Ultimately, the best blog is one that is, interesting, well written, and written with the user in mind. Get this part right, and your blog will go down well with your readers. But a good blog can also reap the rewards with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
Below are a few tips to help your blog appear higher on Google. A higher ranking blog has apparent benefits of attracting more readers to your blog. Still, a higher rank in Google means more site visitors which sends a signal to Google that your site has higher traffic, which in turns leads to better rankings for your site as a whole.
Also, if you have a blog that written well, whoever is reading it will likely stay on your site for longer. In turn, visitors staying on your site for longer reduces your website' bounce rate'; a lower bounce rate is a good thing! A higher bounce rate indicates to Google that you have poor quality content on your site, and so Google could push your site down search rankings. Therefore, a captivating blog is an excellent way to lower your bounce rate and in turn, boost rankings. If you have gotten this far in this blog, you are no longer a 'bouncer' in this sites bounce-rate stats.
"Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page)" Google
Ok, so it is true that you need to write about what you love and know, and always write for the reader, not Google. But...what is also true is that you need to attempt to target keywords in your blog title and content. No, do not keyword spam! That said, you do need to try to use your keyword within your title, and use other keywords within your sub-headers and content. Do not overuse your keywords but use different variants of keywords that relate to each other. Google uses semantics to link keywords together; for instance, Google will link this blog about blogs to SEO.
How Long Should a Blog Be?
No one wants to read a Jane Austen novel on a website, it has been claimed that attention spans are not what they used to be and although that has been disputed it is true we scan more than we read.
Conversely, if you do not write a long enough piece, there is a good chance that what you are writing will not answer the readers' questions.
You need to make sure your blog is at least 750 words in length. There is no maximum length, but I would advise anything over 2,500 words you might want to consider splitting up into more than one blog.
Stats from several sources indicate that longer blogs win out over shorter blogs every time, in terms of bounce rate and SEO metrics. Blogs between 1,200 – 1,700 words attract the best traffic and appear higher in search results.
To help readers read to the bottom of a longer blog, use sub-headings, images, and other media to break up the text. Make it have bitesise chunks that are more easily digestible.
What Should I Write a Blog About?
A top tip is to search Google, and use their auto-complete feature. For example, if I was writing a blog about cat food, I could type into Google and write 'cat food help' and then look at what appears. Now we both know that people have an issue with smelly cat poop! Perhaps not the best example, but you definitely could write a blog about 'how to make cat poop less smelly' (if you were so inclined).
Topical content works well. I wrote a blog for one of my clients, English language homestay specialists, Warm Welcome. They are based in Birmingham and attract homestay visitors to Birmingham. What has put Birmingham on the map in recent years, internationally, is the BBC series Peaky Blinders. Now, while Peaky Blinders is not directly linked to the Warm Welcome organisation, they do share the same location. This blog about Peaky Blinders accounts for over 40% of traffic to the site as a whole. This has resulted in an upsurge in traffic to the site and as such, gives Google an indication that it may be worth pushing the whole site up the rankings. Increased traffic and lower bounce rates increase a site's search rankings as a whole, as was the case with the Peaky Blinders blog.
Above all, your blog should be relevant to what you do, and as enjoyable as you can make it.
Break up your Text
If you want your blog to be more exciting and make it more likely people will make it through, you must break up the content. Use sub-headers to break up content. Sub-headers are a crucial part of the process; they allow you to not only break up the text and guide the reader, but they are also an important place to put some keywords. As above, don't spam your headings with keywords, but you should certainly drop in a few different key phrases where possible.
Using Images in Blogs
On that topic, you should embed images and other media within your blog to make it more readable and interesting. Make sure your hero blog image is enticing. The image alone should make people intrigued or excited and want to read more.
When you embed an image, make sure you compress it first, so it is as small as possible. Free to use sites such as Tiny PNG and Squoosh are great for quickly compressing images ready for the web. Aim for no more than 250kb in file size.
Pro tip – use the alt-tag settings of images to add some more relevant keywords. Don't spam, and make sure the alt-tags are related to the image and text around it.
Should I State Sources in Blogs?
Yes! Spend ten minutes on social media, and you will discover an army of experts in everything from Coronavirus to HS2. Yet we know they are not experts, they are often sharing any old rubbish. Your readers are wary of stats nowadays, so if you quote a stat or fact in your blog, provide a link to that source so that people can check out your source. Just make sure the link opens on a new tab, so readers are still on your website.
Internal Links are Crucial for SEO
Internal links are often an overlooked piece of the SEO and customer conversion process. Throughout your text (don't go mad) add-in internal links to other pages in your website. Link to your money pages (the pages that you want users to be on, other than your excellent blog). When you link to other pages, use relevant keywords as the link anchor text, such as if I put an internal link here to my page about web design 😊
What Should My Blog Title Be?
The title of the blog is crucial. The title is also what usually forms your 'H1' heading and your Meta Title. Both of these factors are ranking signals for Google. Get this right, and your blog will do better in search and attract more website visitors.
'Top Tips', 'Top 10s' (or 7s or 5s) and 'How to' are great types of blogs that always well received both by Google and your readers.
You can also use a tool such as this excellent free blog post title generator from FatJoe, which gives some good ideas for blog titles. Please don't take these suggestions as gospel, it gives you a guide to creating something of your own.
These tips may seem a long list of top tips for writing a blog. Crucially, you need to know your subject matter. But by definition, the fact you are writing a blog for your business website, indicates you are more of an expert in your blog topic than your reader. Once you are finished writing your blog, run through these checkpoints for a top blog!
If blog writing is daunting, or you do not have time to write regular blogs, contact Matt at Paddle who offers some competitive blog writing packages, which are written with SEO in mind.