority on a topic, and link to relevant sources to back it up.
The best way to think about all of this is to remove the word “SEO” and just talk about making content useful, informative and helpful. These are much better words that prevent that lazy thinking around SEO content writing.
Once you’ve got that mindset in place, it becomes much easier to produce content that your users and Google will find valuable. Then, you can start to focus on exploring other things like:
- What are your competitors doing that’s succeeding, and where are the gaps you can fill?
- What kind of trends are going on in your industry?
- What’s changing in the market?
- What sort of format should you be using to engage your audience? Video? Text? Guides?
Writing content for the purpose of SEO gets much easier the second you stop thinking about it as an “SEO thing” and start thinking about it as ways you can make content to help your users find value.
This blog post features insights from "Blogging your way to SEO success", an episode from our Setup for Lifetime Value podcast series featuring Head of SEO at Yoast Jono Alderson and SEO Specialist at Underwaterpistol Peter Lee. You can watch the full episode here.
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