How to Write Blog Content that Ranks on Search Engines

josh-small-dp

Published blog posts that aren’t ranking on search engines?

Writing a good blog post is one thing, but writing a blog post guaranteed to rank on Google is another.

It’s all a matter of determining the factors that could help make your blog post rise to the top of search results.

In this post, we’ll discuss the variables on how to write blog content that Google loves. This way, more of your readers will be able to find it on search results.

Optimize for Keywords

Arguably the main reason why your blog posts aren’t ranking on Google is that you didn’t optimize them for their respective keywords.

Having a target keyword for each of your posts helps search engines understand what they are all about. From there, they can index your content for the search queries you optimize for, making it easier for people to see your posts in SERPs.

At the same time, you can’t optimize for just any kind of keyword. You need to find words and phrases that people actually search for on Google.

The higher the search volume of your target keyword is, the more reason you should optimize for it.

Also, you have to consider the difficulty of ranking for the keywords. A quick look at the top-ranking pages on search results should give you a clue on whether to pursue this keyword for your content or not.

A free tool that could help you identify the best keywords for your content is the Keyword Surfer Chrome extension.

From SERPs, the tool will show you the search volume of the phrase you entered, related keywords to choose from, and correlation data to help you understand the authoritativeness of the pages ranking for it.

keyword surfer

The more competitive the ranking pages are based on traffic, the better off you are choosing another keyword.

Once you have chosen a keyword, you need to enter them at the most vital portions of your content.

Below are parts in the blog post where you need to mention your target keyword:

  • URL
  • Page title or headline
  • SEO Title Tag
  • Meta description
  • Content body

If you’re using WordPress to create your content, you can use Rank Math to help you keep track of how optimized your content is based on these elements.

rank math

It shows you its overall SEO score that you need to improve further to turn to green, which is indicative of optimized content.

Research for Your Competitors

When you write a good blog post, you also have to know the kind of post your competitors have written. You can see them ranking on the first page of Google for your target keyword.

The fact that they’re in the position they are in on SERPs means that they’re doing something right. And it’s in your best interest to know what they’ve done right and do the same thing to your blog post.

Focus on pages that have your keyword on their title, URL, and even its meta description on search results.

google title url meta description

Visit those pages and read their content. Take note of the topics they covered in their subheadings.

You would then want to include these topics when writing a blog post for your keyword. This way, you cover all your bases and increase your chances of ranking alongside your competitors.

There are paid tools that you can use to help make the process of cross-reference your post with competitors much easier. In the meantime, doing it manually as explained above should help you create the same type of great blog post that Google would value.

Also, keep in mind we’re excluding off-page factors like link building from the equation. So, even if you write better blog posts than the ones ranking on top, it won’t guarantee that you’ll outrank them anytime soon.

However, your goal in doing this is to write the best possible content that compares favorably to your top competitors.

Add Images

While images aren’t part of the writing process, they nonetheless help make your blog content more valuable.

From a reader’s perspective, you break the monotony of text on your page by featuring images in between paragraphs.

At the same time, images allow you to show things instead of talking about them. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, as this is most especially true if you’re creating how-to content or instructional guides.

By showcasing images to illustrate the steps, it leaves no room for error and makes it easier for readers to follow your lead.

For the purpose of search engines, you can get your blog post to rank on Google for the images you use. This is true especially for infographics or graphics you or a designer created specifically for your post.

In fact, it’s possible for images to rank higher than the blog post itself.

Some keywords will have image packs that appear on SERPs, which means you should try and rank your image there.

google image pack - how to write blog content

Just make sure that you add the keyword in the image’s alt text to help search spiders understand what the image is about.

Add Links

Google values links within content, whether it’s internal or outgoing.

If you want to decrease your site’s bounce rate, linking to your pages related to the blog post helps. They are best featured below the post as a call to action so they can keep them engaged with your site even more.

Having outbound links on your blog post seems counter-intuitive since you want readers to stay on your site for as long as possible.

However, there’s a study proving that having outbound links help your site’s SEO.

