If you’re taking the time to generate engaging long-form content, then you want to make sure people are seeing it. Long-form blog posts are a great way to drive traffic and increase user engagement. Because this content takes time, not every company or SEO agency has the bandwidth for it, so having these types of posts helps you stand out among the crowd.
Keep in mind that length alone is not enough to generate an effective blog post that drives traffic. You could sit down and type 2,000 words in a few hours, but without a distinct voice, clear focus, and effective use of keywords, you’re wasting valuable time.
Your goal should be to generate as much long-form content as you can, but it has to incorporate some key elements of SEO that will help drive traffic and get more eyes on the content you worked hard to generate.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
#1 Keyword Research
It may seem obvious or repetitive, but there’s a reason SEO experts focus on keyword research. By taking the time to find the best keywords for your article, you’ll have a better idea of what type of blog you need to generate.
You will need to identify a focus keyword, but it also helps to have related keywords and phrases that you can include. There are dozens of tools online, like SEMrush, that can help with this process. Remember to also consider factors like search volume and keyword difficulty. Once you’ve completed keyword research, you’ll be in a much better position to write your blog.
#2 Outbound Links
Outbound links are another great SEO tool you should use in your content. Some experts recommend 2-4 outbound links every 1,000 words, which is a good general guideline.
Outbound links are a great way to build organic traffic, and increase the credibility of your content. If you want to build trust with readers, this is a great place to start. Plus, sometimes an outbound link will allow you to form a relationship with another business or organization. These links are a great tool for SEO, and they need to be in your long-form content.
#3 Focus on the Metadata
Make sure you have a strong meta description and title tag. Oftentimes, these elements are written when you’re finished with the article, which means you might feel burnt out and tempted to slack on this portion. Don’t. If you need to, take some time away from the blog and come back when you feel prepared to spend some extra time on your meta description and title.
Optimized metadata will include your focus keyword, and will be short and sweet (under 160 characters). You should also remember to be clear and convincing. The meta description is the first thing a reader sees when your blog post appears in the Google search results. Make it count.
#4 Make Sure it’s Mobile Friendly
Mobile-friendly content is an absolute must if you want your blog to perform well. Having a blog that looks good on mobile is about more than just using a cool design or graphic. Read through your blog on mobile view (on your computer or on your phone), and see how it flows.
It helps to have shorter paragraphs that are no more than 4 sentences long, so someone reading your blog on their phone doesn’t feel overwhelmed. It also helps to utilize graphics, white space, and H2 and H3 subheadings to break up the text.
#5 Use Keywords Wisely
Obviously you need to incorporate your focus keyword and related keywords into your content, but there is a balance between optimizing with keywords and stuffing them into your content. You want your focus keyword to sound natural.
This also applies to related keywords in your content. Again, the most important thing is that the writing flows naturally. When you’re finished with your blog, some people find it helpful to read all the way through, aloud, and catch awkward sentences and phrasing that way.
About ADVAN Design & Digital Marketing
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