Biz Tips: Can You Write Blog Posts For SEO That People Actually Want to Read?

Biz Tips: Can You Write Blog Posts For SEO That People Actually Want to Read?

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Can You Write Blog Posts For SEO That People Actually Want to Read?

Jamie Doershuck is a marketing consultant at The Doer Co who helps 6 and 7 figure businesses optimize their conversion rates. You can work with her here.

My 3-Step Process For Engaging SEO Friendly Blog Posts

Why should businesses create content at all?

What’s the point???

There are 2 different ways prospects can discover your business… Outbound and inbound.

You probably do a lot of outbound lead generation already…

“Outbound” lead generation is when you reach out directly to your prospective customers.

This could look like:

  • Sending an email marketing message to your list
  • Cold calling or using call centers
  • “Interruption” advertisements like TV advertising
  • Creating a prospect list and messaging them on LinkedIn
  • Print advertising

Outbound marketing is powerful and there’s definitely a place for it in your marketing strategy…

But if there was another tool in your toolbox, wouldn’t you want to use it?

Enter: Inbound marketing

An inbound lead is someone who found you… Rather than someone you found.

Instead of something like cold calling, you lay out a trail of content breadcrumbs that your prospects can follow back to your company.

You might also hear it called educational marketing.

Inbound lead generation is effective because it reflects the way we’ve evolved to make buying decisions since the internet became part of the process.

The old buying process used to look like this:

Check out the full slideshare by Bonfire Marketing here.

Pre-internet buying cycles were a numbers game that relied heavily on reaching consumers en masse through Radio, Newspaper, and TV in the hopes that some of them have the appropriate need for your product…

Today you have to keep in mind that prospects have access to UNPRECEDENTED information about you and your competitors with the internet between your industry’s collective “owned media” (your website and the websites directly managed by your competitors), reviews, other informative posts relating to the problems you’re trying to solve, and social media.

That means there’s now an entire research phase of decision making that happens before prospects ever reach your sales representatives.

This is what the new buying process looks like with the internet’s influence:

So why do people come to your website in 2018?

Check out this survey by the Danish E-Commerce Association:

Only 5% of visitors are there to buy?!

Yes.

The ease of access to information about the consumer’s problem and your industry’s solution (the aggregate set of solutions offered by you and all of your competitors for the problem, including solutions of all price ranges) has given pre-purchase research a new level of importance.

Again, MORE THAN HALF of your visitors are there for “Information Search” reasons…

That’s why creating content (like blogs) is CRITICAL, because you need to think about how you’re going to support the other 95% of website visitors who are not there to purchase.

By the end of this article you’re going to understand how to approach the strategy of planning your content, what the best practices are when blogging for SEO, and an easy 3-step process to creating your own SEO friendly blog posts that people actually want to read.

🏆 The Strategy Behind Blogging For SEO Success

You now know that the primary reason people visit your website is to gather information to make their purchasing decision.

That means that the KEY part of your blog strategy should be addressing the various questions people have about their problem…

Prospects at different stages of the decision making process are going to ask different questions.

Sometimes they might ask surface level questions like “How can I get free traffic to my website?”…

Other times they might ask super specific questions like “Does the paid version of Yoast SEO have [THIS SPECIFIC FEATURE]?”…

And then there are questions with levels of specificity in between.

A successful SEO blogging strategy means creating content for ALL layers of questions. (Beginner, intermediate, and advanced.)

You might find this image helpful in understanding the different levels of “awareness” that your prospects have:

You can read more about the levels of customer awareness in this article on landing pages!

How Can You Learn What Kinds Of Questions People Ask About The Problem You’re Solving?

Your blogging for SEO strategy is going to be made on how well you can understand what people are trying to find out about their problems.

So grab a Google Doc, or a pen and paper and start keeping track of the questions you find.

Step 2 of the Blog Writing Process in the next section will teach you how to use the Google API to help with this, so keep reading for that…

Here are a few other tips to help you learn more about what your prospects want to know about their problems:

✔️ Use Twitter Search:

You can use some simple search operators like “[YOUR KEYWORD] + ?” to find out in real time what questions people are asking.

Be sure to look for low awareness and high awareness questions.

You can also look at influencers who discuss the topics around the problem you’re trying to solve.

Checking out their profiles and what they’re tweeting about is helpful, but another sneaky trick I like to do is use “[THEIR TWITTER HANDLE] + ?” to find out what questions people are asking them:

✔️ Use Forum/Question Sites:

Reddit and Quora are 2 popular sites where you can find people asking questions on pretty much every topic, including the problem you’re trying to solve for people.

