Should I write for Readers?
Should I write for Search Engines?
Have you ever asked these questions while writing an article for your blog? If yes, you're not alone. Bloggers often ask these questions to themselves. Some even argue that you should focus on people rather than search engines. Focusing on people is a good thing, but is it all right to negate the search engine.
I'd say you should focus on both: People and Search Engines.
The answer is simple, Let's say you write your articles for people, Your blog visitors will love reading your content. As a result your blog visitors will turn into loyal subscribers or customers but for that to happen you need blog traffic which bring new visitors.
Blog traffic can be gained through SEO and Marketing. Apart from marketing search engine optimization (SEO) plays an important role to generate organic traffic to your blog.
So, We need to focus on both to Create an Epic Blog Post.
Okay, Let's not delay any further, Today we're going to learn How to write engaging content for people and optimize it for search engines.
How to Write Content for People and Search Engine
Table of contents
- How To Write content for People?
- How To Optimize your blog post for Search Engine?
- Final Words
How To Write content for People?
Think before you writeyou need to think hard about the goal of your article:
- Who are you writing for?
- What are you trying to tell your readers?
- What do they need to know?
- What do you want them to do?
- What makes your blog worth reading?
Don’t be yet another person to write the same thing. 90% of the online people don’t want to read yet another ordinary posts.
They want unique and unusual content that makes them to read your blog without skimming even a word.
Write naturallyThe problem with creating content merely for search engines is that it can make it feel completely unnatural. If you are trying to stuff a keyword into every sentence, paragraph and headline, the repetition will turn readers off quickly.
Therefore your first objective should be to write in a way that sounds natural. Write like you would talk to a friend. Talk to your readers as if they are sitting in your couch.
If your readers like who you are and the way you are talking to them, it is more likely they will come back.
A blog post without subheads is “void”
I’ve never read a killer article without having sub heads. Sub headings are what makes your blog post look more appealing, and by breaking your content into sub heads – you can easily grab online readers attention.
Why using subheads is a MUST?
Here are few reasons..
- Makes it easy to skim the post
- Easy to make a relevant comment on the post (without actually reading the entire post ;))
- Subheads give a sexy look to the entire post (crafting is the key to make any post go viral, agree?)
See, this post is the best example. This is actually a How to post, still I’m using subheads, because I know their importance.
Write longer/detailed postsSince you want to avoid boring your reader with too much information, it is a good idea to write only small pieces of content, right? Short, fluffy articles for easy consumption, correct?
It’s true that readers like short pieces of content because they are easier to read. However, what they cherish even more are long-form articles.
98% of the popular posts are detailed and lengthy. Though they are lengthy, the quality is maintained from beginning to end. Try to write detailed articles for your blog and that’s the best way to create popular posts, but never make your readers feeling sleepy with your writing ;)
ALSO READ: Benefits of longer posts.
Format your ArticleMake your blog posts easy to skim.
There’s a hard truth in blogging, most online people don’t read word to word.
How can you make it easy for the readers to easily skim through your posts?
- Write clear and concise sentences
- Keep paragraphs short and tight
- Use lots of bullet points, bold letters, and deep sub heads
So always write for the web audience, make use of short paragraphs, appealing images, relevant linking etc to quickly grab their attention.
Finally ProofreadAlways, This is a MUST, Proofread every piece of content several times.
While proofreading look out for:
- Typos and misspellings (a good tip here is to read backwards! You’ll go much more slowly, focussing on every individual word).
- Clumsy sentences and confusing or misleading phrasing (try reading your work aloud).
- Remove the Unnecessary words.
How To Optimize your blog post for Search Engine?
Blog Post TitleWe should make sure we are using targeted keywords or phrase towards the beginning of Title tag. Do not repeat the same keyword in title tag with the intension to get better rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing and limit the Title Characters length to 65 Characters only with spaces.
Using a clean Parmalink structure can help in search ranking.
Make sure your Post parmalink structure should:
- Use targeted keywords towards the beginning of blog post URL
- Avoid using special characters, symbols, brackets, comma’s etc as part of your post URL.
- Be using dashes to differentiate two strings in URL structure.
- Never change your post permalink once the post is published.
Post meta descriptionYou should create a meta description tag which work as a summary for your blog post. You can see it in the search results underneath the main link. Definitely include the main keyword here.
You should limit meta description length to 160 characters including spaces. You should write user friendly meta description tags for better Click Through Rate (CTR) in search engines.
As for WordPress you can use SEO plugins to add meta description and for Blogspot blogs you can use search description to add meta description.
Optimize Image for better search rankingImages can generate a TON of traffic to your blog from search engines like Google Images.
If you want to generate more traffic through images, you must optimize your images by using the following tips:
- ALT Tag: A good practice for the ALT tag is to keep your alt tags short but descriptive. you can fill your alt tags with relevant keywords, at the same time try to make it describe the image.
- Compress Images: Images can make your page heavy. You know page load times matter for SEO, right? So, to ensure that your images don’t affect your fast load times, make the image file size as small as possible (without sacrificing quality, of course). you can use image compressor like PunyPNG.
- File Name: Just like keywords are important in post url, Including rich Keywords in image url can help in better image ranking. Use descriptive filenames in images with keywords separated by “-” (hyphen). For example, “how-to-protect-your-wordpress-site.png”.
Didn’t I already say that? Yes, however, headings are important not only for readability, but also for SEO purposes. They help Google grasp the topic of your content (especially for long posts) and can therefore help with your ranking.
You should use heading tags like h2, h3 and h4 etc to highlight various headings, sub-headings and important points. Also, don’t repeat H2 or H3 tags too many times, as it is considered as negative SEO practice.
When we write a new post, it’s always a good idea to link back to old relevant posts so that readers will find the old posts, and search engines will re-crawl the old blog posts.
Interlinking of blog posts naturally will help your blog readers spend more time on your blog. While linking out to your own blog pages, you should use keyword rich anchor text as that will help the linking posts perform better on Google and other search engines for their targeted anchor texts.
Apart from linking to your own blog posts, it is a great idea to link out to external websites if you feel addition of this links will help your blog readers find more and relevant information about the topic you are currently blogging about.
When you mention another blogger or article in your blog post, include a link to the information you are referencing. Not only is it good blogging etiquette, but you may also get lucky and receive a link back.
Quality links are a valuable commodity for any site looking to rank higher in search engine results pages.
Final WordsWhen creating content, always put the needs of your readers first and Google’s needs second. While organic traffic from search engines is something to be desired, your first goal should be to create excellent content, which your readers will love.
Because your readers are the one who will interact with you and share your content around the world, or turn into potential customers, not the search engine. ;)
If you have any queries or want to add your tip, let me know your feedback via comments.