Below is a list of the basic guidelines we suggest following to create a valuable blog post for your website.
KeywordsIncluding the key words and phrases you want to show up for in search results is of the utmost importance when writing a blog post. They should be used frequently throughout the article, however not so much that the copy is no longer readable. It’s also valuable to include the most important keywords in the first 100 words of the blog post, and, if possible, in the first sentence.
When deciding on the keywords, be sure to think about the actual words and phrases a user will be typing in (or speaking) when searching for your content. This should include long-tail keywords, as more and more searches are trending towards them due to the growth of virtual assistants.
FormattingFor the format of your blog, you should break up the content in a descending and logical order. This helps the reader to follow the text more easily, especially when viewing in mobile. You can do this a variety of ways, including:
- creating subheadings with H2 and H3 tags
- using bullet points
- using numbered lists
LengthFor a long time 300-700 words was considered a good length for a blog post, but more recently the web has seen a trend toward longer-form content. A better average today would be 1,000 words per post, but only if it contains relevant, readable copy. It’s better to have 500 words of good content than 1,500 words of poorly written, irrelevant text.
ReadabilityIt’s also important for content to have a good score on the Flesch Reading Ease Test, a formula that calculates the readability of text. The test uses the average sentence length and average number of syllables per word from a body of text to determine the level of difficulty for a user to read it. On the 0-100 scale of 0 being very difficult to read and 100 being very easy, a score from 60 to 70 works well for web copy (this blog scores a 67).
As a general rule, sentences should be kept short (20 words or less) as well as paragraphs (150 words or less). Readability is also improved by using active voice and transition words.
LinksIncluding both internal and outbound links can be beneficial when writing a blog. Placing internal links within your posts, such as links to other posts or informative pages, keeps users engaged in your site. This can prevent them from bouncing after reading just one article.
Additionally, outbound links can assist with SEO as long as they link to relevant content. It’s best to link to authoritative sites, as this will pass some of their authority on to your site. Be sure to make the anchor text relate to what you’re linking to, rather than using terms like “click here”.
ImagesMost blogs will have at least one image, but multiple can be used throughout the text to break it up. It’s best to upload images in the size you’d like them to appear on the site, rather than using a large image and reducing the size within the webpage editor.
To help with load time, you should also compress your images before uploading them by using a tool such as Photoshop’s “Save for Web”. You’ll also want to give the image file a name that relates to the subject of the photo and blog, and include image alt text.
By following these simple steps, your blog posts will become more valuable to your users and, more importantly, to search engines. If you need more help with writing your blog, give us a call at 501-537-2246 or fill out our Get Started form today.