About 60% of us read blogs regularly.1 And as many as 11% read a blog daily. This pastime-turned-marketing trend is now an integral part of advertising culture, and the cornerstone of many digital marketing strategies. But with so much content out there, how do you find readers?
To entice real people to click on and stick with your blog, your articles need to be readable. At the same time, your post needs to use the keywords Google wants to find when your article is indexed.
Readable, high-ranking articles help people in desperate need of your services find your addiction treatment center and seek treatment. So how can you write readable articles that rank?
1. Answer Questions
Your prospective clients don’t care whether your blog is optimized for your target keywords or not—they want to read useful, entertaining articles. In the case of addiction treatment, they may want to know how to pick a treatment center or how to ask a family member for help. They may even be looking for ways to determine whether or not they have a substance use disorder. Whatever their aim, they’ll seek out and read articles that specifically answer their questions.
Because 34% of blog readers are interested in articles that teach them how to do something new,2 77% of bloggers now regularly post “how-to” articles. And this is no coincidence because 14% of the 3.5 billion Google daily searches are entered in the form of a question.3 When your articles directly answer a question asked by a user, your page rank increases dramatically. And that leads more prospective patients to your treatment center.
2. Invest in the Title
The job of a title isn’t just to attract readers’ attention. It’s also a key Google ranking factor. This variable affects whether or not someone chooses to read your article and where your article appears in search results. So, the title of your article is a pretty important piece to get right.
You don’t want a boring, generic headline preventing a fantastic article from performing well. Improve the performance of your titles by:
- Limiting your headline to between six and 13 words and no more than 50 to 60 characters
- Using phrases like “How to,” “Best of,” or “Top-rated,” to attract maximum interest
- Avoiding long or complicated wording
- Adding a question in the headline to attract 23% more shares4
Investing in your titles maximizes your readership and improves your SEO.
3. Be Aware of Length
Article length is challenging. Users prefer shorter articles, while longer pieces rank better. SEO experts confirm that the longer a post is, the better its performance will be.
Most people only spend about 37 seconds reading a blog post.5 But if the reader is actually interested in your article, that 37 second average reading time can increase up to seven minutes.6 This equates to about 1,600 words. Overall, however, longer blogs between 2,250 and 2,500 words outrank short-form content. And 54% of bloggers say they’ve seen the very best results from blog posts that are at least 3,000 words.
Unfortunately, there is no easy resolution to this conflict between concise, readable content and longer, ranking-focused pieces. Luckily, you’re not locked into a one-size fits all choice for your content. You get to balance the components of readability and ranking for each piece that you post.
4. Mind the Structure
Structure impact performance. When writing your articles, aim for paragraphs that are under 150 words.7 There’s nothing less visually appealing to a reader than a giant block of text. Within your paragraphs, watch sentence length. No more than 25% of your sentences should have more than 20 words.8 If your sentences are more complicated than that, fewer readers will engage.
In terms of structure, Google and users are on the same page. Google cares about both sentence and paragraph length. The algorithm checks how long your sentences are to determine readability and, ultimately, rank on the SERP. So keep your sentences and paragraphs simple and short to maximize the SEO value of your articles.
Writing a readable article that ranks is possible. Focusing on high-impact Google ranking factors like article subject, title, length, and structure will boost your article far more than keyword stuffing.
A Good Website Makes a Great First Impression
Ready to create readable, high-ranking content but not sure how to get started? Dreamscape Marketing can help. Contact us today at 888.307.7304 to set up a strategy session.
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