A common question folks that are new to SEO often ask is, how do I write SEO-friendly content? So in today’s article, I’m gonna dig into an SEO that does a great job of setting up SEO-friendly content. And the reason why you know this to be the fact is because he’s a tried and true SEO that ranks for tons of difficult keywords.
Digging into Brian Dean’s blog
So for our case study today, we’re gonna take a look at Brian Dean’s blog and one of his blog posts to take a look at exactly what sort of things he’s doing so effectively in order to make his content SEO-friendly. So the post that we’re gonna look at today is his blog article on how he built thousands of backlinks in 30 days. So let’s go ahead and take a look and then dig into exactly what is going on with this post.
In order to do this, though, what you’re gonna want to do is to download the detailed.com SEO Chrome extension. It’s a free resource that you can use to just do some basic on-page optimization and make sure that your SEO content is also SEO-friendly.
Review the Chrome extension
So assuming that you have that extension, let’s go ahead and take a look at this blog post. So taking a look at this blog post. The first thing that I’m gonna do is I’m going to go ahead and open up the detailed.com Chrome extension. This is gonna give me all the fundamentals in terms of what’s going on with this post.
The reason why I like to start here is because it’s a great way to just double check where we might be doing things really well, as well as where we might be able to improve things on our page, as well as off our page. So right off the bat, you can see in this title, this is a great title because it’s not too long.
Nowadays, Google sometimes will rewrite your titles for you, but it’s still great to try to follow as good of naming conventions as you can, which I believe is typically 60 characters or less in the title.
The other thing you can see here is that the description is a little bit lackadaisical, but at the same time, meta descriptions are less and less important these days in terms of fundamentals, but when it comes to SEO-friendly content as well, you can see that Brian is doing all that he can in the back end of things or on the slightly off page side of things and making sure that his URL is indexable.
It also has a canonical reference, and what you’ll see is as you start to work into the headers, this is where we really get into the meat of how this post is made SEO-friendly.
Clear structure and outline
What I want you to pay attention to here is how we’re really looking at a very clear structure or outline to this piece of content. Notice how we have H1s, we have H2s, H3s, H4s, and it keeps on going down throughout this post. You also notice how his outline follows a very sequential order. He’s talking about how he built 5,660 backlinks in 30 days, and he breaks that down in terms of clear steps as well as how he went about doing this.
This makes it really easy for a search engine crawler to understand how this content flows from one section to the next. So right at the bat, I really like that there are tons of headers and we’re gonna dig into that when we actually scroll through the post. But that’s a quick way to check that, just using the detailed.com plugin.
Internal and external links
The other thing you can do in terms of making sure that your content is SEO-friendly is making sure that you have a healthy mix of internal as well as external links on your page. That is gonna make it so that it’s really clear that you have done an in-depth research in terms of whatever the topic is of this page, and that you’re showing how this page connects to the other pages that are on your website.
The reason why this is important is because if you leave pages all alone on your website, it makes it difficult for Google to understand exactly how one page connects to the next, and so that leads to lower performance because Google struggles to understand exactly what you’re good at or what your site is all about.
So by interlinking between your different pages, you’re able to improve the SEO friendliness of your page. The last thing we’ll take a look at is just whether or not he’s using schema. In this case, you can see that I don’t see anything too crazy in terms of schema here, so there’s nothing really to dig into there.
But what I can do now is I can start to look at this post and see exactly what he’s doing in terms of the formatting of this page to make it so friendly for crawlers.
Fulfilling the search intent
The first thing is we have this really clear top section with this H1. We have this visual, and then you’ll see how immediately we’re starting to dig into the post. What I want you to notice is that immediately in the first 50 words or so of this post, Brian is getting right directly to the end state or fulfilling the search intent of the key outcome of this post. So this post is talking about how he built a ton of backlinks and he’s starting right from the get go and he started this article talking about that.
So he’s mapping out that, “Hey, I’m gonna talk about how he got these thousands of backlinks in this post, and here’s exactly how I did it.” So you’ll see how we’re digging into this case study. He’s gonna show you exactly what he’s doing step by step. This is great because it fulfills search intent really quickly, and this is a big mistake that people make when it comes to creating SEO-friendly content.
They get so obsessed about ranking for things like people also ask phrases that what they end up doing is they end up adding so much fluff to their content that they’re not fulfilling the search intent of what their post is even about. So in this case, we’re making it really clear within 50 words or less, that this is all about how we got thousands of backlinks, and he’s gonna show you step by step.
So great opening, really SEO-friendly content, really easy to understand. What’s great about this as well is that if you just imagine tons of people landing on the site, this is gonna be really great for him because people are clearly gonna keep scrolling since he went straight into the content as opposed to wasting their time talking about some other topic, like what is a backlink.
