Blog Writing

Our SEO Blog Strategy: How it Works and Why We Do It

(This video was recorded to go to our clients. The information is accurate, but it was not recorded as a part of this training.)

First and foremost, our blog strategy is designed specifically for SEO and to rank our client's targeted keywords higher on Google. 

While some articles we write may work as sales tools for their company, that is not their intention. This means we often do NOT mention that the client's company does xyz service or that the reader should use them for xyz. Our main goal is simply to rank for more keywords overall. 

By ranking for more keywords, it tells Google that our client's site is an authoritative website. And when that happens, Google will push them up in search rankings for ALL keywords, hence, why this strategy is like when "a high tide raises all ships in the harbor." 

This content generation strategy is built upon proven SEO analytical data that we've collected over the past decade. We write blogs in this manner because, simply put, they work. 

For a bit more detail, the SEO blog strategy is as follows:

  1. We do keyword research to determine what we can rank for on a local vs national level. 
  2. Come up with blog topics that are correlated to those keywords and do additional research to make sure there is opportunity for those specific topics.
  3. Write the blog pieces to include as many keywords as we can, without crossing the keyword density line.
  4. The object of the SEO blog post is to garner national search traffic in order to show to Google that our client's websites are relevant and authoritative. By doing this, it acts as a “high tide raises all ships in the harbor” type concept and Google will drive up the local rankings.
    • Google uses search traffic as a metric for SEO rankings. The more traffic you have the higher you’ll rank for other things. This frankly can sum up the entire reason for why we do SEO blogging to begin with: It’s to rank for other keywords, get search traffic, and drive up the main keywords we’re gunning for.
  5. Lastly, we never want blog posts to come across as “salesy.” We have to remember who the target audience is for these blogs. The reader is probably 95% of the time someone that is NOT in our client's local area, but is someone that found the blog post from a national-based search. Because of that, it changes the goal for the post from trying to convince someone to hire our client to simply trying to get someone to read the full article. 
    • Time spent on page is also a good metric that Google likes to see. The longer people spend on a website, the higher it ranks for the main/local keywords. So the blog strategy is not created to sell someone on the idea of hiring our client or buying from them, it’s created to get them reading the full article, spending a good deal of time on page, and “raising all ships in the harbor” on their main keywords for their local based searches. 
    • This is often why we’ll go after keywords that maybe don’t directly correlate to our client's service or what they are looking to rank for initially, but it’s something we feel we can rank them for. By getting search traffic from those keywords, it works as a ranking criteria for Google to push your main keywords higher locally. 

Overview of Blog Writing

  • Writing the document in the correct Google Doc
  • Do your research, understand your topic
    • If you really don’t understand what you’re writing on, don’t write it! Ask the editor
  • Understand the brand voice and client
    • Look at their website and get a general feel for how they talk/speak
    • What do they do? Make sure you have a good feel for what the client actually does
    • On average, the tone should be professional and educational in tone
  • Keep the “blog strategy” in mind. This isn’t supposed to be a sales letter, but instead, should be on topic to the article. Some articles won’t even mention the client’s name. 
  • Build an outline using the blog post recipe
  • Fill out the rest of the document according to the outline
  • Bake in your keywords

The Blog Post Recipe

Blog Post Outline


Building Your Subheadlines

  • Understanding the hierarchy of titles
    • H1, H1, H3, H4, H5, H6, and p (body) text.
  • Do general research, keyword research, identify your subheadings, tee up and answer targets
    • This breaks it down to where you’re writing more like 4 smaller blog posts rather than one big one
    • We don’t want to just regurgitate everything else out there. If possible, we want to create new and authentic content
  • Subheadings
    • Imagine they are little mini-articles in and of themselves.
    • Each subheading should be keyword rich
    • It should fit the overall outline and structure of the article.
      • Don't just throw together a bunch of keywords into subheadlines and write an article. It all needs to fit and make sense.
    • Do the subheadlines right after you do your keyword research. This is the part where you're really working to build out the outline.

