I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Everyone knows that search engine optimization (affectionately known as SEO) is imperative to getting your blog posts to rank in the big search engines (like Google). First, you have to know how to write a blog post for SEO.
Knowing how important SEO is, I have searched for an SEO expert that I could learn from. After several years of searching, I finally found a genius SEO expert, Mike Pearson of Stupid Simple SEO.
Mike has a genius way of simplifying everything SEO. While his free email course is genius, his paid course Stupid Simple SEO is ah-mazing.
I took his free course + loved it so much that I immediately enrolled in his paid course. I lucked out that it was open for enrollment because it’s only open a few times per year. Enrollment just closed on Friday but I highly recommend that you register for his free SEO course.
I am not going to go over all of the steps Mike covers but I am going to walk you through how to write a blog post for SEO so you can learn to use SEO to help you get your blog posts in front of the people who are meant to read them. If you want your blog posts on the first page of Google…
SEO does this for you.
Today, I’m going to share with you how to write a blog post for SEO so you can rank your blog posts + website the easiest way possible.
How to Write a Blog Post for SEO
Let’s start at the beginning. The first step is to figure out the keyword (or at least the blog idea you’re going to write about).
If you are looking for a course on SEO to do keyword research, start with Mike Pearson’s free Masterclass. He has a genius way of tackling everything SEO in a simple way.
He also has a paid course, Stupid Simple SEO, that is ah-mazing. He only opens the paid course a couple of times a year.
Once you have the keyword you want to target, here’s how you write the blog post for SEO on WordPress.
If you are using Wix or other site builders, then all of this is not going to work the same exact way that it does for WordPress sites. These site builders have the capabilities but you’ll have to try to figure it out on your own because I won’t be able to walk you step-by-step through the process.
The first thing you need to do is install the WordPress plugin WordPress SEO by Team Yoast.
Once you do this, the information you need to complete automatically appears (on the pages + posts of your site).
On the post where you are working, scroll down to the bottom. Once the plugin is installed, you can see a section that says Yoast SEO.
It’s time to fill in the blanks. Type in the keyword in the Focus Keyword box. The plugin automatically fills in the title of the post + the meta description. You can edit these by clicking on the Edit Snippet button.
The meta description doesn’t really have anything to do with SEO. It is, however, the little description that pops up under a link in the search engines.
You want the meta description to be interesting enough that they want to click your link + by including the keyword they were using to search, you can increase the chances they’re going to click on your link.
Do you see the 2 sentences under the link? This is the meta description.
You want to make sure that the keyword you’re targeting for this post is in the title + in the meta box. Use the keyword at least one time in the body copy of the post as well (this is not at the bottom, but in the main copy section of the page—in the blog post itself).
You also want the keyword in the permalink of the post (this is the URL of the post) + at least one sub-header (h2) in the copy of the post.
You can also help SEO by including the keyword in the names of any graphics or pictures you use in the post. So when you create a Pinterest graphic, for example, name the graphic file using the keyword you’re targeting.
Once you save the draft of the post or update it, check on the analysis section. You do not need a green light for all of the lines + you do not need the SEO check to be green in order for you to be good to go.
There are specific sections here that you want to make sure that you have a green light.
Here you can see red dots, orange dots + green dots.
You mostly want to focus on having a green light for:
- Not previously using this keyword (You don’t want to compete with yourself for Google ranking)
- That the keyphrase is in the meta description
- Text length (how many words is in the post)
- Keyphrase is in the slug (URL)
- The post includes outbound + inbound links
All of these are important for SEO.
- Tackle each one of these lines at a time + slowly modify until you get a green dot. Then, move on to the next line. Again, all of the items that Yoast lists out does not require a green light for your SEO to be good.
Wait + Check
Wait at least a few days for Google to “crawl” your blog. It can really take a lot longer than this, too, so it’s something you might want to walk away from + just do periodically.
Run a Google search for some (or all) of your keywords to see where your posts rank. How fast you rank can depend on how popular the keyword is. How fast you rank can also depend on how often + when Google crawls your blog. So, if at first you don’t succeed, give it some time…+ then, try, try again.
FYI: Rankings can vary day-to-day, so check back every once in a while to see where your page is for your keywords.
SEO for Blogs
Before you start batch writing blog posts + before you start going through old posts to SEO ’em up, take a step back to make sure that you truly understand the types of people you are trying to attract.
The bottom line is that you have to understand these folks better than any other blogger that is competing for their business.
Use free tools like Keyword Planner from Google (you have to have a Google account to use this free tool) to help you find the keywords people are using to search for the information that you offer (or are going to offer). You can also consider paid options like SEMRush or Ahrefs.
This is the foundation for creating content people want to read + that they can find because you’re using keywords that helps it rank higher in the search engines.
Talk about a win-win.
Use Longtail Keywords to Write a Blog for SEO
A longtail keyword is best described as a more specific keyword.
For example, the term “wedding planner” is a highly competitive keyword. In the Google search below, you can see that 246,000 searches a month are for wedding planner.
A longtail keyword that is less competitive, but still competitive is “Miami wedding planner.” You can see that 880 searches a month are for “Miami wedding planner.”
An even better longtail keyword is “Miami Beach wedding planner.” It gets about 30 searches a month. This is still a good amount of traffic per month but isn’t so crazy that you’d never be able to rank for it.
Place Keywords Carefully
Once upon a time, keywords were the easiest part of SEO. All you had to do was scatter it throughout your content to attract visitors.
In the industry, this is known as keyword “stuffing.”
Google got smart + now if they catch you keyword stuffing, it can remove you from the search engine altogether.
And…nobody wants that.
Instead, use the keyword you want to rank for up to 3 times in the body of your content + then in some strategic places that I talked about earlier + go into detail about in the last section of this post.
External Sites Can Help You Use SEO
Onsite SEO is when you use keywords + SEO strategies on your website + blog.
Offsite SEO is when you leverage external websites to rank in the search engines.
When other websites or blogs link back to your website or content these are backlinks. Backlinks from quality sources can help you climb the search engine ranks.
Guest blog posts are one of the best ways to gain backlinks to your content + rank higher in the search engines.
Add SEO to Headlines + Sub-Headers
Creating fab content is #1 in importance. Creating that fab content also has to do with how you format it.
Formatting + SEO go hand in hand. When you’re formatting a blog post, make sure you use your keyword in the headline (H1) and in a sub-headline (H2).
For example, if you’re trying to rank for “best wedding planner in New York City,” then include this keyword phrase in your h1 (Headline) + at least one h2 (sub-headline).
This way, you spread out the SEO juice across the page in all the right places.
SEMrush shares this infographic checklist to make sure you do everything you can to search engine optimize your post.