Writing SEO content has developed a reputation as being complex, difficult, and full of technical elements that require deep knowledge and expertise. However, with a firm understanding of SEO fundamentals, it’s not as challenging as it’s often made out to be. And almost every website owner can significantly improve the SEO performance of their blog posts by following a few key technical elements.
In recent years, the focus of many SEO writers has moved ever-so-slightly away from the technical elements of SEO, and more towards things like keyword research, readability, and clear communication. However, this does not mean abandoning the back-end altogether! While these things are significant, there are still several technical elements to consider if you really want to optimise your blog content.
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- 1. Placing Your H1 and Intro Above the Fold Draws Attention
- 2. Using Headings Correctly Will Reduce Bounce Rates
- 3. Including an Author Adds Authenticity and Authority
- 4. Use “Last Modified / Updated” To Ensure Fresh Content
- 5. Use An “Evergreen” URL (Without Date) to Stay Optimized
- 6. Faster Page Speed Will Keep Your Audience Interested
- 7. Improving the User Experience (UX) Will Keep Readers Coming Back
- 8. A Table of Contents With Anchor Links Will Help Readers Find What They Want
- 9. Optimizing Images Ensures A Better Reading Experience
- 10. Including FAQs With Schema Markup Makes You Look More Credible
- 11. Making Your Links Obvious Will Increase Your Site’s ‘Clickability’
- 12. Showing Related Blog Posts Will Keep Readers Hooked
1. Placing Your H1 and Intro Above the Fold Draws Attention
Your H1 is the main heading displayed on your page. It differs slightly from the title tag shown in the search engine snippet, as it is not restricted by character limits. As a result, you can be a little more descriptive and should look to include your primary keyword. But most importantly, your H1 should be displayed prominently above the fold, so it is the first thing your visitors see when they land on a post on your blog.
Similarly, your first paragraph or introduction is designed to capture the reader’s attention and persuade them to read on. For this reason, it should also be clearly displayed above the fold, as close to the top of your content as possible.
2. Using Headings Correctly Will Reduce Bounce Rates
The H1 should only occur once on your page. Having a proper heading hierarchy is extremely important when it comes to SEO, as it allows search engine web crawlers to explore and decipher your page more easily. So start with an H1, then move on to H2s and H3s. Using nested headings also allows the reader to get what they want from your content, making bounces less likely and upping the time visitors will spend on your site.
3. Including an Author Adds Authenticity and Authority
Including an author credit (with a photo) adds authority, background, and authenticity to a blog post, as well as a little flair. You should link the author’s name to their profile page, so that the reader can explore other works on your website, while feeling more connected to the writer. Doing this will also encourage your visitors to connect on external social channels such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, adding the possibility of sharing and social referrals.
4. Use “Last Modified / Updated” To Ensure Fresh Content
The fresher and more recent your content is, the higher its SEO ranking is likely to be. While this encourages you to create new content, it also means you can refresh or update content as long as you include a “last modified” date. Search engines may re-crawl your content faster if it has been updated recently, so to keep your evergreen content genuinely evergreen, don’t ignore the date on your XML sitemap.
5. Use An “Evergreen” URL (Without Date) to Stay Optimized
An evergreen URL does not include time-specific elements such as date, year, or number of items. An evergreen URL can act as a permanent feature of your website, unaffected by seasonality or other changes. This means that it won’t get flagged as out-of-date content by search engines and will remain fresh and optimized indefinitely.
6. Faster Page Speed Will Keep Your Audience Interested
The loading speed of your page is one of the most important elements when it comes to SEO. If your page speed is poor, web crawlers will demote your site, and visitors will also become frustrated and be more likely to leave. This will negatively impact both how the algorithm and genuine humans view your content.
7. Improving the User Experience (UX) Will Keep Readers Coming Back
We’ve mostly focused on how web crawlers interact with your site so far, but the experience of your actual visitors does have an impact on your SEO ranking too. As a result, optimising the UX of your content can reap rewards. For example, ensuring your site is mobile-friendly and making the font size consistent, attractive, and readable will make the reader’s experience better and keep them on your site for longer. You can check if your website is mobile-friendly by using Google’s free Mobile Friendly Test. This nifty testing tool will also show you exactly where your site isn’t mobile friendly, making it easier to fix quickly.
8. A Table of Contents With Anchor Links Will Help Readers Find What They Want
Search engines love a table of contents. It provides a map of the content, and a quick, simple, and straightforward way for web crawlers to work out what your page is all about. Creating internal ‘jump’ anchor links to all H2s throughout your content is an additional bonus feature, improving the UX and boosting your content. You’ll notice that we’ve used a number of ‘jump to’ links at the top of this article, making it easier for you to instantly navigate to the information you want to receive!
9. Optimizing Images Ensures A Better Reading Experience
We touched on optimizing images earlier when discussing improving page speed, but fully-optimized visual content has an impact on SEO in its own right as well. Free apps like Squoosh can significantly reduce the size of your images, without reducing the quality, increasing their loading speeds on your site. To fully optimize your images, you should include a caption, meta description, and alt text on all your images (this is good practice from an accessibility point of view too)! And if you really want to hone your knowledge on image optimization, you can access free guides like these Google Image best practices!
10. Including FAQs With Schema Markup Makes You Look More Credible
FAQ schema markup is a quick and easy way to boost your site’s overall SEO. Creating an FAQ page with properly structured data markup helps create rich snippets and boost your SEO ranking, which can greatly impact traffic and CTR. Structured data is a standardized format that shows relevant data about a site, and there are plenty of tools and plugins which can help you create a schema markup without any hassle.
11. Making Your Links Obvious Will Increase Your Site’s ‘Clickability’
Clickability is a vital aspect of a visitor’s web experience and therefore contributes to a page’s SEO ranking. As a result, ensuring that your page formats clickable and unclickable elements differently is vital. To put it simply, all links that you can click should look like they can be clicked, and everything that can’t, shouldn’t. Essentially, this means that if you use the standard blue underline formatting for hyperlinks, don’t underline non-hyperlinks in blue!
12. Showing Related Blog Posts Will Keep Readers Hooked
Most modern content marketers use topic clusters to organize their content and enhance the user experience. This essentially means grouping related content together in your site architecture to improve the user journey and let visitors find relevant information as quickly and efficiently as possible. A good way to link your topic clusters together better is to show three related blog posts from the same category at the bottom of your page. This links your related content together and improves the likelihood that your readers will stay on your site, move from page to page, and ideally convert at the end of the process!
As this article has shown, handling some of the technical writing elements of SEO doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. While this article isn’t an all-encompassing guide to the technical world of SEO, with the above content writing tips, you’ll have a better chance of climbing those all-important search engine rankings!