7 Key Principles for Crafting Engaging and SEO-Friendly Blog Posts

7 Key Principles for Crafting Engaging and SEO-Friendly Blog Posts

In the quest to captivate audiences while also appeasing search engines, we sought the wisdom of founders and marketing directors for their proven strategies. Highlighting the importance of writing helpful content and employing the inverted-pyramid structure, here are the top seven principles they recommend for creating blog posts that are both engaging and SEO-friendly.

 

  • Write Helpful Content, Not for Search Engines
  • Embrace Simplicity in Writing
  • Research and Integrate Keywords Strategically
  • Leverage Human and SEO Specialists
  • Prioritize People, Then Optimize for SEO
  • Emphasize Brevity and Conciseness
  • Employ the Inverted-Pyramid Structure

 

Write Helpful Content, Not for Search Engines

The key principle for me is that although I do write my posts around one main keyword, I never write the post for search engines. My guiding principle is that I try to write the most helpful piece of content that a blog visitor has ever read. I want it to be so good that they thank me for it. I find that when I do that, the SEO side of things comes much easier.

 

 

Adam White, Founder, Serpple

 

Embrace Simplicity in Writing

I always write with simplicity. I believe that a skilled writer can turn a complicated or abstract idea into something easy to understand. Sentences should be short, words should be clear, and the tone shouldn’t be too fancy.

 

I make it a point not to write just to show off how many big words I know. Some words just don’t sound right, and they can annoy people who care about how words sound. You don’t need to use old-fashioned or overly complex words like “austerity” and “admonition,” unless there’s a really good reason. Avoid using fancy words like “highfalutin” and stay away from too much technical language.

 

“A simple style comes from harder thinking and more work.” Ernest Hemingway and E. B. White are famous for their easy-to-read writing. One way to learn this is by reading their work before you start writing. When I do this, I feel like I can hear their style in my head, helping me as I start to write.

 

Precious Abacan, Marketing Director, Softlist

 

Research and Integrate Keywords Strategically

One of the key principles I adhere to for ensuring my blog posts are both engaging to readers and optimized for search engines revolves around a strategic approach to keyword usage, particularly focusing on determining the ideal, often long-tail, keywords for the content. This process begins with a thorough research phase to identify keywords that are not only relevant to the topic at hand but also align with what my target audience is searching for.

 

After crafting the content with these keywords in mind, ensuring natural integration into engaging, reader-friendly text, I take an additional step that has proven invaluable: I search for these keywords myself to see what content is ranking on the top pages of search engines that isn’t featured in my article. This insight allows me to identify gaps in my content or additional value I can provide to my readers that competitors might have overlooked.

 

 

For instance, if the top-ranking articles include certain statistics, case studies, or a unique perspective that I haven’t covered, I consider how I can incorporate similar elements into my post to enhance its value and relevance. This doesn’t mean simply mirroring what’s already out there; instead, it’s about understanding what resonates with both readers and search engines, then finding a way to add that value through my unique lens.

 

 

This approach not only improves the SEO performance of my blog posts by aligning with search intent but also ensures the content remains engaging and informative for my readers. It’s a dynamic balance between serving the needs of my audience and the technical requirements of search engines, ultimately leading to content that performs well on both fronts.

 

Blake Smith, Marketing Manager, ClockOn

 

Leverage Human and SEO Specialists

In this case, employing a human copywriter and an SEO specialist separately has gotten me the best results. Sometimes, one person can be a specialist in both areas (and more), so the number of specialists is not important—it’s the fact that they’re very good at what they do and know and apply best practices. 

 

To make a blog post engaging, it should be written by a human with their personality oozing and their style flowing. This is the only way to make it engaging for human readers. The writer may utilize AI as a part of their research, but if AI (or a person who is not a copywriting specialist) is used to write or lead the formation of the piece, even with a talented editor stepping in at the end, it will not be engaging and it will be very difficult to inject this quality. 

 

The optimization process should be applied last, as it’s often a matter of tweaking words or injecting keywords, and this does not really affect the overall tone, flow, and engaging essence of the piece. So, it’s easy to have both the engagement factor and good SEO optimization working together harmoniously for a highly effective blog post.

 

Brigitte Knight, Marketing Manager, Flowers Across

 

Prioritize People, Then Optimize for SEO

Some bloggers write their content with an SEO checklist in hand. I prefer to write for people first, then review my blog and optimize for search engines. Doing this allows me to tell the full story in a way readers will appreciate. 

 

 

Once I have a strong first draft, I go back to add links, tweak the language to include various keywords, add metadata, and check other on-page elements for better optimization. If you write with your audience as your first priority, your dwell time, page views, backlinks, and social shares will increase, all of which will ultimately help you perform better in the SERPs.

 

Alli Hill, Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance

 

Emphasize Brevity and Conciseness

Make every word count. Good writing doesn’t have extra words. A sentence shouldn’t have words it doesn’t need, and a paragraph should only have sentences that are important. This means you don’t have to make every sentence short or skip details, but make sure each word is important.

 

If you can leave a word out and still have a complete thought, then don’t use it. It’s better to use ten words instead of forty-eight. Shorter words are usually better. Use “swift” instead of “accelerated,” “apt” instead of “appropriate.” Avoid words like “rather,” “pretty,” and “quite,” and phrases like ‘I believe’, ‘I reckon’, ‘I would like to think’. They’re not needed and weaken what you’re saying.

 

Pick strong, clear words and only add more words when it really adds something. Don’t worry about being brief when you first write down your ideas. My philosophy teacher used to say, “Write with passion, edit without mercy.” Get your thoughts down first. You can make it shorter later when you edit, which is why editing is just as important—or even more important—than the writing part.

 

Lucas Ochoa, Founder & CEO, Automat

 

Employ the Inverted-Pyramid Structure

One can make blog posts engaging to readers and optimized for search engines by using the inverted-pyramid structure. This structure is a technique used in journalism where the most important information is placed at the beginning of the article, followed by the supporting details. 

 

This structure is effective in engaging readers because it captures their attention right from the start. By placing the most important information at the beginning, readers can quickly grasp the main point of the article, making it easier for them to understand and appreciate the content. 

 

Additionally, this structure is also effective in optimizing blog posts for search engines. Search engines like Google tend to prioritize articles that are relevant and easy to understand. By using the inverted-pyramid structure, blog posts become more accessible and easier to read, making them more likely to appear in search engine results.

 

Matthew Ramirez, Founder, Rephrase

 

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