Best Practices for Writing Blog PostsLast Updated: October 01, 2019
You’ve selected a topic. You have a general sense of how people are searching for that topic and what questions they are asking. Now, it’s time to start writing. What are the best practices for writing a blog post that gets views and converts? We will discuss the basics plus best practices for successful blog writing.
Start with Keyword Research
Do you know which keywords are getting traffic for your topic? If so, great job! If not, it’s fairly easy to find great keywords by using keyword research tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner, WordStream, Moz.com, SERPs, Ahrefs, and more.
Google Ads Keyword Planner is a free tool that Google offers to advertisers. It can be used for non-advertisers to research top keywords for specific topics. Once you’ve sign-up for an account, you can quickly search keyword terms and phrases for monthly traffic and competition data. This can help you select keywords that get a lot of traffic and have lower competition.
Select 4-5 Targeted Keywords
The best approach to selecting keywords for your blog is to choose 4-5 highly relevant keywords and related keywords. For example, you could use colocation, colocation vs cloud, colocation server, colocation hosting, and colocation pricing as your targeted keywords.
Remember to target a combination of broad-based and niche keywords. Broad-based keywords such as colocation can be too generic and have too much competition to rank for. This means that you will likely not be on the first page of Google and you will most likely be on pages 2-10 meaning that your content will not be seen.
Create Your Meta Title and Description
Half of the battle of writing a blog article that performs is to keep focused and organized. We recommend that you have your target keywords selected prior to writing. We also recommend that you create your meta title and description first before starting to write a blog post.
What is the Meta Title? How to Write Blog Titles
The meta title is the title that shows up in the search engines. It’s also the title of your blog post. For example, the Top 10 Largest Data Centers in the World. This will show up in the blog post as your title and will also be displayed in the search engine results page.
Best practices for writing meta titles are to keep them to a maximum of 60 characters including spaces. There is no exact character limit because characters can vary in width and Google displays titles that are less than 600 pixels.
Remember to use the format of a question or list or how to in the meta title. This is how people search and click on relevant information. Voice search is also becoming more relevant for search results. Keep that in mind as you write your blog titles.
It’s best to capitalize the first letter of each word of the title to make it stand out. For example, This is the Best Way to Write Meta Titles.
What is the Meta Description? How to Write Meta Descriptions
The meta title also shows up in the search engine results pages. However, it will not show up on the blog. This is strictly for the search engines. The key here is to write meta descriptions that contain your target keywords, summarize your article and have a call to action (CTA).
For example, What are the top 10 largest data centers in the world? How big are they? Where are they located? Find out by reading this article.
How long should your meta description be for an SEO friendly blog? Ideally, your meta description should be between 50-300 characters long. This includes spaces. Make sure that it is sufficiently descriptive of the topic.
Use your target keywords in your meta description if you can without it sounding unnatural. The key here is to make the meta description relevant to your keywords. Google and other search engines will also highlight keywords in bold that match the search query.
Best Practices for Writing Content for Your Blog Post
When it comes to writing the blog post, you will want to research your topic and have a good idea of what you are going to write about. You can create heading and sub-headings subjects you will be discussing throughout the post.
How to Write Headings
The main heading is going to cover the overall subject of the paragraphs to follow. For example, What is Colocation. This could represent your main heading. You could formally define what colocation is. You could provide examples and create a less technical definition that the reader could relate to.
How to Write Sub-Headings
The sub-heading is the subsequent headings that support or are related to the main heading. For example, Colocation Space. You could provide a definition and write about the attributes of the sub-heading topic.
Write Fast, Get Your Content Down
The best way to write is to let it all out and write without thinking about spelling or grammar. Blaze through the content as quick as possible and get your thoughts onto the screen. You can go back later and fix spelling and grammar.
How Long Should Your Blog Post Be?
There have been several studies on the ideal length of blog posts. There’s a lot of evidence that long-form content outperforms shorter blog articles. The ideal length of blog articles is well above 600 words in length. However, the best performing blog articles tend to be 1,500-2,000 words.
Include Data and Sources to Support Your Content
People love data. They love stats and facts. It puts the topic into perspective and makes it possible to validate that what you are saying is true. Make sure to tastefully add stats and facts throughout your blog post.
In addition, you will need to source your stats and facts. To do so, follow traditional writing and grammar rules on sourcing. Make sure to include a hyperlink back to the source of the data. This will also prove to Google and other search engines that the information is reliable.
Make sure to source your articles from credible sources.
Breakup Content Between Paragraphs
It’s a best practice to break up paragraphs with questions, statements, stats, and quotes. You can also break up content with images, infographics, videos, and other media. The point is that people do not like to read large blocks of text unless they are reading books.
Another effective use of space between paragraphs is CTAs. You can link back to your profile pages, listing pages, products, services, quote forms, landing pages, and more. Do not use too many CTAs otherwise your blog post will become a sales slick.
Using Internal and External Hyperlinks
The use of internal and external links can validate your content to search engines and create conversions from blog traffic to sales leads. Internal links are any link that stays within the boundary of the domain. For example, an internal link from https://www.datacenters.com to https://www.datacenters.com/news.
Best Practices for Link Building
The best practices for link building, internal and external links, within a blog post, are as follows. You will want to link to highly relevant content for links regardless if it is internal or external.
Don’t overuse links no matter what. Use links as a strategy to drive traffic to targeted pages. Use links to reference sources. The best advice we can provide is to use links that are natural to the reader.
For Datacenters.com, please use internal linking to drive traffic to your profile, listing, and product pages. You can also use links for geographic locations and other blog posts you have written.
External links must not direct to your company website. This will circumvent the Datacenters.com website and lead to less targeted traffic and few conversion possibilities on the site.
Importance of Images and Video
Your blog post is nearly ready for publishing now that you have completed your topic research, keywords, meta titles, and descriptions and links. The only thing left to complete is the featured image.
Select Featured Image on Your Blog Post
There are a lot of free stock photo websites where you can download images for your blog post. There are also paid stock photography websites. The image should be highly related to the topic of your blog post and be of high-quality. Look for images that are a minimum of 1200 pixels in width.
Be Careful with Copyrighted Images
The key here is that you have the right to use the image. Penalties for copyright infringement can be severe. Make sure to credit the photographer or source of the image in the image alt tag.
Questions? Ask Our Team of Marketing Experts
We hope that you’ve learned a lot from this article about how to write a guest blog for Datacenters.com. We’ve covered a lot of topics and although it seems like a lot it’s not as bad as it sounds. You will find yourself writing blog articles quickly and naturally with these best practices operating in the background.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions about best practices for blog writing.