Blogger’s style guide: What does SEO mean for writers?

Search engine optimisation is the quick answer. But what does that actually mean for you when you are writing your post?

Some people will come to read your post by looking around on the blog. But the majority of readers will come to it via search engines such as Google. They will have typed in relevant words, and if those ‘keywords’ match your words/subject, then your post is likely to appear in the search results. If you want your writing to be found, you have to think a little bit about SEO.

So here’s my fastest-ever, two-point guide to SEO:

  1. Make sure you write out IN FULL the names of people (ie, first and last name) and the titles of things/products rather than writing generically, eg, ‘the Sale of Goods Act says…’, rather than just ‘the law says…’. Ask yourself if there several relevant words or international translations? If so include them, eg, swine flu, H1N1, flu, pandemic; sub-editor (UK) and copy editor (US).
  2. Secondly, write useful and engaging posts that other people want to link to. Incoming links raise the SEO value of  your post, lifting it higher up the search results. You should do the same with your posts. Linking out to other online places creates a sense of your site being an information hub and this will also encourage inbound links. (More on linking in the next post.)

[FYI: Last year I wrote a Blogger’s Style Guide to help people in the organisations I was working for start writing posts and publishing them on the company blog. Many had never written anything beyond an email before but they did know their subject far better than I, so they just needed a good briefing in style, tone, structure and so on. This is that starter kit for company bloggers, consisting of  10 mini-posts in all.]

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