How many times do you go to Google when you have a question? Chances are you probably go 9 out of 10 times (if not all 10 times) to Google (or other search engine platforms like Bing for all of the Bing fans out there). After you’ve asked the question, have you noticed that you often find that the results are blog posts?
You might think that you just create a blog, post it, and then Google grabs it and chooses to show it sometimes.
And that’s not really the case.
You might already be aware of it, or may just hear it being talked about, but if you’re not, there is this thing called SEO (I’m an SEO myself) or Search Engine Optimization.
And it’s something that should be really important to bloggers; in fact SEO should be a part of your blog strategy.
But First, What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of being able to be more visible on search engine sites by implementing a variety of tactics that can help you show up higher on a SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). It’s something that’s super critical for any website out there as most of your web traffic might come from Organic Search (the non-ad search results you find on any search engine).
Okay, I understand. How Is Blogging Related to SEO?
Blogging is really critical for SEO, unless you don’t want much traffic to come from search engines (but who wouldn’t want more traffic to their blog?). If your website is not a fully-blog website, you need to have a blog that’s consistently updated to have new content on your website.
Do I Have to Change My Writing Style?
You might think that you have to overly-optimize your blog, and that’s not true. In fact, you should be writing your content with your users in mind, not a search engine. Which makes sense, because you want people to read your content and not abandon it because it doesn’t sound natural. But you do want to make sure that your writing is SEO friendly.
So, What Is SEO Blog Writing?
First, let me start by rearranging the wording of this so it says “Writing a Blog with SEO in mind”. Aside from writing for your audience, it’s simply taking into consideration different aspects of your post. And again, it’s definitely not a type of writing that is meant for search engines, but there are elements that you can apply to your post that will help it with SEO.
First, you have to make sure that whatever your main target keywords are, are actually mentioned on the post.
Imagine you’re trying to rank for “how to train your dog not to bark” (which actually gets about 1,900 searches per month by the way) but on your post on dog training, you just talk about getting your dog to respond to their name and how to sit.
It will never rank for that phrase because you never mentioned anything about ways to train your dog “not to bark”.
Now don’t go overboard and try to mention the phrase that you want to rank for so many times. Just mention it once or twice (with a variation) and write as you normally would for your readers. Search engines like Google, have gotten super smart within the past years and can interpret the various synonyms for keywords so you do not have to do variations of keywords.
For example, using the example above, they would understand that the question of “how can I train my dog so they don’t bark anymore” would be the same just worded differently.
So, never ever repeat a keyword so many times that it sounds like it’s spam (and like you’re writing for a search engine) because they’ll catch on to you and your blog could be severely penalized. This practice is actually known as keyword stuffing. At one point some people were doing it on their websites until Google started to catch on what was going on.
If you’ve noticed on this and other posts, I like to add sub-headers to separate my content. This is something that search engines love because it provides you with a great reading experience and it helps them better understand how your content is structured.
In addition to this, I also like to break content into sentences when possible, so that you’re not reading a 20-sentence paragraph that has no breaks in between.
Just to keep the answer short (although I know it’s not really short anymore) these are just some. There are a lot more things that could be talked about here and they may make it into a future blog post.
How Can I Find Topics or Questions To Blog About for SEO?
There are so many tools out there to help you with topic & keyword research for your blog, but one of my most favorite ones is Ubersuggest, which is run by one of the top SEO gurus out there, Neil Patel. The tool is free! And it’s hard to believe that an amazing tool like it is. Thank you Neil!
One of my favorite features is that it allows you to simply add a keyword or two and be able to have so many ideas to go with for your post and provides a variety of key metrics on the keywords listed. I spend so much time on it because it helps you find topics to blog about and has even served as a source of inspiration for me to blog about topics that I maybe wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
And it provides questions! Questions that you probably hadn’t thought of but that people are looking for.
If you’re really knowledgeable about a topic, why wouldn’t you want to answer these questions that can in turn help bring new readers to your content?
This amazing SEO tool also provides you with the ability to track just a couple of keywords to see how your blog post ranks over time so it’s great to add those main keywords you want your blog to rank for on this tool right after you post it to see how it does.
Great! But Why Is Blogging Important for SEO?
Do you still not see the value of blogging for SEO? Well, Google, in particular, likes when new content is added. And it makes sense. The more content you produce for your blog, the more “listings” you’re providing to them to be able to show to searchers out there. If you create content that they see that users enjoy reading, then you may make it to the first page for searches around that topic.
How Often Should You Blog for SEO?
There is no magic number to how many times you should blog. In an ideal world we’d all like to post so many times per month to have so much content on our blogs. But I would say that if you at least post 1-2 times/week, you are still providing new content often and it can help with SEO.
It also does depend on how that content is presented.
For example, if you only post once per week, but that post consists of a thorough, detailed blog post that has images, video, a word count of over 2,000, and some sub-headers to break your content. Then posting once/week might be best for you than say posting 2-3 times per week blogs that only have 200-400 words.
Although if you’re posting shorter blog posts that provide answers to questions that haven’t really been answered yet or you provide a better answer than them, then shorter posts might still work out.
And having thousands of blog posts, doesn’t always mean that you’ll be doing great SEO-wise. It really depends on the content that you’ve chosen to blog about and how competitive the keywords are for it.
At the end of the day, it’s really all about quality over quantity. And if you can achieve the quantity, while having the quality, then your blogs could be getting so much more traffic.
Are Blog Comments Good for SEO?
Yes! 🙂 They are a part of your blog and the content your visitors and you (when you respond) is also read by search engines. You may have even come across search results that actually show a comment from a post rather than on the blog itself (I’ve seen these results).
But don’t ask for people to leave you comments because of that because the main source of SEO for your blog is your post itself because that’s the first thing people will read. If something on a comment is picked up, there’s a high chance that people may not scroll all the way down to the comments to find what they are looking for. Plus, comments are meant to have an interactive forum on your post themselves so make sure that that’s still the case.
As I said earlier, remember that with any writing on your post that it’s meant for your audience and not for the search engines because if you write with that in mind, you’ll have better results with SEO.
SEO is and should always be a part of your blog’s strategy.
It should always be monitored because it can bring so much traffic to your posts that wouldn’t come to you otherwise. It should be noted though that while it can take a significant amount of time to improve your SEO, it’s well-worth it because if you’re producing content that you want people to read, then that content should be found by searchers.
Because, again, how many of you choose to open your favorite search engine and ask a question? I’m guessing mostly everybody.
I have some questions for all of my readers: Do you do SEO for your blog? Have you heard about SEO or is this the first time you hear about it?