Everyone keeps saying how blogging is the easiest thing to do in the world.
When it comes to creating a high-performance blog, few things matter as much as great content and SEO.
Ask any blogger and they will attest to the fact that writing a blog post that ranks is tough! There are many variables that you need to take into consideration to create a successful blog.
Getting thousands of clicks and traffic on their blog pages is a dream most bloggers and brands harbor. Brands know that ranking a blog page is inherently easier than ranking a product/service page.
The chance to gain organic links is always there. Not to mention the credibility, trust, and loyalty you can expect after audiences gain credible insights and solutions after reading your blog.
As well know from our personal search experience, we hardly ever step beyond Page 2 of Google’s search. This means that in order to get the clicks, you need to rank higher.
In this resource article, we are going to share ten tips from SEO experts that can help you rank your blog on Google’s first page.
1. Invest in Critical Research and Analysis of Ranking Articles
Most bloggers want to write on topics that they know have high search volumes. If it does not, what is the point of writing in the first place? Rather than start straight away from Keyword research, make sure you are analyzing the articles that are already ranking.
- Check out the word length of the top twenty articles. (You need to create an article of a longer word length).
- Examine the kind of focus and long-tail keywords they are targeting. (You need to create a keyword bank and see how well you can optimize the same).
- Explore the authority of the domain that is on the page. (It is nearly impossible to outrank a .edu or a .gov domain).
Blog writers need to invest a lot of time, energy, effort, and resources in doing research. In fact, this should form a major chunk of your time. The benefit is that it helps give you an overall understanding of who you are going up against. It also helps form a tentative roadmap.
2. Arrange the URL Structures, Meta-Title, and Description
Content writers should not forget that they are not only writing for physical human beings but search engines as well. How will Google’s algorithm know what you are writing about for them to arrange, classify and show it to interested readers? The answer is On-Page Optimizations!
In this regard, writers (and not SEOs!) need to pay attention to the following-
- The URL structure needs to be short, precise, and have targeted keywords. (You should not have URL structures that are too long).
- The Meta Title needs to be no longer than 60 characters and contain at least one focus and one LSI keyword. (You need to make sure sentences are grammatically correct).
- The Description needs to be a gist or summary of the content. (You need to make sure that you are including information that can help inform users about the content).
On-page optimizations like the ones mentioned above help search engines direct users towards the right kind of content. CTRs depend on how well your meta descriptions are attracting the interests of the users.
3. Focus on Creating Original and Non-Plagiarized Content for the Blog
There are a lot of resource articles that say that plagiarism does not really matter. However, if you want to be safe, you do not want to be sitting on a ticking time bomb of manual action. The best approach is to go 100% original in terms of creating blog content. Getting inspired is one thing, copying from another source is another.
- Every time you write content, pass it through plagiarism checker tools. (You can use tools like Copyscape, Grammarly, Quetext, and other premium versions).
- Do not use the same titles, headlines, or bullets for the content. (You always need to paraphrase the headlines and bullet points in your own words).
- Try to avoid following the same structure as an authority article. (You need to move around the various sections, and add one or two new ones to separate your article).
When it comes to Google’s best practices on content, originality is right up there on top. There is no substitute for original content, as far as ranking blog articles is concerned.
4. Long Format and Properly formatted Blog Posts perform well in ranking
As a blog writer, you need to outperform the articles that are ranking, not only on quality but also on word length. While Google has not set in place any definite markers for word length, SEO experts from digital marketing agency Igloo suggest, the longer it is, the better are the chances.
Long format content stands a better chance at ranking than thin content.
- Try to set the word limit to a minimum of 2000 words. (You need to remember that you are trying to establish authority and this does not come in a 500-word article).
- Have at least five good and informative sections in the article. (Pay attention to the rule of having no more than 200 words in a single paragraph).
- Shorter paragraphs are easier to grasp by readers. (You need to ensure that none of the paragraphs are more than four sentences long. Focus on formatting is important).
If you want your blog posts to rank, you need to create content and format it in a way that is easy for users to digest. Blog posts that look good are able to win the attention of the readers.
5. Emphasize providing Value to the Readers with your Blog Post
Are you providing value through your content? This should be your guiding principle whenever you are writing content. In this day and age, there is a tendency to focus too much on the technical bits that appeal to search engines. Writers need to check out the first five ranking articles and then see how they can provide value which is over and above that.
- Writers should not forget that they are writing for actual human beings. (You need to structure the content in a conversational tone that engages the readers).
- Writers need to inform, educate and communicate in a way that mimics actual human communication. (You need to make sure that this communication is convincing).
- The blog post should be written in native style using words and phrases. (You need to integrate phrases, words, and proverbs that are used by the readers in their normal life).
