How To Write SEO-Friendly Blog Posts (13-Step Process)
Last Updated on February 24, 2023 by Jordan Alexo
It’s no secret that writing SEO-friendly blog posts is essential if you want your website or blog to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).
But many people need to realize that it’s a simple process. There are some simple steps to follow that will ensure your content is both search engine and user-friendly.
In this post, you’ll learn about the 13-step process I use to SEO optimize all my blog posts. By following these steps, you can create content that ranks high in SERPs and satisfies your readers as well.
What Is SEO and Why Is It Important?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It consists of optimizing your website or blog to rank higher in search engine results pages.
The higher your website or blog ranks in SERPs. The more likely people are to find it. And if people are finding your site, that means they’re also more likely to read your content and buy your products or services.
In other words, SEO is important because it helps you get more traffic from search engines. And more traffic means more leads and sales.
3 Common Misconceptions About SEO
Before we dive deeper into how to write SEO-friendly blog posts, let’s talk about three misconceptions most new website owners, and bloggers have about SEO.
1) You Need to Be an Expert to Optimize Your Site
This is simply not true! While it certainly helps to have some SEO knowledge, you don’t need to be an expert. There are plenty of resources (including this post) that can teach you the basics.
2) SEO Is All About Keywords
Keywords are essential, but there are other things that matter when it comes to SEO. Things like title tags, meta descriptions, and headings also play a role in how well your site ranks.
You should include keywords throughout your content that sound natural to your readers. Nobody likes to read content that’s stuffed full of keywords. Not only is it annoying, but it’s also a turnoff for potential customers.
3) You Need to Pay for SEO Services
Again, this is not true. While plenty of companies will offer to optimize your site for a fee, you can do it yourself for free. It just takes a little time and effort. Or, nowadays, you can use artificial intelligence software tools like Surfer SEO to speed up the process.
This tool analyzes your competitors to help you determine how to beat them in SERPs.
Now that we’ve gotten those misconceptions out of the way, let’s move on to the main event:
13-Step Process To Write SEO-Friendly Blog Posts
I am going to share with you the 11-step process I follow to write SEO-friendly blog posts that rank high in SERPs and satisfy my readers.
STEP 1) Do Your Keyword Research
I use SEMRush to make my research process easier and faster. This all-in-one marketing toolkit provides me with everything I need to know about my competitors and their targeting keywords.
I enter my main keyword into the box and hit the “Search” button.
SEMRush provides me with a list of related keywords and their monthly search volume, CPC, and difficulty level. I try to find keywords with the following requirements:
Search Per Month: 300
Keyword Difficulty (KD): Easy to possible
You should stick with mostly easy keywords if you have a new website. As your website grows in authority, you can target more competitive search terms.
Rinse and repeat the same process with several main keywords. Build a list with at least ten relevant keywords you can target with your content.
Try using SEMRush, and you can get a 30-day free trial here. Like any other job, you need the right tools to finish the job quickly and efficiently.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can try Google Keyword Planner combined with MOZBar. Both tools are mostly free. Although MOZBar has a premium option if you want more features.
You can use Google Keyword Planner to get search term ideas for blog posts. Also, you can see important data about these keywords, such as average monthly search volume, etc.
And MOZBar lets you know the difficulty level of each keyword. Just install the plugin, and you’ll see a small bar on top of each SERP.
Check one of the keywords you want to target and see how difficult it is to rank for.
Once you go to the SERP, MOZbar will show you each result’s DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority).
You want to aim for keywords with the ten results with DA below 50 and PA below 30. These are considered “easy” to “average” competitive keywords, and you stand a good chance to rank for them.
STEP 2) Install an SEO Plugin
The next step is to install an SEO plugin on your WordPress website. I recommend using the Yoast SEO because it’s user-friendly and covers all the essential SEO optimization features you need.
Once you install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin, you can easily optimize your website. You’ll find a new tab in your WordPress dashboard called “SEO.”
The following are the main features of the Yoast SEO plugin:
1) Page Analysis: This feature analyzes your page and gives you feedback on improving it.
2) Titles and Metas: This lets you customize your website’s title tags and meta descriptions.
3) Social Media: This lets you control how your website is shared on social media platforms.
4) XML Sitemaps: This feature generates a sitemap for your website that helps search engines index your pages faster.
5) Breadcrumbs: This option adds breadcrumbs navigation to your website, making it easier for users to navigate.
6) RSS Feeds: This gives you control over how your website’s RSS feed looks.
7) Permalinks: This feature lets you customize your website’s permalink structure.
So, install Yoast SEO if you don’t have it already. Once you activate the plugin, you can move on to the next step.