I like to use both the on-site search and use the “site:www.reddit.com”/”site:quora.com” operator on Google to sort through the information.

The same concept as Twitter search applies, try to think about low AND high awareness questions.

In this vein, another good place to look are popular Facebook groups around the problem you’re solving.

You can just go to the Facebook search, type in “SEO” or whatever your keywords are and join some of the largest groups. Once you’re accepted, use the search in the sidebar to see what questions people are asking around their problem.

✔️ Use Amazon:

You can look at the Amazon reviews AND the product questions on Amazon for other products in your category.

Note: Not all product categories have a “questions” section, but they do all have reviews!

It’s okay if the product isn’t an exact match of the format that you’re offering — because you can still learn what information people are looking for around their problems. (for example: you might offer SEO marketing services, but you can still learn a lot from the Amazon reviews of an SEO marketing book.)

I talk more about using Amazon reviews as a basis for what points to address in this sales page guide:

Never Struggle Writing Sales Pages Again 📝

✔️ Ask Your Audience:

Finally, you can try asking your audience some questions to see what they want to know about their problems.

You can use:

  • Surveys (via email, ask questions on your Facebook profile)
  • Polls (in Facebook groups, on Twitter)
  • Livestream (Facebook, Instagram, Periscope)

Here’s more detail on asking questions that uncover your customer’s needs:

How to Ask Questions That Uncover Your Customer’s Needs

Now Organize The Information Based On “Awareness”

Figure out whether the various questions you’ve found come up during the beginning, middle, or end of the decision making process.

Remember to create content that addresses all stages of awareness — and interlink your articles so people in one category (for example, beginner) can easily find information from the other categories (intermediate and advanced).

📓 How To Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts: Best Practices

The next section will show you my easy 3-step process for creating SEO friendly blog posts that people will actually want to read, but first I wanted to give you an overview of “SEO Best Practices” for you to keep in mind for your posts.

Write Posts That Are 2,000+ Words

Short articles just straight up DON’T rank on Google:

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/in-depth-content-tips/

You can read more about how SEO expert Neil Patel experimented with a variety of post lengths while building his high-traffic sites here:

Writing Content That Is Too In-Depth Is Like Throwing Money Out the Window

^^^ I highly recommend checking this article out if you want to understand why the sweet spot for content length is 2,000–10,000 words.

Keyword Placement

You’re going to want to be sure you’re using keywords in a few different ways…

✔️ In The Page Title:

Only use 1 H1 tag. Here’s a simple discussion on why.

Now… Whether or not you’re using HTML5 adds some complications to the mix. If you don’t know, the best decision is to stick with only using a single H1 tag anyway.

If you want the full nerd discussion on why you should or shouldn’t use multiple H1 tags you should check out this article:

The Truth About Multiple H1 Tags in the HTML5 Era

✔️ Other Placements:

You’ll want to be sure to use keywords, variants, and long-tail phrasing in…

  • The first 300 words of your article
  • In H2/H3 tags throughout the rest of the content
  • Naturally throughout the body of the article (KEYWORD STUFFING DOES. NOT. WORK. Google is smarter than that.)

You might want to consider using strong (bold)/emphasis (italics) tags on (SOME OF) the keywords or on sentences that have good “longtail” keyword-ability too.

✔️ Images:

Some things to keep in mind for your images is that you will want to make the actual file name of the image (which ends in .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, etc.) contain keywords/long tail phrasing too.

Use alt-text to describe what the image is, include keywords when appropriate. Google can’t “see” images, so it uses the alt-text to understand what the pictures are.

✔️ Use Plugins On WordPress:

Be sure to use a plugin like Yoast SEO to optimize metadata.

✔️ Add A Call To Action At The Bottom:

Not exactly related to SEO, but you want to be sure you’re converting the traffic that you’re driving to your website. Be sure to include at least 1 option for the reader to stay in touch with you.

This could look like a generic email optin like the one at the bottom of this post:

Or you could create an “content upgrade” that’s directly related to the content on that page, like a checklist or infographic that the reader gives their email address to download like this:

Check out Amy Porterfield’s blog post here: https://www.amyporterfield.com/2018/07/221/

Now that you know about important SEO Blogging best practices, let’s move onto the 3-step SEO friendly blog post process! 📝

📝 3 Step Process For SEO Friendly Blogs That People Actually Want To Read

Q: Why would anyone actually want to read your SEO friendly blog posts?

A: Because you’re going to plan the content entirely around their questions with this blogging method!

