7.5 million blog posts get published every day on the internet in 2021 according to letter.ly. What are some blog post writing best practices that can be used to make your blog post stand out?
In this crowded world, content can’t stand out and get shared across the web if it doesn’t have any value. Nobody will share your content just because it is *yours* (except your mom)
People, as well as search engines, love valuable content that provides value.
A good blog post always solves a reader’s problem, educates them, or entertains them. In some cases, a mixture of all three of them.
To solve a reader’s problem, educate them, or entertain them. A keyword research can surely help.
So, open your favorite keyword research tool, there are expensive ones like Ahrefs or SEMrush. On the other hand, we have some free options like Google keyword planner, Ubersuggest, or h-supertools.
For this guide, we’re using Ubersuggest.
Step 1: Put your focused keyword in the search box and select “keyword ideas” from the dashboard.
Let’s talk about important metrices:
- Volume: estimated monthly search volume of a keyword. The higher the better.
- CPC: abbreviation of cost per click. It means how much advertisers are willing to pay per click on this keyword. The higher the better.
- Paid Difficulty: estimated number of how hard it would be for an advertiser to rank for this keyword. The lower the easier.
- SEO Difficulty: estimated number of how hard it would be to rank on the SERPs (Search engine result pages). The lower the number the better it is.
Note: Monthly search volume is estimated and (most of the times) highly inaccurate. So, don't care about monthly volume because a single blog post can rank for hundreds or even thousands of keywords. If you're wondering why keyword research tools are not accurate give this post a read.
For example: if you want to write something about email marketing. Type in “email marketing”. Ubersuggest will generate keyword ideas around your focused keyword. (you can also see them as content ideas) Now let’s search this term on Google or any other search engine.
Look at the results on the top.
We can see there are popular names like Neil Patel, Wikipedia, and Hubspot. That means a small website stands no chance against these authoritative websites. So, go for the long-tail variation of the same keyword.
Step 2: We have a seed keyword which is “email marketing”. To generate a long-tail variation of this keyword, you would have to throw this keyword in the search box again. Long-tail keywords usually have 3 or more words. They are niche specific keywords with lower search volume and competition.
Here we can see “email marketing services”. But, as you can see this one’s also a hard one to rank. Look at the keyword difficulty, it’s 69. So, you have to make it even longer by repeating this step.
Here we go! “best email marketing services free”. You can see this one’s easier to rank for and has only 140 estimated monthly search volume. I think I don’t have to remind you again that this data is inaccurate and it does not mean you will only get 140 visitors if you win this keyword.
A single blog post can rank up for hundreds of keywords.
That means winning this keyword can help you attract thousands of visitors.
We found the keyword, now, we’re ready to create a blog post that will make your visitors go “WOW!”
Write Headlines That Can’t Be Ignored
An average American consumes 34 gigabytes worth of information every day. That’s a lot of information, a lot!
To make your post memorable you have to wrap it with a click-worthy title.
40,000 searches occur every second on Google.
Following these searches, a headline competition begins. The best one wins. And the winner wins a lot of visitors as a reward.40,000 searches occur every second on Google. Following these searches, a headline competition begins. The best one wins. And the winner wins a lot of visitors as a reward Click To Tweet
Buzzsumo & Backlinko combined to analyze 1 Million headlines. Please continue reading to find out what they found.
They claimed using numbers can boost your CTR by 49% (Source)
Let’s take an example here.
10 Ways To Optimize Your Workplace
Will work better than.
How To Optimize Your Workplace
Another super-easy way to improve your headline is by using parentheses or brackets. Brain Dean from Backlinko backs this study and shares 6 out of 10 of his most popular posts’ headlines containing either parentheses or brackets.
Let’s take another example.
Optimize Your Workplace Like a Pro (10 Effective Ways)
Another trick to master the headline game.
Create at least 5 alternative titles and choose the best one. Create an image with each title and pin it to Pinterest. Track all of the pins and check which one works the best.
You can also take help from Facebook groups, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Upload a poll and ask your followers to vote for the best one.
Create a Healthy Introduction
You won the headline race, got a click as a reward, but be careful! Your visitor will not take more than 5 seconds to bounce back from your website and click on one of your competitors.
