The History of Blogging
The internet has been around since the 80’s. However, blogging was first established in the mid 90’s. The term “blog” wasn’t recognized back then. Due to this, the first “blog” was a personal homepage of a college student. In the later 1990’s the term “weblog” was introduced. This term was a shorter version of the term “logging the web”. Additionally, we all know that wasn’t the last time this term would be shortened. Today we know these “weblogs” as “blogs”.
The Art of Writing an SEO Friendly Blog on WordPress
There are numerous types of blogs. From personal blogs to professional blogs they all serve their own purpose. However, what is one thing that all blogs have in common? They are all trying to share some form of information. Also, what sets some blogs apart from others? The most obvious is if they can follow all of the general rules of blogging. Another sign of success for a blog is how many readers it has.
Specifically, with a WordPress blog, there are two main categories that will lead to the best results, “Readability” and “SEO”.
Readability is a very important aspect of a successful blog. When writing a blog, the main goal is to have others read what you are writing. In order to do that there are some guidelines that should be followed. Below is a brief description of each part of achieving high readability.
What is a Copy Score and Flesh Reading Ease Test
The Flesh Reading Ease Test is affected by how easy your text is to follow and read. This goes along hand and hand with the copy score of your blog. What affects your Flesh Reading score? First off, your sentence length. Why would sentence length affect readability? Longer sentences mean extra words. Furthermore, these extra words are seen as fillers that are not needed.
Along with shorter sentences, the Flesh Reading Ease Test is looking at the individual words in sentences. In blogging, using hard to understand words hurts you. Therefore, you want to keep all of your information as concise and to the point as possible. Furthermore, the Flesh Reading is hoping to encourage blogs written without the extra fluff. It is also encouraging you the writer to take the time to find the best way to talk about your subject.
The Number of Words in Your Paragraphs
The number of words you use may seem like a trivial thing to think about. However, the more words you are using the longer you are taking to make your point. Along with the Flesh Reading Ease Test, shorter paragraphs are also ideal. Therefore, if you can use one sentence to describe your subject that is preferable to using multiple sentences.
Use of Transition Words
Why are transition words so important? Transition words help the flow of your blog. Instead of jumping from one thought to another, a transition word will help tie two thoughts or sentences together. Therefore, helping the reader to continue following the path that you are lying down for them. Also, the use of transition words helps you to really see if your sentences really fit together. If you cannot make a tie from one sentence to another there may be a need to rethink your sentence placement.
How Passive is the Voice You Use in Your Writing
What is Passive Voice?
Passive voice occurs if the noun or noun phrase that would be the object of an active sentence (such as Yoast SEO calculates your SEO score) appears as the subject of a sentence with passive voice ( The SEO score is calculated by Yoast SEO). In figure 1, we give more examples of passive voice and give better alternatives.
The above is the definition of Passive Voice by Yoast SEO. However, what does it mean exactly? In our work with blogging, we have discovered that the simplest way to get rid of Passive Voice is to make your sentences in the present tense. Therefore, instead of using words that end in “ed” use their present tense counterparts. Below are some examples of this.
Passive voice Better alternatives This product can be bought in our webshop. Customers can buy this product in our webshop. The bags are checked by a security employee. A security employee checks the bags. The employees are informed about their financial contribution. The manager informs his employees about their financial contribution. All our posts are checked by a colleague. A colleague checks all our posts.
As you can see from the examples above keeping your writing in the present tense is important. However, another thing that is just as important is to keep your point of view consistent. For example, this blog is written as if we are talking specifically to the reader, you. Therefore, you as the reader feel as if this more of a conversation than just cold instructions. Also, by keeping the same point of view throughout the entire blog you keep up that same flow that we spoke about previously.
Much like readability, SEO is also important in blog writing. However, what exactly is SEO? SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”. What does that mean exactly? Also, why is this important when writing a blog? In order to understand why it is important, you need to understand all of the pieces to achieve good SEO. Below we have broken down each of the aspects of SEO.
Focusing on a Keyword
What is a keyword? A Keyword is a single word or short phrase that you want to be the main idea of your blog. For instance, in this blog, our keyword is “blogging”. Therefore, this word is what the basis of our entire blog is on. Other examples we have used in previous blogs are “LED Lighting”, “Certification”, and “Wire Harness”. The use of a keyword can be difficult.
The SEO has certain criteria in order to keep all of their requirements in the green. Furthermore, with keywords, they require that your keyword is present in your title, at least one of your headers, and also be used in the first paragraph of your text. However, they do not want that one word used too often and will penalize you if you overuse it. Also, SEO prefers that when your keyword is used in your title and header that it be as close to the beginning as possible. Therefore, we usually try to keep our keywords as the first or second word of our title and we also try to place it in the first heading within our blog.
Creating the Perfect Title
Creating the perfect title can be a challenging first step. It is often helpful to write up some notes about what you want your blog to be about. After you have an idea of what your blog needs to say it will make writing the title and choosing your keyword easier. As we stated above, in the title you want to be sure to include your keyword. Also, if possible you want to keep it close to the beginning.
