Content is a king when it comes to blogging, and every beginner blogger should follow the right tips when writing content in 2020.
Back in the day, it was all about spamming your content with keywords, but the time has changed. Today, you should write your content not only for search engines (SEO) but also for your audience.
In this article, we will discuss what are the best practices you should always follow when writing your content for both – your audience and SEO.
Writing High-Quality Content: Why It’s Important In 2020?
In 2020 and beyond, it’s important to write unique, engaging, and helpful content for your readers, and there are few strong reasons why.
First of all, Google is considered the best traffic source for every successful blog, and it always loves to rank valuable and useful articles on the first page of search results. According to Google themselves, their top priority is to find and display the most relevant, useful results for people when they search for different queries on Google.
By taking many analytical factors from the user experience, Google is now smart enough to see how helpful and informative your content is. It all comes to the time your reader spends on your articles, the bounce rate (how quickly visitor leaves your site), and other several factors.
For example, say the majority of the readers visit your article and leaves it immediately. It indicates to Google that they couldn’t find what they were looking for, and Google is not going to reward you with good rankings for that.
High-quality content is also important for sales, conversions, as well as for growing your brand and reputation online.
So without further ado, let’s jump into the top tips on how you can write high-quality content for your audience.
Writing Content For Your Audience:
While a lot depends on your blog’s niche and the type of audience, there are few general tips you should follow. These will ensure that you provide the best user experience for your readers even if you are a beginner.
1. Plan your article
So you have a certain topic in mind that you want to talk about. Now you need to make sure that you stick with it until the very end of your blog post. And that’s where planning your content becomes really important.
In fact, search engines will only read and take into account the parts of your content, which are relevant to the keyword you are trying to rank for. So, writing off the topic is really a waste of your time and effort.
Start with the blank document, and divide your topic into smaller bits. Let’s say you are writing a big article on the topic “What are the best practices of yoga”. The first thing you want to do is to map out headings and subheadings for that topic.
– Heading: What are the best practices of Kundalini yoga?
– Subheading: How you can learn Kundalini Yoga?
– Heading: What are the best practices of Bikram yoga?
– Subheading: How you can learn Bikram Yoga?
and so on…
Now, all you need is to write a paragraph for each bit. This type of planning draws a clear structure of your content, it helps to keep your article on the topic, and the whole content creation process becomes less overwhelming.
2. Use multimedia
There’s nothing worse than reading a blog post with blocks of plain text without any images or videos. Visual elements help your readers to digest the content and create an engaging user experience.
Sometimes a single image can speak for 2000 words, and it’s important that you use images for at least 3-4 times within your article. Make sure that those images are visually appealing, and match the style of your content as well as the whole blog.
The same applies to videos, you should also try to display videos on your blog posts whenever they are relevant to the topic.
A quick tip: try to display a video at the end of your blog post, that will extend the time the reader spends on your article.
Adding infographics can be a super powerful choice to enhance your content. A good piece of infographic highly engages the reader, and it’s good for SEO too! Providing high-quality infographics increases chances of other websites linking back to your site, and backlinks remain as one of the top factors for SEO in 2020.
Here’s an example of a great infographic:
3. Use heading elements
Using heading tags like h2, h3, h4 &, etc, is important not only for SEO but also for your readers too. 43% of people tend to skim blog posts, so you need to give them answers within your headings.
Heading tags can help you organize your content, and it makes easier for readers to navigate and find the information they want.
Similarly like multimedia, heading elements help you to separate blocks of text and make it easier for visitors to read the article. It’s pretty much like writing an essay in school and organizing your ideas in different paragraphs.
For the best practices on the web, it’s best to keep every paragraph under 300 words, otherwise, you may lose the reader’s attention.
4. Write with the flow & tone
Every piece of written content you publish should go along with the flow. It means that your content shouldn’t sound dull or robotic. Always try to write it in the way like it was coming from a human.
A good idea is to use linking words, for example – however, besides, consequently, in addition, and so on. This type of words will connect the dots and will bring some flow to your article.
The ultimate goal of the content creator is to awake certain feelings of a person reading his post. For that, ask some questions within your article, and raise some thoughts in the reader’s mind.
Also, it’s important to use the right tone. Depending on your audience you should define the tone of your articles, whether it’s serious, intimate, fun, playful and inspiring. For the best engagement, you also want to personalize your content as much as possible. It’s a good idea to write in the first person, and often address a reader as “you”.
5. Write in a simple language
Unless you are writing about rocket science, you want to keep your content easy-to-understand for people. If the niche you are blogging about is based on complex, formal topics, try to simplify things as much as possible.
Everyone who is going to read your blog will be trying to consume the information in the fastest possible way. So, don’t make it difficult for the readers to read and digest your content by using complex, hard-to-understand words and terms.
6. Mention resources
Yours as a content creator’s duty is to generate the content based on the best resources available out there. Besides being a great SEO practice, mentioning your resources increases the reader’s trust and also creates better engagement.
A super powerful way to enhance your content is to include some relevant statistics or facts.
Whether it’s an e-book, video, someone else’s article, or any other type of informational peace, it is always a good idea to mention it within your article.
By doing that, you not only demonstrate Google that you are linking to authority information sites but also backing your words up in front of your audience.
7. Use table of contents
Another great method to organize your content is to integrate tables of contents into your articles. Those are the tables at the beginning of your blog post (like the one you see in the top), and they work best for long articles when you have 5 or more different headings.
They help readers navigate and easily find what they are looking for, without needing to scroll throughout the entire article.
