If you’re into blogging, you’ve probably heard of a long-form blog post. You’ve also probably heard that they are great for attracting lots of new followers and audiences to your blog and you’re right. But… there’s always a but! Long-form blog posts aren’t as easy as just writing a really long blog and hoping for the best. You need to factor key elements of SEO in there. After all, you’re writing all that content and it would be a waste to get lost in search rankings. Follow these fundamental SEO tips to help you gain more followers and traffic to your blogs.

Keyword Research

When people think of keyword research, they think of sitting there with a notepad and pen for hours, scrolling through potential keywords they could use. But, it really isn’t that difficult and doesn’t have to be that long-winded. Using tools like the Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush, it is easy to find specific keywords that can be made the focus of your post. 

Firstly, you want to select buzz words or upcoming words and phrases that are popular. Using a tool such as Google Trends, you can find the search volume and how high that phrase is ranking. In doing so, allows you to select the best phrase for your topic and rank highest on that phrase, before anyone else. Another brilliant tool that does this is Ubersuggest and would highly recommend using that. 

Secondly, providing your readers with the most in-depth answers you can, will only skyrocket the performance of your post. One way of doing this is to use Quora. By typing a question into Quora, you will find exactly what people are asking around that topic. If you can then go ahead and create detailed answers around them and provide people with value, they will reward you with a trip to your site and potentially more. 

Create the Perfect Heading

The majority of the time, the first thing anyone will see on your blog post will be your heading (H1 tag). This heading can honestly make or break the performance of your blog post. 

A lot of people believe that the content in your blog is more important than the heading, but this isn’t necessarily true. The heading of your blog is what helps Google identify and index your content better to people on the web. The best way to create a heading would be to include the following: 

  • A long-tail keyword
  • 20 – 70 characters long
  • A clear idea of what the blog is about

Optimise Your URL

Shorter URLs not only look cleaner but make it easier for search engines to recognise your post. Keep it short and sweet. No human wants a load of random numbers and letters at the end of a URL and either do search engines. You know who you are! 

Additionally, it’s good to practise to include a long-tail or focus keyword in your URL. 

Include Internal Links

Some people believe that internal links are not important, but they are one of the most overlooked bits of SEO there is. They are equally as important as outbound links are, just don’t go overboard! 2-4 internal links per blog post is great. 

When adding internal links into your text, ensure that the text that you have highlighted is relevant to where you want your link to go. You don’t want someone thinking they’re clicking on ‘coats’ for example and it goes to somewhere that sells mugs. 

Another great tip for internal links that will boost your rankings, is to go back through old posts and make sure there are internal links on those as well. If you have them across all posts, you’ll be sure to start seeing them pay off.

Ensure It’s Mobile Friendly

For us, this has to be a no brainer. It’s 2020 and the majority of people use the web on mobile or tablet. Making your blog posts mobile friendly ensures that people can easily read your text or view images clearly and without any problems. It’s good to practise to keep paragraphs around 3-4 sentences long. Short and sweet!

Another great way to keep your blog post mobile-friendly is to ensure you’re using subheadings. H2’s and H3’s keep everything structured and easier for the reader to follow. 

Make Sure Your Site Speed Is Up To Scratch

A crazy statistic is that 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less! That’s fast right? This shows the importance of keeping your sites speed up to scratch. If it’s not, it could lose you a lot of traffic.

Some of the best ways to keep your site speed down are to compress images used across other blogs and featured images, as well as keeping your design simple. Don’t have loads of pop-ups or animations that take a while to load. It will only slow you down!

Conclusion

If you’ve been writing long-form blog posts for a while, but aren’t getting the results you’re looking for, this checklist should really help. Start implementing them into your workday and make minor changes as you go and it will definitely make a difference. 

Be persistent! SEO is the long game and it can take time for you to start seeing results, so don’t be disheartened if you’re not seeing instant wins. Keep pushing out content and enjoy the process.

Are you a suffering business looking to get online? Contact the Colewood team for any support you may need during this unprecedented time.

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