How to write content that’s loved by Google and your website visitors both? This is one issue bloggers and content writers have been grappling with for years. The balancing act (I think) is the most difficult job to do.
On one hand, you have Google which tells you “Write content for end audience and do not over stuff your content with keywords?” and on the other, you have websites visitors who will just bounce from your website without finding anything of relevance on your website.
When Google says, “Write for the website visitors – it is lying”.
I can say this with confidence as I have had 3 failed blogs which were written for end audience without any keyword research or on-page SEO and they tanked. The reason for their failure was simple, I never used any keywords in them and wrote with passion without worrying about “rankings”.
And when the time came for Google to associate my blog with the right keywords, Google just ignored it. Were Google’s own guidelines contradictory or did I not read in between the lines?
I will go with the latter. I did not thoroughly understand what Google meant by its guidelines.
All Google wanted me to do was:
- Select the topic of my choice
- Find keywords around them
- Write a blog with keywords (without stuffing it with keywords)
It’s as simple as that. But is it easy to write such blogs?
Imagine a scenario where you are targeting 10+ keywords on a blog. What would be your strategy to rank this page on Google, keeping in mind the taste of your website visitors?
I have been a blogger for years and the only method I could think of was writing long blogs with less fluff and more meaningful content.
Let me again take you through the 3 simple steps I discussed above and link them to the structure follow to write blogs which not only rank high on SERPs but are loved by your readers.
#Step 1: Select the Topic of My Choice
I generally write on topics related to Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and startups. My topics for blogs come from my day to day learnings, experience and what I read on the internet (blogs and Quora)
For ex, If someone has asked a question on Quora “What are the tips for a first-time entrepreneur?” I might answer it on Quora and then write a long blog on the same on my blog.
(Note: Quora is a great place for anyone looking to find quality topics to write. It keeps you updated with the latest questions people have with reference to topics on the internet. Be a regular visitor there to not only contribute to the community but also to get ideas for your blog).
#Step 2: Find Keywords Around the Topic
Once I know the topic of my blog, I start with my research work. My target usually is to have one base keyword and a list of keywords around the base keywords. My strategy involves finding a lot of question and answers related to the topic I plan to write on.
For ex, the topic I want to write here is “What are the tips for a first-time entrepreneur?” I know I can easily write 5 to 10 tips but that does not solve my purpose. I am looking for more keywords and more additions to the blog to keep the blog interesting and have Google read the blog for as many keywords as possible.
The first thing to get keyword ideas is Google itself. As soon as I start typing in entrepreneur tips in the search query box, Google autocorrect gives me more keyword ideas like:
- entrepreneur tips and strategies
- entrepreneur tips and tricks
- entrepreneur tips 2018
- entrepreneur tips 2017
When I press the “search button”, I am greeted with more than a million search results. I try to pick keywords from the title of pages. Now from my search, I can notice keywords like Millionaire, Young, Advice Successful”. And then there are more questions under people may ask section:
- How do you become an entrepreneur?
- How do you motivate yourself as an entrepreneur?
- How can I make my business successful?
And there are more keywords at the end of the page in “related search section”:
- What is an aspiring entrepreneur?
- Advice of aspiring entrepreneur?
- Tips for entrepreneurs to be successful
Here are a few observations which I have from the above list:
- In the line “What are the tips for a first-time entrepreneur?” I can use words like young, aspiring in the blog instead of first time.
- First time entrepreneurs are looking for motivation, success etc. I can use the two keywords to create some interesting sections in my blog.
- Year is a trend which at least have a shelf life for two years. We are in 2018. So, if I write a blog with 2018 and 2019, I have a good chance to rank it for the next two years.
Obviously, you must do your keyword difficulty check by doing competition research, etc as taught to you by SEO masters over the years. But frankly speaking, I do not care about keyword difficulty and all those parameters because I am targeting a lot of long tail keywords.
I am confident, all my keywords together will get me a substantial amount of traffic with the right link building effort.
#Step 3: Time to Structure the Blog
I have done my keyword research. I know the most asked questions on Google. Here is how I will structure my blog:
Title: Being an Entrepreneurs is not easy, here are 10 tips for every aspiring first time Entrepreneur:
My content will follow this path:
This is where I give a brief about what is entrepreneurship, how entrepreneurs are helping the economy.
I might add some stats to make it interesting to read and I will use some of the keywords like successful, motivation, aspiring here in the first few lines.
Note: I am setting the tone of the article. This is where you either make it or break it.
This section decides whether the website visitor will take the pain to read the blog or will close the blog.
Also, Google reads the initial lines for keywords. It does read the latter lines too, but my personal experience tells me that initial lines tell Google what the blog is all about.
Here is an example of how I might start the blog:
“Entrepreneurship is the latest trend in the business world. With growing opportunities, support from VCs and the success of startups like Uber and Airbnb, youngsters are not shying away from turning into entrepreneurs.
But entrepreneurship comes at a price and the younger generation might not find itself motivated enough to face the challenges of entrepreneurship.
The transformation from an aspiring entrepreneur to full-time entrepreneurship is easier said than done.
In this blog, I provide tips to help you start your entrepreneurship journey:
And then I give them a few tips based on my experience (I do not write fluff and will advise you from staying away from writing blogs just to reach that word count).
By the time I finish the blog, I would have covered almost all the keywords and questions asked by people on Google related to the topic I selected for the blog.
What is the usual length of blogs I write: 1500+ words.
The last blog I wrote was 3000+ words and it took me good 4 to 5 hours to write the blog and another 2 hours to do revisions on the same.
Why do I write such long blogs?
As one wise man said, “Brevity is the soul of wit”. Incidentally, I am not witty and Google does not find the line useful while reading blogs. What Google looks for is in-depth blogs.
If trends are to be believed, blogs with less than 1000 words are soon going to mean nothing to Google and will start disappearing from Google’s search results.
As per Neil Patel (I have built my writing style around his style of writing), longer blogs:
- Attract more backlinks and organic traffic from Google
- It helps you establish yourself as a leader in your industry
In short, long articles help you get more backlinks, more shares and help you feature for more search results. Furthermore, long content can be used by your marketing team to create smaller content for social media campaigns and backlinking campaigns.
My team can easily dig out 3 to 5 pieces of back link content from a long 2500+ words article written by me. And your long tail keywords are going to multiply with time in front of Google.
One of our blogs ranks in first 3 pages of Google for more than 70 keywords. At the end of the day, long-form content is going to contribute to your SEO and Social Media both.
What else would you need from your blog as a digital marketer? Do let me know the comments section below.