It’s hard – if not impossible – to succeed at content marketing without creating blog posts on a regular basis. Every successful blog is built on a solid foundation of content, but it’s consistency that’s the real key to successful search engine rank. According to HubSpot, marketers who are consistent with blogging are 13 times more likely to get a positive ROI.
For example, if I hadn’t been consistent with my strategy, you probably would never have heard of Quicksprout.com, let alone this blog. I wouldn’t have shown up in any search result.
The truth is that writing a compelling blog post that drives traffic and leads is no easy task. Sure, you can easily churn out 300 – 500-word generic blog posts that won’t impact any search query need, let alone grow your business – but I’m sure that’s not what you’re looking to create.
Blogging is an inbound marketing strategy that truly works. You can generate more qualified leads through blogging. Recent statistics reveal that marketers who blog consistently will acquire 126% more leads than those who do not.
No matter what industry you’re in, you can set up a WordPress blog and start creating high-quality content. But, to rank well in Google and drive leads to your business, you need more. You need a system that you can implement on a consistent basis that will help you build up your brand, reach your target audience and build your search engine ranking.
In this in-depth guide, I’m going to show you the step-by-step process that I personally use to create my blog posts. The process is basically the same for any kind of blog post, no matter how long or short it is – although it obviously takes more time to write a 2,000+ word blog post than one that’s only 1,000 words but the longer post gets a better search engine rank.
Step #1: Understand the Anatomy of Top 10 Blog Posts
Blogging has helped a lot of people to build profitable businesses. Industry experts, like Guy Kawasaki, Dan Kennedy, Rand Fishkin, Brian Clark and many others have embraced blogging and succeeded.
They have come to understand that all blog posts are not created equal. A well-planned blog post could go viral and drive thousands of referral visitors to your blog though you can still get solid search engine ranking with systematic quality blogging.
To me, the underlying philosophy of blogging has to be rooted in a commitment to giving massive value. I’ve seen the impact of this approach when writing content, no matter what topic or industry the content concerns.
Since 2007, I’ve invested heavily in creating this kind of in-depth, high quality content, while following a proven plan. Initially, I didn’t get huge organic results. But, over time, traffic grew – in one month, I generated 262,169 search visitors.
Sure, targeting long-tail keywords contributed immensely to that search result. But, the real key to that success was a strategic blogging plan that I followed consistently. This is a good representation of the blog post structure, or anatomy, that I use for my content:
For each post, I made sure to identify what my readers want to read and to define the problem that they want to solve. Additionally, I challenge myself to always produce quality content. That should be your #1 priority; search engine ranking will follow.
Step #2: Understand the Proven Blog Post On-Page SEO Process
According to Search Engine Journal, 70 – 80% of users ignore paid search, focusing solely on organic results. When done correctly, on-page SEO can powerfully improve your site’s search result performance.
Learning how to do SEO like a pro will eventually pay off in more direct ways, too. One B2C company saw a 42.4% revenue increase when they started driving more organic customers to their site.
The process of laying out your page, structuring your content and optimizing the various elements of the page is what ‘on-page seo’ is all about. It concerns both the content of individual pages as well as the HTML. The purpose of on-page SEO is to help pages rank higher and drive the right traffic from search engines.
One of the core concepts behind current SEO best practices is improving the user experience. When it comes to optimizing your individual web pages, the user comes first.
From the chart on the right below, you’ll notice that three on-page SEO factors stand out in particular: depth & value of content (15%), use/repetition of primary keyword (40%) and page user experience (30%).
Using your keywords in a natural way in your post isn’t a bad SEO practice. But, don’t overdo it: that’s “keyword stuffing” and it could very well get you penalized by search engines.
Let’s talk more about keyword research, headline writing and how to prepare a blog post that will likely rank in Google’s top 10 results:
Keyword research: An important step in on-page search engine optimization, keyword research tells you what your target audience is searching for and what their intention is – i.e., comparison shopping, just browsing, ready to purchase, etc. Their search query is your often starting point.
When researching keywords, your objective is to metaphorically look over the user’s shoulder and see things from their perspective. That’s the quickest way to create blog posts that are relevant and timely.
Say you write about angel investors on your blog and you want to create a blog post that would rank highly for that topic. Here’s how to find long-tail keywords that you can use to optimize your page:
Step #1: Go to Ubersuggest. Plug the main keyword (e.g., angel investor) into the search box. Click “Search.”
Step #2: Click “Keyword Ideas” in the Left Sidebar