Writing the perfect blog post
The perfect blog post to include in writing for Search Engines to gain inbound organic traffic to promote goods and services. We also want our blogs shared on social media platforms.
Writing blogs is a good way to connect with people and show your expertise. Blogs are not random articles but purposeful and useful information aimed at helping people.
Writing a good blog takes thought and research, time and commitment, so using a blog template will make the process a little quicker.
Below is a checklist of the components you need to consider when writing your post. Your post could be online for many years so it’s important to get it right.
If I have missed anything let me know in the comments.
Website load times - hosting
If your website fails to load within 5 seconds you have potentially lost a visitor as they won’t hang around.
People expect a site to load quickly so it is good practice to test your website for speed and check your bounce rates..
There are a number of tools you can use to check the speed of your website, I recommend:
Research host providers, use UK hosting companies if possible (always green):
Green sustainable website hosting
We do recommend seeking a green website hosting service. Servers are gas guzzlers and use a huge amount of power so we always opt for servers powered by clean, sustainable energy.
Does the website look nice
Have you ever walked into a restaurant and decided to walk right back out? I have. If the restaurant is grubby or not appealing you don’t want to hang around, you will choose the restaurant across the street.
The bounce rate mentioned previously also relates to websites that are not visually appealing. Website designers focus on giving the visitors a ‘Good User Experience‘ thus giving visitors a fast, clean and friendly online web experience.
Beautiful website designs
There are lots of great options for an affordable website redesigns, you can source a beautiful start-up website for under £500.00 with all the bells and whistles you need. That’s why we favour the Open Source platform WordPress, because many of our customers are either not for profit organisations or freelancers with limited budgets.
If you hire someone, they will take care of everything for you. If you opt for a diy jobby then you could get stuck and it might cost you more in the long run.
Here are some ideas and recommendations for websites that don’t cost the earth. We have used these companies and are happy to recommend them to others.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission
- Website theme from Themeforest
- Divi Theme
If you are making the website yourself then navigation will be critical. The way a visitor moves around the website must be seamless.
You don’t need to organise the site like IKEA, but you do need to give people snippets of information that may interest them in the form of Call to Action buttons.
The navigation needs to be clear and simple so people can find what they are looking for in 3 clicks.
Many modern websites have removed the sidebar, personally I like the side bar as it offers more information, especially in the blog, but it depends on your website objectives.
Don’t forget the navigation needs to look amazing on all devices i.e. desktop, ipad, iphones and laptops. Test it.
Who are you writing for? - What is the purpose of the blog
Why are you writing this post? It is a good idea to check social media to see what people are discussing and time your posts well i.e. write a post for Christmas shoppers in plenty of time.
You need to have a very defined reason for writing an article i.e. if you are an Accountant writing about new tax changes will be useful or writing about how to solve a technical problem with your iPhone. If you write regular blogs you can find potential stories from Twitter i.e. check what is trending.
List all the keywords you need to add to your blog post and write a brief.
The headline is probably the most important element of your perfect blog post. It needs to catch the eye, needs to draw people in and needs to be clear about what the blog is about.
Try to be original, bring in your personality to the headline if you want, but make it clear to people what the article is all about in a simple phrase.
The ‘pull’ is about drawing on the emotions, so you could add emotional words in the headline, depending on your audience and depending on the articles content.
Length of the headline is 60 characters or between 8 and 12 words according to Hubspot. You can use SEOmofo to check your title headline.
Length of blog - longer the better
It has been shown that longer blog posts do better than shorter ones, the longer the post often means the post is more useful to the reader. Google is measures how long someone stays on the website, it is a gauge as to how credible the site is for ratings.
The minimum for a blog post is 300 words, so I usually advise about 500+ words for a perfect blog post depending on the content.
Writing for online readers is also different to writing letters , publications or books. Online readers skim read so it is good practice to remove ‘stop words’ such as a, it, to, if the word does not change the context.
Headers and sub headers
We add headers to the perfect blog post to break down the content into chunks for the reader and add keywords.
Keywords and phrases are usually researched before you start the blog, but try to add keywords to the headers if you can, if not its ok.
Every page requires a H1 header then you can use H2 and H3 headers.
Featured images - images and graphics
The main featured image is the image that appears on the blog archive page and the image that will be shared on social media.
The image needs to be the right size and good quality, it is better that all the featured images are the same size so they look nice on the blog archive page.
