Beginners Guide and Checklist on How to Write Blog Posts for SEO using a Free Tool you already have.

Do you know that something you use every day is the secret tool to utilize when you write blog posts for SEO? I’m sure you are eager to find out what it is because it’s free. However, writing a blog post is a learnt skill. As is enhancing your article for your readers and for search engine optimization.
Your goal may be to get to page one of Google. SEO may help you get there. Yet, prior to learning how to use keywords in your blog posts, it is important to remember your content counts.

Content is king or queen. The top of the list is quality content and not just a few words. Google would like quality content for the Googlers. I’ve heard rumours of over 1200 words, but in all honesty, I couldn’t tell you how long a blog post should be. I do know that the long posts I read provide a lot more value.
In fact, the way I look at it is I go to Google to search for answers to questions. Then I use Pinterest for inspiration, motivation and often guidance which leads me back to Google to read an interesting article.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization‘. It is basically a technique you can use to bring traffic to your website. This helps your blog post get ranked higher in the search engine. It is not the only SEO technique. It is one of the multiple ways beginner bloggers can use to help themselves rank in Google. Other ways for your website to rank higher would be to;

  • Post consistently
  • Share your blog post
  • Optimize your website

Neil Patel described what it takes to rank in google like this, “it takes resourcefulness, dedication, persistence, and creativity. This is especially true because of the constantly-changing nature of Google’s algorithm.”
I recommend reading Neil Patel’s blog post on improving your Google rankings. But, only after you’ve taken the beginning steps by;
1) reading this article on SEO blog post tips
2) downloading your free check sheet.

The blogosphere is busy and if there was a magic button to be number one on google, many people would push it. However, we can’t all be number 1. Yet, we can write quality content that helps readers answer the questions they ask, solve the problems they have or provide the motivation they need.

How to write a quality blog post for SEO using Google.

Google is free and by using its search bar you can find keywords and also expand your research so that you can write quality blog posts.

1. What does your blog title say about your post?

Only this week in a blogging group I’m in we discussed this topic and why, blog titles matter.
The title of your blog is what your readers and Google see first. It must say what your blog is about, but also catch the reader’s attention. It needs a compelling reason for your audience to click and read, or it will be scanned over. Unfortunately, with time Google will see your blog is getting no traffic and your ranking will go down for the post. It takes practice to write clickable headers that attract your avatar and also help your blogs rank on Google. But, YOU can do it.

Tip: Don’t let a header stop you from posting your blog post. You can change a blog header but not a slug.

It is not only readers who scan your blog title. The title is what search engines read to in order to understand your blog content. But, the search engine is not human and thinks differently from us humans. Therefore your blog title needs to be clear and say what your blog is about.

Before you start writing your blog post you would naturally have an idea of what you’d like to write about. First, type the words that you would use to search for the topic into the Google search bar.
Don’t copy people, just scan through and see what title would entice you to click on it.

What made you click on that title?

Click on the title and scan the post. Does it answer your questions? If it does, what you wrote in the search bar may be your focus keyword. But it’s not as simple as that as there are short and long-tailed keywords but more on that shortly.

Back to the title. I typed in ‘SEO for blogs‘ and saw that some of the questions were not what I was looking for. Next, I wrote ‘write blog posts for SEO‘ and noticed that the questions were exactly what I was writing about.

Fact is, before I write my title, I write my blog post and then come back to the title. In the title, I always write the keyword I have chosen to use, just like this blog post title. ‘Beginners Guide and Checklist on How to Write Blog Posts for SEO using a Free Tool you already have.’

Example of how to put a keyword phrase in the title of blog posts

2. Write about one topic per blog post.

Bloggers all work differently, some choose their keywords first, and others write then adapt for the keyword. As noted above I personally write first, because I like to get my thoughts written before I forget them. I then do blog research to delve deeper into my topic which helps to expand out the blog. Often I need to edit a few words to have keywords in the blog post.

How to research for your blog post?

Once again I use the google search bar to help with topic ideas. When you type in your keyword other related questions show. These questions are what gogglers are searching.

A screen shot of blog research questions in google on write blog posts for SEO with arrows pointing to where to expand for more questions.

Tip: As you write your article ensure that you do not use too many keywords. Choose 2 to 3 depending on the length of your post and scatter than throughout your post. Too many keywords are not favourable. In fact, it’s called keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing, that’s another no, no.

If you struggle to go deeper with your blog post after reading the suggested questions, consider your keyword. Once again read some of the blogs. Are the blogs answering similar questions?
Note: Do not copy other articles, but put your own spin on things.

Google has a free tool which is called google keyword planner. This post is not about using this tool but about using the google search bar as your SEO keyword tool. However, understanding keywords and researching additional keywords using the Google keyword planner is one of many options.

