SEO Blog Posts – Seven Tips to Engage Readers and Search Engines

I spend much of my time these days coaching orthodontic practices on how to write a SEO blog post so it gets noticed on the search engines by readers?

To start, the first thing to consider when you are writing a blog post is how you are going to please both the search engine spiders as well as your human visitors. It isn’t all about SEO and keywords no matter what you may have heard or read.  Google for example is much more interested in you making your articles readable and interesting.  Your click through rate (CTR)  is one of the criteria it looks at.  If readers are immediately clicking out of your blog or don’t return because the content is considered boring or unreadable, it will hurt your ranking.  Your goal is to create fun and interesting blog posts to please both the search engines and readers.

The second thing to consider is no matter how great the content in your blog post, if you don’t add keywords, you’ll find it harder to get free search engine traffic.  When consumers are searching online with keywords, the search engines rank your content based on the keywords, Meta tags, and written content that correspond.

Since the search engines are sophisticated software programs based on mathematical algorithms.  They cannot read the written word, so they have no idea what you are blogging about unless you tell them with SEO (search engine optimized) coding on each of your blog posts.  If there are no keywords in your article to match Meta tags or an anchor text link the search engine spiders deem relevant when they index your blog post, they will bypass your post making it impossible for readers to find you. 

Don’t get carried away with keywords in your posts that make your blog post look and sound weird or artificial.  This is called keyword stuffing. Your goal is to achieve a balance between good content and optimizing your post so the search engines will consider the content relevant and index it accordingly.

Believe it or not, effective blogging is an art! So let’s take a look at 7 ways you can create blog posts to engage both search engine spiders and human readers:

  1. Include keywords in your title.   The title is the first area the search engine spiders are programmed to look when they come to view your web page. Every time you add a new blog post, it is considered a NEW page to the search engine spiders and they are on alert. If you have your blog setup correctly with an SEO plug-in, it will give you the option of writing a more appealing title for your human readers and then using a manual override for the search engines. How you SEO your blog setup initially is critical to the success of your posts.
  2. Use keywords in your headlines that are relevant to your topic.  It will help the search engines find your article and encourage potential readers to click on the link to your post.
  3. Content is King when writing a blog post.  Write on topics of interest with a human element.  Blogging is social networking.  Readers are entertaining your insight, opinions and evaluating your personal expertise in any given area.  I recommend blog posts be written on an ninth grade reading level, not on a professional post graduate level they don’t understand or are interested in taking the time to decipher.  If you write as though you are talking to a group of friends or high school students, it will flow better and sound like you are really interested in writing on the topic.
  4. Use relevant links in your blog posts whenever possible and link your keywords with an actual word or keyword phrase.I also suggest you write in the first person using “I” when writing blog posts rather than the third person using “WE”, whenever possible. It elicits authenticity which is hard to deliver when writing in the third person.
  5. Break your blog article into small paragraphs and/or bulleted points just like this one.  Internet readers skim content.  Readers view content on a computer screen differently than they do on a printed sheet. Bullet points and short paragraphs makes it easier for them to read your post, increasing you’re the chances they will come back and read more at a later date if they find your content interesting.  
  6. Throw in video whenever possible.  Readers today relate to video.  Who wouldn’t prefer watching a video to reading a post when trying to get your point across or discuss content of interest?  YouTube and other social video sites are a wonderful source of content.  You are only limited by your own imagination when blogging.  Mix it up and give it a twist you can associate with your content.
  7. Always add a thumbnail or photo to your blog post.  Photos add interest to a boring text page and break it up for the human eye to scan easier.  To maintain and aesthetic look to your blog, I suggest using the same size photo whenever possible.

You don’t know… what you don’t know… til you know it!  Hope you found these tips and links of benefit to you.  Leave a comment or question below we can share with others.  Let me know what you want me to write about and subjects of interest in Internet marketing.