Next, talk about the problem
So right here, we start digging into some sort of problem that people often have around backlinking. So you can see here the big problem with link build is achieving scale. So he’s framing up a problem, he’s presenting a problem because what he’s likely gonna do is he is gonna agitate that problem and then he is gonna solve for with the five steps. This is just effective copywriting. It also makes for really great SEO-friendly content because what he’s doing is he’s providing the context behind the solution that he’s then gonna go out and solve for on this page.
Write short paragraphs
The other thing I want you to notice as you look at Brian’s post is he never uses big, blocky paragraphs. He tends to break up paragraphs and sometimes even have single line paragraphs. So you can see here how there are a ton of single lines, and you’ll also notice how it doesn’t take us long in terms of scrolling before he goes and has some sort of visual to break up the text. This is great for making SEO-friendly content because it increases the dwell time or the read time of the reader on the page.
When this happens, it’s starting to signal to Google, “Hey this might be really valuable content,” and the reason why is because when you send these people who might be looking for how to build backlinks, this content, they’re spending a lot of time carefully scrolling through this page as opposed to just kind of scrolling directly through the page and then moving on to the next post.
So something you’ll notice is that he really likes to use either single-line paragraphs or provide a ton of line breaks to increase the read time on the page.
Use headers to signal topic changes
The other thing he does is he goes ahead and he makes it really clear when he’s changing topics into some other key overarching theme around the topic.
So you can see here how he’s now talking about how reverse outreach flips the script on traditional link building. So he first framed the problem by talking about what the typical problem is in achieving scale with link building. And then he talks about the case of how you can fix that. And this is gonna be his segue into the steps that he takes from there.
So from here, he takes the same approach in which he has a ton of clear images. We’re breaking things down. We’re clearly highlighting out exactly what he is that he’s referencing. This is really great as well because something you’ll notice is that over all these images, if you were to actually hover over them, he’s also putting in titles for each of these images. They’re contextual, which also means that he’s probably putting alt texts for each of these images, which can be a great thing to do as well, to make sure that your content is SEO-friendly.
As we scroll through this post, you’ll see he keeps on taking this approach. It’s super visual. It’s clear that you can spend tons of time reading through this post and notice how what he also does is he uses bullet lists when they are useful to the post.
In this particular example, he has some clear reasons that he wants to share exactly why Google News is a gold mine for industry data. So you’ll notice how he breaks up the visual interest on this post, and this is really useful for crawlers because it helps him understand, Hey here is some clear structure of this subsection around Google News and what this writer is writing about in the greater scheme of this post around backlinking.
So he keeps on taking this sort of approach. Here, you can see as we scroll through, he has different areas where he is interlinking between different posts. That’s another great thing to do to make sure that your content is SEO-friendly. And he pretty much just takes this approach throughout.
Promote audience engagement
And the last thing that he does in terms of making his stuff really SEO-friendly is he really promotes sharing with his audience.Notice how, in his conclusion, he writes a super short conclusion, he’s not wasting time with his reader and he is just asking, “Hey, now I wanna hear from you. Have you tried building passive links before. If so, sharing the comments on how it went.”
And this is where he starts to get engagement from people. This is a low-key, great way to build more content onto your existing page because what’s gonna happen is if people find the post that you created interesting, they’re gonna leave a comment, which is gonna create user generated content that is then going to add to the value of your page because if they create a comment that is actually helpful to other people, well now that can be displayed to other people that then land on this page.
The other thing that’s really great about making this SEO friendly is that he makes it really easy to share this with friends. So he can either share it on Facebook or on Twitter, but he is making it really clear that this is something that you can do. And you can see this visual reminder on the left hand side of how he’s showing that over 660 people have already shared this post.
So this is just a really effective post in which what you can tell is a few key things. The first thing you’ll notice here is that he’s using headers really effectively, whether it’s his header one for the overall title, or the header four in the subsection of the subsection. It’s really clear how his content is actually organized throughout.
The second thing that you’ll notice is that he really looks to optimize for read time. It’s all about showing that this content is valuable to Google. So the way he does that is he provides really short paragraphs as well as visual breaks for his content for on a very regular basis, it doesn’t take long for you to see some other visual to break up things and then show a point that he may have explained.
And then the last thing that you’ll notice is that he opens up the door in terms of making it really easy to engage with this content or share it with a friend in case you found it valuable.
So those are just some of the things that you can do to make your content SEO-friendly. None of this is rocket science. It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out, but you’d be amazed how many people miss some of these fundamentals, and that is what’s stopping them from ranking for those long tail phrases that they’re targeting.
Remember, if there’s one thing to take away from this, the most important thing you do is make sure that you are answering the search intent of what people actually want to see when they’re searching for that phrase, and that’s something that Brian does so effectively when we look at his intro as well as the different sections of his post.
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