Do you know how to write catchy and informative blog post?
Then, a blog will be an ally and a playground, bringing you only benefits.
However, articles need proper search engine optimization (SEO) to magnetize visitors. And when readers land on the page, readability comes into play.
Lengthy walls of text, absence of visuals, and complex sentences will hardly retain people.
Why should they waste time if they can find more user-friendly alternatives?
The outcome is degrading website metrics and a clear signal to search engines that they shouldn’t rank the resource in the top results.
How can you prevent readers from leaving and keep the website metrics satisfactory?
Optimize the blog for readability and SEO. Writing for people and search engines may seem like separate tasks, but they are two indispensable parts of creating compelling content.
Improving one leads to enhancing the other. So let’s study some of the actionable optimization tips for a blog.
9 Ways to Make a SEO Friendly Blog Discoverable and Readable
The purpose of writing articles may be to share valuable tips and sell courses. Or you may want to reach better website rankings and promote services.
Whatever the reason, the final goal is to encourage people to do something. How can you ensure it?
Improve the blog readability. If the blog is engaging, readers will be more likely to proceed to other pages and convert, i.e., download a book, subscribe to a newsletter, or schedule an appointment.
That’s where you need to assess numerous factors, from mobile eCommerce UX to loading speed.
Let’s look at possible steps to improve website metrics and positions in search engine results pages.
1. Conduct Keyword Research to Meet the User Request
Keyword research is a necessary process before writing an article.
It involves looking for the phrases and words that best reflect the article’s content.
It’s what people type in a search to get answers to their questions. So if you want to dominate the search results and reduce frustration, figure out what words the target audience inserts to find information.
Keyword research allows you to get insights into the possible topics to create more blog posts. Have you discovered the keywords with considerable traffic competitors successfully employ?
Take these ideas to generate a more comprehensive article and promote the website in SERP.
Compile a list of focus keywords. They may be general topics at first but then narrow down to more specific ideas.
Note that extensive material usually has more than one keyword, with primary keywords being in the title, meta description, and heading.
Add a list of phrases to each topic using suggestions from Google search or paid SEO tools.Type the keyword in Google search and scroll down the page. You will find related searches there, which may serve as keyword variants for the blog.
2. Divide the Text into Smaller Sections
A readable and SEO-friendly article should have a clear structure. It means that every post should include the following sections:
- an introduction to set the tone of the piece;
- a body to write the main message;
- a conclusion to summarize the main ideas.
Divide these parts into subsections and shorter paragraphs and sentences. It’s unnecessary to hit the “Enter” button after every sentence. Ensure each section has its theme or subject, which you can summarize in one phrase.
A good rule of thumb is to write as you speak. Don’t you know how to make sentences shorter? Read one of them and divide it into two. Reread the result. Try to break the sentences even more. Repeat until they make sense.
3. Compose a Captivating Heading and Clear Subheadings
The blog post title is crucial for search engine results. The better you formulate it, the more relevant to the search query it will be.
The headline should be catchy and click-worthy to drive organic traffic and amplify the click-through rate (CTR). The more clicks the title gets (with a positive experience later on), the more likely it will appear at the top of SERP.
Another SEO tip is to incorporate a focus keyword in the title. Employ headline analyzer tools like the AIOSEO plugin to streamline the process. It’s the easiest way to revise the title and get suggestions on improving it.
Remember to come up with proper headings in the blog post. They should describe the contents of article sections to enhance readability. Plus, keywords in headings boost SEO.
4. Make the Content Visually-Rich
Visuals like screenshots, infographics, and videos increase content readability, reader engagement, and time spent on-page.
They break up the monotony of text-only content, separate it into distinct sections, and make it clearer.
For example, readers will better perceive a how-to article with illustrations of some steps. And product overviews can’t reach out to the audience without photos or videos.
How often should you put visuals in the article? One image for every 100 words is the perfect ratio of image to text to get the highest number of shares.
Incorporate visuals with value to the viewers. Images and videos should be relevant to the text, illustrate what you’re trying to communicate, or entertain the readers at the very least.
Once you’ve chosen the pictures, optimize them for SEO. The process includes giving a proper title, compressing images for faster loading, optimizing for mobile screens, etc.
5. Create a Meta Description and Alt Text
A meta description is an extra text that is visible from SERP. It describes the page content to help readers understand whether it meets their needs.
