September 22, 2014

How to write a KILLER blog post about SEO

If you work in SEO then you probably already know that it’s very important to build your ‘online presence’ if you want to get noticed in this cut-throat industry of ours.

For some, this means taking the time to publish useful, actionable and timely blog posts that not only showcase their knowledge and expertise, but also help those who read them. For most SEOs though, that all adds up to a bit too much effort and hard work…

If you’re one of the lazy, sorry ‘busy’, SEO experts who need to tell the world they know loads about SEO – but never seem to have the time or inclination to actually write something interesting and informative – then you can use this guide to put together SEO-based posts that do the job of sounding professional while requiring hardly any intellectual investment on your part.

Over the years I’ve read thousands of posts about SEO, and as they’re all pretty much exactly the same I’ve been able to put together this guide covering the common traits they all share.

So don’t worry that publishing weak and needless SEO posts on your blog will be bad for your reputation – because everyone else does it and gets away with it!

Headline

First things first, you will have noticed the great headline this post has. This is very important if you want to grab people’s attention – which obviously you do. The trick is to make it simple and tell people exactly what the post is about, but also stick in a superfluous adjective or two to make it attention-grabbing. I’ve chosen ‘KILLER’ as my adjective, but other favourites include:

AMAZING

AWESOME

BRILLIANT

INCREDIBLE

MIND-BLOWING

Remember to keep your headline focused on the ‘benefits’ of reading your post. For instance, you already know by now that reading this post will help you learn exactly how to write a really good blog post about SEO. The fact that it might not actually achieve such lofty aims isn’t the headlines fault, is it? So no matter how void of substance your blog post is, make sure its headline makes it look like the last post about SEO anyone would ever need to read.

The Introduction

Now you’ve got your headline sorted, it’s time for the all-important introduction. No-one writing about SEO likes to get straight to the point, not when there’s a good few hundred words of ‘relevant content’ to be had by dragging out an insipid introduction.

This is where you can ‘frame’ your post and position it as useful and timely in the current SEO landscape, so be sure to express some common thoughts and opinions about your subject matter. For instance, if your post is about link building (or ‘earning’, if you want to appear progressive), then you may want to start off with something like:

“Nowadays it seems like there is no ‘safe’ way to build links to your site….”

Or,

“With Google’s recent spam-fighting tactics, it is now really, really hard to build links to your site…”

Or,

“Since Google’s Penguin update, the world of SEO has changed dramatically…”

The point of the introduction is to cram some juicy synonyms into your post, and to also mark it out as the kind of safe, non-challenging opinion-piece that everyone seems to read and share.

Images

A big long blog post full of words is boring, everyone knows that. To really grab your readers’ attention and keep them ‘hooked’ you need to break up all those dreary words with some nice and colourful images.

If you’re doing this ‘quick SEO blogging’ thing properly, then you won’t actually have any solid data to back up your opinions/advice – so you can’t use any proper graphs for your images. To combat this inconvenience, many of the best SEO bloggers use memes instead. This has the added bonus of making you look like a proper internet whiz with your finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist, or something.

Making your own meme is ideal, but if that sounds like too much work don’t fear – you’ll find loads just by searching for [seo memes] on Google Images. Here’s one of my favourites:

SEO memes

If memes aren’t your thing for whatever weird reason, then another popular tactic is to use something like Canva to make your own professional looking image, like this:

Image Optimisation SEO

You can also trawl through lots of free stock image directories like these:

pixabay.com/en

photopin.com

search.creativecommons.org

www.stockphotosforfree.com

If you think your post really needs to include some data – perhaps because your content is so weak you need to firm it up with some hard stats – then you can just use some loosely related third party data:

SEO Graph

Time to make some kind of point

As much as you’d like to just keep going with your vapid, keyword-rich intro and meaningless images, it’s time to bring your readers to the actual point of the blog post. If you’re starting to panic that you don’t actually have anything to say, then don’t worry, just follow the below guides to make sure you strike the right chord with your readers.

If your post it about link building: be sure to mention Penguin, the lengthy reconsideration and recovery process and oh-my-god Google can we please get an update!

If your post is about on-page optimisation: be sure to mention Panda, and squeeze the phrase ‘low quality content’ in at least once every two sentences. Mix in a few mentions of ‘duplicate content’ (bad) and ‘great content’ (good). Put ‘content is king’ somewhere as well.

If your post is about technical SEO: it’s crucial here to offer only simple, common-sense advice while being downright patronising. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it is possible. The most popular trick is to never give any actionable advice about how to implement any technical changes, just introduce concepts like XML Sitemaps, canonical tags, Robots.txt files, Schema, compressing CSS and Javascript etc… in a loose, abstract way.

If your post is about Authorship: pretend that you never really liked it anyway, and you’re not surprised that Google nixed it (resist the temptation to add an anchor text link to your post last year about how great Authorship is – it may be good SEO practice but that internal link could devalue your whole ‘SEO expert’ shtick.)

If your post is about social: just make sure you type the words ‘correlation’ and ‘causation’ a lot, that’s all anybody else does and they seem to get away with it.

Internal links

As well as the addition of juicy relevant content to your site, publishing meaningless self-serving blog posts on your site also provides a great opportunity to add internal links. As an SEO who obviously knows what they’re doing, you want to prove this by casually dropping links to your ‘money pages’ into your post (obviously with keyword-rich anchor text!). SEO consultancy.

External links

Internal links are great and all, but linking out is what the web is all about – and your post won’t get anywhere if you don’t add some juicy thematically relevant links to other sites. You obviously don’t want to be linking to any of those ‘bad neighbourhoods’ you keep reading about though, so play it safe with some links to trusted SEO good guys like these:

Barry Schwartz

Rand Fishkin

Matt Cutts

Danny Sullivan

(For bonus SEO points, make sure you let them know you’ve linked to them – it’s great ‘ego bait’ and can lead to some extra ‘amplification’ of your post!)

Call to action

SEO meme1

You work in SEO, which means you’re obviously very busy, so no blog post is worth your time unless you’ve got a massive call to action at the bottom of it. As you may have read, ‘the money is in the list’, so you should have a big Optin Monster sign up form at the bottom of the post – meaning your form looks exactly like everyone else’s and you don’t look like some rubbish SEO pariah who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Optin Call To Action

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