A Blog Post Style and SEO Guide
When I teach a class on blogging many questions are asked that relates to the “style” of the post. Though the latitude related to blog post style allows for great freedom and flexibility there may be some things that you will want to think about in some detail and make sure you address them with each post. Keep in mind that it is also important to establish your own style and to have confidence in it.
Here is my breakdown.
The blog post title is very important. Always have an easy-to-read and understand title.
- Make it captivating.
- Use important keywords in the title to help it to be found in search.
- Strive also for accuracy.
- Avoid using overused adjectives (i.e.: common, important, useful…).
- The title can also be your H1 tag. Remember that the major search engines only want to see a single H1 tag for a post.
Intro (above the “Read More” tag)
Begin with an insightful, interesting and attention-grabbing opening paragraph to set the scene. Note that this paragraph is very important if you use the “read more” tag. I recommend the use of the “read more” tag unless your post is very short (length of post will be cover later).
Again, use an important keyword phrase or two in your intro.
I also like to include a meaningful image which will appear above the “read more” tag. Images are a good way to attract attention and can help convey the meaning and feeling of the post.
Blog Post Body
This content is below the “read more” tag.
Use your H2 tag to highlight sections of your post. Think of the H2 tag as a sub-heading tag. The HTML for this is <h2> and </h2> and once your style sheet file has been set to define your H2 tag this tag should appear as an item you may select from your content editor tool bar.
Make sure you enable the reader to scan the post. Long paragraphs are not well suited for the Internet. People like to scan so short paragraphs and bullet points are fine or even preferred.
Use keyword phrases in the body of the post but don’t overdo it. The post needs to sound and read well.
The length of the post should be perhaps 250-300 words on the low side but if you find the post approaching 1000 words then you may want to consider breaking the post into smaller more manageable parts. The length will be also dependant on your audience. If they want to learn about a detailed topic in a detailed way then a longer post may be perfectly acceptable and preferred. A short post in this case may even be a turn-off. Consider your audience to help you best determine the length of the post.
It is also fine to add content done by others. As long as you give credit to the source then this should be fine.
The major search engines favor depth and variety of content so to use graphic and video helps your search engine optimization (SEO) cause.
The real point of your post is to add value for the reader. As long as you have this focus then you will be fine.
Wrap up your post with a few lines to give the post an appropriate ending. Another part of your conclusion could also ask a question that involves the reader and encourages comments on your post.
You may also want to consider adding some detail for the reader as to the next step you want them to take.
Here is a link to another blog post you may enjoy. It is how to make your content more shareable. You need to consider the sharing aspect of your content marketing efforts.