Ever wondered exactly how to write a blog that will make a difference? When it comes to ranking on Google, building trust with your audiences and positioning yourself or your business as a thought leader – blogs are still a gold-standard tool to have in your belt. But as machines get smarter and the total net volume of information increases, how do we ensure our blog content gets enough cut-through to warrant the time spent?
We’ve broken down our top tips for writing a blog post that’ll engage your readers and improve your visibility on Google – and it starts with one golden rule … do your research, but write for people first.
So, what are our top tips for a killer blog post?
Give it a sexy title but make it Google friendly
The title of your blog post is undeniably important. It’s your opportunity to capture attention when people search for information on Google – so make sure you include the keyword, phrase or idea that’s central to your post in the title, along with decisive language to entice potential readers. Think about how you can match what people are Googling with your blog.
Research your keywords [but keep it chill]
Keyword research is still super handy when it comes to mapping out and adding in the search terms you’d like to rank for, but don’t get overzealous with them – the goal of your blog is still to be read by and provide value to human people, so don’t treat it as an opportunity to jam in as many keywords as possible. If you can utilise keywords in a way that feels organic and in line with the intent of the post, fabulous. If not, it’s better to lose a few keywords than it is to sacrifice the integrity of the piece. Some of our favourite keyword research tools are:
- Keyword Surfer – chrome extension
Optimise for featured snippets
Featured snippets are those little boxes of text [a paragraph, list or chart] that pop up in response to particular questions that have been asked about a topic. They’re a super quick and convenient way for readers to find the information they’re looking for. Google usually pulls its featured snippet info from what’s already ranking on the front page, but there is some wiggle room here. The best way to boost your chance of featuring in a snippet is to optimise your blog content but breaking it down into relevant, easily readable sub-sections- much like we’re doing here. If Google can compile your subsections into a list, it’s found a profoundly effective way to provide answers to its users- and will [hopefully] reward you accordingly!
Cut the waffle
While long blog posts tend to perform better than short, it’s not a licence to waffle on. The goal of your blog is to inform or entertain people while keeping them on your site – and you’ll do this more effectively with a concise and well crafted short blog, than you will with one that’s confusing [or boring!] to read. Hemingway Editor is a great [if brutal] way to eliminate unnecessary noise from your writing and help you find clarity. [disclaimer: we couldn’t help but waffle on a bit in this one, but its is FULL of value and is bookmark worthy]
Link internally to keep people on your site
If you have great supporting resources on your own site, linking to them in your blog posts is a great way to encourage engaged readers to explore your website in a bit more depth. It also strengthens the performance of your websites with crawlers [or spiders] by providing clear internal paths through your website. Having relevant content to link to becomes easier the more content you create, so try and get into a rhythm with blog posts to ensure you’re producing a good volume of content.
Link externally to boost your cred
Looking for a little more linking juice? Writing content that is highly valuable to other websites visitors is a great way to boost that juice! A little like building a relationship with an influence, you’ll want to do some research and make sure that website aligns with your business and your values. Research is key here, nobody links spam websites especially Google! So make sure the websites who backlink to you are credible sources and have good domain authority.
Let’s get meta
Metadata is information about your blog post that’s not actually included in your blog post – it’s not visible to your readers, but it’s visible to Google’s wee robots and can help to provide further context to your blog post. The method for adding meta titles and descriptions to your website differs based on the platform you’re using, but there are a whole raft of SEO plugins available to help. For wordpress, we love Yoast.
Include images – Make sure they’re size-optimised & have alt-tags
Images make a great addition to a blog post for a few reasons – they can be used to provide additional context to the subject matter, introduce some colour and interest, or simply just act as a buffer between salient points. It’s important to remember to optimise each image by making sure it’s web resolution [load speed is king] and include a visual description of the image to optimise it for search engines in your alt tag. This visual description will also improve the accessibility of your website content for people using screen readers and convey your brand personality effectively rather than relying on AI that can be a little dicey at times.
Metrics always matter
We are big on metrics here at TDP and that doesn’t stop with our blogs. Checking a few key metrics to help direct your content going forward can really help you figure out what your readers are loving or not. Can you notice any patterns that can be applied to your blogging strategy? Check out your bounce rate, time spent on page and how people discover your blog. Any gold in there? Our guess.. YES.
There’s a lot to think about when constructing an effective blog post… but… don’t overthink it – remember to write for people first, and make your tweaks and edits to the completed piece to accommodate the machines – because readability still reigns supreme.
The best way to start is to just start or check out a few fun things here:
Feel like breaking some copy rules? – Our Social Media Manager, Elaine, has some top tips on this ‘ere blog.