There are two main motives for writing and optimizing a blog post for search engines-
- Solve the problem of the user
- Ranking in Search Results
Having analyzed thousands of blog posts, I found that content writers are mainly focused on point number 1 and forget about search engines.
The classic assumption behind this is – Create content and google will reward you.
But does this work?
In my opinion, search engine bots are small kids with very high IQs.
And to explain them, you still need to do some extra work listed below –
- Put the Seed Keyword at the beginning of the Meta Title
- Include Seed Keyword in URL
- Include Seed Keyword in H1, naturally
- Include Seed Keyword in First Paragraph (in first 50 words)
- Keep your intro short & create a Hook into it
- Provide clear information to the user after the intro (like the one I am providing here)
- Break your content into Subheadings H2 & H3 (No one reads, people usually skim-scan blogs)
- Use Shorter sentences & in active form (Will explain the logic later)
- Use shorter paragraphs & Bullet Points
- Add Images & Videos to Increase Dwell Time
- Add Personal Touch to Improve EEAT
- Internal and External Links
- Conclusion is necessary
In this blog, I will dig deep into how to optimize your blog posts from an SEO point of view with SERP examples.
1. Put the “Seed Keyword” at the beginning of the Meta Title
Let us search about – Social Media Marketing and see how top-ranking results are writing their meta titles.
The screenshot is self-explanatory, as to why you should put the seed keyword at the beginning of the meta title.
Include Keyword in Meta Description
As google generally does not display the meta descriptions written by you & usually took the data from content. But, it is beneficial to include the seed keyword in the first sentence of the meta-description.
2. Include Seed Keyword in URL
Let’s look at the URLs of the top-ranking sites for the query – Cervical Pillow Benefits
The URLs of Top Ranking Websites are
Therefore, it is evident that google rewards websites that have seed keywords in URLs.
3. Include Seed Keyword in H1, Naturally
The H1 tag is the on-page title of your blog post and should be written properly.
Some folks confuse it with Meta Title but both are different. Meta Title appears at the backend but H1 appears to the user and is on the page.
Sometimes, instead of meta titles, google displays H1. This is the reason why you should include the seed keyword in the H1 tag.
Let’s look at H1 of top-ranking sites for the keyword – Drinking Water Treatment Plant
|https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/drinking-water-treatment||Drinking Water Treatment|
|https://www.watertechnologies.com/applications/drinking-water-treatment-plants||Drinking Water Treatment Plants|
|https://pure-h2o-learning.eu/electrical-technicians/lo-1||Introduction of a drinking water treatment plant|
|https://www.suez.com/en/india/water-resources-management/drinking-water-treatment||Drinking Water Treatment|
You can compare this query with – Water Treatment plant and see the variation in results.
4. Include Target Keyword in First Paragraph
The main reason behind the use of keywords in the first paragraph is that google sometimes displays meta descriptions in search results from the content itself.
One thing to keep in mind is that don’t force this thing, otherwise, it will eventually harm your blog intro. Google algorithms are smart enough to understand the context of your content.
Here is the example of the first result on google for the query – What is SEO
Google displays meta description from the first paragraph
If you check the meta description, it is different from what is displayed in SERPs
So, it is better to use keyword in the first paragraph.
5. Keep your intro short & create a Hook into it
Intro is where the reader will judge your content and is a deciding factor whether the reader will enjoy your intro or not.
Hubspot did a better job in explaining how to write intros for a blog post and you can check their article to know more.
Let’s look at the intro of famous author Mark Manson’s blog –
He has used some strong words to arouse emotions that in my opinion will hook the reader.
Full article link – https://markmanson.net/five-ideas-can-change-your-life
6. Provide clear information to the user after the Intro
Give a clear answer to the user after the introduction, as I did above after introduction.
This thing I have learned from Income School Youtube Videos. These types of blog posts are also called Project 24 type or answer target blog posts.
Writing answer target paragraphs or bullet points have two benefits –
- These paragraphs give the reader clear information about what he or she is looking for. Now if a user wants to dig deep, he can go to a specific point and explore that subtopic.
