First and foremost it’s not about how to format blog posts for Google, it’s about the quality of the content you’re publishing.
Once upon a time, you could write an article using the keyword ‘The best Estate Agent in the UK’ a thousand times and rank at the top of Google searches for that. However, the processes Google uses to determine what their users get shown in search results is now much more sophisticated, and the main thing they’re looking for is that your content is providing value to their clients (people searching Google)
Having said that, there are some things you can do to structure your content which will help Google know how best to display it in search listings.
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We use WordPress and SEO tool, Rankmath SEO, on our website as well as those of our clients, however most of the following information will be relevant whether you’re using WordPress or you’re using another platform for your website.
First of all, we have headings. If you’ve ever written anything on the back end of your website before, you may have noticed the options for ‘H1’ ‘H2’ ‘H3’ ‘H4’ headings and so on. But what are they?
It’s just a way of structuring information. In this post, the main title is our H1, because it’s the overarching subject of the post. ‘Structuring content’ and ‘Metadata’ are H2 tags because they’re both topics within the H1 title, and the headings beneath those are all H3. Not only does this tell Google the structure of the article you’re publishing and help their algorithm determine context and which searches to show you for, it also helps your readers who are skimming for information find what they’re looking for quickly.
For best results, build your post around a keyword that you would like to rank for. There are ways you can do research into the best ones, but if you’re just starting out don’t get overwhelmed. You can use one-word keywords or phrases. For this post we’re using ‘format blog posts for Google’, as it’s something our audience might search for.
To help Google determine that your post is relevant to the keyword you choose , it’s good practice to include your keyword in your H1 title, as well as in your subheadings – but don’t just stuff it in, make sure it appears naturally because Google can see right through attempts to game the system.
This is a visual thing, but reading text online is very different to reading text on paper. To make it easier for someone reading your content, split it up into shorter paragraphs. This will encourage people to stay on your article for longer, and that will win favour with Google who are looking to ensure that their customers are getting the information they’re looking for from the results they’re clicking on.
Metadata to help format blog posts for Google
What is SEO metadata?
Each page of your website will have SEO metadata that speaks to search engines and communicates important information about that page, even if the information isn’t immediately visible to the people who are using your website.
There might not be somewhere you can add this data if you are using some custom-built platforms for your website, but if you’re using WordPress then SEO tools such as Rankmath or Yoast will have places to input this information.
Rather than a random string of numbers and/or letters, by including your keyword in the URL, you’re adding another piece of evidence in order for Google to determine what your article is about.
Excerpt/ SEO description
This is what appears under the title, in the search results. It’s there to entice people to click on your result. It should be short, clear, and concise so people searching for something will instantly be able to tell if your article is likely to answer their question.
ALT tag on images
Alt text exists so that those who are visually impaired or blind, can tell what an image is of using a screen reader. By making sure all of your images have an alt tag explaining what they are, you’re again giving Google context, telling them that the images back up what your content is about.
There is a bit more too it than these simple items, but it’s definitely enough to get you started if writing and publishing content is a mystery to you. We do offer a content writing service ourself using this structure and more to help your search engine optimization, so if that’s something you’re interested in you can learn more here.