Blog writing can propel your business to the first page of Google and increase website traffic. By now, you’re aware that the benefits of blogging include an array of SEO advantages. You can fill your pipeline with leads from organic SEO and attract quality backlinks to your content, giving you a powerful edge over the competition.
But what if the needle isn’t moving despite putting in your very best blogging efforts?
Unfortunately, bad blog writing techniques can kill your SEO strategy. The worst part is that many may not realize that their good intentions are hindering their hopes of getting the most from their blog.
If blog marketing isn’t meeting your expectations, grab a red pen and prune through your content for the following problems:
Blunder #1: Google’s Unhappy With Your Unoptimized Headlines
While headline writing is a small piece of the puzzle with SEO for blog posts, it’s necessary to get your blog optimization going in the right direction. Keywords play a role with blog headlines, but you need to craft the headline with strategy in mind.
When it comes to writing SEO headlines, you’ll want to think about several points:
- Choosing the right keyword that connects the headline to your content.
- Ensuring that the SEO headline lives up to the expectations of Google and human readers.
- Click-through rate: is this an enticing title that will bring in web traffic?
The good news is that there are a few formulas and techniques you can use to optimize your blog headline.
Headling Writing Optimization Tips:
- Put your keyword as close to the beginning of the headline as possible.
- Use stop words to break up awkward keyword phrases. [the, a, is, in]
- Consider search intent – does the reader want information on a topic or are they searching to buy your product today? Image source: Neil Patel
- Write several variations of the headline for one post. ProBlogger recommends working with 3 variations. In 10x Marketing Formula by Garret Moon, he tells how Upworthy writes a minimum of 25 headlines per story and narrows it down to two headlines for A/B split testing.
- Steer clear of clickbait headline writing. While smart marketers dropped this strategy long ago with
When you write headline variations for SEO optimized titles, it allows you to play around with your keywords to find good flow and creative ideas. You’ll find that implementing keywords in your headlines can be tricky, but with some practice you’ll become a headline-writing pro in no time.
Improving Your Headline Click-Through Rate for Better SEO
Backlinko lists click-through rate (CTR) as one of the top ranking factors on Google. Headline optimization and creative writing techniques can certainly help increase CTR, which ultimately brings in more web traffic while making an impact on your organic rankings.
The following tips can help you improve your click-through rate
- Use numbered list posts as a headline. Numbered list post is a top headline writing techniques that result in better CTR, improved organic SEO, less bounce rate, and more conversions.
- When in doubt, implement the SHINE approach. Shine is an acronym that helps you write effective headlines. It stands for Specifity, Helpfulness, Immediacy, Newsworthy, Entertainment Value. This encompasses posts such as how to, seasonal, branding, and guides.
- Use an emotional hook to entice readers to click to your website. This is achievable by implementing power words into your blog titles. Power words are some of the strongest words in marketing and sales—they grab attention and encourage readers to take action.
Blunder #2: Your Blog Writing Isn’t Skimmable
If you haven’t noticed, the way that we consume content online is incredibly fast. Studies show that customers read roughly 25% of the content in your blog article. You must find creative ways to capture the attention of your audience and hold it until the end.
With the fact that most people won’t read your blog post from start to finish, it’s not an excuse to cut corners. Instead, you’ll want to focus on blog writing that is fast and easy to read.
But how do you accomplish this when the gurus are telling you to write blog posts that are 2,000+ words?
- Use bulleted lists. Bulleted lists are one of the silver bullets for quickly condensing information for your readers.
- Write short, snappy sentences. Blog writing isn’t the same as writing a book report for your 10th grade English glass. Keep paragraphs around 2-3 sentences.
- Take advantage of title tags such as H1, H2, and H3. Not only is this good practice for SEO writing, it helps the eye skim through your post for the most important takeaways.
- Add icons to your title tags. This isn’t the most common approach, but including small icons in your tags can help catch the eye of your readers.
- Make your title tags a different color or font from the rest of your content. This is easily customizable if you have WordPress installed, especially with a custom theme such as Elegant Themes.
Blunder #3: Your Content is Killing Your Bounce Rate
Similarly to click-through rate, not all experts agree that bounce rate affects SEO. However, it’s listed as #137 of Backlinko’s ranking signals for Google, where they even point to a study by SEMRush that correlates bounce rate with organic search rankings.
Blog writing has a major impact on bounce rate. If your content doesn’t deliver in terms of value and engagement, your bounce rate is sure to take a nosedive.
While the average bounce rate is 58.18%, here is how you can keep this metric in an ideal range.
