Latest posts by Andrea Ferguson (see all)
- Quick Thoughts on Where to Put Your Sidebar (or, Ode to the Sidebar) - March 7, 2017
- The Return of the Beautiful Web - March 5, 2017
- Creating Solutions Beyond the Obvious: Ideation - February 1, 2017
Make sure your blog posts are relevant to your readers. Write clearly so they’re easy to read and share. Use headings and subheadings so search engines can scan them easily. These and other tips are suggested by Yoast, developers of the powerful Yoast SEO plugin, which we highly recommend and include on all sites we build. Here are our favorite Yoast tips:
- Define your message before you start writing. What questions are you answering? What’s the purpose of your post? What do you want your readers to do, and how do you want them to feel?
- Structure your post. Every post should have an introduction (the setup), a body (the main message), and a conclusion (the takeaways). Keep them brief, but make sure all parts are included.
- Use paragraphs. Break up your text to help readers grasp it and scan it more easily.
- Use headings. Search engines love headings, and headings help readability. Use headings and subheadings to organize your post into readable “chunks.”
- Optimize your post length and search term ratio. Make sure your post has between 300 and 700 words. Longer is fine for search engines, but it could be too much for busy readers. Also, try to put search terms (terms that your intended audience might use to find your post) in about 1% to 2% of your text. For example, in a 300 word post, try to mention search terms three to six times.
- Link to previous content. If you’ve written on a topic before, link to that other post. Link structure is important to search engines and strengthens your authority on the subject.
- Post regularly. Search engines love websites that are “alive,” and regular blog posting attracts their crawlers. The more often you’re crawled, the higher you can rise in the rankings.
- Use SEO tools to improve your posts. Plugins like Yoast SEO identify ways to strengthen the SEO-friendliness of your posts, including adding meta descriptions, testing readability, and calculating keyword density.
SEO-friendliness these days is less about “gaming the system” and more about writing regular, relevant content that readers enjoy and can share easily. Start with a message that your readers want, write it clearly, and enhance it with the tips above.