We always see our clients that either we write blog posts for or write their own that they routinely perform better than sites that don’t do any blog posts. There is a secret formula we have used over the years that have allowed us to get all of our clients to the first page almost always. There never is a “magic bullet” that will guarantee you page one results but following best practices, industry trends, and avoiding bad techniques you stand a better chance of being on page one. So, let’s stop the talking and get to some actionable results with Google, Bing, and other search engines.
- Write for your audience
- Ignore grammar nazi’s
- Write for your human readers
- Stop spamming keywords
- Stop writing (yes really) and start thinking
- Beginning, middle, and end
- Paragraphs and bullets
- High-quality evergreen content
- Skimming is okay
- Short and sweet
- Quality content often
I hate to say but people are not all at a 14th grade reading level for your industry. Everyone is all over the place. This means you need to write for your average site visitor. I am not saying to dumb it down but to avoid items that could confuse. Big words, even those with big vocabularies, don’t need those words if you are writing a general document. Keep it simple (stupid) is the best way to go. Avoid any acronyms unless you cover them. For example, search engine optimization is often referred to as SEO. Don’t say SEO in your document unless you have explained what it is. Don’t assume (you know what that means) that you did it ten blogs ago so you don’t need to. Make each article able to live on its own.
Stop being a grammar nazi and be human. You are human right? If not, you must truly hate captcha’s when they ask if you are human. I know as a human I dislike them but as a robot you must be entirely upset at them. If you are writing a technical document, sales flyer, etc. then do make it written perfectly. If you are writing a blog article your authenticity and humanity should come out. When someone attacks you as a grammar nazi (without asking) it just shows they are jerks and are looking for something to complain about. If all of your audience complains then fix it but for a lone wolf don’t worry about it. They just need drama in their lives and you don’t.
We write blog articles for two reasons. The first is the search engines. No, they will never buy from you but they will get humans to come to the site. The second are your real users; humans. Write for them, not the search engines. The search engines are able to figure out what a page is about based on reading algorithms. Each page and article on your website should tackle one item, three at most. No there is no hard-fast rule but if you cover too much on a page you will lose your audience. Your audience can easily click a link for more information as it’s not that hard and in fact builds your internal links (your website web) and will further help your SEO (bonus win!).
If you feel you need 100 keyword phrases on your site write 60 or 80 blog articles that cover that subject in different, unique, entertaining, and interesting ways. By more educating and informing you are not only showing your expertise but also hitting different demographics at the same time. This will lead to your website showing in even more search engine results based on your caring and positive assistance to the internet as a whole.
As you write your posts you need to first think about what you’re going to write about. What I tend to do is come up with a subject, write ten different subjects, read some other articles written by others (and myself). Then I formulate a plan to cover that subject. Don’t just “wing it” when you write.
Whether you are writing a technical document, information about a product or service, or educating you are in essence writing a story. Every story as you learned in school has a beginning, middle, and end. Remember this. Bring your audience into the page, give them awesome content, and don’t leave someone hanging in the end.
In writing this article I am doing two things. I created bullets in the beginning as part of my research and then created paragraphs for each of the bullets. Sometimes I will do this as headings for the paragraph, other times just paragraphs, and sometimes (like this) I will use a combination of paragraphs and bullets. Bullets rock as they are always (or should be) short, sweet, and to the point. Paragraphs allow you to go into more detail and better educate your audience. There’s nothing saying you can’t use all three or use one or more. Write for your intended audience and help them learn.
The more often you write the better your content will get. You will become more in-tune with your audience and that will make your content more relevant for them. As you write you want to make certain to leave certain items out of your content to make it more relevant to the internet. Unless you are writing about a specific news event, etc. avoid mentioning dates, times, and anything that would make your content time sensitive. If you say “the world cup is happening” people know it’s a specific time of the year. They might not know the exact date/time but your content is no longer relevant beyond that initial date. This takes the re-use factor out of your content and diminishes the potential reuse of it.
Often as people read they don’t read every word. I know you’ve put your heart and soul into it. Don’t worry about it. They are reading pieces of this. Many of us, myself included, read signal words. Signal words are words like “first”, “additionally”, “secondly”, “conclusion”, “finally”, etc. These words help people jump to areas of interest to them at this point in their life. This doesn’t mean they won’t be back. In fact (signal word), they often will if they find your content compelling and helpful.
We believe that keeping your posts to 850-1,200 words to be awesome. Others say write a literal book for each post. This post actually falls into this range. There is nothing saying it has to be. Most people have a limited amount of time in their day and you probably aren’t the core item they woke up thinking about (unless it is your significant other).
You need to post at least once a month and ideally twice. We say twice as over the years we found that this is where we have the largest increase within the search engines and when our clients tend to go up. Once a month they do well and twice even better. When we write we look at a specific question we have been asked in the past weeks or days and then write on it. Education is the best form of getting yourself out there and known.
Now with all that knowledge that you read (or didn’t) you can start moving yourself up in the search engines. This is what we do for everyone of our clients each month and we produce 300-500 articles per month. Don’t consider the above a hard and fast rule. Some we write once per month and others weekly. It is all about the industry you are in and those that are reading your content.