How to use the Google Search Bar to write blog posts for SEO.

When you put your keyword in the google search bar you will see a number below the search bar. This shows how many blog posts have this keyword or keyword phrase in it.
It is a broad match keyword or phrase.
As I write this, writing blogs for SEO has about 98,200,000 results. Keywords have a lot more depth than you may think.
As a beginner blogger let’s just start with a basic keyword phrase match.

Keyword research results from google for write blog posts for SEO with broad and keyword phrase match in 2019.

It is good to know the number for your phrase match keyword. To do this, type your phrase into google. Google will display the total number of articles that have that phrase.
Today, writing blogs for SEO has about 5,640 results.
The lower the number the better for ranking in Google for that phrase.

A phrase match is a sentence of words classed as keywords that have no other words between the phrase. ‘How to write blog posts for SEO’ is a phrase match, whereas ‘how to write good blog posts for SEO’ is not a phrase match. The word ‘good’ separates the keyword phrase.

How to search for phrases match keywords in google?

When you write the words into google as you would write it, the results show a broad match.
When you type in your keyword phrase with “speech marks” you get the keyword phrase match.

Note: Naturally one of the best ways to learn how to discover key phrases is to pay attention to what we write ourselves. Think about it, what do you write in google. Do you write one word or a sentence?

Google search bar is great for blog content as it shows what people are searching for. But if you want to go further into keywords choose one of the many paid and free keyword search tools. One simple one that doesn’t take you away from the search bar is keywords everywhere. This chrome and firefox extension gives free search volume, cost per click and competition. The latter two data details are especially important for paid advertising.

3. Layering is the way to structure a good blog.

Using different size headers is the way to layer a blog. Apparently, Google scans first your title and also your headings. But a good blog is structured for readability not only for SEO purposes.

Example on how to layer heading for blog posts using H1 H2 H3 heading settings

When you read it is easier on the eye to read in blocks. Therefore headers are a great way to help your readers read more of your content.
Another great thing about using headers is you can scan an article and understand what it is about.

Yoast has a great article on the SEO basics for using headings in your blog posts.

4. Put some SEO love into your images.

Optimize your images for SEO with in a few simple steps.

  • Add images to your blog posts.
  • Save your image with your focus keyword phrase.
  • Scale your image to size.
  • Compress your image to reduce it’s size.
  • Add alt text to your image.

5. Write your key phrase in your meta description.

The meta description is a short paragraph or two about your blog. This is shown in google. The main purpose of the meta description is to entice readers to click through to your blog.
Your meta description should have your key focus word and speak to your reader. A well-written meta description, speaks to the readers’ pain and offers a solution.

How the slug and meta description show with the keyword phrase write blog posts for SEO

6. Update your blog post slug.

First, what is a slug?
A slug is your URL. Your slug is set according to what you have your post permalink setting set at.
Your slug as mentioned is your URL also known as page or post link. This setting should be set at the time of creating your website. For, changing your permalink after you have published content will result in 404 page errors.

The way to include SEO in your slug is to have your keyword phrase in the URL.

An image that shows where to go in WordPress to change permalink settings.

7. Write blog posts for SEO with help from Yoast.

Yoast is an amazing free plugin for WordPress that helps you write SEO-friendly articles.
Yoast is not the only SEO plugin, there are multiple but Yoast is the one I use and prefer. I just love the traffic light system.

  • Red for too much or too little
  • Orange needs improving
  • Green for good

I like to see all green lights although that doesn’t always happen. Also, all green does not necessarily mean all good. There is more to SEO but this is a good place to start.

8. Link to your related posts.

Linking your content is great for your readers as if they found your post interesting they might look at related posts.
Of course, this is good for ranking in google too, for internal links between your posts and pages are great for search engine optimization. Google likes to see the value of your posts and the relationships between the pages.

To improve SEO on internal posts, mark your key posts as pillar posts and then link related posts back to that cornerstone post. Google will see that these posts are related and it drives traffic to your main posts.

To summarize: The basics of writing a blog post for SEO

  1. Add the key phrase to your title.
  2. Stick to one topic.
  3. Layer your headings.
  4. Alt tag your images.
  5. Include your key phrase in your meta description.
  6. Use your key phrase in your slug.
  7. Use an SEO plugin.
  8. Link to your related posts.
A beginners Guide On How To Write Blog Posts For SEO using Google Search Bar with instructions on keyword search, blog research, blog title, header layering, meta descriptions and permalinks.

The SEO checklist using Google Search Bar

Foremost your goal should be to write for your reader, not Google. Remember quality first.
Please if you have found this post helpful please share.

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