May 26, 2021
5
 min read

Content writing & SEO: 5 secrets of  high-performing blogs

Hannah Macready

Text is the foundation of search and search is the best way to drive organic leads.

Don’t believe us?

Here are a few stats to consider:

If you’re looking to improve your online performance, benefit from organic search, and compound your returns on investment, then you need a good content writing strategy.

It’s important to remember that high-performing blogs aren’t just about SEO. The quality of your content, the way you deliver it, and the tactics you use to keep readers engaged will determine whether your blogs rank or disappear. 

Let’s get started.

How to write for SEO

Search engine optimization is more than just the way you write. There are technical aspects of SEO to consider when you create your website and begin your blogging plan.

That being said, ignoring SEO in your content strategy will cause your blogs to underperform and affect your returns.

If you want to write strong, SEO-savvy content, there are some rules to abide by. 

Keywords

Keywords act like tags that connect your content to the rest of the internet. Search engines, like Google, use these tags to determine whether your content is relevant, legitimate, and where it will sit in search results. 

You can use tools such as Moz, Ubersuggest, and Google Keyword Planner to search for relevant keywords to your topic. A smarter move would be to do your keyword research first, then create topics based on phrases you know will rank.

moz content writing keyword suggestions and analysis

Headings

You’ll often hear these referred to as H1’s,  H2’s, or H3’s. Your headings break up your content and improve readability, but they also offer opportunities for keyword implementation.

When creating headings, make sure to follow these guidelines:

  1. Use keywords 
  2. Write for scannability
  3. Engage your audience

Alt text

Alt text shows up when an image is corrupted or unavailable. It also improves accessibility for your diverse audience.

Alt text also acts as an extra tag to your content that search engines use to determine your ranking.

Strong alt text should be descriptive of the image and, ideally, contain your keyword. If you have to choose between descriptive alt text and inserting your keyword, choose descriptive. Search engines penalize keyword stuffing and incorrect or unhelpful alt text.

Remember that the purpose of this text is user accessibility. Improper use of this feature will result in a negative ranking for your blog. 

Internal and external links

We like to think of the web as an interconnected ecosystem.

As you move through search results, articles, and web pages, you’ll find a connected forest of links, backlinks, and calls-to-action that navigate you through to your goal.

When writing blogs, include both internal and external links in your copy.

  • Internal links lead users to other parts of your website and increase time spent and page traffic overall.
  • External links provide validation to claims you make, as well as connecting you to other reliable sources.

Both internal and external links prove your web authority to search engines by connecting your pages to reputable sources.

The more external links you get from other sites and blogs, the better your overall domain authority will be.

What makes a blog perform well?

Quality content

No matter how great your SEO strategy may be, none of that will matter if no one wants to read your content.

A good blog emphasizes the reader. It explains its point succinctly and clearly and doesn’t confuse the audience with keyword stuffing, illegible headings, or lengthy, wordy content.

Taking a user-first approach to your written content will positively affect your SEO alongside your brand integrity. 

Quality content should be prioritized, every time. 

Readability

People on the internet want information fast.

They also want to easily scan your content and move on.

Remember, you’re writing for other people. Even if you feel it's necessary to recount a summer at grandma’s house, your audience probably won’t care.

To improve readability, write short lines.

Super short lines.

And break up your paragraphs frequently.

You can also use lists to aid scannability.

Lists are good for:

  • Quickly summing up a number of points
  • Breaking up lengthy paragraphs to encourage scanning
  • Making certain points standout to emphasize your thesis

Visual content

Design can also improve the readability of your posts. Use graphs and charts when possible, or even explain your main point in an illustration. 

blogging performance graph describing traits of high performing blogs

Remember, the design is not always graphics, images, or web layouts. It can also be the way you use copy styles, such as bolding, headings, and italics. 

Breaking up your paragraphs and keeping your lines short also contributes to the visual design of your blogs. 

Insider tips

Blogging is a lucrative tool in your marketing arsenal. But, it can take time and experience to do it right.

If you’re just starting out, or if you’ve been blogging for a while but aren’t seeing the results you’re looking for, here are a few pro tips from our team.

  1. Use keywords to determine your blog topics: This will ensure your content is optimized from the start. Researching competitor keywords can also help you rank alongside them and, ideally, outperform competitor’s content.
  2. Create an outline before you start writing: You probably remember this from college, but creating outlines helps you keep your ideas organized and your thesis clear.
  3. Create long-form and short-form content: Short form content is usually anything below 800 words. Long-form content is closer to 2,000 words. A mix of both styles on your blog will help you build your online presence.
  4. Create a strategy before you start writing: Like anything in digital marketing, you’ll lose money if you start writing blogs with no clear strategy. Understanding your audience, niche, offerings, and tactics are essential before beginning the work. If you don’t know where to start, reach out to us

Finally, hire a copywriter

You now know how important blogging is to your digital marketing strategy.

You’re probably thinking it’s time to start writing.

But, blogging isn’t just about checking SEO boxes or publishing a new blog every week.

It’s about creatively understanding your audience’s pain points, curating content that will meet their needs, and presenting it in a legible, effective way that improves your brand integrity.

Still think it’s easy?

We’d like to suggest that you hire a copywriting expert.

Not because you can’t do it yourself, maybe you can.

Not because you aren’t a great writer, maybe you are.

But, like anything in marketing, your blog deserves commitment. It needs a specialist that is ahead of the trends, deep into your audience analytics, and equipped with the creative tools to make it all interesting.

See you on the web.


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