Since Google introduced the Panda and Penguin algorithms, it has become increasingly important, if you want your site to rank well, to make sure that it has high quality content and that this content is updated regularly. It’s important to make sure that the content on your site, or on sites where you’ve been guest blogging, is varied and considered as valuable to its readers otherwise you may find that your site drops down the search rankings.
This means that in addition to focusing on making sure that your content is search engine optimised, you also need to ensure that the content is user friendly and that it will draw people back to your site and perhaps share your content through their social networks. To help you do this, below are 5 useful tips that should help you to write great blog content for both your audience and search engines.
- Spend a good amount of time deciding what your target keywords are going to be
Most people have a good idea of the best keywords that describe their site, however, more often than not; these keywords are not going to be strong enough to enable you to continually write topics around them.
You need to take into account how specific the keywords you have are; if they are too narrow you should look to widen them to enable you to write about other subjects and if your keywords are too generic, then competition may be too great and you will need to narrow them down to more specific areas.
Doing keyword research on keyword tools can help you find plenty of words and phrases that can give you writing ideas and keep you going for months, whilst also enabling you to see what people are searching for online so that you can target your writing a lot easier.
Obviously Google is a great place to go for keyword suggestions as you can use their free keyword tool but you should also try using a variety of other online keyword tools, by YouTube, Yahoo or Delicious for instance, to see which suits you best. It’s also advisable to use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) which helps you discover alternative words and phrases that are relevant.
- Pre-plan your content ideas thoroughly
You need to make sure that people are going to want to read your content, so you have to invest enough time into generating lots of attention grabbing headlines and also figure out what each article is going to be about and how you are going to use your newly generated keywords.
To relieve yourself of some of the writing pressure, it’s a good idea to find reliable writers who specialise in guest blogging and can write for you occasionally. You can of course give them the freedom to write any relevant article they want, provided they use your specific keywords within the article.
- Write first, SEO later
It can be very hard to write from the heart when you are constantly thinking about SEO, so here’s an idea; forget about SEO when you’re writing, just let it flow out. Have some fun and enjoy the topics you’re writing about – that way you are sure to write more interesting posts, which your readers will enjoy a lot more.
Once you’ve written a few posts and saved them, it is time to start editing, correcting any mistakes and adding in some SEO elements. Doing this will ensure that your posts read a lot better, as well as sound more natural and less like you’re trying to sell something. Your posts will therefore be a lot more valuable to your readers.
- Don’t miss out the important elements of SEO
Even though we said to leave the SEO till later, this does not mean that you should totally ignore it. SEO is not just about adding relevant keywords into your posts, or guest blogging on other people’s sites to generate backlinks. It is also using the following additional optimisation features:
- Title tag
- Meta description
- Header tags
- Image optimisation using ALT attribute
- Quality over quantity
The attention span of people reading online is not that long, so if you have posts that are longer than 1,000, you are at risk of losing people’s interest. If you find that you have a lot to say, say it over a series of posts instead of just one and this has the added benefit of growing your blog, as well as keeping the focus of your readers.
If you do decide to write content that is longer than 1,000 words, make sure that you format it well; keeping paragraphs to 4 lines and by inserting pictures and subtitles, as this breaks up the monotony of text and means that your reader is a lot more likely to keep reading.
About the guest author: James Marshall writes for Guest Blogging resource Your Guest Blog about all things content. His expertise is in content driven web marketing strategies. When he isn’t blogging or guest blogging about how to blog, he’s developing his very inexpert surfing skills.
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