By Laia Cardona, on 09 September 2020
There are many elements that influence SEO ranking, and it may seem like having controlling them all is mission impossible. But the truth is you only have to go step by step.
To get your blog positioned as high as possible in Google, let's review how to write SEO-friendly content step by step.
12 Steps To Write SEO Friendly Content
1. Work on your keyword strategy
Keyword research is a long and complex process, but one that is worth spending as much time on as possible. These are some of the key aspects to consider:
- The relevance of the term for the industry and for our brand.
- The volume of searches generated by the keyword. Logically, the higher it is, the more possibilities that word will have to attract traffic to our blog.
- The level of competition. The ideal would be to find keywords that have a relevant volume of searches, but that are not yet taken over by other brands.
- Seasonality. Some keywords are only relevant during a specific time of the year.
There are many tools for researching keywords, both free and paid. Don't forget to always take a look at the section on related keywords, as it can help you get interesting ideas.
2. Optimize your URL
URLs must be easy to read for users and easy to index for search engines. The basic guidelines for creating good URLs for your blog posts are
- Keep them short and simple.
- Use only lowercase letters, numbers and hyphens. Avoid accents.
- Choose the domain name according to the geographical location you are targeting.
- All URLs must contain the keyword of the page they refer to. In fact, the slug should ideally contain it, although if it is also in the domain, it is better than better.
3. Take care of the title and description of your blog posts
The truth is that it is not very clear if Google takes into account these elements to decide the SEO positioning of a page. But even so, it is very important to optimize them, since in most cases they are the elements that appear in the search results when a user searches for the keyword of the page in question.
You should try to make sure that the title and description of the page properly reflect the content, encourage the user to click, contain the keyword you want to position, and fall within the character limits to show up fully in the search results.
- The title must include the main keyword.
- The title should not be more than 70 characters long, including spaces.
- If for example the content has 1,000 words you can include between 2-3 H2, the first one must contain the main keyword.
- Meta Description: it must include the keyword and not exceed 160 characters.
4. Structure the pages with headings
The page headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.) are necessary to structure the content of your blog posts, both for search engines and users.
These elements form a page hierarchy, so that the information is correctly ordered:
- The H1 is the main title. There can only be one per post. For example, let's imagine we have a blog post entitled "What is SEO?”: this would be the H1.
- The H2 is the tag we use to mark the main sections of a blog post. It is advisable to include only a few per post. For example, in this case, we could introduce two H2s: "SEO on page" and "SEO off page".
- And finally, the H3 corresponds to each of the sections of each section. You can include as many H3s as you want within your post. In the previous example, within the H2 "SEO on page" we could include H3 for keyword research, URL optimization, metadata, etc.
5. Optimize images
Search engine spiders can't see images the same way we can. Therefore, in order for them to index them, you have to follow these recommendations:
- Give the images a descriptive name that includes the keyword for which you want to position them.
- Include an alternative text (alt text), which is displayed when the image cannot be loaded for some reason.
- Surround the image with related text.
- Save all images in the same folder.
- Try to keep image files lightweight and in JPG, PGN or GIF format.
- Include information about the dimensions of the image.
6. Create a responsive website
Today, most web traffic comes from cell phones, so it is absolutely essential that your site is ready for them. In fact, Google penalizes websites that do not meet this requirement.
To be prepared, you need your website to have a good user experience on different screen sizes and fast loading times. To achieve this, you have several different options, but the most recommended are responsive designs and Accelerated Mobile Pages from Google.
A responsive design is able to adapt to different screen sizes with only one website. The system automatically detects screen width and then optimizes the design to provide the best possible experience.
On the other hand, Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP are pages specifically designed for mobile and load much faster than normal. They are especially interesting for blogs and news sites.
7. Include a sitemap of your website
Sitemaps help Google spiders to better target and crawl more completely, so they'll be great for your SEO strategy.
You can create a sitemap by hand following Google's webmaster recommendations or use some sitemap creation tool. Blogging platforms like Wordpress or HubSpot create them automatically.
Once created, don't forget to tell Google Search Console what your sitemap URL is and do the necessary maintenance to keep it up to date.
8. Optimizes loading times
Pages that take too long to load generate user frustration and high bounce rates, which translate into lost traffic. And if that's not enough, excessively slow pages position worse.
To avoid this being your case, you'll have to audit your website and try to improve the loading times of the slowest pages. In Google Search Console you can find information about the loading times of your website's pages.
9. Create quality content
Today, SEO is much more natural than it was a few years ago. This means that we no longer have to focus on entering the same keyword over and over again in our blog, but on creating quality content that follows these recommendations:
- Make the article easy to read, with short sentences and paragraphs and well-organized ideas.
- Introduce the main keyword of the article where it is natural, as well as synonyms and other related terms.
- Use tools such as bullet point lists.
- Include smaller headings and sections (you know, H2 and H3).
- Optimize non-textual elements such as images, computer graphics and videos.
10. Make your content the right length
Rather than obsessing over the number of words you have to reach, focus on creating articles that are centered on the keyword you want to position, that deal in depth with the topic in question and that include all the related aspects that are relevant to the reader.
However, if you want to position a broad concept (for example, "content marketing"), the recommendation is still to create an article of at least 2,000 words and include other elements such as videos, images, graphics and podcasts.
11. Include internal links
The internal link structure of a blog conveys authority from one article to another and facilitates navigation. In addition, a well-linked blog is easier to analyze for Google's algorithms.
Therefore, make sure you include links to related concepts in your blog posts and make your internal links dofollow. If you link to other sites, use nofollow instead.
12. Get quality inbound links
All the previous steps referred to the on page SEO. But one more step is missing: the off-page SEO or aspects external to your own blog that can help you position. The most important one is the inbound links (link building).
Links from other websites work as a kind of "vote of confidence" on the quality of your page that Google takes into account when establishing its reputation, so it is very important that there are other pages that link to yours.
However, look for quality links, within good content on sites related to your subject or generalists, and that are dofollow. Guest blogging is a good opportunity to generate this type of links and promote your site.