8. Read other blogs
The best blogger is the one who reads a lot. Do the research and find other blogs that people write in your niche. Try to analyze the style, and tone of each of them. Think of what you could borrow from them, and how you can differentiate yourself at the same time.
While reading other blogs, you will expand your mind by generating new ideas for words, sentences, structures and even new topics for your articles.
Content writing tips for SEO:
Now since we have covered content writing tips for your audience, let’s have a look at the best practices and tips on how you can write content for SEO as a beginner.
1. Write articles that are long enough
If you think that you are going to succeed and get away with 300-500 word articles on your blog, you are being wrong. The painful truth about the length of your articles is that Google loves to rank long and in-depth content in 2020.
How long they should be depends on the competition, but in most cases, you should aim for 1500-3000 words.
According to research, the ideal average blog post in 2020 is 1,760 words. But, to get a better idea of how long your blog post should be, it’s smart to analyze the competition.
Simply run a search on Google by putting your main keyword into the search bar. Then open the top 5, or even top 10 search results, and see what is the content length of your competitors.
You can use tools like WordCounter, to quickly generate the word count of each webpage.
Then, calculate the average length of blog posts of all top search results from your competition, and you will get an average number of words that Google wants to see for that specific keyword.
Now your final mission is to write a slightly longer content than the average of your competitors. It will indicate to Google that you went the extra mile, and stood out from your competitors.
2. Use keywords
Keywords are the phrases that connect your blog and visitors through search engines. Every blog post you write should be based on keywords, otherwise, you will lose chances of getting found on Google.
You should always do proper keyword research before writing any kind of article. Keyword research is a super important process for SEO, and your goal is to find keywords that have high search volumes and low competition.
After keyword research, you should come up with at least 3-6 keywords that are relevant to each other. You should only use one main keyword and multiple secondary keywords in your blog posts.
Main Keyword: Best vegan recipes
Secondary Keywords: Best Indian vegan recipes; Best Chinese vegan recipes
Use your main keyword in the title, as well as in the first paragraph of your article for the best SEO practices. Secondary keywords should be used in your headings and naturally spread within the body of your article.
3. Don’t over-optimize your content
Continuing with the right use of the keywords, you should avoid using too many of them. Today, Google is smart enough to figure out that you are trying to trick the system by stuffing your keywords.
To optimize your content for SEO properly, try to blend your keywords with the content naturally without the reader realizing it. It’s enough if you use exact match keyword phrases in your title, first paragraph, headings, and subheadings, and again try to blend it in the user-friendly and readable way.
For the rest of the content, you can naturally go about the topic, and Google will do its job to pick up the relevant words to your key phrases.
4. Use images
Did you know that search engines are capable to find and display your blog post on Google Image Search? Apart from providing a better user experience, images can benefit SEO in many ways.
Before putting images on your blog post, make sure they are appealing and relevant to your content. Choose the right size of the images you want to display on your article and avoid uploading images that are too large, as they can really slow down your site loading speed.
Next, you will need to tell Google what your image is about, and you can do this by adding the alt text to the image with your focus keyword.
Alt text strengthens the message of your articles for search engine spiders and improves the accessibility of your website. That’s how Google is going to read and find out what your image is about.
5. Structure your content
Google will read the headings of your blog post first before going into the body. You need to make sure that your headings are on-topic, include keywords and are naturally appealing to the user in the first place.
A good logical structure of your blog post helps Google to understand what is it all about, as well it helps the reader to navigate things.
You should use the heading tags in a hierarchy, the higher the number of a heading tag, the more important a topic is.
You should be using heading tags (H tags) when structuring your paragraphs, and there are 6 heading tags available for you. The longer and deeper your article is, the more H tags you should be using.
It’s important to remember – you should only use H1 once in your article, as it only represents your title. H2, H3, and other heading tags can be used multiple times within the same article. Going beyond the H4 tag is a rare case unless you are writing a really in-depth article.
Here’s a quick example of how you can use heading tags in a logical and SEO friendly way:
5. Link to relevant articles
Linking to other websites from your article creates an outbound link. We all go through the research process before writing our articles and it makes sense if we reference that.
If we create an outbound link to a high authority website, it demonstrates that we are taking information from trusted high-quality sources, and it is always a good sign for Google.
A few quick tips: Avoid linking out to your competitors as by that you are giving them a credit in rankings. Also, avoid linking to low-quality websites, and focus on linking to the higher authority domains.
7. Just write an amazing content
In 2020, Google puts user experience as the number one ranking factor, and there’s no way to get away with that. As mentioned before, Google is smart enough to see if your content is good enough by considering numerous factors.
One of the most important ranking factors still remains backlinks, and it’s indirectly related to the quality of content you provide. The backlink is a link from another website to yours, and it passes so-called “link juice” that will push your site up in the search results.
The better your content is, the more websites will consider it as a trustable source of information, and ultimately the more backlinks you will generate.
Also, Google can monitor how users behave on your website. If the reader stays for a while, scrolls to the end click through your website, it means you are providing good user experience and valuable content.
Use multimedia, go deep with the topic, and fully answer the questions. That’s how you are going to create great content that brings great SEO benefits in the long run.
Today, every beginner and advanced blogger needs to write for both – his audience and the search engines at the same time. There’s no secret formula on how you can be a great content writer in 2020. All you need is to follow a few content writing tips and give a lot of value to the readers.
When writing your articles always:
- plan and structure your blog post
- use multimedia
- write in a correct tone and flow
- link to the resources
- include some statistics & date
- use the right amount of keywords
- write wordy articles
and you will do great!