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How To Write An SEO Optimized Blog Post For Your Industry

Julia Gao Miller
Julia Gao Miller

Published: December 17, 2021

Last updated: March 9, 2022

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Looking to have blog posts written to solidify your website as an authority in your industry and rank high on Google? 


In this article, we will go over the steps to craft an information-packed, SEO optimized, well-converting blog post for your niche! Let’s get started!

Step 1: Choose a topic related to your industry

Before you even get started writing, you need to make sure you select the right topic/keywords for your industry. No amount of tips and tricks will be to make up for an off-topic article that does not interest your audience.

Keyword: what the user writes into a search engine when he/she want to find something specific. It can be a single word or a combination of words, e.g. “rose” or “rose species red”.

To get started selecting the right topic, we can start with…

a. Google Search

i. The “autocomplete” feature

Google’s autocompleting feature allows you to see what people are searching for the most. Type in a keyword that is related to your industry.

google autocomplete feature

 ii. The “People Also Ask” feature

To get additional ideas, you can also reference the helpful little box titled “People also ask” that pops up after you press search on Google

people also ask google feature

b. Four Free Online Tools To Help You Choose Your Blog Topic

Additional ways you can look for inspiration for blog topics include…

i. Answer The Public

Go to Answer the Public, type in a keyword related to your niche and it will automatically generate hundreds of questions that real people are asking.

answer the public

ii. Google Trends

Google Trends is a free online tool by Google that analyzes the popularity of search queries in Google Search. The website uses graphs to compare the search volume of different queries over time.

How To Use Google Trends

Enter a search term into the search box at the top of the tool to see how search volume has varied for that term over time and in different locations.

Change the location, time frame, category, and type of search (Google Images, Google News, YouTube…) to fine-tune your search.

To compare multiple terms, use the “+ Add comparison” feature:

In the UK, searches for the term “build website” peak in January

iii. WordStream

Using WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool, you can enter a keyword and then choose your industry and country (if desired). You’ll get a list of related keyword suggestions, including long-tail keyword variations, as well as their search volume on Google and Bing.

wordstream

searching “build website”

iv. Ahrefs

Ahref’s Free Keyword Generator will help you generate hundreds of free keyword ideas for Google, Bing, YouTube, and Amazon, complete with monthly search volumes and Keyword Difficulty scores.

ahrefs

Step 2: Qualify Your Blog Topic

Now that you have selected a blog topic, let’s qualify it one more time to see if it is a good topic to invest your time into researching and writing about.

Ask yourself the following questions about your blog post topic…

a. Clarifying Questions

Answering these questions in advance will make it easier for you to not go off-topic when researching and writing your blog post.

  • What specific topics will this blog post cover? 
  • What is the goal of this post? To get better rankings for a keyword? To get more subscribers? To promote one of my affiliate products?
  • How will this new post benefit my readers?

b. Will Your Audience Be Interested?

Don’t alienate your audience with a subject that is only slightly related to the main point of your blog. 

If your blog is about “website development” and you write a blog post about “gardening,” you are likely going to lose the interest of your audience.

c. Lots Of Competition?

Are dozens of reputable sites already covering this topic with huge 5,000-word posts? 

If that’s the case, bear in mind it’s going to be hard for your post to stand out and show up in search engines.

d. What Is The Search Volume?

Analyzing search volume is a good way to gauge the size of your target audience. Without a decent search volume, you’ll have a very hard time attracting readers.

There are a ton of tools to analyze search volume. You can use the free Google Keyword Planner. For more in-depth analysis you can use SEMRush and Ahrefs.

As a general rule, focus on a niche with 10,000+ searches a month, with related searches (a.k.a. potential blog topics) within that niche at 300+ searches a month.

Step 3: Competitor Research

Now comes time to research your topic! When running a business, staying in your lane is important but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look left or right from time to time to see what everyone else is up to. When done right, competitive intelligence. can be an incredible asset to every brand.

Competitive intelligence (CI) is the practice of legally and ethically monitoring, gathering, and analyzing data on your competitors and industry to make better business decisions. 

Some examples of competitive intelligence tools include SimilarWeb and SEMrush.

How to conduct competitor research to come up with ideas for blog topics

Search for your target keyword in your favorite search engine and open the top 3 to 10 (depending on how in-depth you want to go) top results in separate tabs. Take note of the following in each article: 

  • Total word count 
  • How the keywords are used in the introduction and subheadings 
  • The number of images used in the content
  • The number of external and internal links
  • Any data, case studies, or examples used in the content.

Create a piece of content that’s significantly better than your competitors in each of those factors.

For example, if the average content length of the top 10 search results is 1,500 words, make your content at least 3,000 words.

Similarly, use more screenshots, data references, and examples than your competitors. Doing this will make your content more comprehensive and allow you to cover the topic in more detail than your competitors.

Step 4: Structure Your Post

Have you researched and gathered all the information on your blog topic? Great! Now it is time to compile your findings into a digestible format!

a. Design The Overarching Structure Of Your Blog Post

The time you spend in the beginning thinking about how to structure your blog post is time that you save later in the process. Write down the overarching structure of your blog post. 