To prevent this, an excellent introduction is a must.
The perfect introduction is why someone should not leave your website.
For example, if you’re teaching your audience “how to bowl a googly” a certificate in a cricket academy or an achievement in any cricket-related department would be a solid reason for a visitor to not bounce back from your website. Because they know that you’re fully aware of what you’re talking about.
If you’re a beginner, use authorized influencers in your niche.
For instance, you’re writing a blog post on “SEO”. A visitor lands on your website and reads it. Now what? Do they trust you? Not always. But do they trust Brain Dean? Of course yes! Who doesn’t trust Brain Dean when it comes to SEO?
So, instead of starting your blog post with your back story or something, try to start it with a Brain Dean’s quote.
Try to build trust between your reader and they will keep on reading.
Another way to keep a reader reading is to trigger their curiosity. We as a confused generation are always curious for answers.
The best way to do it, is, to start your introduction with a fact (just like I did with this post’s introduction) or whatsoever is running through your reader’s mind.
You might say, Sarmad, are you mad or what? How can I read the reader’s mind?
Actually, it’s super easy. For instance, you’re teaching your audience “how to increase your blog’s traffic“.
Start your blog post with something like this:
Tired of watching little to no traffic in your analytics?
Want to increase your audience?
Fantastic! Because you’re at the right place….
That way, people would understand that you’re going to talk about exactly what they are looking for, and they will keep going and going.
Use Data-Driven Visuals
In an interview with Mangools Andy Crestodin was asked:
What SEO technique have you used recently that worked perfectly for your piece of content?
To which, he replied:
Here’s one that may not be obvious…
An article isn’t optimized unless it has a helpful, original diagram in it. Of course, this has no direct impact on rankings. But the indirect benefit is huge.
If an article has a helpful diagram, you have the opportunity to do “image source link building” which is simply using the diagram when you contribute to the content on other websites.
He also said no blog post is complete without data-driven charts or infographics.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
More than just a picture, a chart can help you bring a lot of backlinks (one of the key factors in Google’s rankings)
Bloggers love to include infographics in their blog posts. When bigger bloggers in your niche will find and use those graphics in their blogs they’ll link back to you.
Use a lot of visuals in your blog posts. A blog post with visuals gets 94% more views than the one that does not have any visuals. (Source)
Have a look at Themeisle’s blog post about increasing blog traffic that has a heading related to on-page SEO.
Instead of stating all the on-page optimization techniques one-by-one, the editor just used this cool infographic by Backlinko.com that covers all the aspects of on-page optimization.
Great writing supported by visuals will get shared, no matter the number of your audience.
Also, keep an eye on image size before uploading them. Because image optimization is another important thing which can lead to faster load time and improved rankings.
There are many reasons why listicles are important, stating some of them:
- Easy to grasp.
- Can appear as snippets on SERPs.
- Appears neat and clean on the webpage.
- Easier to skim.
- Looks extremely beautiful.
Now have a look at this:
There are many reasons why listicles are important. Some of them are: easy to grasp, can appear as snippets on SERPs, appear nice on the webpage, easier to skim, and look extremely beautiful.
Both of these paragraphs contain the same information. But which one looks better and easier to understand?
The first one! Right?
I just said that listicles can appear as snippets. This is a good reason why listicles should be involved in your content creation strategy.
Properly Optimize Headings & Subheadings
Breaking your post with headings and subheadings is another simple way to make your audience go wow!
Subheadings and headings make the content more skimmable. Along with that, properly optimized H1, H2, and H3 tags can help you achieve higher rankings. Because formatting plays a huge role in on-page SEO.
You can also use your focused keyword in headings or subheadings (or you can say H1 or H2 tags) It can help search engines understand your content. Don’t force your focused keyword but, naturally, place it somewhere in H1 or H2 tags if it makes sense. Because just like I said before, search engines are smart enough to figure out what your content is about.
Search engines can also rank a particular heading or subheading from your blog. Google is constantly adding new features like snippets, answer boxes, images, or even videos so that more and more websites can rank for a single term.
