How to Format Your Blog Post for SEO

July 13, 2018
Anna Hubbel
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You have something to say, and you want to share it online. Awesome! That’s the best way to reach a large audience. But there’s a little something called search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, that is needed to boost your blog to the top of Google’s search feed. The better your SEO, the higher your blog will appear on the feed, and the higher your chances of attracting readers. But how does SEO work? The short answer is keywords.

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Keywords are words you should use throughout your post that are relevant to the meat or essence of your blog. For example, if your blog is about Facebook advertising, you’d want to use the keyword “Facebook advertising” throughout your blog to improve SEO. Google’s system then reads those keywords and matches them with searches users conduct that contain the phrase “Facebook advertising.” In simpler terms, Google interprets how you prioritize certain keywords and uses that information to determine your credibility and expertise on the topic to deliver the search results most valuable to users. Here are the essential steps to take when writing a blog post to make sure it has excellent SEO.

Step 1: Think of SEO Keywords before You Write

As eager as you are to start typing, first brainstorm keywords you want to rank high for in Google Search. Do some research and find the keywords your audience uses on Google. Using the Facebook advertising example again, here are some example keywords you’d want a blog post to contain to rank high in search results:

  • Facebook advertising
  • Digital advertising
  • Social media advertising
  • Facebook ads
  • Facebook creative

Keep your list handy and decide which keywords are the most important. It helps to order them according to priority.

Step 2: Add High-Rank SEO Keywords to Your Blog Post Title

Once you have your list of keywords, determine which ones you specifically want to rank high for and then add it to the title of your blog post. Your title is the master heading of your blog post, so the keywords you add to it will be interpreted as most important in comparison to other words you use. For example, the title of this blog post contains three high-rank keywords:

  • Optimize
  • Blog post
  • SEO

Step 3: Add SEO Keywords to Headings

Blog post platforms such as WordPress offer different heading options: Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, and so forth. You should incorporate headings into your blog post and include any keywords you want to rank high for in those headings. Keep in mind that Heading 1 will have more effect than Heading 2, Heading 2 will have more effect than Heading 3, and so forth.

For example, the first heading within this blog post contains the target keyword “SEO.” By including it in our heading, we are communicating to Google that we want to rank high for this particular keyword.

Step 4: Link the Web Page to Target SEO Keywords

If “Facebook advertising” is our target keyword, we should attach a link to it that directs readers to the web page we want to rank high for. If your post is about hiking gear, for example, and that is your target keyword, you should include a link to your hiking gear product page. This is just another way to communicate to Google that you’re an expert on your topic and have additional, valuable information to offer your readers.

Step 5: Mention SEO Keywords 1 to 5 Times in Your Blog Post

To prove to Google that your blog post is about the keywords you claim, in addition to including them in your title and headings, you should mention keywords one to five times in the body paragraphs of your blog post. If you go over five, you will inadvertently keyword stuff, which involves using specific keywords far too much. Google does not like keyword stuffing. But you also want to make sure Google is accurately interpreting the importance of your desired keywords, hence the 1 to 5 range is ideal.

Step 6: Use Your Blog Title as the Title for Your Images

Google doesn’t like images that are titled generically, like “image 1” or “pic 1.” Use your blog title as the title for your images. For example “how-to-advertise-well-1” is far better than “pic 1.” When titling each image, use the same structure while changing the number. For example, “how-to-advertise-well-1,” “how-to-advertise-well-2,” and so forth. Google reads image titles when considering SEO, so this is an important step.

Step 7: Write 1,200 Words

Last but not least, it helps to have a post length of approximately 1,200 words. This length offers more value to the reader and makes it easy to spread out keywords for your SEO. It also builds Google’s confidence in your blog post as containing expert information.

That being said, don’t just add fluff words to your post for the sake of length. It should be well-written and edited for clarity. It doesn’t have to be exactly 1,200 every single time, as some content requires fewer or more words to both fully and succinctly cover the main topic. But set 1,200 words as the ideal goal because this will give you more wiggle room in either direction and will produce a great quality post in the end. A high-quality post is a widely read post, which is ultimately a high-ranking post in Google Search results.

To summarize, you should do the following to optimize your blog post for SEO:

  • Think of SEO Keywords before You Write
  • Add High-Rank Keywords to Your Blog Post Title
  • Add Keywords to Headings
  • Link the Web Page to Target Keywords
  • Mention Keywords 1 to 5 Times in Your Blog Post
  • Use Your Blog Title as the Title for Your Images
  • Write 1,200 Words

Now that you have your SEO guide handy, you can do what your fingers have been aching to do and write an awesome blog post.

If you want to do more with your blog on social media, you can also learn how to repurpose your blogs on Facebook.