- Write powerful and engaging blog intros. My blogging tips video below gives 5 ideas on how you can write introductions that pull readers into your content:
- Keep your readers curious. Don’t give away all of the good stuff at the beginning of the blog or answer every question the reader needs to know in paragraph one. Build on the curiosity of your blog readers like a suspenseful Netflix series. Ask questions and deliver value in bite-size chunks, making your audience want more by the end of the post.
- Incorporate video with your blog writing. While this is not an actual writing technique, it’s a smart approach with your blog strategy as a whole. Video brings an entirely new depth to your blog content and is highly effective at engagement. Not only does it give a boost of over 50% for brand awareness, they’re also perfect for repurposing on social media.
- Improve blog formatting and readability. Don’t craft killer content without bothering to format it—otherwise, you might be left with readers clicking away without giving your blog a second thought. Good blog formatting techniques include using header tags, using white space and bullet points, and implementing graphics and video.
Blunder #4: Your SEO Keywords are Awkward
You know that targeting keywords is necessary for improving organic search. While there are many other elements that drive SEO, keyword strategy is one of the first steps to writing SEO content.
However, as you search for keywords, you’ll quickly notice that some aren’t phrased very fluently. In fact, keeping the keyword as-is might completely compromise the flow of your content.
The good news is that you don’t have to kiss awkward keywords goodbye—you simply need to rework the keywords a little.
And this is where you enter the stop word.
Stop words aren’t magic. In fact, they aren’t even ignored 100% of the time. If the query is an exact match, the stop word is included in the search results. However, real human beings likely aren’t going to type in “Dog grooming Pittsburgh”. This term is grammatically inaccurate and will surely make your content sound clunky.
The solution is to take dog grooming Pittsburgh and add the stop word “in”, giving you dog grooming in Pittsburgh.
Stop words aren’t the only solution for handling awkward keywords, although they can help create SEO friendly blog content.
Change the Order of Your Keywords
The order of your keywords can be rearranged for it to make more sense for a human reader. For example, Yoast recommends writing longer content and including variations of a single keyword, such as “WordPress SEO” and “SEO for WordPress.”
This is the best approach for handling any type of keyword regardless of how naturally it does (or does not) flow. Human readers matter most above all else when it comes to SEO for blog posts. Don’t force keywords just to rank for a particular term. If it’s clunky to read, you’ll lose with both humans and Google.
Blunder #5: You’re Writing About the Wrong Blog Topics
Even the best blog writing in the world won’t matter if you’re targeting the wrong topics. It’s incredibly important to research blog topic ideas that will give your blog writing a boost, allowing you to target the right keywords while delivering quality topics.
Luckily, there are ways that you can research blog topic ideas without spinning your wheels. Try the following tools to enhance your overall blog strategy:
SEMRush for Keyword Discovery
I think I might mention SEMRush in every blog post that I write, but I promise it’s for good reason. SEMRush is truly one of the most powerful tools you can use for keyword discovery and improving your overall blog writing process. You’ll find long-tail keywords with surprisingly low competition, offering an open door for creating quality blog content.
Quora for Q&A Content Ideas
Want a glimpse into what real customers are asking about your products or services? Spend some time looking around on Quora. There are countless questions on this platform that include various industries. The benefit here is that you don’t have to play guessing games on what your customers are asking about. You can take the questions from Quora and write a blog post around the question or even write a killer Q&A for your website.
Write it Better than the Competition
You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to blog topic ideas. However, what you must do is focus on blog writing that blows the competition out of the water. This involves writing blog content that is more detailed, actionable, and engaging than the competition.
Snapshot: How to Write Better Blog Content than Your Competitor
- Google your keyword and take a close look at the top 1-3 search results. Analyze the content closely and determine what is missing.
- Take note of the word count from the top-ranking content and be prepared to write more with added value.
- Enter the competition’s website into SEMRush and discover other keywords the competition is using. Implement these keyword variants (if applicable) into your content, or prepare to strategize and write new posts around these keywords.
- Consider adding new and original data to the content if applicable. Can you add extra value to the post by conducting an independent survey and revealing the results?
- Consider writing a pillar page for your chosen keyword. A pillar page requires similar effort for writing an eBook on a particular topic. It requires quite a bit of time and resources, but the end result is bookmarkable content that naturally obtains links and increased web traffic.
Best Blog Writing Services for SEO
SEO for blog posts is both an art and a science. Busy Blogs Plus provides blog writing services that incorporate quality content and on-point blog strategy, helping you achieve your ideal results with quality content marketing.