This easy 3-step blogging process is going to help you plan your post’s contents specifically based off of Google’s API.

Then, I’m going to show you how to structure your content so that writing the actual post is a breeze.

Finally, you’re going to get to SEE the process in action for yourself through some videos I made for you.

Here’s an overview of the 3 steps before we go into each one in detail:

  • Step #1 — Research
  • Step #2 — Outline
  • Step #3 — Connect the Dots

Let’s get started!

🔎 Step #1 — Research

Earlier you did all the prep work of filling in your WHOLE content calendar by understanding the questions prospects are asking around the problem you’re trying to solve…

Now I’m going to show you 3 hacks that will help you use Google’s API to plan the EXACT points you should cover in 1 specific article.

Note: I recommend starting an outline document before doing your research, that way you can take notes right in the doc you’ll type in. See Step #2 for directions on how to set up your outline. Otherwise, you can also take research notes in a separate doc.

✔️ Hack 1: Google Suggested Search

The easiest prep work you can do around your article is just to head over to your friendly neighborhood Google and see what magic it has to offer you!

Type in the keywords related to your specific post and write down what the autosuggestions are:

✔️ Hack 2: Google Related Searches

Now you’re going to want to hit ENTER and scroll down to the bottom of the first page. At the bottom, right above the pages of results, is another treasure trove of insight that looks like this:

Write down the topics that jump out at you.

✔️ Hack 3: Answer The Public

Alright guys, this one is by far one of my favorite hacks…

Answer The Public is a website that uses the Google Search API to gather information about the keywords you type in and shows you a mindmap of how people are phrasing questions about that topic in Google Search.

If that doesn’t make any sense, just go to the site and try typing in “marketing” or “dog walking Orlando” or whatever problem you’re solving with your business and you’ll get it.

You wind up getting mind maps that look like this that offer INVALUABLE insights into the exact syntax people use when discussing their problem:

Check out Answer The Public!

After you have a bullet point list of the specific topics you want to address in your post, you’re ready for…

✏️ Step #2 — Outline

Use your research to string together the points you want to make in a bulleted list in your document!

Every blog post I write literally starts as I start mine as TITLE Subtitle [Intro] [Body] [Conclusion], and I fill it in from there:

In this step I massage the order I want to address various topics, decide which sections the points be in, and start to hash out “working titles” for the post + the sections.

After you have a solid outline you’re ready for…

✍️ Step #3 — Connect The Dots

Write!

When I’m writing I try to keep in mind that I want to try to match the syntax as CLOSELY as possible to what I’m learning from the Google API because I want to rank for those terms, especially when it comes to titling the post and the H2/H3 tags.

👩‍🏫 See The Process Live For Yourself!

If you want even more clarity on how this process winds up looking, here are some videos I recorded LIVE of myself writing posts for my blog:

https://medium.com/media/cd920c0c8b4577547646b593310df741/href

The finished post:

4 Simple Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies 🚀

https://medium.com/media/d5367a6b4a3f64ac45bbe15249d64abe/href

The finished post:

Never Struggle Writing Sales Pages Again 📝

https://medium.com/media/e94e6e31bcf7d625f1e36bf7b27158f7/href

The finished post:

5 Keys To Avoiding Spam Filters in Email Marketing 📧

Closing Thoughts On SEO Friendly Blog Posts

Creating content like blogs can be a great way to drive traffic to your website, especially when you can strategically plan the most important parts of the conversation in the purchase decision making process for your content through a process like the one I’ve described.

Inbound lead generation is a long-game play.

You’ll be able to drive long-term results and develop relationships with prospects by educating them on solutions to their problems and helping them come to the best solution.

We covered A LOT of ground together, so you’re going to want to bookmark this article to come back and reference the steps whenever you need it.

It might still feel overwhelming to you even when I’ve collected all of the information you need in 1 place.

That’s okay!

Just take it one step at a time 😊

First, get a good understanding of the questions your prospects are asking around their problem.

Plan your content calendar around that, being sure that you’re creating content for ALL levels of awareness (low, medium, and high).

Then, follow the 3-step SEO friendly blogging process when you’re writing an individual blog post!

Thanks for reading! Did this guide help you? Please spread the word by hitting the 👏 button and share on Facebook, or Twitter if you find the article valuable 😊

https://medium.com/media/03d869d6ec433e20d76595384e0de443/href

^ Add your email to this form if you want actionable business and marketing content emailed to you weekly 😊

Jamie Doershuck is a marketing consultant at The Doer Co who helps 6 and 7 figure businesses optimize their conversion rates. You can work with her here.

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