Explicit Tips on Formatting The Blog Posts The Right Way
We live in a world where people have very short attention spans. We’re bombarded by so much content every single day, we can’t possibly read and consume it all. The solution we have developed is to scan things quickly and decide if we want to invest the time to read the blog posts, watch the videos, or listen to the podcasts.
Our blog readers are no different. That’s why it is important to format your blog posts in a way that makes it easy to scan, get a quick idea of what the post is about, and then make a decision about reading it. That’s what formatting the blog posts is all about. It’s an important step in your blogging process.
Add to that the fact that formatting is also an important part of on-page SEO and it is something you should be paying a lot of attention to.
Formatting Blog Posts For Your Readers
Always start by formatting for your readers. While search engines are important, they won’t do you any good if you can’t convince people to read your post.
Make It Easy To Scan the Content
The most important thing you can do for your readers is to make it easy to scan the content. Use headlines, break up text, etc. to make it quick and easy to scan the post and figure out what it’s about. Of course, your headline and your images are a big part of this.
Break Up Things into Bulleted or Numbered Lists
Breaking up things, tips, ideas, etc. into lists. Depending on context, those could be bulleted or numbered lists
Lists are easy to ready, quick to scan, and help readers consume your content.
Keep Your Paragraphs Short
Reading online is different from reading a print book or newspaper. It’s much harder on the eyes, and since we’re consuming so much written content on a daily basis and scan a lot, our attention span when it comes to reading has gone down quite a bit.
Make it easy for your readers to read your posts by keeping your paragraphs short. One to three sentences is usually all you want in each.
Bold Important Concepts
Highlight the most important concepts or keywords of your post by bolding them. Not only does this help readers understand that this is an important point, but it also helps with scanning before they commit to reading your post.
Formatting Blog Posts For the Search Engines
Now that your post is pretty and easy to scan and read for humans, let’s talk about formatting for search engines.
Use Heading Tags
Using H tags like <h1>, <h2> etc. show search engines what words on the page are important. Use an H1 tag for your post title. If you’re using blogging software like WordPress, your theme should take care of this for you. However, double-check what is set at your default and that it is cascading from H1 to H4 or higher, mine wasn’t and it took some finagling to get it right. Think of it like back in high school or college when you wrote an outline with indents for each level of the subtopics.
But don’t stop there. You can use various other H tags throughout your content. Let’s say your blog post can be split up into two major sections like this post for example. One section is about formatting for readers, the other for search engines. Those subheadings are H2 tags.
This one is easy. If you haven’t already done so for your readers, find your main keyword and make it bold. This will also show search engines this particular word or piece of text is important. Don’t overdo it though.
Use Alt Tags in Images
As you’re adding images, include text in the alt tags that describes the image, but also includes your main key word. As with the other tags and formatting tips, this will help with ranking.
Use Your Keywords in the Text
Last but not least, give your post a quick scan and make sure you’ve used your keyword several times in the main body of your post. Again, it’s important to strike a good balance here. Don’t overdo it, but also don’t forget to include it. In a 400+ word article like this, using the keyword about 3 times is a good general rule of thumb.
I hope you join me and follow along in this 30-Day Challenge. If you haven’t already done so, you can sign up for the daily emails where I’ll share the day’s post and some other bits and pieces with you here. And feel free to invite other bloggers who may find this information helpful.
P .S. Is formatting your website so you could yield more eyeball on your site next on your list?. Click here to download my free ebook with 50 ways to go from bland to bling.