In Part 1 we discovered that learning how to write a blog post involved conducting keyword analysis. Using tools such as the Google Keyword Planner we can identify appropriate Keywords for our blog post to be structured upon. In doing so we could use those Keywords to optimize our blog content which would help us achieve a higher ranking in search results, receive more visitors but more importantly find an audience for our content.
How did you go with it? Don’t worry if you don’t get it straight away, I didn’t at first and I still have so much to learn! But you know what? We’re going to get better at it, day by day and week by week. Practice makes perfect and by spending the time to plan our content we’ll reap the benefits in future growth. Remember guys, my content is written for you, if you have questions then don’t be afraid to ask in the comments below.
The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask! I might not know the answer either but by asking it I guarantee I’ll do my best to find the answer and we’ll both learn from the process.
Today we’re going dive in part 2 of the How to Write a blog post and by focusing our attention on how we structure our blog post around the Keywords we identified in Part 1. So without delay let’s jump straight into it.
What Do You Need
To conduct this tutorial on your own blog you’re going to need a few extra tools to get you through. I’ve linked to additional articles to assist you with installing the plugins and configuring them correctly. I will aim to write my own at some stage but for now I hope the following links assist you but please sing out if you need any assistance.
Once you’ve installed and configured the required plugins you should now notice that when you create a new blog post you have new options at the very bottom of your post editor (scroll all the way down) labelled WordPress SEO by Yoast. See screenshots below
Let’s take a look at our new found options:
1. Snippet Preview
The snippet preview shows how your blog post will display in Google search results. This field will automatically update itself based on the values you place in the remaining fields.
2. Focus keyword
OK this is the important part guys, I need your full attention. The Focus keywords section is the section where you need to place the Keywords that you’ve identified in Part 1. For example I’m using the focus keywords of “how to write a blog” which you’ll see in the screenshot below. Place your identified keywords in this section and these keywords will be used in many different places throughout our content to increase the density of those words in our post.
In this section you’ll also see a summary of the frequency of your keyword within the appropriate locations in your post. If you haven’t used the keyword for one of the sections it will be outlined in red. Your aim is to make them all green. The “content” indicator counts the amount of times your keywords have been used in the body of your post and you should aim to have this number as high as possible without making your content sound repetitive. We have a number of ways we can do this which I’ll go into later.
3. SEO Title
This is the title that will show when your post displays in Google search results. Once again you should be creating a title that targets your keywords. For example my blog post is called “How To Write a Blog Post – Part 2: Content Structure” which you can see my keywords in bold.
4. Meta Description
Finally the Meta description is a summary of your blog post which also shows in Google search results. This should summarize what visitors will read if the click on your blog link. Again it should use your identified keyword and hopefully encourage and inspire visitors to view your content by capturing their attention with something creative.
Note: If you feel like any of the following settings have not updated to reflect your post modifications press the save draft button which should refresh the plugin and reflect your changes
Let’s take a look at what mine looks like at this exact moment in the post
Page Analysis Tab
The creator of the WordPress SEO plugin has identified the key requirements search engines use when determining the rank it will assign to your site and posts. Again there are many other factors that play a part but by structuring our post towards the identified requirements will provide a better chance to rank higher and attract more visitors.
Format of Content
In the Page Analysis tab we identified a list of requirements that our blog post should comply with in order to achieve a better ranking in search engines. When the requirement is achieved the status of it will turn green. If we haven’t achieved the requirement it will be shown as yellow, orange or red where red is the highest priority to eliminate.
Don’t be concerned if you can’t get all of the items green but you’re aim is just to tick (turn green) as many of the requirements as possible. I’m only going to go through a few options in more detail for you but I’ll quickly summarize the key points.
1. Your keyword should appear in your Post Title.
2. Your keyword should appear in the URL of this page.
You can edit this beneath the blog title. For example my blog URL is “http://www.cannonballfever.com/2013/10/how-to-write-a-blog-post-content-structure”. See the How to install plugins section above on how you can use WordPress for SEO to automatically create your post URL based on your post title.
3. Your first paragraph should contain the keywords
4. The body of your post should aim to have a high density of the keywords.
Again use the Page analysis tab to confirm whether you have a strong density.
5. Also ensure that your paragraphs are shorter and contain less sentences.
This makes your content easier to read as well as has benefits for SEO purposes
The following points probably aren’t as straight forward so I’m going to dive into them a little deeper for you
5. Embed images into your content and add the keywords to the Alt tag of each image.
What the hell did you just say to me Byron? I hear what you’re saying, that sounds confusing doesn’t it, so lets break it down.
1. Find the image you wish to add to your post
2. Rename the image filename to include the keywords. I typically use the format how-to-write-a-blog.jpg for example
3. Select the Add Media button below the Blog Title.
4. Once you image is uploaded, ensure that its selected and look for an options menu on the right hand side
5. Find the section labelled Alt Text and add your keyword into that section before select the “Insert into Post” option.
6. Finally, Adding your Keywords to a Sub Heading such as a <H2> tag.
There are a few ways to do this but basically you want to create headings, or sections, within your blog post. You can choose to use it usual the visual editor or the text editor. For example on my site a Sub Heading or <H2> tag looks like this:
Your WordPress template may have this feature automatically available for you in the list of editor options, at the top of the post box, or you may want to add a plugin such as the “Ultimate TinyMCE” to add these features, see the screenshot for exactly what I mean.
You should also see in the top right hand corner of the editor window two tabs called visual and text. If you switch to text it provides you with the same editor but this time it display all of the HTML code. If you want to add an H2 tag you can do the following <h2>your subheading</h2> and then switch back to visual editor to see the affect that your code has.
Publishing Your Post
Finally when it comes to publishing its also wise to do some promotion of your content in the hope that you can attract an audience away from the search engines. Recently I’ve started using a plugin called WordTwit. Once it’s configured, with your Twitter account, it can automatically create your tweet about your new post and tweet it on a scheduled basis.
I’m trialling this plugin to automate the tweeting process for me and tweet out new blog posts on a regular basis in the hope that people have a better chance of viewing it in their busy twitter feeds. It’s not about taking the personal touch away from your tweets but if you’re strapped for time it can ensure that you keep an active profile at the appropriate times.
Once the plugin is loaded you’ll see a new option box on the right hand side of your post editor page that looks like the following.
The tweet is automatically created for you so you shouldn’t have make to change or make too many adjustments.
Finally select the clock icon for the all important ability to schedule your tweets. I’m still playing with these settings but for now I’ve set WordTwit to send 3 tweets for new posts separated by 7 hours so I’m not spamming Twitter feeds. Hopefully this provides me with greater opportunity for my post to be viewed by my followers.
As soon as you hit the publish button on your post the first tweet will be sent out to your followers. I find this invaluable as a time saver for me right now.
So we’ve spoken in depth on a huge range of topics in this post. You’ll need to take it away and dissect the information and return to me with your questions.
- Install additional plugins
- Configure your keyword in WordPress for SEO
- Comply with the WordPress for SEO requirements
- Write amazing content and add value
- Use WordTwit to schedule automatic Tweets
- Publish your article to the world
So there you have it. It’s your turn now to find your audience because they’re out there wanting to read the amazing content that you’ve been slaving over for hours each week. What other tips do you have that we could all benefit from? Is something working for you that I haven’t identified here?
I would love to hear from you all so let’s start making this blog a more interactive place for everyone! That’s it for now in the How To Write a Blog Post series! I hope you got something valuable from it and you’re inspired to try something new with your blog.