How To Write SEO Friendly Articles For Better SERP
You want organic traffic, don’t you?
We all know that traffic from search engines have the best conversion rate. Still, we strive to drive them to our blogs. Why does it happen?
Simply because you don’t know the art of writing SEO-friendly articles! Don’t get me wrong! But that’s the truth.
A week ago I shared my Phase 5, in which I discussed about the "Complete WordPress SEO Guide" and I suggest if you somehow missed reading it you should check it out once. In that guide, you'll going to know about all SEO tips and guides for every WordPress blog.
This is Phase 6 in my "how to start a blog" series.
The art of writing SEO friendly articles is something no one knows about on the starting days of a blogging. If you ask me why bloggers don't write SEO friendly articles?
I believe it is because of their lack of knowledge, behavior, or can say bad guidance. Let me clear it even more with listing out the types of bloggers who don't do SEO friendly articles:
Do you feel like you are somewhere in my above list of bloggers making content writing mistakes.
Don’t worry! Here in this article guide I will help you optimize your articles for search engines without giving out any false signals.
So, are you ready? Let’s get started!
Phase 6 - How to Write SEO Friendly Articles for better SERP
I have divided this guide into different sections for your reading convenience.
1. Get Your Keywords Ready
Once decided your topics, you have to pick all the profitable keywords. If your source of revenue is AdSense, you have to choose those keywords with higher CPC and search volume.
Mostly all new bloggers start with AdSense as their main blogging earning. So did I before started with affiliate marketing.
Yeah, that’s what we call keyword research. The better your research, the more successful you will be.
What if you hunt for only the high CPC keywords for your blog?
That could be an insane idea to start with. Make a list of your competitors and start analyzing their top keywords, high CPC keywords and Keywords with high search volume. That is all you needed to start with your blogging.
In SEMrush tool, I put my competitor URL into the field to know for which keywords they are ranking.
In case you don’t have it, my second (free keyword research) recommendation is Alexa.
2. Write Better Headlines That Drive Traffic
The headline of your blog post is the very first thing your readers will read and you have to make it optimized and readable.
Everyone can write good headlines but what is that you could be missing in your headlines that can drive more traffic, social shares and better search results.
The first thing you need to know that post headlines are meant to be written for readers only and not the search engines.
Now think of a headline that can attract genuine readers. Come up with 2 strong and 2 creative headlines and combine them manually for better results.
Now optimize your headline with the right length of characters for search engine results and no stop words using Yoast SEO plugin.
Note: Don’t forget to add your focus keyword in your headline.
There is this one more tool I often use for my headlines Coschedule headline analyzer tool. It analysis your post headline with its three-step analyzing process “Headline type – Right word balance – Character length optimization”.
Make sure your headline go green and above 65 scores.
3. Meta Title and Meta description
Earlier we talked about “post title” which you want your readers to see as your post title on your website.
But Meta Title is different, it is how you want the search engines to show your post title in search results. I hope you now understand the difference between post title and meta title.
Now let’s move to meta description. There are SEO plugins (Yoast SEO & All in One SEO pack) available for you to add meta description for your articles.
The meta description is not something you should ignore when it comes to better search engine ranking. They play a major role in your website SEO and search engine ranking.
What should Meta Description be like?
Think of it as a short bio for your article. This short bio should be about 156 characters long. Try to add the partial amount of your headline and focus keyword in it.
And make it easy to understand for readers and search engines, what your article content is about.
This article is about writing SEO friendly blog post for better SERP. Adding meta title and meta description in your articles is the most SEO friendly tip you should be following.
4. Insert Keywords Naturally inside the Content
Yeah, you have to ensure that you insert the keywords you found out in some crucial places.
The very first place is your post title. If your keyword is "make money online", you can try ‘5 Ways to Make Money Online like a Cakewalk’ or something more catchy.
You can also Insert long-tail keywords into your blog post, it is considered to be the best optimization you can do with your content. Google hate "keyword stuffing" and it is clearly mentioned in Google's quality guidelines.
Adding well optimized long tail keywords inside your blog content always have better chances to get ranked on the search engine.
The other places are URL, meta description, and the body of the post. Instead of repeating the same keyword or key phrase over and over again, you can use LSI keywords (for example, make money through online jobs).
For this practice, I recommend you to use Yoast SEO plugin for your WordPress blog. It has "Yoast analysis suggestions" at the end of your WordPress editor, try to make it go green with your keyword density and other optimization.
Adding long tail keywords in your content can also be responsible for better search engine ranking.
5. Use Subheadings with Important Tags
You can read this tip as a subsidiary of the previous one.
Google considers user experience the most. A long essay without any subhead kills your audience. That’s why you should break it into several sessions under subheadings.
I strongly recommend using heading tags inside your article:
- Heading 1 - <h1> … </h1>
- Heading 2 - <h2> … </h2>
- Heading 3 - <h3> … </h3>
- Heading 4 - <h4> … </h4>
- Heading 5 - <h5> … </h5>
- Heading 6 - <h6> … </h6>
And, you must insert your keywords in subheads (h2, h3, h4, etc.). Yeah, keywords in subheadings increase your ranking. As I said earlier, use variations. But I prefer to have the main keyword in the H2 tag.
Not only do subheadings help the content scannable, but they will also tell Google about the essence of your blog post.
Are you familiar with the term Google featured snippet?
It picks up your website content on the top of all other search results which sure direct a lot of organic traffic to your website.
Do you know how to get featured snippet for your blog content?
According to a case study, your content formatting including heading tags like H1, H2 and so forth are also considered one of the most responsible factors for getting Google featured snippet for your content.
6. Optimize Your Images
You know you must use images in your articles, don’t you?
Let me ask you one question! How do you name your images?
