How to Format a Post or Guide to Rank In the Search Engines

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To get a blog post, how to guide or webpage to rank in the search engines, you have to start with the formatting.  Backlinks and architecture can be important, but it is the formatting of the page that will really help to rank it.  Don’t get scared of some of the words below, there are plugins for the IT parts.

These posts are where affiliates can make money, bloggers can build a following and stores can drive sales.  The big brands will have red tape which gives you the advantage to make these changes and take the market share for your niche back.

How to Rank a Blog Post or How to Guide in the Search Engines:

  • Skip the fluff
  • Use lists and tables
  • Make sure your H tags are set and researched
  • Add in schema if it is appropriate
  • Make the page as fast as possible (6 steps included here)
  • Give the best possible experience

how to format a blog post or guide for SEO

Skip the Fluff

What I mean here is that you need to jump right into it.  Someone looking to fix a flooding basement doesn’t care about why or how you would up in that situation.  They want to know the steps you took to fix it.  Same with shooting a landscape photo or making a spice mix for tacos for dinner that night.  Remove the excessive copy and jump into the solution.  That is how you provide a great user and SEO experience.

Once you’ve given the quick and easy answer, then you can go into a bit more detail and add in your personality and voice.  Going through the steps is a great example.  You can say while you were looking for XYZ when Blue Widget busted your pipes, you noticed that the sprocket could be a hazard.  To help prevent the sprocket from doing ABC I did steps 1, 2, 3 and was able to prevent further issues.

This is how you can add your personality and some fun in.  But remember, they are there for a solution and search engines want to provide solutions, not your life story.  That is why it is always important to remember to provide the solutions first, then you can go into more detail.

Use Lists and Tables

Lists mean unordered (bullet) or ordered (numbered) lists.  Tables are basic html tables.  They’re clean, fast loading and easy to comprehend so they can create a good user experience for your website visitors as well. Lists are also what are normally pulled out of an article for answer boxes and sometimes voice searches from Google Home and Siri.

As you walk someone through a process, ask yourself if it can be placed in a list.  If it is a comparison chart like sizes or specs, can you show it in a table?  Next time you do one of these, or if you have a really good post that isn’t currently ranking (or appearing in the top) try adding in list formats or a table.  You may get the answer box or move up a couple spaces.

One other thing to think about is when and how they are used.  When doing a recipe, the ingredients should be in an unordered list while the steps should be in an ordered one.  That’s because the items needed to prepare the food don’t have to appear in a specific order, but the way you use them does.

Make Sure Your H Tags Are Set and Researched

The H tags on your page are going to define what the core content of the page is about and then what each subsection is about.  If you’re not being clear or answering the question in a better way, then you probably don’t need one.   In some instances you may want to remove the section altogether.

When doing research for the H tags, start by looking up the main keywords for the post.  Next look for questions people are asking.  After that go and look at the auto suggest and recommended queries in the search engines for modifiers and other variations of the questions.  These are all be great ways to format and create well researched and optimized headers.

Add in Schema if its Appropriate

Schema is code that defines what a page or a specific section of a page is about.  You can find the full schema library here.  The trick to schema is to make sure it is used correctly, not overused or abused and that you nest it.  It can be very confusing to do, which is why there are plugins to help.

If you’re a current partner in one of the programs from our affiliate management services, if you’re a current client, or if you’d like to join one of our managed affiliate programs, I’ll send you the plugin that I prefer and recommend.  It automatically does the schema for you and in a plain English format.  Use the contact forms to email me and I’ll send it to you.

Make the Page As Fast As Possible

Page speed (not site speed) is officially going to be a ranking signal for mobile searches.  Now is the time to optimize as Google said it will be live this summer.

Here are 6 ways to increase page speed for SEO:

  • Remove plugins, scripts, templates and anything else you’re not using
  • Minify your code including Javascripts, CSS files and Images
  • Make sure all images are below 100KB
  • Begin caching your site (if you aren’t already)
  • Write to your host and ask if you’re using a CDN. If not, then start.
  • Lazy load your images but only if image SEO is not important to your traffic

The good news is many of these are easy to do with plugins, or you can simply delete them.  That way when the ranking signal goes live, you’re already prepared and can start working on other ways to increase pagespeed further.

Give the Best Possible Experience

One of the most important things to remember is to give your visitors and the search engines the best possible experience.  As yourself a few questions.

Do the images on the page add to the information or are they there for decoration?  Have you said something generic or obvious?  Remove that and replace it with something useful.  If you told someone to do something, did you also explain how to do it?  By doing these things you’re now giving the best possible experience you can.  That may also signal to the search engines that this is really good content and it deserves to be shown for the right queries.

If you’d like some of the plugins I mentioned above or to have a call about your page speed and rankings, use the contact form in the right side of this page or click here and lets set up some time to talk.  If you enjoyed the post, I always appreciate when you share it on social media and feel free to leave a comment if you’d like to add to the post.

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