STEP 3) Use an SEO-Friendly Theme
Using WordPress, you can easily find beautiful and lightweight themes following the latest SEO standards.
You want to make sure your theme is mobile-responsive because over 60% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Also, Google confirmed that starting in 2020, they will index websites based on their mobile version first.
I like to use lightweight themes because they load faster. A slow website frustrates users and causes them to leave, hurting your SEO because Google tracks dwell time (how long someone spends on your website before returning to the SERP).
Some of my favorite WordPress themes are:
I prefer to have a minimalist-looking website. Not only provides a great user experience, but it also helps your pages load faster.
I’m not going into much in detail about your web host provider. Just know a bad web host will slow your website, which is not good for SEO.
You can start with budget web hosts such as:
But once you reach a certain level of traffic and make money from your blog, you’ll want to consider switching to WPX Hosting. They’re more expensive, but their servers are much faster, and they have great customer service.
All these little details help improve your site’s user experience and keep people reading your content.
STEP 4) Font-Size And Family Also Count!
It’s important to have a font size that’s easy to read on all devices. If your font is too small, people will strain their eyes trying to read it; if it’s too big, it will look like you’re shouting at them.
The general rule of thumb is to use a font size between 16 and 18px for the body text. You can go as high as you want for headings, but I wouldn’t recommend going below 20px.
As for the font family, choose something easy to read, such as:
- Times New Roman
And make sure the font color contrasts well with the background color. Black text on a white background is always a good choice.
STEP 5) Research Traffic Intent
Before you write your SEO-friendly blog post, you want to see your traffic intent. In other words, when people search for this keyword, what are they looking for?
There are four types of traffic intent:
Navigational Intent: this is when people are looking for a specific website. For example, if someone types “Facebook” in Google, they’re looking for the Facebook website.
Informational Intent: this is when people are looking to learn something or find answers to their questions. For example, if someone types “What is SEO?” in Google, they want to know more about the topic and find some helpful information.
Transactional Intent: this is when people are looking to buy something. For example, if someone searches for “buy shoes online” in Google, they want to find a website where they can buy shoes.
Commercial Intent: this is when people look for a specific product or service. For example, if someone types “SEO services” in Google, they want to find an SEO agency to help them with their business.
Once you know the traffic intent, it will be easier to write your blog post and include the right type of content. If you need to figure out traffic intent, use a tool like SEMRush to help you out.
Or analyze your competitors by looking at ten results for your keyword. Ask yourself, “What are the type of articles that are ranking for this keyword?”
Are they mostly how-to guides, tips, and tricks posts? Then it’s likely that the traffic intent is informational.
Or are they posts about reviews and comparisons? Then the traffic intent is most likely transactional.
Analyzing your competition, you can quickly determine the “traffic intent” for your desired keyword.
STEP 6) Choose a Catchy Headline
Your headline is the first thing people will see when they find your blog post. So it must be catchy and exciting, making them want to click on it. Here are three headline formulas you can use:
Number + Adjective + Keyword + Promise: This is one of the most popular headline formulas. For example, “25 Best Ways to Optimize Your Website for SEO.”
The Ultimate Guide to X: People love ultimate guides because they’re comprehensive and usually offer value. For example, “The Ultimate Guide to On-Page SEO.”
X Ways to Do Y: This classic formula works for any topic. For example, “10 Ways to Optimize Your Blog Posts for SEO.”
You can use a tool like CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to help you write a better headline. Just enter your desired headline, which will give you a score, along with some suggestions on improving it.
I like to always include my target keyword in the headline, which helps with rankings. But don’t stuff your headline with keywords, as this will make it sound unnatural and turn people away.
Once you have your headline, it’s time to move on to the next step.
STEP 7) Optimize Your Title Tag Meta Description
Your title tag is the HTML code in your blog post’s head section. It’s what people see as the clickable link in the search results.
Here’s an example of a title tag:
<title>25 Best Ways to Optimize Your Website for SEO – Quick Sprout</title>
The title tag should be around 55-60 characters long, including spaces. Click here to use Moz Title Tag. This free service lets you easily see how your title tag will appear in the search results.
There are three things you want to include in your title tag:
1) Your title tag should include your target keyword, but don’t use keywords. This will make your post look spammy to Google and turn people away.
2) Your title tag should also be catchy and interesting, making people want to click on it. Remember, people will see this in the search results, so make it count. Your title tag should be descriptive, so people know what they’ll get when they click on it.
For example, if your blog post is about “SEO tips,” your title tag could be “10 Tips to Optimize Your Website for SEO.”
3) Your title tag should be unique compared to other web pages ranking for the exact search term. It should mention the different approaches you’re taking or your different perspectives. Or, it can simply include more tips than other blog posts.
