It’s easy to fall into the trap of just churning out content in the fastest way possible. I get it. We are stretched for time as it is, without spending hours and hours on one blog post. But here’s the thing- our audiences now have more options than ever about where to put their attention, so how can you make sure they choose to read your piece over countless others?
In this article, we will take a closer look at the anatomy of a blog post by dissecting each element of what the perfect blog post should contain. Going forward, you will have a much better process in place for approaching an article that will work for you every time. Remember, every minute spent in planning saves about ten minutes in execution. So by reading this, not only will your understanding deepen, you will be creating stellar content faster than ever before.
Your Blog Post Title
The first thing to consider would be your blog post title. When we consider SEO (more on this later) the headline should be 55 characters or less to fit the whole title on a search results page without being abbreviated with an ellipse.
You want to entice your reader with the title, urging them to click the post and read more. Internet users have very short attention spans. But before I lose you to one of your social media sites, consider this: 60% of readers don’t make it past the title, so why you are still here?
The blog post title does more than just tell a reader what the piece is about. You need to make it as interesting as possible and demonstrate what new information the reader will be getting. For example, this article could just be called “Blogging” but that doesn’t demonstrate how it is going to solve a problem for you.
Once you have a clear angle for your piece, it will be easier to brainstorm a gripping title. It has been said that 80 percent of good writing is obsessing over the ideal headline, but don’t analyse it too much either. Putting all of your ideas onto the page will result in a title that will jump out at you. That’s the one to go for.
Keyword research is part of SEO (search engine optimisation). Simply put, it’s coming up with an extensive list of keywords that you would like your website to rank for.
To create such a list, website owners need to take a closer look at their ideal client avatar. What will these people be looking for? What kind of things will they be searching for to come across your services? Which problems of theirs does your product solve? The answers to these kinds of questions will the search terms that you want to be found for.
Thankfully, there are some amazing tools out there that will make your keyword research a bit easier. The first is, of course, Google itself. When Google predicts what you are typing in the search bar, it is questions that other people have actually asked!
You can also install free google chrome extensions such as “Keywords everywhere” to give you a more comprehensive overview of what people are searching for. Furthermore, sites such as Ubersuggest will again help you to gain more of an understanding of what keywords to use.
Now that you have clarified what keywords to use, it’s time to think about keyword density. Keyword density is the percentage of times your keyword shows up in your article (and not to do with the number of words in total). When considering this in the context of SEO, Keyword density will help to determine if a web page is relevant to what your audience is searching for.
For instance, if you have a blog post that is 1000 words in length, and 40 of those words are your keyphrase, then the keyword density is 4%. When people begin to understand this, they often make the mistake of overusing a key phrase in their copy. This is actually counter-productive to what you are hoping to achieve. Not only will it result in a blog post that isn’t enjoyable for the reader, it will also flag up to google that you are over-optimising.
Many SEO experts say that an ideal keyword density is around 1-2%. To make sure you are on the right track, we would recommend the WordPress plug-in Yoast SEO and have included more on the uses of this plug-in below.
Yoast SEO is a valuable resource and anyone that is planning to write blog posts should install it. It sits in the background of your site adding extra functionality and usability.
It uses a simple traffic light system so that even those with very little technical know-how can utilise it to improve their blog posts. The red, yellow, and green signals of a traffic light are universally recognised as a way to show if something is good or bad, which is why it works so well.
Once you’ve installed Yoast as a plugin, each post on your website will be allocated a colour based on the colours of a traffic light. The colours signify how good your SEO is on each page. As I’m sure you have already figured out, red means your SEO is bad, yellow means it’s ok but could do with improvement, and green means it’s good!
For this system to work, all you need to do is set a focus keyword post (like we discussed above), as well as some meta tags for your entire website. Yoast then checks your post for the keyword density and relevance to the meta tags. If you aren’t using your focus keyword properly (e.g. you’re not using your keyword) you will get a rating of red. As you use it more within your article, the colour will change from red to yellow to green.
Yoast will even provide a column displaying the list of faults so that you can easily identify and rectify them. It does this not only for your SEO but for the general readability of the piece too.
Using this plug-in will help you to understand SEO more and more every time you use it (Which, of course, leads to increased traffic and more business!)
The Ideal Word Count and Content
According to recent HubSpot data for 2020, the ideal blog post length should be 2,100-2,400 words. They came up with this figure after averaging the length of their 50 most-read blog posts for 2019. Other sources say that the ideal amount of time it takes to read an article is 7 minutes.
This figure is up for debate and is by no means a one size fits all approach. Many people would argue that it depends on what your goal is for the piece, as to how long it should be. Some research indicates that longer Blog Posts upward of 2000 words tend to have more traffic from Google (Who wouldn’t want that?). However, medium-sized blog posts (600-1200 words) have been shown to have more social media shares.
If you are planning to write a lot of content, it might be worth noticing your own patterns and collating your own data to recognise what size posts are more effective with your audience.
Whilst the length of a blog post might differ slightly, one thing that you should be sure to do is to add subheadings throughout. Sub-headers are another SEO element that helps your blog post to rank in a Google Search. They also help to improve the readability of your piece.
The main content of your blog post that will be separated by the sub-headers is where your readers will undoubtedly get the most value. Whilst there’s a lot to consider in terms of SEO, try not to analyse too much and focus on writing naturally and in a conversational tone. Anything that needs to be changed can be edited later on using Yoast SEO.
Remember, the one thing that you have that other writers don’t is a unique voice. Cultivate it, and use that to your advantage!
Write your Perfect Blog Post Today
You now should have more understanding of what ingredients make up an effective article. With a strong heading, good SEO, and an ideal word count, you are well on your way to creating a Perfect Blog post today.
Once you’ve thrown in a strong featured image, you might then think about a call to action. Do you have any internal links or other places on your website you’d like them to visit? Perhaps you’d like to direct them to something else that could be of real value. For instance, in our case, we might like to direct our readers to book in a Free Digital Strategy Session.
Once you have considered any call to actions you may have, you will then be ready to publish a solid, effective blog post, and welcome all the traffic that comes your way.