Think of organic search as an ecosystem. Sites and pages live off based on their relationships with each other.

Similar sites tend to stick with each other, forming clusters and segments of information that make crawling and indexing pages much easier for Google.

And the way Google determines this is through links.

If you prevent linking your blog post out to other sites, search spiders will have a difficult time determining the relationship of your content with pages covering the same topic from other sites.

Therefore, it is in your best interest to link out to other sites if you want to rank a blog post for your target keyword.

As a best practice, don’t link out to direct competitors or sites targeting the same keywords as you. Link to content from different verticals so you don’t endorse the competition.

Write About Topics, Not Keywords

Back in the day when Google’s algorithm was duller than a bread knife, you could rank your page on organic search by entering as many keywords in the blog post as you can.

Due to this loophole, almost all of the top-ranking pages offer little to no value to users.

Thankfully, Google improved its algorithm to weed out the thin content and ranked the deserving ones on top.

At the same time, site owners had to pivot from optimizing for keywords to covering topics instead.

This means that they need to cover words and phrases related to the content’s target keyword to create topical relevant content.

Since you can’t really know the topics under your target keyword, it’s best to use a tool to help you determine what other subjects you need to cover in your blog post.

The simplest way to determine what other subjects you must cover under the topic keyword is by typing the keyword on Google search to view autosuggestions.

google autosuggestions

You can even drill down the subjects deeper by choosing from one of the autosuggestions from your initial keyword to come up with new autosuggestions.

google autosuggestions 2

Another tool you can use is the free TF*IDF tool by Seobility. TF*IDF refers to the relationship between the term’s frequency (TF) and inverse document frequency (IDF).

To use this tool, you must sign up for a free account. Upon signing in, enter your target keywords to see the results.

Clicking on the Table of values tab would show you the list of keywords that are mentioned across the top pages for the keyword.

seobility

Edit Before Publishing

To be clear, grammar and punctuation are not ranking factors. If you have grammatical errors in your blog post, Google could simply overlook it and rank your blog post especially if it covers the topic very well.

However, we’re just talking about search engine optimization here. The other half, which is the readers, is a different story.

Because the last thing you want to do is have grammatical errors and run-on sentences for poorly written content in general.

Readers aren’t too kind to content that is simply unreadable.

Most likely, they will leave your site and visit your competitors and never look back to your site again.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you have written the most optimized content out there if nobody wants to read it!

Having grammatically correct content fosters trust with your readers. If you can communicate your ideas in a clear and concise manner, then you give a reason for people to at least read what you have to say.

The most ideal solution here is to hire an editor to clean up the blog post from errors. With an editor, he or she could also tighten your sentences which are issues are even the best grammar tools can’t find.

But if you can’t afford an editor at the moment, the next best thing you can use is the free Grammarly Chrome extension.

It helps identify errors in your writing that you weren’t aware of before.

Optimize Your Site Beyond Blog Posts

Making sure that your blog content is optimized by following the tips above can fast-track your way to ranking on Google.

But after you’ve content

At this point, you should be aware that SEO isn’t just about ranking your blog posts. There are other variables you have to worry about so you can maximize your site’s performance on organic search.

With my FREE e-book “SEO For Beginners – Learn How To Get Onto The First Page Of Google,” I will help you go beyond blog posts for a more optimized and Google-friendly website.

Below are the topics I covered in my guide:

  • Proper keyword research to determine which words and phrases to optimize for and how.
  • Technical SEO variables so you know how the search engine crawls and indexes your site.
  • Rank tracking processes to help determine your SEO campaign’s ROI based on the strategy you implemented.
  • And more!

To help you understand what it takes to rank on top of Google search, download my FREE e-book here.

Get in touch with Joshua George

ClickSlice was founded by Joshua George in 2013. Joshua noticed a growing trend of companies who were frustrated with so called “SEO agencies” who kept underdelivering the simplest of marketing campaigns. The KPIs were wrong, the reporting was all…

Get in touch | with me today and let’s chat.