The Ultimate Guide To Writing Killer Blog Posts For SEO

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Last updated on October 19, 2023

Besides the obvious SEO benefits, your blog posts are why your visitors are on your website, so you must give them something fantastic.

Only some marketing processes can be boiled down to a formula, but I did my best to develop a successful plan for writing great blog posts every time.

  • In this article, you’ll learn:
  • The essential elements of an excellent blog post
  • How to find the best keywords and topics
  • Step-by-step guide for writing a post to keep your audience thrilled
  • How to optimize your blog post to outrank your competitors and increase your CTR

The Ultimate Guide To Writing Killer Blog Posts For SEOImportant: Your Blog Post Has To Be a Win-Win

All the best blog posts written were transactional, meaning plenty of give-and-take.

Your goal is to give the reader lots of helpful and insightful information, teach them something they didn’t already know, and improve their lives.

What you get in return is organic traffic, increased SEPR rankings, and sales.

Plus, now you’re seen as the authority in your niche – this might be the most significant benefit.

If creating killer blog posts were easy, every post would be wildly successful, which is not the case.

Crafting successful win-win blog posts takes planning and hard work. I created this guide to help you get it done the right way.

I hope it helps you.

What Are The Essential Elements Of A Great Blog Post?

Consistent

Readers want a reliable hub of information, a place they can call home. Make them feel like they don’t need to go to another website to get what they need, and you’ll keep them for a long time.

Clear and Concise

We all have something to say, but being an eloquent writer takes a lifetime. (I could be a more fluent writer, but I babble the correct information to the best of my ability.) Clear writing comes naturally to some.

Choose your words deliberately, compose your thoughts and sentences carefully, and use proper grammar.

Unique

Do your best to share something new or to provide a fresh look at something old. Read everything you can about the subject, then try to put a twist on the information to create something new.

Detailed, Analytical, Specific

Become an expert in your subject and dig deep! How many articles have you read that left you feeling like you ate a loaf of Wonder Bread, wondering where the information went?

Give them the goods! Give them some facts and graphs and let them draw their conclusions.

Personality

Quality writing is about communicating not only your point but your personality. Break some rules to get your mojo across. Try writing how you speak so your readers get the real you. Be honest.

Thought-Provoking

Why did you find your topic interesting? Something about it was thought-provoking for you. Get that across to your readers, and they’ll remember you.

Passionate

Pick a subject that intrigues or stimulates you and get that energy into the blog post. Don’t write like you’ve got a stinky wet rag over your face.

Educational

People use the internet to buy, learn (or stalk an ex). Readers love step-by-step guides to almost anything. Teach them something badass, and you might get a high-5.

Start With Keywords And User Intent

As we know, blog posts need to have a primary purpose. They need to be educational, hilarious, or solve some problem the reader is having.

Starting with the user intent, which is THE WHY in your post, will ensure that you keep the reader and their needs your top priority.

How?

Do the research to uncover tough questions that need answers. Find out what issues keep your readers up at night. Dig deep to discover the solutions you can provide.

Common types of User Search Intent are informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional.

Do Your Keyword Research: Main Target Keywords

Hit the keyword research before you start writing.

You can use many tools to find the best top-level parent keywords.

  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer is my favorite tool for finding keywords because it provides:
  • The search volume.
  • Keyword difficulty.
  • Cost per click (in Adwords).
  • The total traffic number.

You can choose to go after the top-performing keywords or the low-hanging fruit. Your direction will depend on the strength and age of your website and your business goals.

Find Your Secondary Related Keywords

Secondary keywords are any keywords or phrases related to your main parent keyword. Think of synonyms, closely related topics, and long-tail phrases. They all fall into the secondary keyword category.

Here are a few good ways to find secondary keywords:

1. Use Google Related Searches

Search your main keyword in Google, and scroll down to the bottom of the SERPs where it says, “Searches related to [keyword].”

Here is a list of related keywords and phrases. Google did the work for you by listing the other commonly searched terms similar to your query.

2. Check Google Autocomplete

Check Google Autocomplete is another excellent way to find related search terms. Start typing your query into the search field and watch all suggestions pop up. Add a few to your list!

3. Ahref Keywords Explorer

Ahref Keywords Explorer tool can also help you find secondary keywords.

Type your parent search term into the tool and check the “Keywords Ideas” section. You’ll get a load of great secondary keywords.

  • Matching terms: keywords containing your main keyword
  • Related terms: similar ranking keywords, frequently used keywords
  • Search suggestions: these are from Google autocomplete

Now that you have a list of secondary keywords, choose the best ones and pepper them into your blog post.

Research Your Competitors In The SERPs

You can learn a lot by studying your competitors – especially the successful ones.

If their posts attract the same readers and visitors you want, create a better and more up-to-date post to outrank them in the SERPs and get the eyeballs on your content.

Dive into your competitors’ websites to see which posts get the most traffic and which keywords drive their organic visitors.