Answer Targets & Tee Up:

  • The answer target is ultimately how we get ranked for a "featured snippet"
  • Example: It is the answer that pops up when you ask a question

  • The Answer Target:
    • A short and concise answer that really nails the title's question or gets to the heart of what the article is about. It should be clearly stated within the very first sentence of the answer target. Ideally, within the first five words of the sentence.
      • Example:
        • Title: "Do fish sleep upside down?"
          • Wrong Answer Target: "While many fish have different sleeping habits, most fish sleep upside down." - this is NOT the way we want it because it doesn't answer the question within the first 5 words.
          • Right Answer Target: "Most fish sleep upside down. Many fish have different sleeping habits that vary based on size or type of water they are in."
    • Many times, your answer will come with caveats and "it depends," but, we still need to build the answer target to answer a direct question.
    • Google doesn't feature the "it depends" type language in the snippets. They show definitive answers. That's what we need.
    • Needs to be 300 characters in length. It's okay to have it just slightly shorter, say, 250 characters, but it cannot be over 300 characters.
    • Never put a yes or a no in the answer target
    • It should sound like an encyclopedia
  • Secret words to use:
    • "As a general rule"
      • Example Answer Target (292 Characters) : "As a general rule, a serving of stuffing is about 1/2 of a cup per person. The average box of store-bought stuffing consists of about 6 servings. For every six family members or guests, be sure to buy one box of stuffing. Some guests might eat more, so prepare extra.
    • "X is"
      • Example Answer Target (260 Characters): "The average pancake is 4-inches in diameter and the serving size is four pancakes per person. When making pancakes for a crowd, it is important to make extra pancakes. It is also critical to know how many are planning to attend to have the correct measurements."
    • "There are"
      • Example Answer Target (260 Characters): "There are two major styles of pepperoni today. The regular one that is also known as the American style pepperoni and the traditional or better known as old world pepperoni."
    • Additional secret words:
      • In total
      • As a whole
    • Words to NOT Use: This would signal to Google that there are words before the term, so it won't use it as a featured snippet.
      • In conclusion
      • In summary

Biggest problem for many blog writers:

  • They don't just spit out the answer. Don't do this. Get to the point, answer the questions at hand, and make it direct.

Finishing Body Content - Rounding out your subheading:

Finishing and rounding out your subheadlines:

  • Keep the post recipe next to you and review it multiple times.
  • Capitalize the first letter of each subheading
  • Download Grammarly > Be sure to have your punctuation and grammar fixed as you go
  • You should have your subheadings done at this point. But now, we’re going to perfect them before we start body content. 
    • Can the subheadings stand alone? Meaning, if Google decided to feature the subheading on a snippet, does it make sense?  
    • 1st Subheading: Ensure that this is dialed in to expound upon your answer target. 
      • Remember, we don’t necessarily need to have the answer target the exact way we want it yet, but you should at least know what it’s about and what it generally will say. 
      • If you need to make a change to the subheading because it doesn’t directly correlate to the answer target, that’s okay! Keep the original subheading, but maybe move it to a subheadine 2, 3, 4, etc… 
    • Subheadings 2-5:
      • Does the order of the subheadings make sense? Does it flow? 
      • Your subheadings should feel like baby articles in and of themselves
      • Now is the time we may want to rearrange these in order to fit the article flow
      • Does the wording make sense? Do we have keywords present where applicable? 
      • Now is the time to get these subheadings really dialed in so that we feel good about the overall outline of the article

Finishing Body Content - Filling in your descriptions:

  • At this point, your subheadings should be dialed in enough to where filling in a couple of paragraphs per subheading should flow nicely. 
  • If you’re having a hard time writing the descriptions, it’s possible that you may need to add additional subheadings. Remember, these should function as little baby articles. If you can’t come up with any description for it, you may also need to change the subheading entirely. 
  • Our goal is to have at least a couple of paragraphs per subheading.
    • If you have more than 2 paragraphs, create a new subheadline to break up the content.