For example, if you’re ranking for the term “SEO tips,” and all the pages ranking have between 5 to 9 tips, you could include ten or more tips in your blog post. This will make your title tag stand out and give people a reason to click on it.
Note: Often, I use the same blog headline for my title tag. You shouldn’t have a title tag that is too different from your headline; otherwise, people who click on your title tag in the search results will be disappointed when they get to your blog post, and it’s not what they expected.
Optimize Your Meta Description
Your meta description is the short paragraph of text that appears under your title tag in the search results. It should be around 155-160 characters long, including spaces.
Here’s an example of a meta description:
<meta name=”description” content=”If you want to rank higher in the search engines and get more traffic to your website, you need to learn how to optimize your website for SEO. This guide will show you 25 of the best ways to do it.”>
Your meta description should be interesting and include a call-to-action so people are compelled to click on it. Remember, your meta description is what appears in the search results, so make it count.
You can use the same techniques for your meta description as you did for your title tag. Include your target keyword, make it interesting and unique, and include a call-to-action.
When you’re done optimizing your title tag and meta description, it’s time to move on to the next step.
STEP 8) Write An Blog Post Outline
Once you have your headline and title tag, it’s time to start writing your blog post. But before you start typing away, it’s a good idea to create an outline of what you want to include in your post.
An outline will help keep you focused while writing and make sure that you don’t forget to include any important points. It also helps to make the writing process go faster.
Here’s how I create an outline for my blog posts:
1) Research Your Competition
The first step is to research your competition. This will give you a good idea of what’s already out there and help you come up with ideas for your post.
When researching your competition, look for blog posts similar to what you want to write about. For example, if you want to write about “SEO tips,” look for blog posts with a similar focus.
As you look at competing blog posts, note what they’re doing well and what you could do better. Also, list any ideas you have for your own post.
2) List Your Topics
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to start brainstorming ideas for your own post. Make a list of all the topics you want to include.
For example, if you’re writing about “SEO tips,” your list might look something like this:
- How to optimize your website for SEO
- What Is SEO
- The most important ranking factors for SEO
- On-page SEO tips
- Off-page SEO tips
- Technical SEO tips
- Advanced SEO tips
3) Organize Your Topics
Once you have a list of topics, it’s time to organize them into an outline. There are a few different ways you can do this.
One way is to start with your main topic and include subtopics underneath. For example, if you’re writing about “SEO tips,” your outline might look something like this:
H1) 11 SEO Tips For Beginners
H2) What Is SEO?
H2) Why You Should SEO Your Website?
H2) How To Optimize Your Website For SEO
H3) Tip 1 – Add Relevant Keywords In Your Content
H3) Tip 2 – Include Internal Links To Other Blog Posts
H3) Tip 11 – Build Links To Other Relevant Websites
Once I have an outline, it’s easier for me to start writing my blog post. I fill in the details for each section. I usually write down my outline in Jasper ai text editor. From there, I let the artificial intelligence write an introduction and fill each section.
STEP 9) Write An Awesome Blog Post Introduction
You’ve done your research and created an outline, and now it’s time to start writing your blog post. The first thing you need to do is write a great introduction.
Your introduction should be exciting and make people want to read more. It should also be relevant to the rest of your blog post.
Here are a few tips for writing a great introduction:
1) Start With A Question
One way to make your introduction more interesting is to start with a question. This will grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more to find out the answer.
For example, if you’re writing about “SEO tips,” you could start with a question like “What are the most important ranking factors for SEO?”
2) Brief Explanation
You should also briefly explain what your post will cover in your introduction. This will give the reader a good idea of what to expect and help them decide if they want to read more. For example, if you’re writing about “SEO tips,” you might say something like, “This post will cover the most important ranking factors for SEO.”
3) Include A Call-To-Action
You should include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your introduction. This tells the reader what you want them to do next. For instance, “keep reading to discover the most important ranking factors for SEO.”
A CTA is important because it helps guide the reader through your blog post and ensures that they take the desired action.
STEP 10) Include Your Main Keyword On The Headings
After you’ve written your introduction, it’s time to start adding content to your blog post. One of the most important things to remember while writing is to include your main keyword in the headings.
This is important because it helps Google understand what your blog post is about and makes it more likely to rank for that keyword.
If you want to write about “SEO tips,” you should include it in your heading 1 and some headings 2. For example:
h1) 11 Best SEO Tips
h2) What Are The Best SEO Tips?
h2) Last Thoughts About SEO Tips
It’s also a good idea to include your main keyword in the first 100 words of your blog post. This helps Google understand your content and can improve your chances of ranking.
