Let's get real with each other for a moment. Is search engine optimization (SEO) something you've been avoiding thinking about when it comes to your blog posts?
And are you leaving money on the table as a result?
Frankly, search engine optimization is important for a couple of reasons.
1) It can help your blog post show up in the top handful of results on Google, Pinterest, Bing etc., when someone searches for information about your industry. This will help drive free traffic to your site -- yay!
That said, if you're blogging in an industry where a lot of large companies or hundreds of other bloggers are also writing about similar topics to you, it may be hard to get your article to show up on search engine results pages (particularly on Google!)
This is especially true if you're just starting out with your blog and don't have many articles on it or links to it from other sites.
Which means that, for a while, you might feel tempted not to even bother with SEO.
But you SHOULD care about it, for this second reason...
2) Doing SEO well means that you'll necessarily have to talk to your audience in their language and communicate in a way that connects with them.
This is CRUCIAL for ensuring that you create content which resonates with your readers and helps you sell your products or services.
If you want to find out how to use SEO to massively step up your copywriting and blog content, read on...
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HOW BETTER BLOG POST SEO CAN ACTUALLY IMPROVE YOUR CONTENT
SEO generally has a bad rap in copywriting circles, because it's associated with "keyword stuffing."
Keyword stuffing is when a business decides that it wants its website to show up on a Google search engine results page when people search for particular terms.
It then creates blog articles that are "stuffed" with those terms, in an effort to appeal to Google.
(Unfortunately for those businesses, this tactic doesn't actually work any more, and it also makes the blog articles difficult for human beings to read!)
Needless to say, this kind of approach to SEO will not help improve your copywriting or the content of your blog posts.
An approach that WILL help is one where you do some quick research on the language that people are using as they look for information relating to your blog post topic.
For example, say you decide to write a blog post on a recipe for gluten-free chocolate brownies.
You go to the (free!) Google Keyword Planner, choose the "Find new keywords" option, and type "chocolate brownie celiac" into the search bar.
Here are the results:
As you can see, then, "chocolate brownie celiac" would not be a good phrase to use as your target keyword phrase.
("Target keyword phrase" = the phrase that, after people type it into a search engine bar, would ideally lead to a search engine results page where your blog article is in the top handful of results.)
This is because only 0-10 people actually typed that phrase into Google in the last month!
Clearly, not many people are using that language when they look for information on the topic.
The phrase "gluten-free chocolate brownie", on the other hand, has a lot more people searching for it.
BUT after looking at the results in the Keyword Planner, you might decide to target a different phrase entirely -- "chocolate flourless brownies".
That's because -- as seen in the image above -- the phrase "flourless brownies" has more monthly searches, and less competition when it comes to businesses and blogs trying to rank near the top of Google search engine results for it.
THIS IS WHY DOING SEO RESEARCH MATTERS IN BLOGGING.
Because you need to meet your audience where they're at, speak to them in their language, and provide them with information they're actually looking for.
And you won't know for sure what they're looking for until you do the research.
Some accessible (and free!) resources for finding and researching your ideal customers' language include:
- Answer The Public
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Search Bar (type in a couple of words relating to your blog post topic and see how Google suggests that you complete the sentence)
- Pinterest Search Bar (perform a search for your blog post topic, then look at the additional words and phrases that show up underneath the search bar - these are related words and phrases that other people are also searching for)
As you do your research, jot down any and all phrases that are relevant to your blog post topic and which people are using as they search for information on the subject.
When you've finished your research, choose ONE target keyword phrase that you're going to really focus on ranking for, but keep your list of the other words and phrases handy.
HOW TO GO AHEAD AND OPTIMIZE YOUR BLOG POST FOR SEO
Once you've chosen your target keyword phrase, use it at strategic points throughout your article.
Generally, you should aim to include that phrase in your blog post title, in at least one of your article's sub-headings, and a few more times throughout your article's body.
Also, put the phrase in the alt-tag for your blog post's images, and if you can edit the slug and meta description for your article, include it there too.
(I use the free version of the Yoast SEO plug-in for WordPress to do this, which makes optimizing my posts incredibly easy!)
Finally, aim to scatter the other words and phrases that came up in your SEO research throughout your post too.
This will indicate even more clearly to search engines like Google what your blog post is about.
For instance, in the case of the post on flourless chocolate brownies, it could be a good idea to include the words "easy", "healthy", "gluten-free", "recipe", and "low carb" at various points throughout your article too, as those are additional popular related search terms!
Do you use SEO research to help you write your blog posts?
And what do you find helpful or challenging about SEO? Tell me in the comments below!
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