Unless you are providing value to the readers, you will not have a performing blog article. Ask yourself whether you will read something like the one you have written if you were looking for similar information.
6. Understand how Keywords work and make sure you are using them correctly
Keywords are a blog writers’ best friend. There is no denying the fact that effective keyword research is integral if you want your blog posts to rank. Start by understanding Google suggestions and they go on to use tools like AHREFS and Keywords Explorer that can help you with a ton of options as far as keywords are concerned.
- The blog posts should contain focus keywords and complement long tail keywords. (You need to avoid keyword stuffing and inset them organically).
- Find out where you need to put in the keywords like H1, H2, Meta Title, Opening Paragraphs, etc. (You need to know that this is helpful for search engines).
- Unnatural and forced keyword placements need to be avoided at all costs. (You should know that Google’s algorithms have become very good at spotting these).
Keywords are direction markers that help set up the right foundations for your blog post. Unless you are using a mix of user intent and technical keyword placements, your blog post might not rank.
7. Present yourself as an authority when writing Blog Posts
The question and challenge for blog writers are how are they going to ensure that they come across as authority figures? According to experts, this can be done by linking to authority sites in your domain niche. By placing authority links in the blog, you automatically yourself up to the stature and repute of more established platforms and writers.
- Check the authority metrics of the site you are linking to. (You need to look at the traffic figures, Domain Authority, Domain Ratings, and Spam Score in this regard).
- Always use authority links naturally in your content. (You need to spread out the use of the authority links. Use them at the start, middle, and towards the end).
- Don’t use more than two to three authority links in your article. (You do not want to clutter your post by putting too many authority links. Two or three work best).
Most blog writers also ensure that they are interlinking their articles aggressively. This is something that should be done as it helps site navigation, improves metrics and traffic.
8. Work with the Designers to create Good Images and even Infographics if possible
Till now, we have written about all the ways you can optimize text content. However, you need to understand that what you are aiming for is ranking a web page. This means giving audiences content, that they find engaging, informative as well exciting. You can do this by using well-placed images that can be designed to appeal to your text content.
- Make sure to use as many created images for your blog posts as possible. (You need to publish at least five images in a 1500-word blog post, excluding the featured image).
- If possible, create Infographics that can help summarise all the points in the article in the form of an image. (You should know that infographics are highly linkable).
- Don’t forget to ensure that the size of the images is optimized for Technical SEO. (You should have compressed images that help in reducing the site loading speed).
Content does not necessarily mean text-based. It includes any form- images, videos, infographics, as well as podcasts. This will boost your chances of ranking higher.
9. Create a Content Strategy that should be part of your Larger Narrative
Isolated content pieces have more difficulty in ranking. In other words, you need a content strategy that revolves around a pillar and helps establish your authority. Most bloggers make the mistake of investing in just one blog post and then not putting in the same effort elsewhere. A content strategy needs to act as a source of direction to help in improving rankings.
- Make sure that you use keyword research tools to frame your content strategy. (You need to know successful websites rank for content because of content strategies).
- Try to create a Content Pillar if it is possible and revolve the blog posts around the pillar. (You need to make one blog post and support the same through others).
- Get help from SEO experts that can help you come up with the right content strategy. (You need creative inputs; data analytics and research help in coming up with this).
A well-conceived and executed content strategy can go a long way in extending help to a ranking blog post. The overall support that is provided can be beneficial for driving traffic and engagement.
10. Create Evergreen and Cornerstone Content that ranks better
This is not a tip per se. However, in a day and age defined by trending fashion and news, understanding that evergreen content ranks are important. Your blog post cannot afford to be time-bound. Meaning, people are searching for that today and not tomorrow. It needs to be something as timeless as a ‘How To Bake A Chocolate Cake’!
- Evergreen content helps in generating traffic throughout. (You need to create trending topics for short-term traffic gains only).
- Cornerstone content needs to be created in the form of long-form guides. (You need to create this as an educational resource. This also needs to be constantly updated).
- If you are running a blog site that prioritizes conversions (affiliate), you need cornerstone content. (You need to invest a lot of time, energy, and money in this).
Evergreen and Cornerstone content stand the best chance when it comes to ranking on search. It also helps you establish dominance and authority in a specific business niche. This is where you will be able to separate yourself as compared to your competitors.
The Final Takeaway
While everyone says that starting a blog is easy, getting it to a level that can be called worthy of performance is difficult. Unless you have traffic, rankings and metrics on your blog, you will not be able to monetize the same.
By following all the tips mentioned in the article, you can ensure that the next blog post you create stands a fighting chance of ranking on the SERPs. Sure, there is a lot more required like backlinks, but challenging yourself to create an article which gains organically should be your aim.
If you have any questions, or doubts, you would like us to clarify, please let us know in the comments below.
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