STEP 11) Optimize Your Images
Another important thing to remember while writing your blog post is to optimize your images. This is important because it helps improve the user experience and can also help with your SEO efforts.
There are a few things you can do to optimize your images:
1) Use A Relevant Keyword In The File Name
One way to help Google understand your image is to use a relevant keyword in the file name. This will make it more likely to rank for that keyword.
For example, if you’re writing about “SEO tips,” you might want to name your image “seo-tips.jpg.”
2) Add Alt Text
Another thing you can do to optimize your images is to add alt text. This is a brief description of the image that will be displayed if the image can’t be loaded.
Alt text is important because it helps Google understand what your image is about. You should include a relevant keyword in your alt text whenever possible.
3) Optimize Your Images For Speed
You also need to make sure that your images are optimized for speed. This will help improve the user experience and reduce the chances of people leaving your website.
There are a few different ways you can optimize your images for speed:
A) Use A Compressor/Optimizer
One way to optimize your images for speed is to use a compressor or optimizer. You can use several different tools, but my favorite is ShortPixel Image Optimizer for WordPress.
B) Resize Your Images
Another way to optimize your images for speed is to resize them. This will reduce the size of the file and make it load faster on websites and browsers.
C) Use A CDN For Your Images
If you’re using many images on your website, you should consider using a CDN. A CDN will help reduce the load time for your website and improve the user experience.
If you are using a budget web host, they often will not have CDN. Cloudflare is an alternative that you can try. Fortunately, WPX Hosting provides this service for you.
STEP 12) Include NLP Keywords
NLP keywords are words and phrases that are related to your main keyword. They help improve the user experience and can also help with your SEO efforts.
There are a few different ways you can find NLP keywords:
1) Google Related Searches
One way to find NLP keywords is to use Google’s related searches. To do this, simply type your main keyword into Google and scroll to the bottom of the page.
You’ll see a section called “Searches related to <main keyword>.” These are all NLP keywords that you can use in your blog post.
2) Google Suggest
Another way to find NLP keywords is to use Google suggest. To do this, simply type your main keyword into Google and let the suggestions populate.
These are all NLP keywords that you can use in your blog post.
3) Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a great tool for finding NLP keywords. To use it, simply enter your main keyword, and it will generate a list of questions that people are asking about that keyword.
These are all NLP keywords that you can use in your blog post.
4) Google Adwords Keyword Planner
Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a great tool for finding NLP keywords. To use it, simply enter your main keyword, and it will generate a list of related keywords.
These are all NLP keywords that you should sparkle throughout your content. Make sure that it makes sense to use them where you put them.
STEP 13) Build Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. They help improve your SEO efforts and can also help improve the user experience.
One of the best ways to get backlinks is through guest posts. Guest posts are articles that you write for other websites in exchange for a backlink. You can include a link to one or several relevant articles on your website. This will help improve your SEO efforts and also help improve the user experience.
A great way to find guest post opportunities is to email other similar websites. Many times, they will be happy to have you write a guest post for them.
Furthermore, you can find many popular websites which have a section requesting guest posts.
You should check the footer section of their website, where they may have a link to their guest post submission page.
Another way to get backlinks is to create great content that other people will want to link to. If you create something unique and valuable, other people will want to share it with their audience.
Why Should You Consider Using AI SEO Tool?
You should consider using an AI SEO tool to improve your blog writing. AI SEO tools can help you optimize your blog posts for search engines and users.
They can also help you improve the user experience by suggesting NLP keywords and related articles.
I recommend trying Surfer SEO. It’s an AI SEO tool that I’ve been using to improve my blog writing. Before, I used to spend months studying search engine optimization. Nowadays, SEO has become extremely complicated. Google has over 200 ranking factors to consider when ranking a website.
And they’re constantly changing! It’s become impossible to keep up with all the changes. That’s why I decided to use an AI SEO tool.
Surfer SEO is an AI SEO tool that analyzes your competitor’s websites and produces a report. The report will tell you what to do to improve your SEO efforts.
Here’s a screenshot of the report:
You can see the NLP, word count, number of images, and more. Surfer SEO is a great AI SEO tool that can help you improve your blog writing. I highly recommend it!
Last Thoughts About Writing SEO-Friendly Blog Posts
In this post, you’ve learned about the 13 Step Process I follow to SEO optimize all my blog posts. You also learned about some great tools and techniques for finding NLP keywords and building backlinks.
Finally, you were given a brief overview of how AI SEO tools can help improve your blog writing.
SEO is important, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. The most important thing is to write great content that your audience will love.
If you can do that, you’re well on your way to success! Thanks for reading.
Note: Check the tips in this guide here. You’ll learn how to write blog posts 5 times faster!