Run some Google searches and analyze the top-ranking articles to learn what they’re doing. If they’re in the top 5, they got something right. (structure, keywords, h tags, length, title, topic, retention, etc.)

You can use ahrefs SERP Overview tab to see the heavy hitters for any phrase imaginable.

Study each top-performing blog post and try to notice its strengths and weaknesses.

Some might have great formatting, but their content is thin. Other posts might be extraordinarily eloquent but have weak titles.

You might notice more similarities than differences in the top 10 articles on a particular topic. This is normal.

The trick is finding the crack in the armor and providing that magical piece of missing information that will get your readers’ attention.

Answer The Google Snippet Questions

Do you know that box of questions in the SERPs? Those are the Google Questions “People also ask.”

The questions and answers are pulled from blog posts in your niche. Make sure you include these questions and answers in your post, too.

Two reasons to do this:

  1. If Google adds the question snippet, you can be sure it’s commonly asked
  2. Your post could get chosen as one of the snippets – winner!

Follow These Steps To Write A Great Blog Post

Now that you have the topic, keywords, direction, and intent, you can create the title, structure, hook, word count, tone, and flow – then do the SEO.

Choose The Ideal Content Length For Your Topic

Many studies have shown that the word count sweet spot is between 2000-2500 words per article.

It depends on the topic and keywords you’re trying to rank for. I’ve seen all page-one articles for a particular phrase have word counts over 5000.

If this is the case with your target phrase, I won’t publish a page with less content than the pages already ranking.

Shoot to publish a page with the same or a little more content than the best articles in the niche, but don’t fill it with garbage.

Make it better, not just longer.

Create A Compelling Blog Post Title

Your blog post title has a big job. It has to tell the reader what the post is about AND convince them to read it.

Your blog post title has to be descriptive so Google knows when to show it, and it must be click-worthy to get the conversion.

A blog post title for a personal injury law firm could be “What To Do After You’ve Been In A Car Accident.”

Do you like it?

You might want to know what to do after a car accident, but is it compelling? No.

Does it tell you when you’re going to learn? Not really.

How about this one?

“34 Insane Excuses Insurance Companies Use To Deny Your Car Accident Injury Claim.”

See the difference?

This one has some energy and gives the reader a clear picture of the piece.

Take some time to work on your titles because all of the hard work that went into writing the piece will go to waste if nobody clicks on the link.

Tip:
Sometimes, the best blog post title comes days after you start writing. Keep track of your ideas and present them to colleagues to see which gets the best response.

Write An Intro Paragraph That Excites The Reader

“Intros are annoying. They don’t provide any value to the reader. And, because intros don’t provide much value, Google doesn’t give a crap about them either.”

FALSE: Although some lazy writers create lousy intros that don’t provide value, this statement is invalid.

Most readers quickly skim the intro and the H tags to determine if the article is worth their time, so ensure you get your tone and a quick outline of what the reader will learn in your blog post intro.

Get to the point of your blog post in the first paragraph, and make sure there’s a sufficient build-up to create the desire to continue reading.

And make sure your H tags kick ass too.

Get The Layout and Structure Right

Blog post layout and structure are very different from print. Book readers flip through page after page of walls of text without batting an eye.

Dense pages of text don’t bother us if it’s in a book but on a computer screen. Yikes! No way!

Feed them small chunks of content at a time with spaces for every one or two sentences.

Organize The Piece With Subheaders

Help guide the reader through your piece logically and coherently.

Headers and subheaders (H tags described below) are super important not only for SEO but also to help the reader understand the information on the page.

Readers will likely skim the page reading the subheaders to see if your article is worth their time.

Every subheader (H2 and H3 tags) is an opportunity to draw the reader in, so use your title writing skills to make them great!

Also, remember to add your primary and secondary keywords in your subheaders.

Place Your Hooks In Each Subheader

Hook the reader in the first two sentences and throughout the entire piece with each subheadline.

There are way too many distractions online to take this lightly. It’s just too easy to click away and go to another post or to Amazon to buy weight gainer extreme bloat explosion protein powder.

Pepper in some provocative statements, shocking facts, rhetorical questions, and personal stories.

Focus your content on the benefits of the information and create some urgency.

K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid)

Sorry – I’m not calling anyone stupid. The idea here is to feed your readers simple, bite-sized information that is easy to digest.

Leave out all of the fluff, filler, and showy language.

A few years ago, Google released an update that preferred simple language; some said it’s 8th-grade reading level.

I know some smart-ass 8th graders – Google seems to think they’re simple, so KISS.

Short sentences, short paragraphs, small words, less is more – even when covering complex material.

Use Images, Screenshots, GIFs, Videos, Graphs, and Diagrams

Which media types you use in your blog post depends on the subject matter. Writing a very technical piece might help the reader get to the point with a graph or a short video.

If your piece is fun and creative, you could spice up the page’s look with full-color images that tell a story.

