The following are some tips that you should follow in order to create SEO-friendly blog posts.
1. Make Sure the Content is Original
You need to make sure the content you are writing is original and that you do not duplicate content of another blog post that you have written. Search engines like original, helpful and useful content.
2. Use Headings
Make sure the title of your blog post is the main heading and you should also make sure that you have subheadings. Having subheadings allows the reader to scan the blog post; to easily and quickly identify what they are after.
3. Have a Focus Keyword
Your blog post should have a main keyword or keyphrase, which is referred to as a focus keyword. This focus keyword should not have been used in another blog post.
The focus keyword should appear in the blog post URL, the main heading, subheadings, meta description and if possible, within the first paragraph of your blog post. You do not need to overload your blog post with the focus keyword, as search engines will think your blog post is spammy.
4. Include a Meta Description
All web pages, which includes your blog posts, should have a meta description. This is what a meta description looks like:
The meta description should be a minimum of 120 characters, but no more than 155 characters and should include your focus keyword.
5. Include an Image or Infographic
A great way to get readers attention and to encourage sharing is by including an image or infographic in your blog post. Make sure that the image is properly formatted, sized and if you want the image or infographic shared, that you provide the reader with a link to the image or infographic.
If the image being displayed on your blog post is 500×500 pixels, the image should be 500×500 pixels in size. If you want the reader to be able to see a larger version of that image, then make the image clickable to the size you want.
Why? If the image is 2,000×2,000 pixels but you are only showing it as 500×500 pixels on your blog post, you are requiring the blog post to load a larger file, which results in a slower page speed. Search engines love fast websites, so make sure yours is fast!
Here is the minimum HTML for images:
You can also use Yahoo ySlow Smush.it to optimize your image.
If you want to encourage sharing of your image or infographic, make sure you provide the reader with the HTML, don’t make them do it themselves! And make sure there is a link to your website at the bottom of the shared image or infographic. Something like this:
6. Link to Internal and External Resources
Don’t be afraid to link to external resources and you should be linking to internal resources. These links should be helpful and / or useful to the reader; don’t link to them “just because.”
Note: If you are linking to external resources, make sure these resources have authority, such as Wikipedia or a government website.
7. Social Sharing Buttons
All blog posts should have social sharing buttons. Social sharing buttons allows your reader to let other potential readers know about your work. It’s free and you don’t have to lift a finger. In addition, it helps build inbound links and it shows search engines that the blog post may be helpful and / or useful for others – thus potentially increasing your search engine rankings.
Check out my blog post about creating social sharing buttons with Twitter’s Bootstrap and Font Awesome.
8. Encourage Thoughtful Comments
At the end of your blog post, why not ask a question? Ask your reader something that encourages them to make a comment. The comment by the reader should be thoughtful, as we don’t want spam comments, i.e. “Great post! I learnt a lot!”
If the blog post is about your recent vacation to Paris, France. An example question at the end of the blog post you could ask is, “What is your favourite tourist destination and why?” Let the reader share the experience.
9. Minimum 300 Words
The blog post you are writing should be at minimum 300 words in length. If you are new to the blogging world, then you should aim for 500 to 700 words.
10. Correct Any Spelling and Grammar Errors
You should read over your blog post and if possible, have someone else look over your blog post. You should be checking to make sure that the blog post is easy to read, and that the spelling and grammar is correct.