Anvil’s Checklist for Creating SEO Optimized Blog Contentby Mike Stormberg on October 13, 2021Content
As 2022 approaches it is time to start thinking about the direction Search Engine Optimization will take in the new year. Content creation, typically in the form of blog writing, is an area of SEO which has been around for quite some time, but is poised to become even more important to website ranking success in 2022. Google judges website and content based on the concept of E.A.T. That is, content should display Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. Writing a blog that is well optimized for search engines may seem like a daunting task, however if you break the process down to key steps it can be an easy and even enjoyable process. Any blog writers’ goal is to create a piece of content that is interesting for readers, optimized for search engines, and aligned with the organizations marketing goals. In this week’s SEO Blog we will provide a checklist for creating blog content that is optimized for Search Engine Optimization.
- Determine the general topic you plan to write about: Choosing a topic which you are genuinely excited about or one that interests you will be better for your writing. Broad ideas for blog creation include industry news and a point of view on that news, new research or findings which affect your industry, team updates (hiring, promotions, retirements, etc…), and company news.
- Pick a primary keyword: Identify a keyword related to your broad topic with adequate global monthly search volume and a low keyword difficulty. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, Keywords Everywhere, and SEMRush* can help you identify highly searched keywords. (*Warning these tools cost money to use)
- Create a working title or headline using the primary keyword.
- Identify and choose 1-3 secondary keywords: Identify keywords which are related or complimentary to your primary keyword. Think about how your secondary keywords can help support the primary keyword.
- Write 500+ words on the topic: While search engines do not have a minimum on required content per page it is generally accepted that any webpage should have 300+ words of content to be seen as substantial and worth serving in a search engine result. When it comes to blogging, Anvil recommends a minimum of 500 words. In the end you need to write enough to fully address your keywords and the purpose of the content. Longer blogs also have more opportunities to earn important links back to your website.
- Add value to the keyword: Provide new information, interesting facts, or insights that show your Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness in your industry. Give your readers a reason to care about the content. Where appropriate, use examples which help your readers absorb and relate to the content.
- Write for an 9th Grade reading level: An average reader who finds your blog based on a question or query they typed into Google reads at a 9th grade level. Avoid too much jargon, unless it is necessary. If your blog contains complex industry terms it can help to provide a glossary.
- Use primary keywords at least once in opening paragraph and 3-4 times through body copy. Use secondary keywords at least once in body copy.
- Do not over stuff keywords in content! Google sees this as a malicious attempt to manipulate search. Keywords should fit naturally into the flow of the blog.
- Never plagiarize content: If you need to quote another individual’s work or website ensure you clearly designate it as a quote, site the source, and link back to that website.
- Use subheadings to break up sections of your blog: Use primary keyword and secondary keywords in subheadings.
- Add supporting images, infographics, videos, or embedded social posts: Images, videos, and other non-text elements help to break up the blog and provide a positive user experience. Ensure images are properly sized to ensure they are not slowing down the page and website.
- Use the primary keyword in the image title and alt text: Image alt text should be kept to about 100 characters and highlight the keywords used in the blog article. Alt text is typically added when you upload the image or asset to your content management system.
- Add links to relevant service level pages: You should be writing about topics which can be related to the services your company offers. For user experience you should include links to the related service pages.
- Conclude blog article with a call to action: Like linking to internal pages, your article should drive a reader to action on the webpage or a service level page.
- Return to your original title/headline: Ensure your title is still relevant to the finished article. Ask yourself, “Would I click on an article with this title?”
- Re-read your article looking for grammar, clarity, and spelling issues.
- Have a second person read your article for grammar, clarity, and spelling.
- Create a title tag and meta description for your article:
- Title tag: It should be 60 characters or less and use primary keyword near the beginning. Ideal format is [Primary Keyword] | [Branding]. Branding can be excluded if characters are needed for keyword.
- Meta description: Should be 155 Characters or less. Use primary keyword naturally and use call to action to draw in reader.
- Publish your blog article!
- Promote your article on your social profiles like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
If your organization needs help with content planning and blog writing contact the Anvil Media team.