Let’s keep this simple.

The trouble with worrying too much about search engine optimisation (SEO) whilst you write a blog post is this: you tend to take your eye off the ball. Distracted by dreams of search page domination and blinded by the trinkets and gaudy baubles of the latest SEO gimmicks you lose sight of the main goal and hoof the ball far over the heads of your oblivious audience.

Pah! That’s no good: the secret of a good blog is it speaks directly to its audience.

With this in mind here’s some good news for you. Simply focus on these three simple steps and you will be writing the sort of blog post that will rank on the search engines and knock your audience for six.

First, though, you need to forget the tricks, the secrets and the twittering treasures of the latest SEO tweets you may have read. Here are the three things that form the heart and soul of SEO and will ensure your business posts do the business.

1. Get Google

You need to make sure you understand what Google’s endgame is.

From the very start Google has stated it wants to be useful and relevant. It wants to return results that searchers will benefit from because they answer their queries.

If you can provide helpful, relevant search results for search engine users you will rank – period. Note that this is not rehashed articles you found elsewhere or posts written full of typos and grammatical abnormalities. This is an article that answers a need.

You can read more about the ten things Google holds dear here.

2. Get search

Now you get what Google wants it’s important you understand how your audience will search: this is known as a search query or a keyword. The two are the same thing.

The keyword you target in your blog post should match the search query someone will type. You are, after all, answering questions and providing information.

For your blog it’s best to go for a longer, rather than a shorter, keyword. In search terms it’s better to be a big fish on a less important search page than a small fish on a bigger one.

What’s important here is to think about a phrase users might actually type into the search engine to find your content—and preferably opt for a longer, several-word phrase.

Next you need to avoid the temptation to ‘stuff’ this keyword. Here’s where you need to use it:

  • In your headline
  • In your post’s meta title and meta description
  • In your URL
  • Early on, just once or twice, in your content itself

That’s it.

Just make sure the rest of your content delivers on its promise and is all about meeting this search query.

3. Get into their hearts and minds

This is all refreshingly easy isn’t it?

It doesn’t get any harder either: great blog posts work when they really get into the hearts and minds of your audience. You need engaging content, stimulating content and content that is easy to read and just as easy to put to use.

You also need to keep your visitors on page. Enriching the content with images, infographics and videos is a great way to do this. Formatting your words for easy skimming – bullet points, subheadings, short paragraphs and short sentences – also helps.

With these three simple steps you can start blogging for search success. And there hasn’t been a convoluted ‘trick’ in sight.

Get in touch!