- Another advantage is that it clearly displays to search engines that this is the answer of the user query and there is a possibility that your article may rank in People Also Ask or rich results.
Watch this video
Snippet Optimization Tutorial: Using Answer Targets to win featured snippets
7. Break your content into Subheadings H2 & H3
Let’s be honest, upto this point, you haven’t read each and every word of this post.
The truth is no one reads.
So, how will users stick to your content?
If you create subheadings such as H2, H3 & H4.
Users usually skim-scan your content and to increase the dwell time on your post & improve its readability, it’s better to use subheadings.
8. Use Shorter sentences & in active form
Following this format will be beneficial for both users and for search engines.
For Users, it Improves Readability
Using short sentences in a blog post improves the readability of your blog post.
Here are samples of two same texts –
Source – https://www.gotchseo.com/on-page-seo-checklist/
According to me, you will find sample 2 easy-to-read as compared to sample 1.
Easy Information Extraction for Search Engines
In 2014, Google introduced a system called Knowledge Vault.
The purpose of the knowledge vault is to find information from normal web pages, study it & then store it. It took data from Wikipedia pages, normal websites, pdfs, HTML documents etc.
From this information, it can create different entities, define relations between different entities, store them, and then use them.
Knowledge Vault has three parts –
- Graph-Based Prior
- Knowledge Fusion
The function of extractors is to extract data from web pages in semantic triplets.
It divides a sentence into three parts – subject, object, and predicate.
Source – Wikipedia
This is the same as the active voice which we use in grammar – Subject, object and Helping Verb.
So, active sentences will make the information extraction process of search engine bots easier.
9. Use shorter paragraphs & Bullet Points
Here are the reasons why you should write shorter paragraphs –
- Less text will keep the reader focused
- More Readable on Screen
- Easier to illustrate the tone of the writer
- Easier to skim scan
- Good for mobile devices
Furthermore, google loves bullet points. So, if you are writing about anything that involves steps, use bullet points instead of paragraphs.
10. Add Images & Videos to Increase Dwell Time
Adding images and videos to the content increases dwell time which ultimately is helpful in increasing your webpage rankings.
How would you feel, if I have not included any images or videos in this blog?
It will be boring for you my dear friend. Plus, I am not able to illustrate my views.
11. Add Personal Touch to Improve EEAT
Another huge opportunity that a lot of bloggers miss is to add EEAT to their content. After a helpful content update, EEAT plays a crucial role.
Here is a simple tip to improve this –
Add Your Personal Experience or Short Story
Look how the blogger has shared a personal story in a few sentences. This will prove your expertise and illustrate what you are going to say in your post is true (not copied from another person’s site).
12. Internal and External Links
Internal links are the hyperlinks that go to another page of your website whereas external links redirect users to other websites from your own site.
Here are some reasons to include internal links –
- Helps crawlers in discovering, crawling, and indexing other pages
- Tells web crawlers about your site structure
- Passes link juice
- Helps users in reading more about that topic.
Example – Check Wikipedia, it has a lot of internal links.
Here are a few pros of adding external links –
- Improves credibility
- Improves authority of content
- Helps the reader to understand concepts deeper
In this post, I have added lots of external links so that you can dig deep into these concepts.
13. Conclusion is necessary
A conclusion in a blog post is necessary for several reasons:
Summarizes the main points:
The conclusion provides a brief summary of the main points discussed in the post. This helps the reader to understand the key takeaways of the article without having to read the entire post again.
Provides a call to action:
The conclusion can include a call to action that encourages the reader to take some action related to the topic. This could be signing up for a newsletter, leaving a comment, or sharing the post on social media.
A good conclusion offers a sense of closure to the reader. It lets the reader know that the post is coming to an end and provides a sense of finality.
Leaves a lasting impression:
A well-written conclusion leaves a lasting impression on the reader. It reinforces the key points of the post and leaves the reader with something to think about.
The Bottom Line
I believe that if you implement these tips, you will get more eyeballs scrolling your content and quality leads. However, if you have certain tips that work for you, please share them and I will include them in this post and credit you as well.