All images on your website need to be labelled for Google i.e. Websitebranding_1400x500 (I always add the image size on an image)
Rename the image prior to upload. Once uploaded you can then place the image into the blog, align it, resize it and add a link to the image. There are a few things to remember about images:
- Add an Alt tag (this is the label Google searches for)
- Ensure the image is big enough
- Add link to internal or external url
- Add source details if creative commons requires it
- Keep additional images small and relevant
- Style the images
The featured image can be sourced from lots of online stock image websites but we recommend spending more time and using a graphic design tool such as Canva to make more of an impact. We use stocksnap.io and also use Envato Elements but there are loads.
As your blog portfolio increases you should be adding internal links to previous articles or pages on your website, this keeps people on the website and shows additional relevant information.
It is also good practice to add an external link somewhere in your text to give your visitors source information and additional relevant information.
Excerpts and intro's
Many WordPress websites offer an excerpt option which is a short paragraph about the article that is a compelling lead and an indicator for the reader if they wish to continue reading.
The excerpt is the short paragraph shown with the Title to offer readers a snippet of information so it has to be good and accurate.
Search the website
You can offer your visitors great navigation but also give them a search facility so they can find content quickly using keywords.
The search field will search the whole site not just the posts so the search results will publish a list of content relevant to the visitors keyword.
Feed your followers with all the latest blog posts to them automatically this will keep them interested and gain more likes, shares and exposure.
The RSS feed is a WordPress feature so if you are using WordPress you could use the following plugins.
Test it out to ensure it is working correctly and encourage people to use it.
It is good practice to give people the facility to comment on your posts, it is a nice way to get to know your followers and interact with them and offer help and further suggestions relating to the post.
A word of caution, make sure your settings are set to manually approve comments as you do not want spam comments on your website.
The perfect blog post will get more credibility when people comment on the post.
Review, review, review - carry out an SEO and spell check
Once the perfect blog post is out there it will be scrutinized by those detailed people will pick up on every spelling mistake and grammatical error, so check the post thoroughly before posting.
Run it through a spell checker to ensure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes and get someone else to read it too, they may offer some great suggestions to improve the flow of the text.
If you are using WordPress you should be using an SEO tool such as Yoast so this will give you a guide on keywords and phrases and whether too long, too short or in the right place.
There maybe browser extensions you can use to check grammar. I wouldn’t recommend Grammarly, find an alternative and be careful the checker is not set to USA and that it is reading the text in UK English.
Even business websites can have advertisements, like mine.
If you have too many ads or the ads are placed incorrectly or too big it could lead to a negative overall impression of your site and put people off.
Be careful on ad placement, experiment and review other sites to find the right level of ads. If your website is a business site, then keep ads to a minimum and relevant.
Don’t forget to add the social share buttons. You don’t want people to love your work but not be able to share it.
Ultimately you are creating content to be shared on social media platforms to large untapped audiences, so please make sure the share buttons are working.
If you test the sharing and the image does not appear then you can request a scrape by Facebook. If you are having difficulty with this then feel free to contact us.
Most themes include share buttons but if they don’t you can add them pretty easily with one of many plugins.
At the end of the post you have the opportunity to gain an email address from an interested party to add to your newsletter list.
Building a newsletter list gives you the ability send out newsletters with special offers and special deals for your products and services and gain business.
We are using Moosend and find it quick and easy to use but there are plenty of email subscribe providers to research.
Once you have built a category list and tag list you can then start to add related posts to the bottom of the page. Once they have read your post they maybe interested in other posts.
The longer they stay on the website the more positive this for your Google ranking 🙂 and the more useful your articles become.
Good meta description
The meta description is the snippet of information that shows in the google search results. This snippet needs to be accurate to reflect the articles content, it needs to include keywords. If you leave this then this will be created for you automatically and maybe incorrect.
Do not neglect this area as its so important to the success of your perfect blog post.
Now clone it!
Now you are happy with your first perfect blog post you can clone it so all future blogs will be in the same format.
All you need to do is overtype the content and add a new featured image, don’t forget to update the SEO meta details.
This will save a little time and ensure the structure is in unison with all your other posts and layout of the website.
It really doesn’t matter what business you are in, blog posts are a good way of reaching more people organically in your niche.
A perfect blog post is free and written by you, so it is classed as organic SEO. You can outsource blog posts to a writer but ensure they get the tone of the business right. Proof read posts and spend time with the writer so they really get the essence of you and your goals.
Write with purpose and write with the sole aim of helping people and you can’t go wrong. Happy blogging and good luck. Let me know if you have any questions.