If you say anything random (like Image 1, Image 2, etc.), you are doing it all wrong. Given that Google can’t read or recognize anything visual on the image, you have to give it some hints on what your images are all about or related to.
So, you should insert your keyword in the title of your images like "make money online". And, don’t forget to use your keywords in Alternative Text (Alt Text) and Image Title Attribute fields as well.
7. Make Sure Your Article Has Best Word Count
Google hates thin content. Yeah, you read it right!
There was a time when 500 word count supposed to be more than enough. But if you check Google search results these days that time was long gone.
You may find some search results content links has more than 5000 word count which I suppose is too much for any regular content article. Many experts with their case studies go beyond any low, average or highest word count limits.
The thing is Google loves highly informative and detailed content articles.
Google wants you to provide your audience with all the information you are writing about and for what they are searching for. And, we all know that isn’t possible with a thin article.
There are so many types of a thin content and a less word count article is only one out of many.
A short length content article is considered bad for SEO in many ways:
- Your visitors get bounce very quick because of lack of information.
- Your article can't be ranked for 1000's of keywords with short word counts.
- Your content will miss the opportunity to get a free backlink as a resourceful article on other related niche blogs.
So, you have to make sure that your article contains more than just minimum word count of 300. Both MS Word and WordPress post page display word count at the left-bottom part of your WordPress/MS Word.
8. Interlink between Your Posts
When you write an article about make money online, you can add a link to the post you published about blogging or anything related to monetization in it.
Why is Interlinking so Important?
The very first thing you should know "Google loves interlinking". Why?
If you ask me. It is because an informative post which is interlinking to many other helpful resources related to that same article topic within your blog content. That will give your visitors some great insight about that topic and they will jump straight to read other interlinked content in your post.
But why Google loves it? It is because that visitor doesn't have to search anymore when an article has all he has to know about. I hope this will clear your doubts about it.
The main purpose of internal linking to posts is not for backlinks actually because they don't count as backlinks anymore. But it sure does help the search engine to easily crawl through all those interlinked content and index them for better ranking.
Advantages of Interlinking:
I have experienced huge changes in my blog’s bounce rate after fixing my old blog posts which were not well optimized and interlinked.
If you think you can’t manually do it, you can install a plugin like SEO Smart Links. Once you specify keywords and corresponding URLs blog posts, it will automatically convert those certain keywords inside your posts into hyperinked anchor texts.
There are so many plugins available for better and easy interlinking through out your content writing. Here are two most recommended plugins you can try out to manually interlink within your content Mentionable and Premium Yoast SEO plugin.
WordPress also do provide option to search for the blog post link to interlink within your content but that search option is not that good it never shows all the search results and specially old ones. So I won't really recommend this one for better interlinking.
When you think one of your posts is getting good organic views, don’t forget to add interlinks it to not-so-popular articles within your blog content.
9. Add Social Sharing Buttons
Social signals boost your search engine exposure. The higher the number of shares, the better your organic position is. It also helps in brand awareness.
There are tons of WordPress plugins available to add social share buttons. If you ask me for my favorite, I will go with Shareaholic and SumoMe. Along with the sharing, SumoMe will help you build your email list too.
You can go for advanced premium plugin like Social Warfare as well. The social shares act as recommendations that keep on telling Google about the quality of your blog post.
I'm not saying that you should only focus on social media marketing. As it is only counted as one of the factor responsible for better ranking but it mostly funnels referral traffic to your blog. And you should know that referral traffic won't last long.
One should also work hard for getting organic traffic. If there is 3 steps to get social media traffic and 5 steps to get organic traffic, you should go for the 5 step process.
A good quality blog post can act as a flash flood traffic using social media.
10. Don’t Overlook Keyword Density
No matter how good you are in content writing or copy writing but at the end you may need to do SEO for better ranking of your content.
In SEO there are so many things you need to focus on. And keyword density is one of them.
Keyword density was a trend a few years ago. Now it seems like people don’t care much about it.
What is Keyword density?
Keyword density is the percentage of the number of times a keyword or phrase appears on a page compared to the total number of words in that page.
Keyword Density = (Number of keywords / Total number of words) * 100
You know what? I have got positive results by keeping my keyword density between 0.7% - 1%. Yeah, I used the same keyword at least 7 times for every 1000 words in one of my projects and got good yields.
But that was just for a case study I won't recommend using that much percentage of keywords for every article. But I do recommend you to maintain your keyword density for every article you want to get ranked well.
A maintained keyword density for an article should be around 5 -10 times for every 1000 words.
I didn’t see any harm in doing that. Just keep the usage natural. Place the same keyword as far as apart. You can use LSI or long tail phrases in between them.
A Few Pro Tips:
- Worrying about competition? Google your keywords in quotation (“make money online”). If the number of results is less than 5000, the competition is very low. See? You don’t need premium tools.
- Want ‘@’ tag option for posts like on social media? Install Mentionable plugin.
- Install Yoast plugin for all-in-one on-page SEO check
- Don’t add more than 4 sentences in one para
- Publish content on a regular basis to avoid late crawling and indexing issues
You can find more than a dozen tips to write search engine friendly articles. I have included only the tips that worked for me.
Here I ended my Phase 6 of how to start a blog series. In this phase, I've tried to share all my tips from past 3 years of blogging experience.
If you like reading this phase don't forget to read other phases of this blogging series. And show some love by sharing it with your friends and social network.
Do you have any personal on-page SEO tip? What do you think of this article?
Drop your insightful comments below.
My next Phase 7 will be on blogging resources I use for my blog and few recommended ones. In that Phase, you'll get to know about all of my blogging resources, tools and services.
So stay tuned for next Phase 7 in how to start a blog series.