Example

Tips for an engaging blog post structure:

  • Use a short introduction. 
  • Break down your article into multiple subheadings. Ensure that no subheading has more than 300 words of content under it. If a particular section gets too long, break it down using H3 or H4 tags.
  • Use short paragraphs of one to two lines (three lines max) instead of large walls of text.
  • Frequently use bullets or lists. 
  • Use bold, italics, and underlines to highlight the important parts of your content. 
  • Use at least one image or screenshot in every section of your article. 
  • Embed a relevant video after the introduction.

This content format helps reduce your site’s bounce rate and increases its average session duration. Both these factors strengthen your SEO.

In addition, it’s faster and more efficient to write 200 words to cover a specific part of the post, rather than trying to write larger sections.  This will also be useful when you don’t have the time to finish the post in one sitting.

Now that you have your overarching structure written down, it’s time to…

b. Optimize Your Blog Titles

A good blog title typically has the following characteristics: 

  • It has a character length between 55-60 so that it is shown without breaks on the search results page.
  • It includes your target keyword (but not keyword-stuffed)
  • It accurately describes the content of your blog post 
  • It contains “power words,” words proven by research to make titles more interesting and clickable.

Below is an example list of power words

You can also find inspiration by looking at your competitor’s blog post titles. Search for your keyword on Google and examine the first 3-10 page titles. Create a title that contains your target keyword.

Make sure your title is not the same as one of the titles that are already shown on the first page of the search results. Google rarely shows pages with the same titles in the search results.

Step 4: Implement These Tips

a. Maintain short paragraphs and vary the formatting

Keep your paragraphs short: Use small paragraphs (2-3 sentences long) and take advantage of the various formatting options i.e. bold, italic, underline to make the text less boring.

b. Optimize Your Headings

Headers help Google’s web crawlers understand your blog post and the sections within it. Think of the crawlers as readers who are skimming your blog. They want an overview of what your article will cover, through your H1, H2s, H3, H4s… Include high-intent keywords in your headers and subheaders.

c. Optimize Your URL

Use “-“ to separate the words that make up a URL. Consider making your URLs shorter by removing unnecessary words. For example, transform a long url like /how-to-write-SEO-friendly-blog-posts –my-step-by-step-process/ to /seo-friendly-blog-posts/. 

d. Featured Snippets

Featured snippets on Google are the most direct answers to search queries. 

On the blog…

For instance, if the search term is “best domain extension,” write the answer to this question in numbered or bulleted list.

Once you’ve done that, be sure to include part of the question in your answer. Try to write an answer that’s no more than 58 words.

d. Optimize Your Images (files names, ALT text, compressed)

Use meaningful file names and a human-friendly ALT text.

Compress your images for fast page load speed. Google rewards pages with fast loading speeds, as it improves the user experience. One of the leading culprits of page lag is large, heavy images. If you have several images in your post and each one is over 100KB, that can drastically impact your page speed. Luckily, there are free apps, like Squoosh.app, that compress images without sacrificing quality. If you suspect that your low ranking is due to slow page speeds, head over to Google’s PageSpeed site for a free analysis and recommendations.

e. Long In-Depth posts

In an age of short attention spans, you would think shorter blog posts are the way to go. But in fact, search engines like Google actually prefer longer, in-depth blog posts. Think about it: the more content on the page, the more clues search engines have to figure out what your blog is about. HubSpot recommends the ideal length of a blog post to be  between 2,100 and 2,400 words

f. Link Building Strategy

It’s good to write posts that other websites or publications will want to hyperlink within their own posts.

To make your website’s blog post more linkable, include high-value assets in your posts, such as original data and thought leadership.

i. Link To High-Authority Websites

As you build out your blog post, don’t be afraid to link externally. Linking to reputable websites not only offers blog readers additional reading material to expand their knowledge, but it also shows search engines that you’ve done your research. Nothing strengthens a blog post like research-backed statistics from influential websites. Compelling stats help you build a more convincing and concrete argument that will help you gain the trust of your readers.

Pro SEO tip: Set your outbound links to open to a new page so your webpage remains open even if users move to another website.

ii. The “Hub and Spoke” method

Also sometimes called the content hub method, is the idea of writing the main post, and then linking that post together with several other sub posts that go more in-depth about the topics covered in your main post.

There are three parts to a content hub: the hub, subpages, and hyperlinks. 

The hub is usually going to be a long, but broad, guide to whatever topic you are writing about. 

The subpages are going to take the ideas of the hub post and look at them more in-depth. You then use hyperlinks within your hub page to link to each of these sub posts, as well as hyperlinks within the sub-post that link back to the hub.

g. Additional tips to optimize your blog posts:

  • Ensure your page loads within two seconds. 
  • Ensure your page design is responsive. 
  • Use the target keyword in the title, URL, and meta description. 
  • Use your keyword in the first 100 to 150 words of the page, in the H1, H2, and H3 tags, and naturally throughout your content.

At the end of the day, remember this: do not expect to get results immediately. It takes time to rank in Google. Good luck!

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Julia Gao Miller
Julia Gao Miller
Julia joined the Elite marketing team in 2021. With a background in online marketing, software development and web development, Julia loves diving deep into the web world and rendering the knowledge into blog posts and other useful forms of educational content. Her interests include front end development, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, content marketing, copywriting, and web development. Her creative objective is to produce educational content through Elite to aid you on your journey to building the website and online business of your dreams!

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