So it may be a decisive factor in whether or not to click the link. Note that the compiled meta description won’t necessarily appear in SERP. Google may pick another context for the needed term.
However discouraging it may seem, optimizing the meta description is necessary for improving blog SEO. Create reader-friendly content with natural keyword inclusion.
This term should reflect what you are attempting to rank for to make it easy for Google to justify the post’s relevance.same applies to alt text, which is an image description in an image tag in the HTML code.
Website crawlers can’t see images like people. That’s where alt text comes to your aid. This text assists search engines in deciphering images and ranking them higher on the search engine’s image results page.
Additionally, image alt text contributes to the positive user experience (UX). This message appears inside the image container when the website can’t return a picture.
Alt text should explain the image without phrases like “picture of…”, include a focus keyword, and be under 125 characters long. Here’s an example of an image tag with alt text from The Guardian
6. Utilize Transition Words for Smooth Reading
Transition words are phrases like “also”, “however”, “for example”, etc. They let people scan the writing and comprehend the relationship between sentences and paragraphs. Suppose something caused something.
You can write:
I didn’t take an umbrella when I went for a walk. As a result, I got soaked due to the heavy rain.
The first sentence was the reason why the event in the second one happened.
You may utilize transition words to enumerate the reasons to buy products, such as “first and foremost”, ”next”, and “finally”. After words like “to summarize” or “in brief”, readers will understand there will be a conclusion. As such, transition words are essential for structuring the text.
7. Use Calls to Action
Including a CTA in a blog post is essential for a continuous journey. It directs visitors to the next step in their blog experience and tells them what you expect from them.
A CTA depends on the article’s purpose as it should naturally appear in line with the content marketing goals, namely:
- selling a product;
- stimulating email subscriptions;
- promoting more content to consume.
Experiment with CTA formats and wording. The most widespread CTA options include buttons, URLs, and widgets, which are more common in some instances than others. For example, a CTA in the form of a button generally invites readers to buy something.
On the other hand, a CTA as a link can persuade readers to open another blog post.
Below is a Harvard Business Review screenshot. The red button at the top of the page leads visitors to the subscription section.
There they can choose a plan and the extent of access. And the white one to the right lets them open the product page and add books to the cart.
Screenshot taken on the official Harvard Business Review website
8. Regularly Eliminate Readability Problems
Improving SEO and readability involves revising existing pages, not just generating new articles with these tips in mind.
That’s why you should devote a significant amount of time and effort to fix outdated content, including:
Upgrading and repurposing the most effective pieces of content. It ensures articles will longer provide benefits to the blog.
Removing irrelevant content, such as statistics, product information, and other changing information.
Dealing with old articles boosts SEO faster as new content takes time to settle on SERP and build authority. It’s also faster to fix minor issues with the ready-made text rather than create high-quality content from scratch.
9. Practice Internal Linking
There may be external and internal links in the article. The former lead to third-party websites and play a vital role in Google rankings.
The thing is that links pointing at the website from different resources signal the search engine about the trustworthiness of the blog.
That’s why any website owner should dedicate time to link-building strategies.
Internal linking denotes a practice of directing readers from one page to another within one website. How do you put such links?
Choose an anchor (several words) to attach a URL. Suppose it will be “losing subscribers”, like in the screenshot below. You can direct readers to a post about unsubscribe prompts or similar under this anchor.
Screenshot taken on the official Content Marketing Institute website
Internal links indicate the relevance of a new post to other existing pages. As a result, the article becomes stronger. Another impact of internal linking is the positive user experience.
Readers can click the links to continue their journey, find more information, and convert.
Why does a company need a blog? It’s an excellent opportunity to share expertise, provide value to readers, and advertise the business.
It allows you to drive organic visitors to the website, direct them to the needed sections by attaching internal links, and encourage shares.
We’ve discussed nine ways to boost blog readability and SEO. While you may think these are separate tasks, content readability impacts search rankings.
How? Readability is about providing a polished user experience. And it’s a Google ranking factor.
Retain visitors on the page even before reading the material. Include relevant keywords to attract a targeted audience, make the content reader-friendly, and leverage tools to fix issues. And you’ll see how the blog will become a sales driver.
Learn from real practitioners not just trainers.