Improve your Blog Writing Skills and Rank Higher with Google

Here are a few tips for writing a blog post that will not only be easier to read, but it will also rank higher with Google. I know that the internet is full of SEO advices on how to improve your ranking in search engines. Most times these articles are hidden ads for companies or individuals that provide SEO services.

I want to say straight from the start, it’s not the case for this post. I don’t have a SEO company, I don’t work for one and I don’t want to sell any SEO services whatsoever. My only purpose is to share with you what I found through my experience with the 2 blogs I own: Coding Dude and PSD Dude.

1. Choose your title wisely

All post reading starts with the title, so naturally it’s one of the most important parts. I’m also working on improving my blogging skills. Therefore I know that choosing a title for your post is not easy.

The trick here is to choose a title for your post that is not too short, but not too long either. That’s pretty vague. Let’s say between 40 and 80 would do the trick.

Make it as natural as possible and most importantly, say what your post is about, but also don’t give up too much information. Otherwise people will just read the title.

Good: “Improve your Blog Writing Skills and Rank Higher with Google”

Let’s see what a bad choice for a post title would look like. A title for this post like:

Bad: “Rank higher with Google”

will probably doom the post. It’s too short, too generic and another major drawback is the fact that there are approximately other 40 million pages on the subject.

Let’s take another example, an article I wrote a while back:

Good: “Useful Tools for Webmasters and Blog Admins

as compared to another title I could have used:

Bad: “Best Webmasters tools: Twitterfeed, Mailchimp, Mandrill and Yoast plugin”

The second title obviously is too detailed and most readers would stop at this title because for example they are familiar with the Yoast’s plugin and Mailchimp. They might take notice of Mandrill if they’ve never heard of it, but high chances are that they will leave without reading the post.

The first title however, is by far not perfect, but at least would raise curiosity on the reader part more than the second. It gives away some information, but not all at once.

2. Start with an introductory paragraph

All posts should have an introduction. A short paragraph or two of a few sentences summarizing the point you are trying to make. As for the title, give up information gradually.

Keep in mind that readers and search engines read texts from top to bottom. So, keywords placed higher in the text have higher impact on the page ranking.

3. Improve readability – readers like easy to read posts

Every time I start reading a post, my eyes do a quick scan of the overall post. Even before starting to read any part of a post I know if I will have the patience to read it to the end or not.

All readers do the same instinctively. When I started blogging using WordPress I found that a lot of people are using Yoast SEO plugin. Among other things that this plugin does, it calculates something called Flesch Reading Ease score. This score indicates how easy it is to read a certain text and uses the following formula:

Flesch readability score
Flesch readability score

First time I read about this I though this is all “mumbo jumbo”. How can a math formula calculate how readable a text is? And who would use this? Well, to my surprise it seems that there are states in the US that require by law that the Flesch score for an insurance policy is withing certain limits.

If that’s the case, how likely is that Google or other search engines use Flesch score or something similar in calculating the ranking? Very likely.

The Flesch score evaluates reading ease and the level of education required by the reader to understand like this:

90.0–100.0easily understood by an average 11-year-old student
60.0–70.0easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students
0.0–30.0best understood by university graduates

So a Flesch score of over 60 will be easier to read for more people and therefore its Google ranking will be higher.

Here are a few things that contribute to how a reader evaluates the readability of a text.

Length of the article

If the readers see that they have to scroll 20 pages down to get to the end of the article, they will for sure start running for the hills. The post should not be too short either, because that is not good for the Google ranking.

So, keep your posts between 800 and 1500 words. If you feel that you really have to go over the 1500 words limit then consider splitting your post content over multiple posts.

Make short paragraphs, use short sentences and use normal words

Shorter paragraphs are easier on the eye. Try to separate your ideas into paragraphs with up to 5-6 sentences. Here is an example showing a lorem ipsum text in one long paragraph vs. the same text split into short paragraphs.

Short paragraphs improve readability

Good: “Shorter sentences are easier to understand.”

The previous sentence is a very good example for that. Also it’s better to use normal words, so no fancy expression. Let’s take an example of what could go wrong if you choose to complicate matters more than necessary:

Bad: “When expressing ideas, briefness is an important aspect, contributing decisively to how intelligible a post is.”

