Ultimately, the goal of any blogger is to have their blog noticed and their content read. There is nothing worse than writing quality content that just seems to disappear into a vacuum.
Google Search locates your blog article out of obscurity and puts it in the face of the reader. For Google to be the resource that it is, it is constantly qualifying the best sources of information that begin with the everyday user’s search query. This is where simple optimizing techniques come in.
No, you are not compromising your creativity or selling out to the “big, bad, juggernaut of all search engines”… well, maybe you are a little… but, hey, make the most out of that partnership. In all blogging scenarios, tons and tons of traffic is NEVER a bad thing.
Do you know how to write a search-engine-friendly blog post? Blogging is a great way to get the attention of Google and other search engines – if done correctly. Here are some tips for writing searching engine friendly blog posts or news stories that every website should use. Not all of your blog posts have to be directed at search engines, but to rank on specific keyword phrases you should write at least one blog post per keyword phrase.
Let’s get started on: How to Write Blog Articles That Are Search Friendly
Use an SEO Friendly Blog Application
Start by using a blogging platform or application that is known to be search engine friendly. Some of my favorites are Word Press or Blogger (which is owned by Google). If you have a blog that is integrated into your website that is even better, as it keeps the search engine rankings on your website domain. Some key features to look for in a blogging application are having the title or keywords in the blog post url, being able to edit your meta tags for your post, and an automatic submission to an RSS feed. The Alternate Image blogging application does all three of these, and AI clients can view specific instructions on how to create a blog post here. Alternate Image’s blog and news applications are also 100% integrated with your website. If you are not using an AI website, I recommend Blogger or WordPress.
Writing Blog Post Content
Now it’s time to write your blog post. Pick a topic that is interesting and related to your industry. This can be a simple announcement about something new your company is offering, an interview with an expert or professional in your industry, your opinion or response to recent changes in your industry (anything that goes against the status quo). Don’t write something for the sake of writing blah content, make it interesting and useful.
All of your content should flow well and sound natural. You really should have something interesting or newsworthy to talk about. Great topics can include an interview with someone that is an expert in your field or industry, commenting on a newsworthy topic that other bloggers or journalists have covered, a “How To” or tutorial that teaches something, new stuff going on with your company (expansion, new clients, new features, new products, new services, etc.) and anything else that is informative or interesting to readers. Google will no longer index pages that are written with keywords stuffed into them and pages that have no real quality content. If users are not visiting your blog post and reading it, Google won’t want to either. There is no secret to quick and easy blog writing, it all has to be quality content that is optimized for search engines.
Optimizing for Search Engines
Each blog post should have at least 400 words. A good length would be about 400 – 800 words with at least one or two images that will help break up the content. All of your content should be 100% original and not copied from other sources. When writing for search engines, be sure to include your keyword phrase at the beginning and end of your article. You should also use it at least one other time within your article and make at least one occurrence of your keyword link to your website. Ex: This article is covering the basics of blog writing, to see more related content, visit our blog to see more on how to write search engine friendly content.
You should also use variations of your keyword a few times within your article. This will help search engines index your article for related keywords. Ex: If you are optimizing for Daytona Hotels, be sure to use keywords like “Hotels in Daytona” and “Daytona Beach Hotels” within your article. Generally, Bing and Yahoo will index articles that are about 400 words in length, while Google is looking for about 800 keywords to consider something “quality”.
Creating Your Blog Post Title
Keep your title length to about 66 characters. While other search engines may display up to 120 characters, Google will only show the first 66. So be concise and include your keyword phrase. If you aren’t sure how long your title is, copy and paste it into this free character counter to see. Our blog post title is only 47 characters, so it’s good for Google. If you need a free application to count your characters, you can use this one, at http://www.lettercount.com
Adding Search Engine Friendly Images
Search engines cannot see your images, so you have to use Alt Tags to tell them what the image is. Alt Tags can be added directly in the HTML code, or if you are using the Alternate Image blog or news applications, simply insert an image through the media manager and fill out the “Alt Text” field with your keywords, separated by dashes. It is also a good idea to rename the filename of your image to reflect the keyword.