Your title also needs to be long enough in length to meet the SEO criteria. That being said, you need to make sure that it isn’t too long. The best way that we have found to achieve the perfect length is to write your title then bring that title into the “snippet preview”. WordPress makes this part easy. When you copy your title into the previewer it has a color bar beneath it that will change as you add or take away words. A red bar means that you either have too few or too many characters. As you adjust your wording that color bar will hopefully change to green.
Why is a Meta Description Important
First off, we should describe what a Meta Description is. The Meta Description is the blog equivalent to a blurb on the back of a book. This small snippet gives anyone that reads it an idea of what your blog is about. Also, you want to be able to draw in a reader, just like with a book. If your Meta Description isn’t interesting you will lose any potential readers before they even get to your blog.
Meta Descriptions are used by search engines. This is also why you want to include your keyword in your Meta Description as well as the other places within your blog. There is a set length for a Meta Description of 160 characters including spaces and punctuation. Due to this specification, you want to keep your descriptions as short and to the point as possible while still providing important information. Also, you want to do all of this while still drawing potential readers to your blog. Finding that balance is important to having a successful blog.
Adding Images and Videos to a Blog
Everyone knows that we live in a visual world. Pictures and videos draw in an audience. However, you don’t want to just put any picture or video on your blog. You want to have images that are related to your subject.
For example, if you are writing a blog on sharks. You would not want to include pictures of your best friend and their dog at the park. The same goes for any videos you want to include. Therefore, any pictures or videos that you use need to be applicable to what your blog is about.
Also, if you are using videos in your blogging there are some important things to look out for
- If you are using a YouTube video check the suggested videos that will come up after your chosen video. There are times when the suggested next videos are not professional in nature. Due to their content, they could affect the brand you are trying to establish, therefore, affecting the view your potential customers have of your business.
- The timing of your video is important as well. You do not want part of your video cut off due to the version you’re using.
- Also, be aware of the quality of your video. If the picture quality is low or the volume is problematic no one is going to want to continue to watch your content.
For example, below includes an outstanding video from Neil Patel on “7 Blogging Tips That Will Make Your Blog Successful”:
What are Good Links?
There are two different types of links you want to include in your blogs, internal and outbound links. What is the difference between them?
These are links that go back to another part of your own website. Therefore, a link to another blog on your website, a page of your website, or a picture or video on your website. Importantly, it is a link back to another part of your own website.
Outbound Links are links to anywhere other than your own blog. It can be a link to reference website, your own social media, outside pictures and videos, or to an outside website or blog that is applicable to what you are blogging about. However, you want to be careful when using links to outside websites that are not under your control. There is the potential that these sites can be corrupted, deleted, or that their content will change to no longer apply to your subject. Also, if you choose to use a link to a video you want to be aware of the factors we discussed previously.
When writing a blog, it is important to say everything that you feel is important to your subject. Whether that is facts, details, or any extra information that you think would interest your audience. You want to keep your blog informative but also, interesting to your readers.
SEO is concerned about how many words you use. The ideal minimum of words SEO likes is 300. That does not, however, mean that you can’t go over that amount. However, you want to continue to make sure that your content continues to be relevant to your subject. Also, each of the points in our “readability” section will help your SEO. The readability and SEO work together to give you guidelines for creating a blog that your audience wants to read.
Helpful Reminders for Your Blogging Experience
What are Alt Texts
When using images in your blog SEO wants those images to contain “Alt Texts”. How can you include these however if you don’t know what they are or what they do? Alt Texts should be a brief description of your image. These descriptions are actually helpful to any of your audience that has visual difficulties or impairments. You want to make sure that any reader of your blog can get every point you are trying to make, even with the images that you have chosen to use.
Choosing a Category
Choosing a category is important. This is stating that that is specifically what your blog is about. Again, if you think of the example of a blog about sharks you could categorize that as being “Sea life”. Therefore, if you continue blogging about different sea life you can have them all in the same category. This makes it easier to search through your blogs. Also, this is helpful when you want people to be able to look up your blogs by their broader subjects.
You want to include tags in your blogging. These tags target specific pieces of your blog. While the “category” of your blog designates your entire blog as being about a specific thing a tag is like the individual index within your blog of important points.
Why are Links Helpful
Links are helpful to the success of your blog because they create more roads back to you. If you can get other websites to link back your site or blog that is another road back to you. Picture the internet as a town full of roads and each house and building is a website. The more roads to your building the easier it is for your customers to arrive at your door. However, each webpage, blog, video, and product that has a connection to your website is also a road to your door. Each connecting link to and from different sites is another connection for potential customers and readers to find you.
Amazing Blogging Resources
Thank you for reading our “WordPress Blogging Guide for Manufacturers”. For more information, check out our blog series on New Product Development. In addition, check out blog series on B2B Marketing.