As a freelance technology writer for a company that offers tech staffing solutions, I’ve found that having an SEO copywriting background is an invaluable tool. After all, I want to get the most out of each guest blog post that I write.
Below are my tips or guidelines if you will find helpful, Let me know in the comments section.
# 1 Add [keywords] to the beginning of your title
My first example industry is the cookie industry, and my example company is the Girl Scouts of America, which specializes in cookies. Henceforth, an example blog post title could look something like the following:
Everyone loves these [butter cookies]
Now there is nothing wrong with this, per say, but they can do better. For example, they could change that title to the following:
[Butter cookies] that everyone loves!
Placing your keyword upfront places more emphasis on those words: both in the minds of Google AND readers. Also, remember that most CMSs will make your title into the URL of your blog post. So it’s doubly important that your title have keywords in them.
# 2 Sprinkle keywords throughout the post
Use keywords throughout each post. As a rule of thumb, I try to include the exact match keyword two or three times in each blog post (which includes the title).
But do NOT go overboard with the amount of exact match keywords you include—it could hurt your rankings and seem “spammy” to your readers. Instead, use partial matches and related terms in addition to the few exact match keywords you use.
You may like to read : Do Not Stuff Keywords -It May Confuse Search Engines
Exact Match: “Butter Cookies”
Partial Match: “great cookies” or “flavorful butter” or “butter and cook separately”
Related Term: “How to bake” or “cookie dough” or “unhealthy types” or “Christmas”
Using a smart combination of exact, partial, and related terms will improve your posts rankings, and more importantly will increase our Latent Dirichlet Allocation score (an often misunderstood ranking factor).
# 3 Use keywords in your image alt text
Alt Image Example
In the example above, “MacBook Pro family” is the keyword this image is optimized for. Try, however, to keep alt text shorter than 25 characters long (roughly 7 words). Staying with the Girl Scout theme, we should use smart alt text such as Butter Cookie pictures or butter cookie recipes.
# 4 Use keywords in internal and external anchor text
When linking to internal pages on your site, be sure to avoid putting the direct http link in your text. For example, when referring to a blog post about red velvet cookies that you wrote last week, you could use the http address (i.e. http://girlscouts.com/red-velvet) or you could link to the same page with red velvet cookies.
The ladder method of internal linking helps the “linked to” page rank better for the term “red velvet cookies”. Also, this term, “red velvet cookies,” is a related term to our posts keyword “butter cookies”—helping this blog post rank better for butter cookies.
Also, when you link to pages on authoritative sites (such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_cookie), use specific anchor text related to your keyword.
# 5 Optimize your image file names and extensions
To save on page load speed, turn your images into either GIF or JPGs. And for your file name, ensure that is has your keywords in it, that there are no spaces between those keywords, and that you don’t have improper capitalization.
E.g. Filename: butter_cookies.jpg v.s. Filename: butter_Cookies.jpg
#6 Write more than 500 words per post
As a general rule of thumb, make sure that each blog post you publish is over 500 words long. Sometimes pages under 500 words look spammy—i.e. stuffed with keywords.
# 7 Write How-to and List posts
Moving onto our second, bitter example, we will jump into the world of debt. And lets say you run a great blog about SBA loan help, such as Second Wind Consultants. How-to and cultivated list posts are the most popular type of blog posts in most industries—especially the debt industry—and these type of posts generate a ton of links. Tell readers “How-to” get out of debt, or make a “list” of the most popular online debt reduction tools. And these lists don’t have to be word based, you can make a list of relevant pictures or videos, and then add a bit of text explaining each selection.
EXAMPLE TITLE 1: 10 SBA Loan rules everyone should know
EXAMPLE TITLE 2: How to analysis a SBA loan
NOTE: Other very “viral” posts include posts that stir up controversy (i.e. Why the SBA loan collection is unconstitutional), and interview posts (i.e. Peggy E. Gustafson’s thoughts on the state of SBA loans).
Peggy is the inspector general of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and getting an interview from her would generate a lot of links and traffic.
# 8 Use Bold and Italics to Emphasis Keywords and Make the Post SCANABLE
This tip is more of a usability issue, but it does help with SEO. Putting emphasis on keywords helps to tell Google which terms are more important. And including bold and italics also makes the documents more scanable for readers, helping them readers pick out the information theyre looking for.
# 9 Include Relevant Calls-to-Action at the End of EVERY Post
Whether it’s to create general awareness around a certain subject or to get readers to buy more cookies—every post has a purpose. Make this purpose clear at the end or beginning of the post, helping visitors to take the action you desire them to take. This should improve your overall site conversion rate.
Going back to the sweet example, here are 3 sample “Calls-To-Action” (CTAs) for our Butter Cookie post:
Learn more about our Butter Cookie selection (“Butter cookie selection is a live link to a new page)
Buy your first batch of Girl Scout Butter Cookies
Browse our cookie selection
This Call-to-Action can be in the form of a hyper link or a button with text on it.
Was this a useful guideline for SEO copywriting your blog posts? Are their any tips that I missed. Let me know in the comments section.