Finishing Body Content - Formatting Your Body Text

  • Break up the text with line breaks. This is NOT an essay. Don’t ever have more than 3 sentences before a line break. 
  • Things to help you fill out content:
    • Include data within the description
    • Include reasoning, definitions, quotes from experts (be sure to provide a source if so), nuances and anecdotes
  • Make content skimmable
    • Use bullet points, line breaks, lists, tables, graphs, etc…
  • Add relevant stock images
  • Add relevant videos from youtube
    • If you’re trying to explain something, a video might help! You can pull from any youtube account, but just be sure you’re maintaining a degree of professionalism within the post. 
    • Don’t embed an unprofessional video. 
    • Don't use a client competitors video.
  • Dont fill with fluff
    • If you end up feeling the need to fluff it up, you likely need to do more research in order to come up with legitimate content.


  • Every article needs 3 links pointing to other places on our client's website
    • You will need to know your client's website and product/service.
    • Links to their service or location pages are ideal, but links to other blog posts are good too.
  • Every article needs at least 1 link point to another website
    • You can have up to 5 links pointing to other articles/websites, but NO more than 5.

Interlinking 2.0

Updated Training for Interlinking

  • All interlinks need to utilize keywords within the anchor text
  • Anchor text is the text housed within a hyperlink. For example, the anchor text below is "best SEO company in Kansas city."
  • When you're building interlinks within client websites, be sure to use keyword-heavy text that is correlated to the page's title tag.
    • For example, if you were creating a blog post for Modtub and needed to get in a location landing page link, you might utilize at the bottom of the blog a way to work in: "Take it from the best hot tub company in McKinney Texas - it’s worth it! If all you need is a hot tub to complete your backyard oasis, call Modtub today."
    • SEO how the anchor text utilizes the title tag info from that page and bakes in the keywords.
  • Keywords within the anchor text for interlinks can help the website create more powerful authority.
  • Note: You do NOT need to use anchor text when doing your exterior links to other websites.

General Tips for Copywriting

  • This isn’t a college essay. Write in a conversational but professional tone. 
  • Speak to an individual reader, not a group of people
  • Try to create stories and pictures in people’s minds as they read. But don’t overdo it, this isn’t a novel. 
    • Ex of what NOT to do: “Once upon a time…,” 
  • Make your content simple - people are busy and just want answers. Give it to them. 
  • Don’t be a perfectionist. We are shooting for an A-, not an A+

Finishing Up - Summary of Blog Writing

  • Blog strategy 
    • We write for national search traffic, not to the client’s specific customers
  • Blog post recipe
    • Download it, print it, know it like the back of your hand
  • Building good subheadlines
    • Make them keyword rich
    • Make sure they flow with the article
    • Make sure each word is capitalized, except for prepositions (in, of, and…)
    • Understand the hierarchy structure of h1, h2, h3
      • In general:
        • Article header is an H1
        • Subheadings should be H2
        • Sub-subheadings should be h3
        • Body content should be “p”
  • Answer Target
    • Revisit the answer target at the very end to make sure it’s simple, direct, and answers the overall thesis of the article. Make sure the answer is in the first sentence of the answer target.
    • Needs ot be 250-300 characters in length. Do not go over this.
    • Remember, we’re trying to get a featured snippet picked up
    • Utilize lists and numbered lists if needed
    • Remember your secret words:
      • As a general rule
      • X is
      • There are
      • In total
      • As a whole
  • Body Content
    • Format it properly by using line breaks, images, videos, lists, tables, graphs, etc…
    • If you feel like you have to fill with fluff, change the subheading
    • Infuse with keywords when appropriate, but don’t keyword stuff just for the sake of it.
  • Interlinking
    • 3 links pointing to other parts of the client’s website. 
      • Service pages
      • Home page
      • Other blog articles
    • At least 1 link pointing to another website
      • Don’t link to a direct competitor! 
      • An embedded youtube video is NOT a link to another website
      • You can have up to 5 links pointing to other articles/websites, but NO more than 5.
  • Plagiarism 
    • Do not under any circumstance plagiarise. 
    • Your editor will use a very sophisticated tool to check for plagiarism. 
    • When you want to reference something, put it in quotation marks and give credit. Here is an article on how to do that
      • This is actually one of the best ways to get our external links
  • Repetition produces skill
    • The more you do this, the more you’ll get it
    • Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t write a great first few articles. Keep at it. It will get better the more you do it. 
    • Writing ability is learned, not genetic. Anyone can be a good writer with good practice.