How to Layout Blog Posts for SEO
So, you want to be a blogger - or perhaps you're looking to start a blog for your business. You might be able to write well, but there's a few things that everyone should learn when getting into the world of blogging - one of which is how to layout blog posts for SEO.
In this post, we'll walk you through the fundamentals of good practice for SEO on your blog and how to do it.
What are people likely to search for on Google if they're looking for the topic you're writing about? Take the title of this post for example - if you're looking to find out how to layout your blog posts for SEO you're probably going to google the title of this post or something similar.
If you have a look at some of the other titles of blog posts on our website, then you'll be able to get a good grasp of what type of things people search for e.g. "How to get more Instagram followers"
If you've got a good idea for a post, make sure you write about the topic from an angle that people are likely to search - and use this as the title. At first this blog post was going to be called "How to Layout a Blog Post" but then I thought 'are people likely to search for this?' and adjusted the title and the angle of this blog so that it is more SEO friendly.
Keep it short, snappy and to the point.
A good blog post should always have an introduction regardless of SEO, but there are a few things you need to consider when actually writing it for the web. Firstly, make your introduction a good length. 100 words or less should be enough and make sure you put the full title of your post as it is written in the title box, into your intro paragraph (hint: check the first paragraph of this blog post)
Have you ever wondered why a lot of blog posts are titled "3 ways to..." "5 tips for..."? Well, it's because these blog posts use headings to their advantage. Headings are used for both readability and for SEO.
Having headings in your post makes it easier for people who are reading it to grasp the layout of the post and the main topics that are being discussed - particularly useful if they don't want to read the whole thing.
For SEO purposes, Google takes the headings in your blogs to try and grasp what the main topics are - which should help with your ranking.
Whichever CMS you're using (Wordpress, Squarespace, Blogger etc.) you should already have a list of headings in your editing bar which will by default be in "Normal" or "Paragraph" text.
If you're not using these...then you really need to start. "Normal" refers to your body copy (Such as I'm writing in now.
Heading 1 should only be used for the title of your post - and most of the time your CMS will automatically make this bigger in size and font.
Heading 2 should be used to highlight different sections of your blog post. Take the layout of this blog post for example - I'm using an H2 on the numbered titles of each of these points.
Heading 3 is usually used for sub-points.
Quote should be used if you have a quote from someone in your blog (if that wasn't obvious!)
Here are what the different headings look like just as an example:
4. Body text
Make sure you've got your body text full of key words about your business/website and about the post. They say about 2% of your body copy should be search terms so in a 300 word article you should mention your search terms 3-6 times.
5. Image names and Alt text
Make sure you rename your images before you upload them. Rename them using keywords, and make sure the alt text describes what is in the image (alt text is used for those who are visually impaired so that they can imagine what the image looks like).
6. Post length
The length of your post is also important for SEO. Try to aim for at least 300 words - that's enough for your readers to easily digest the information - and if you want to write more try to stop at 700. You don't want to overwhelm readers with text!
7. Add content regularly
Adding information to your website regularly will tell Google that your website is alive, meaning it will trawl it for information more regularly. If you don't post that often then Google will start trawling your website less which could negatively affect your ranking.
Consider writing a content plan to help you with this. You can find more information on content in the Social Media category of the Sassy Bites blog!