Blogging is great. But a blog is way more than an online editorial, info hub or brand positioning opportunity. Writing a blog is a huge opportunity to drive organic traffic to your site. You do this by optimizing your blog for SEO.
The challenge is that this can feel very dry and robotic. After all, SEO copy is literally writing for the Google bots (or their redheaded stepchildren, the Bing bots). Good SEO copy doesn't feel like an unrelated series of keywords. Topic clusters (the heart of pillar writing) is a concept you can apply to your blog structure to find blog topics that also help your SEO.
Here's how it works.
First: Find Topics On Competitor Blogs
If you have industry leaders, you could check those out. If you know who you are online competitors are (a practice you should already have employed when creating your SEO keyword strategy), use those. Once you get a list of topical ideas, you can move onto step two.
Second: Pick a Topic and Audit the Top-Ranking Sites
Maybe you'll do one blog a week. This process should be repeated with every new blog topic.
What you will do is start Googling your blog topic: "how to find blog topics" or what have you.
- Identify the top 5-10 sites that are ranking for that key phrase (the number you choose will simply depend on how much time you have to do this process).
- Once you have the top 5-10 sites, run them through an SEO audit to see what they are organically ranking for. You can do this in Spyfu, SEMRush, Moz or any of the major platforms.
- Throw these keywords on a spreadsheet, sort it A-Z, weed out duplicates and assess the SERP metrics to pick the 15 or so keywords you want to use on your blog.
Doing this will also help you decide what your H1 or blog title will be. What you thought would work may have SERP numbers that don't work for your website.
Third: Organize Your SEO Copy and Write
Read (or at least skim) the general content that is in the SEO blogs you earmarked for competition. Don't plagiarize but consider the concepts they're covering as you create your own copy. Another important note is that you want to offer more value. Assess what they're missing: should you include infographics, expert sources, cross-link to good video content? What can you do that they aren't doing?
Once you have the SEO keywords and H1 you're going to use, you will organize the rest of your copy into H2s and paragraph blocks. To further optimize, make sure you do plenty of cross-posting and align with a solid inbound and outbound linking strategy.
SEO Blog Writing
Want some training? I have a lot of resources on this. SEO blogging is something my team and I do every single week for dozens of clients. We know how to get you on the map. Our system will work.