Wow, that’s one way of putting it. The sentence basically says the same thing, but does it in a complicated way. There is no need to say simple things in complicated ways. Readers will slow down when reaching sentences like this and if they slow down enough, the risk is that they will leave your blog.

4. Increase the quantity and quality of information in a post

Obviously, the more and better information a post is, the more useful it becomes. Readers will like it more and Google will rank it higher. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to write more text.

You have to keep in mind that posts are HTML documents and HTML is not only text. Here are a few things you can and should add to your posts to increase the quantity and quality of information.

Insert images where possible

“A picture is worth 1000 words” is a clichee but it’s so true when talking about SEO. Images improve readability of the post by breaking the monotone layout of posts only containing text. Also, they can present a lot of information in just a glance.

Images inside post will increase the page ranking, of course if the image is related to the content. Also, your post will show up in the image search results. You might wonder how search engines know what the image is about. If I place a photo of my cat in this post, will that increase the page’s ranking?

Well, search engines, I’m talking Google here, have ways to compare pictures in its databases. And even though my cat is quite unique, for sure Google will find images of cats similar to my image and it will know that it’s a picture of a cat. Since cats don’t do blogging writing tips I will not get any points for my cat’s picture.

Search engines will also look at the text around your picture and at the “alt” attribute of the “img” tag. So, don’t forget to use that attribute when inserting photos in your posts.

Internal links and external links

You can be as well versed and as original as possible on a certain subject. Still, there probably are other posts on the internet giving more information about the subject you are writing about. Google knows that. So, you will get extra points if you are pointing to posts on the same subject.

It can be internal links (links within your own blog) or external links. Internal links have the advantage that they keep readers on your blog and they will also increase the ranking of the linked post (not by much, but anything helps).

Search engines will look at the content and relevance of the linked post, the text inside the link and the “title” attribute of the anchor tag to determine the relevance of the link. Better links result in better ranking.

Embedded Videos

If you have videos related to the theme of the post don’t hesitate to embed them. Search engines will give you points for that even more than for images. There are 2 disadvantages though:

  • it’s difficult to make good videos, so you have to use other people’s videos; this raises some copyright issues which I will not get into in this post;
  • post readers will tend to skip the text and go straight to the video.

5. Other tips for improving your blogging skills

Do some keyword research, but don’t overdo it.

Keyword research is good because it gives you an insight into how people are searching for a specific topic. However, don’t try to include all keywords and search phrases you find in keyword tools. Your post will end up written in an unnatural and annoying way. Readers and in the end search engines will stay away from it.

My advice is to use a simple technique: say the same thing with different words throughout your post adding information every time you say it. I mean, repeat the main idea and rephrase it perhaps drawing a conclusion for example. (see what I mean?)

The idea is that by repeating the same idea with different words you increase the number of keywords and search phrases potentially bringing more traffic to your blog.

Draw a conclusion at the end of the post

Try to end your post with a conclusion. Focus on the main point you were trying to make. Be very firm and opinionated. This usually this creates controversy, but controversy is good up to a point, because it kicks of debates, and that’s what you want with most posts.

Getting readers involved in a debate is a great thing for improving your page’s ranking. How? Well, for example through comments. More comments means more content and means changing content. These very good signals for Google because it shows that the post is “live”.

Also, comments are a great way to bring readers back to your site through replies.

Another important factor for a page’s ranking in search engines is the social media networks mentions. Involve your readers in debates, and for sure part of them will be on your side and agree with your view. This makes it much more likely for them to share your post with others using Twitter, Facebook or other social media networks.

To sum up…

So, here are my tips for writing a blog post and improving your blog ranking in search engines. They are not difficult to follow, but it might be difficult to follow them all in each and every post, each and every time.

However, if you keep them in mind, your blogging skills will improve over time. In time you will see the results as an increase in your pages ranking, an increase in traffic from search engines and also an increase in the number of returning visitors.

Questions or remarks? Please use the comment area and I will If you find this post useful, please share.

John Negoita

View posts by John Negoita
I'm a Java programmer, been into programming since 1999 and having tons of fun with it.

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