That’s why Google nowadays doesn’t see a webpage as a whole but every heading as a different subpage. That being said, every heading is a new opportunity to rank.
Break Your Content With The Help Of Table Of Contents (TOC)
Have a look at the TOC used on my blog above the first heading in this blog post.
TOC also creates jump links on the SERPs.
So the visitor can directly jump to the part of the post that they especially came for.
To add TOC to your blog, download a plugin called Easy Table Of Contents.
After it’s done, activate it and sneak into the settings tab. You’ll be exposed to something like this:
Check automatically add TOC to all pages and save the changes.
And then, Easy Table Of Contents will take care of everything. It will automatically include a table of contents in your previous posts.
Write In The Simplest Language
A lot of visitors that visit your blog talk English as their second language.
And they wouldn’t take more than 30 seconds to bounce back from your website if you’re using hard-to-pronounce words or a lot of 4 syllable words.
4 syllable words are considered hard-to-pronounce. But that doesn’t mean you should never use them. But, try to avoid using them a lot of times. Repeatedly saying it, again and again, may interrupt the flow that the visitor was using to read the whole paragraph. In a nutshell, it will have an impact on readability.
If you scroll a bit up, you’ll see when I said table of contents, I wrote (TOC) in the brackets. Most of the people reading this already know what TOC means. But still, I wrote “Table Of Contents” for people that (probably) don’t have any clue what TOC means. And, they might find it difficult to understand what I’m talking about.
A few days back, I was trying to read an article on Medium. I was still on the first heading and I had to check the dictionary twice. And I was like “ok, I’ll just leave”.
Make Your Content Digestible
Some of the visitors read. Most of the visitors just skim through the end. And that’s completely fine, sometimes you don’t have enough time, enough energy, or even you don’t feel like reading the whole thing.
Along with search engines and readers, you also have to keep these skimmers in your mind while writing content.
1. Write Skimmable Short Paragraphs
Keep your paragraphs short, up to 3-4 sentences. This technique can be useful for skimmers skimming through your content using their mobile phones.
Even if a skimmer would like to skip a paragraph or two. They wouldn’t miss more than 4-8 sentences.
2. Optimize Your Content For Mobiles
Usually, these skimmers come from search engines. They search for a query and eventually find your website. And since half of the searches are done from mobiles, that means half of these skimmers will be skimming through your content with mobile phones.
Use a bigger font size and make sure no element on your website is invisible or hard-to-touch on mobile devices. Make sure to run a mobile responsive test with the help of Google’s mobile responsive test tool.
Just slip in your URL and Google will let you know if the page is mobile responsive or it needs any attention.
3. A Blog Post Shouldn’t Be Only Words
I know, there are more things you need to say. But, the visitors don’t always want to just read. There are more things than words to add to your content creation strategies, some of them are PDFs, GIFs, Images, Videos, & Graphics.
GIFs are a good way to add a bit of humor to your blog post so your visitor doesn’t get bored.
A study says blog posts that include videos get X% more shares and comments as compared to the ones that do not include any video.
Using other rich media can also decrease the bounce rate.
Not just rich media, there are more things you can add like listicles. (We have already discussed its importance)
What Did We Learn?
→ A perfect blog post solves a reader’s problem or educates them. To solve a problem, you have to find them in the first place. Go to Quora or Ubersuggest and find out what the audience is looking for.
→ Write headlines that can’t be ignored. A study says 5X more people read headlines than the body.
→ Create a healthy introduction that incites the reader to read more.
→ Use infographics to attract audience and backlinks.
→ Involve listicles in your content creation strategy, they appear clean on the webpage and carry the message neatly.
→ Properly optimize headings. H1 & H2 tags are not only pleasing to the eyes but also good for search engines. You can also use the table of contents (TOC) to break your post.
→ Write most simply. So that people with limited vocabulary can understand your post better.
→ Optimize your post for skimmers. So people can digest your blog post in no time.
That’s it, and that’s how a perfect blog post looks like.
Also be sure to optimize your site’s design and speed. Because John Muller has clearly said quality content does not means only words.
Thank you for reading! Have a nice day.
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