Writing a blog post is easy. Writing a blog post that performs well in Google rankings, though? That’s another story.

Your goal with all marketing blog posts is to get them in front of as many people as possible. And while social media and email marketing are both great ways to spread the word about your content, you’re going to have to rank if you want a post to be truly effective in drawing in traffic and converting leads.

Google content rankings are based on a wide range of factors — many of them known, many of them a mystery. Everything from the keywords and links you include to the overall quality of your blog post impacts where it shows up on the search page, and with 75% of people never scrolling past the first page of results, it pays to put in the time and effort required to rank.

Getting your marketing blog ranking on Google isn’t rocket science, but it does require some forethought and research. Below, we’ll go over each step that you need to follow in order to increase your chances of nabbing one of those coveted top spots.

Step One: Come Up With Your Idea

Sometimes figuring out what you want to write about is the trickiest part. Be strategic when choosing your topic, opting for an idea that is relevant to your business and shows off your authority. Google doesn’t like redundancy, so be sure that it’s a topic you haven’t covered before. It’s okay to write articles on similar topics, but you’ll need to make sure they have a different spin — and different keywords.  

Having trouble coming up with ideas? Head to Google yourself. Look up a question you think your leads might have and use that as a jumping off point for seeing what you might be able to cover on the topic.

Step Two: Research, Research, Research

Blog post optimization starts long before you write your first word. Once you know your topic, you’ll need to start diving into the research. And while research on your topic itself is obviously key here, it’s keyword research that you really want to prioritize.

If you haven’t yet, you may want to consider investing in a comprehensive keyword tool like SEMrush or Spyfu, though you can start with a free tool like Google Trends or Wordtracker Scout and see if that provides you with enough guidance.

There are a few major factors you want to consider when choosing your keywords and phrases:

  •       Do I already rank for this? (If so, see if you can improve on your existing post to make it rank higher, otherwise skip it.)
  •       Does this term have a high search volume?
  •       Does this search term have medium to low competitiveness?

The best keywords are the ones that have a high search volume and low competitiveness, since that suggests a gap in content needs that your post could fill.

Step Three: Write Well, Write Original

You’ve got your topic and you’ve got your keywords so now you actually have to write. Google may just be a bunch of algorithms, but it can tell the difference between high quality and low quality content. It’s important that your marketing blog post is well-written and logically formatted. It should also be 100% original, since you’ll take a big hit for any instances of plagiarism (plus, avoiding plagiarism in general is always a good idea).

Step Four: Edit, Fine Tune, and Publish

Always have your post go to another set of eyes (or two) for edits. Our brains have a tricky way of overlooking flaws in our own work, so having an outside editor helps ensure your writing flows well and you’re efficiently addressing your topic.

Once your copy is clean and ready to go, it’s time to publish. Google loves images and videos, so aim to include at least one of either type with your post, and include alt text or captions as needed. This is the time to bolster up your link game too. Aim for a mix of internal and external links, with your external links going only to relevant, high-quality pages that rank high themselves.

Do a preview to see how your post looks on both desktop and mobile. To rank high, your post will need to be mobile optimized. It will also need to load quickly and look good once it’s displayed on the page.

Step Five: Share!

Getting on Google’s good side requires some work after you publish, too. Help strengthen the authority of your post by doing some legwork to get as many clicks on it as you can. Share it throughout your network, including on social media and email newsletters. This isn’t the biggest deciding factor in how your post ranks, but it’s worth the effort (and besides, nothing wrong with getting more clicks!).

Keep a close eye on your site’s analytics so you can track how your marketing blogs are performing. Not all posts are going to rank high, but the more you can get in those top spots, the more effective you’ll be.