Ex: Instead of using some random filename assigned by the camera, like DSC1001.jpg, rename your image to something like daytona_hotels.jpg. Google has recently started to ignore alt tags, unless the image has been linked to another page in your website. Yahoo and Bing will look at the alt tags, so be sure to use them if you are not linking, but more importantly, link your image to your website. To do this in Alternate Image’s blog or news application, simply click on “link image” when you are inserting an image through the media manager. Add your target url, which should be a page within your website, and then submit the image. Once you save your work, your image should be clickable.
Writing Your Blog Meta Tags
If you are using an application that allows you to “Tag” your content or add meta tags, be sure to take the time to do so. This helps tell search engines what your article is about. You generally have three types of meta tags; Title, Description and Keywords.
Google has long ignored meta keywords since seo writers started abusing this years ago, but Yahoo and Bing still pay attention to them so you will want to add at least 5 meta keywords to your article. Keywords are really keyword phrases separated by commas. This should only be about 256 characters at most and use different variations of your keywords found in your content.
An example of meta keywords for this blog post would be:
writing search engine friendly content, seo writing, blog writing, search engine friendly blogging applications, writing seo blogs
The description is important to add because it tells the search engines a short summary of the content found on your page. This is what appears within the first few sentences on search engine results that gives visitors a look at what they would find if they visited your website’s blog post. This is what sells your article. Make it short and to the point, with only the most important items and keywords. It should sound natural and not an attempt to use all your keywords within a sentence or two. The recommended length for a description tag is approximately 156 characters.
An example of meta description for this blog post would be:
Tips for writing search engine friendly blog posts and articles for website SEO. Learn blog writing for search engines to rank higher on search results.
This is the most important meta tag to use as it helps search engines determine what is the most important info on this page. The meta title also appears on the title bar of your browser, which is visible to all of your website visitors. Never try to stuff more than one keyword phrase into your meta title. You should ideally only be optimizing for one keyword phrase per article. The title tag should be less than 63 characters in length and use your keyword plus company name or location. It should also give visitors an idea of what the content is going to be on this page.
An example of meta title for this blog post would be: How to Write Blog Articles That Are Search Friendly
If you are using the Alternate Image blog and news applications, you can add your meta tags in below each post or story.
Things NOT to Do
Do not overstuff with keywords, pay for links to your website or article, use any type of ”rank on the first page of Google overnight” scheme, copy content from another website, or try to use any type of cloaking methods that Google will sandbox your website for. Google is one of the most powerful companies in the world and is focused on providing quality search results that are not altered by paid “ranking schemes’. There are no shortcuts that they do not already know about. Websites can be blocked by Google if they find you are using these practices to rank, and once you are in the sandbox it is quite hard to get out. Just ask JC Penney about their Google debacle, or Overstock.com about giving deep discounts on products in exchange for links back to their website. Both are hard to find on Google for searches they used to rank within the top 5 for. Google knows all and will find out what you are doing and block your website.
Posting Your Blog & Making it Viral
If you are using an application that allows you to automatically submit your new blog posts and articles to an RSS feed, then you should be good. If not, Google’s webmaster tools allow you to create a sitemap of your website and notify Google of your new content. This will tell the search engine that you have added new content and it will get indexed faster. Alternate Image’s blog and news applications will automatically submit your new articles and blog posts to your RSS feed, which is immediately indexed by search engines.
Be sure to promote your blog post by having it feed somewhere prominent on your home page. You should also get people to read your article by posting it to your social media profiles, specifically Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In. Make sure that you include a link directly to your post. If you have friends on Twitter, get them to retweet your blog post tweet to make it popular. If you use social media bookmarking sites, like Digg or Reddit, bookmark your blog post as something interesting for others. The best way to get immediate free traffic to your blog post is to use your social media profiles to reach out to the people you know that will want to read your article. We include our articles and blog posts in our monthly newsletter and will also send links to our clients who ask questions about any topics we have covered in our blog.
Learning how to write search engine friendly blog articles and stories takes time and practice. The more you write and monitor your rankings/site visitors, the more you learn about what search engines do and don’t like for content. Be sure to proofread everything and use only accurate info. Also, post new articles every week or so, search engines like to see fresh consistent content added to your website.
Good luck in writing your search engine friendly blog articles!