BEST BLOG STRUCTURE FOR SEO

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Think about it: the more content on the page, the more clues search engines have to figure out what your blog is about. At HubSpot, we’ve found that the ideal length is between 2,100 and 2,400 words.

For example, if your keywords are “account-based marketing,” “startups,” and “sales,” avoid a meta description like this: “Sales for account-based marketing startups.”

Even with a great, SEO-friendly post body, a bad headline could hurt you in the SERP.

The goal is to make your page fully optimized, not overbearing. Find natural fits for keyword additions, but don’t force them to the point where your content is illegible.

Keep your buyer personas, their motivations, challenges, and interests in mind. It’s also important to choose topics that will resonate with your potential customers and address their pain points.

9. Aim for scannable, longer posts.

Instead, use descriptive keywords that give readers a sense of what they will find when they click on the hyperlink, like “Download your SEO guide.”

Are you adding meta descriptions to your post? If your answer is “no,” then you’re probably not giving your post the most exposure possible. Let’s get into why they’re important.

Your next best option is investing in advertising to get those users to your site. But that costs money, and if you’re on a tight budget, why not invest time in SEO writing? It’s free and will likely bring you traffic for much longer than a campaign would.

As you build out your blog post, don’t be afraid to link externally.

For instance, if the search term is “How to screenshot on mac,” you can put “How to Take a Screenshot on a MacBook Computer” as your H1 or H2, followed by the steps in a numbered or bulleted list.

Start with a keyword research tool. Sites like Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner give you details on what users are searching for and how popular those queries are.

Luckily, there are free apps, like Squoosh.app, that compress images without sacrificing quality.

What does that look like? Thorough answers, scannable sections, organized subheaders, and visual aids.

Once you’ve done that, be sure to include part of the question in your answer. Using the example above, you would start the paragraph with the following: “To take a screenshot on your MacBook, here are the steps…”

Additionally, start each sentence with an actionable verb, like “click” and “select.”

7. Resist the urge to keyword stuff.

So, it’s good to write posts that other websites or publications will want to hyperlink within their own posts. To make your website’s blog post more linkable, include high-value assets in your posts, such as original data and thought leadership.

From topic selection and gathering research to writing the post and pressing “Publish,” the process often demands hours. That’s why, if your post doesn’t earn the traffic you expected, it can be a major letdown.

The downside to longer blogs is that they may overwhelm your readers. One way to combat that is by breaking down your content into bite-size, scannable chunks.

Linking to other pages or blog posts on your website helps search engines create an accurate sitemap. It also helps your audience discover more of your content and get to know you as a trustworthy, credible source of information.

Why? Think of search results like a competition where the winners get the most votes. Each webpage that links back to you is considered a vote for your website, which makes your content more trustworthy in the eyes of Google. In turn, this will make you rise further up in ranking.

When linking to any pages on your website, or even outside sources, use natural language for your anchor text. Avoid using spammy or generic calls to action, such as “top-rated cheap laptops” or “click here.”

For instance, let’s say your article is about virtual events and you include the following image:

12. Design a link-building strategy.

Turn a long-winded sentence into two and keep your paragraphs to three sentences or less.

Use meta descriptions to sum up what your post is about, and remember to:

This sentence is descriptive and includes the main keyword “virtual event.” So, even if the reality is that this is a stock image, you can create a narrative that aligns with your blog post.

Google rewards pages with fast loading speeds, as it improves the user experience.

By now, we’ve talked about a couple of the ways a blog post can communicate with Google: subheaders, keywords, and snippets. However, that’s not an exhaustive list.

It’s estimated that Google processes over 70,000 search queries a second. Staggering, right?

The alt text should read something like, “Business man attending a virtual event sits at a desk while holding a pen.”

Most content management systems (CMS) have meta description boxes built-in, so you likely won’t have to look far to use the function.

Note: This list doesn’t cover every SEO rule under the sun. Rather, the following tips are the on-page factors to get you started with an SEO strategy for your blog.

Search engines also look at your URL to figure out what your post is about, and it’s one of the first things it’ll crawl on a page. You have a huge opportunity to optimize your URLs on every post you publish, as every post lives on its unique URL — so make sure you include your one to two keywords in it.

If you’re interested in optimizing your best-performing older blog posts for traffic and leads like we’ve been doing since 2015, this tool can help identify low-hanging fruit.

2. Page Speed.

To provide more context, here’s a list of things to be sure you keep in mind when creating alt text for your blog’s images:

The term is bolded in the meta description, helping readers make the connection between the intent of their search term and this result. You’ll also see the term “E-Newsletter” bolded, indicating that Google knows there’s a semantic connection between “email newsletter” and “E-Newsletter.”

This is what our blog infrastructure looks like now, with the topic cluster model. Specific topics are surrounded by blog posts related to the greater topic, connected to other URLs in the cluster via hyperlinks:

Long title tag? When you have a lengthy headline, it’s a good idea to get your keyword in the beginning since it might get cut off in SERPs toward the end, which can take a toll on your post’s perceived relevance.

This differentiation is baked into the HubSpot blogs’ respective URL structures. If I decided to go to the Marketing section from this main page, I would be taken to the URL http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing.

And for all those valuable queries being searched on mobile devices, Google displays the mobile-friendly results first. This is yet another example of Google heavily favoring mobile-friendly websites — which has been true ever since the company updated its Penguin algorithm in April 2015.

1. Identify the target audience for your blog.

Note: Nowadays, it’s not guaranteed that your meta description is always pulled into SERPs as it once was. As you can see in the above image, Google pulls in other parts of your blog post that includes the keywords searched, presumably to give searchers optimal context around how the result matches their specific query.

The answer: yes and no. If a blog post is published for the first time, it’s likely that say, a Google crawler, will index that post the same day you publish it. But content can be backdated for several legitimate reasons, too, like archiving information or updating a sentence or two.

The second is a result of the query “noindex nofollow,” and pulls in the first instance of these specific keywords coming up in the body of the blog post:

Image alt text should be descriptive in a helpful way — meaning, it should provide the search engine with context to index the image if it’s in a blog article related to a similar topic.

7. Include user-friendly URL structures.

Before you publish your blog post, take a careful look at its URL structure. Is it long, filled with stop-words, or unrelated to the post’s topic? If so, you might want to rewrite it before it goes live.

One way to positively affect this SEO factor is to implement a historical optimization strategy. This strategy works well on blogs that have been established for a few years and have a fair amount of content already. By updating these older posts with new perspectives and data, you’ll be able to significantly impact your blog SEO without creating a lot of net new content. Site crawlers will reindex the page — taking into account the updated content — and give it another opportunity to compete in the SERP. It’s truly a win-win.

Optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Nowadays, this actually hurts your SEO because search engines consider this keyword stuffing (i.e., including keywords as much as possible with the sole purpose of ranking highly in organic search).

HubSpot customers: The SEO Panel automatically suggests linking to other internal resources on your website.

This makes things unorganized and difficult for blog visitors to find the exact information they need. It also results in your URLs competing against one another in search engine rankings when you produce multiple blog posts about similar topics.

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