Images not only bring a page to life, but they also help the reader understand the material. This is especially true in a “How To…” blog post where a picture is worth a thousand words.

There are loads of great image tools out there. Here’s a great tool to make little screenshot videos: https://gyazo.com/en

Summarize And Guide The Reader To Their Next Steps

Write a good closing paragraph to give the reader a quick summary of the article and provide the next steps for them to take.

Usually, the next step is a call to action (CTA).

A CTA can be anything that you want them to do.

Ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, watch a video, comment, read another post, share on social media, or leave a review.

Proofread Your Masterpiece And Get A Second Opinion

Check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar, but there’s more to it.

Read through your blog post a few times to ensure it’s clear and straightforward enough for a 6th grader to stay engaged and get all your points.

Ask a few trusted friends to read the post. Ask them how it flowed and whether it was easy to understand.

Ask them if they found any sentences to be awkward. If so, go back and simplify them.

Want some help with word choices, spelling, and grammar? Try https://www.grammarly.com/

Want help with readability? Try https://hemingwayapp.com/

Now You’re Ready To Rock The Blog Post SEO

uppercutseo.com is packed with on-page SEO strategies, but we’ll jam them in this post, too, so you don’t have to flip around to get that info.

Getting this stuff right is crucial if you want your post to rank and get some organic get Google traffic.

Most people use Yoast’s SEO plugin to get the title and meta in place. https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/

Blog Post Title Optimization

Your blog post title is your SEO title too, plus a little CTA if you have room in the 60 characters Google gives you. The title and meta are visible in the Google SERPs like this:

how to write title tags for SEO

Blog Post URL

Your blog post URL will most likely look like this:

www.your-domain.com/blog/you-cool-blog-post-title

The most important thing to remember is not to change it once it’s live.

Here are a few more tips:

  • Keep it short
  • Avoid “Stop Words”: A, And, The, But, Or, So
  • Avoid special characters

Write Catchy A Meta Description

The Meta Description is not a ranking factor, but don’t take these lightly. Take the time to keep your readers in mind, and write a tremendous 160-character meta description for your post.

Answer these questions:

  • What will your reader get out of your post?
  • What would they not want to miss?
  • How long does your article take to read?
  • What action should they take?

Example:
“Click here to learn the top 10 secrets insurance companies don’t want you to know. 9 min read”.

Code In Your H Tags

H tags are in the body of the page with your text. The HTML codes are

H tags are in the body of the page with your text. The HTML codes are <h1> for the main headline, <h2> for the subheaders, and <h3> defines the third-level heading.

You add <h2> before the title and </h2> after the title.

You won’t see the <h2> in your content, but Google does because it’s in the page’s code.

Tag Your Images Properly

The file name and alt tags are important for on-page SEO and help your image rank and capture organic traffic in the Google images search.

Most images start with a file name that consists of a bunch of numbers like this 27635544-photo.jpeg

Change that up!!!

Add your keywords in there, man! Like this:

TX-car-accident-lawyer-at-court.jpeg

Google reads these files and tags, and getting the keywords there will help rank the page.

Do The Internal Linking

Internal links are like the electrical wiring of your home. Link juice passes from page to page as electricity passes from room to room.

Internal linking passes link juice to your pillar pages (top money pages), making them as strong as possible.

Take your time to get this right. Google pays close attention to the pages you link to, and the anchor text your use. Only link to relevant pages and posts and ensure the anchor text suits the destination page.

Add Your Relevant Outbound Links

A relevant outbound link is a link from your page or post to a page on a different website.

Google loves websites that try to provide the best and most helpful information, and linking to authority sites to help your readers find more info makes Google happy.

It shows that you’re more interested in helping your reader than keeping them on your page – Google gives you a little ranking boost because you’re such a nice person. 🙂

Now Promote Your Blog Post And Get Some Backlinks!!!

Don’t just publish your blog post; let it sit there all sad. Do the work to get some eyeballs on your piece. You’re not done yet.

Google will compare the backlink profile of your post with the profiles of all other posts on the same topic, so you’ll need to get some authority sites to link to it.

UppercutSEO can help with this. Create a free account and sort through the options available to you.

Do Your Own Manual Outreach

You could also do manual outreach and ask web admins to link to your post. It’s a long and complicated process – here it is in a nutshell:

  • Search for your target keywords to get a list of potential bloggers.
  • Spend the time to read the content on each site to see if linking to you would make sense.
  • Find an article on each site that would benefit from a link to your post.
  • Contact them through their website, and ask them to read your post.
  • Ask them to link to your post.

In Conclusion

There are a lot of steps that go into creating, optimizing, and promoting a blog post.

The benefits will outweigh the work if you take the time to publish blog posts that provide value to your readers.

You will generate leads, make sales, build trust, increase your brand authority, rock your SEO – and more.

I hope this was helpful.

Thanks for reading this post!

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