13 Must-Have Elements of a Great Blog Post

One in five bloggers report strong marketing from their blogs – twenty two%.

That’s it — and that percentage has been steadily declining for the past three years.

It can’t be true, can it?

Why don’t the vast majority of bloggers deliver strong marketing?

My theory is that the content marketing industry has a lot of overly general advice:

“Write for users, not Google.”

“Google rewards high-quality content.”

“It’s about search intent.”

OK, but what is high-quality content?

The bar is high. This article will help you earn the respect you deserve by breaking down the 13 essential elements of a great blog post.

1. Fascinating topics

Your audience must care about the topic.

If you’re not entirely sure which topics your audience cares about, there are a few places to start.

Find out which pages support your business goals in Google Analytics.

Ask your sales team the most frequently asked questions by potential customers.

Or, look directly at your on-site searches to see what products or services people are looking for.

Engage with members of your audience on social media channels relevant to your industry.

These are great places to get content topics of great interest to your audience.

2. Search Friendly URLs

Google recommends keeping a simple, short URL structure Whenever possible.

Do not use long ID numbers or time-specific elements, such as dates and years, in URLs. Overly complex URLs can be problematic for crawlers and not helpful for humans.

For example, this:


can become like this:


Describe your URL so that people who see the link know exactly what to expect when they click the link.

3. Include authors

Show the author more credibility, context, and authenticity to the blog post.

Link the author’s name to a profile page (with a photo) where readers can browse the author’s other articles and feel like they’re reading something real.

Doing so will encourage your readers to engage with your brand on social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

4. Contents

Use the table of contents at the top of your posts to organize your content and make it easier for users and bots to navigate.

Anchor links in the table of contents help your readers quickly get to the information they are most interested in.

Search engines love directories! No guarantees, but they are often pulled into Google searches and displayed as sitelinks.

5. Powerful headlines

A strong title will draw your readers to your blog and get page views of your posts.

Without an eye-catching headline, a good blog post disappears into the vast ocean of the internet.

Take the time to craft the perfect catchy headline to attract readers and make them want to read your article.

SEJ offers 12 tips to turn ordinary headlines into great, click-worthy headlines.

6. Interesting introduction

While a good headline can entice clicks to your website, it’s an introduction that turns website visitors into readers.

For an introduction that resonates, readers need to understand what you’re talking about and care about what you’re trying to say.

You don’t need to give them answers to their questions, just enough information to give them a reason to care.

SEJ offers seven ways to write a blog introduction that your readers and Google will love.

7. Eye-catching subtitles

Titles and subtitles highlight the main elements of the topic, make the article easy to navigate and guide readers through the content.

Using keywords in subheadings helps search engines identify the content and quickly tell readers the main points of the article.

This doesn’t mean you should force keywords into subtitles. Keywords need to make sense and sound natural.

Subtitles should be formatted using the title tag hierarchy. This means that you use progressively smaller heading formats.

Most articles only need to use H2s, but if you need to separate an H2 with a lot of content, you can use H3.

Make sure to use title tags properly as suggested in this SEJ article on SEO best practices.

8. Length

I often hear studies claiming that 1,500 to 3,000 words is the ideal content length for an article.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter.

Length will vary based on content style, topic and audience.

A good blog is as long as it needs to be and as long as your audience will read it.

Use page depth (scroll) tracking in Google Analytics (or Hotjar) to see how well users read your blog posts.

Try hiding a subsection answer in the accordion for user interaction, you can flag this event to see if you’re getting the user involved in the article.

9. Attractive visuals

We respond and process visual data far better than text.

and not just a little— 60,000 several times faster.

How the human brain processes complex information is why visualization is so important.

Using charts or graphs to interpret complex data is much easier than reading a lot of text.

Be sure to optimize your images for search. SEJ shares 12 essential image SEO tips you need to know.

10. Conclusion

By the end of your article, your readers may have forgotten some of the points you made earlier in the article.

A good blog post will summarize the main content of the article and guide your readers on what to do next.

The point is not to restate your point, but to help your audience draw actionable conclusions from your blog post.

Decide what action you want your blog readers to take. Maybe you want them to sign up for email, follow social, or check out the products or services you offer.

The point here is to motivate your readers to take the action you want.

Without links, the Internet would be a clutter of organized pages. It’s really hard to navigate (find what we’re looking for.)

A good blog post makes navigation intuitive for users and easy for search engines to crawl.

Internal links help connect relevant topics to search engines and provide further research that may be of interest to readers.

John Mueller explains in the SEO After Hours video:

“…internal linking is very important for SEO.

I think this is one of the most important things you can do on your website to direct Google and direct visitors to the pages you think are important. “

External links are best used to cite sources and as an endorsement of high-quality content.

12. Architecture

Schema markup is an essential element of a good blog post because it helps search engines identify your page as a blog post rather than a product page, system page, or something else.

There are some schema markup types for blog post, articleand information.

There are also FAQs, how-tos, breadcrumbs, Speakable, and more.

13. Recommend relevant blog posts

At this point, you have a well-structured blog post that includes the technical aspects of ranking pages and a compelling copy that entertains and informs readers from start to finish.

Now, you want to increase the likelihood that readers will stay on your site and ultimately convert.

At the end of your blog posts, display several (up to three) blog posts related to the same topic cluster.

final thoughts

The 13 elements in this article help users focus on your blog posts and help search engines better understand how the topic relates to your entire website.

In addition to these technical elements, there are strong arguments for style, delivery and prose.

To continue learning, browse Search Engine Journal contributors and working writers. Pick five writers you love to read and follow their content to research what makes them great.

More resources:

Featured image: Lyubov Levitskaya/Shutterstock

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