This post was last updated on February 18th, 2021
So you’ve started a blog or are interested in blogging. You might be wondering what blog post format you should use to get the best reader engagement? The aim is to keep your reader on the page for as long as possible.
So what’s the best blog post format to achieve this?
The golden prize for SEO is to keep them reading until the end and avoid bounce backs to the search engines.
In this article. I’ll describe the best format which can be adapted for any style of blog and how it can maximise your post’s organic reach.
Blog Title should Have a Hook
Think about news articles that you regularly click on. Why do you click on these catchy titles?
It’s because a narrative hook has left you with a mystery and your mind needs to fill in the blanks.
Consider this ad from 1926:
The magic of this ad is that it connects deeply with our emotions on so many levels. We need to find out what happened when he played and how people reacted.
Most of us want to be admired or rise up as the underdog. We want to prove others wrong. This ad cuts into so many of our emotions and it makes us want to just keep reading on.
These types of hooks are still used today with huge success on wildly popular sites like ViralNova and others.
Blog Post Format – Basics
It’s important to get the basics right like fonts and spacing.
If you’re in the tech or IT space, easy to read sans-serif fonts like Roboto, Arial or Georgia are perfect for your blog content. They can be paired with Opens Sans or Lato headings.
If you’re blog is more formal, like a news site or a magazine, I’d recommend Serif fonts like Times or Times New Roman.
In terms of line spacing, the standard unamended WordPress spacing can look very compressed on the page. Accordingly, it’s a good idea to change your line spacing to either 1.75 or 2 to give your reader a better experience.
If you’re trying to rank for any particular keywords, make sure to skilfully blend them into your post.
Introduction should draw your reader in
Like any great novel your introduction needs to contain some kind of hook to keep people reading.
You need to spell out early in the introduction the question or topic that the post will be addressing.
Be very clear and unambiguous in what you will be delivering and lay out what the reader will have learnt by the end of the post.
Use Subheadings – One for Each Major Point
I use H2 subheadings to break the post up into manageable chunks. Each of these subheadings can be another main talking point in your post.
The reason that I just use H2 subheadings is simplicity.
I’ve steered away from using H3-H6 subheadings as I think it adds unnecessary confusion to an article. A blog post isn’t a university thesis. If you change to H3 or lower subheadings, the reader can easily lose track of where they are up to in the post.
Along this theme, it’s best to keep your paragraphs relatively short. This is because many people will be reading your blog on mobile devices. Accordingly, long paragraphs can actually wrap over whole screens on a mobile device which makes reading really difficult.
Blog Post Format should use Photos, Images & Drawings
Your post should be fun to read. One way to do this is to use photos and images. As has often been said, a picture is worth a thousand words and this is so true for blog posts.
You might include screenshots if you are writing a tutorial. Or pictures you’ve taken for a travel blog.
Images really help to break your post up and make it more readable.
Blog post format should include Video
One of the main benefits of videos, apart from their obvious usefulness is that they will keep the reader on your page for longer. This will reduce your bounce rate and improve the chances of your post ranking in organic search.
In addition, many SEO experts believe that Google favours sites that implement YouTube videos in their posts.
This is because they are essentially the same company and because you are utilising the two biggest search engines (Google and YouTube). The result will be a favourable message to Google for your search engine rankings.
Keep a Conversational Style
To make your post as readable as possible, talk to your reader like you’re their friend. Accordingly, a conversational style will work really well in your blog post format.
Try to use simple words. Just like you wouldn’t use complex words when you’re chatting with friends at a bar or pub, it’s important to keep your blog posts the same. A lot of the world isn’t highly educated so it’s unfortunate if they need to pull out a dictionary in order to read your writing.
So avoid complex writing which may lead to people giving up reading your post too early. Reduce friction for the reader as much possible.
Include Links (but not Too Many)
By internally linking to your other posts where appropriate, you can add credibility to your post and make the rest of your site more discoverable. With internal linking, it’s generally preferable to set your links to open in the same browser tab, rather than a new tab.
Also link out to other relevant sites where appropriate. I think it’s best to open these links in a new browser tab unless it’s an affiliate link.
While it’s good to include links, try not to go overboard. If you have too many in your post, it might start to look spammy.
Your conclusion should bring together all the main talking points from your subheadings and lay out your main findings. By doing so, you can wrap these points together and reach a conclusion.
For example, if your blog post was a comparison review, you could list the one or two major pros or cons of each product then reach a verdict.
Summary- Blog Post Format to send your Posts Viral
The key thing to do is to bring the reader to your post with a hook and then use your introduction to keep them on the page.
Keep your reader going with images interspersed throughout. Use a conversational style and break the text up as much as possible. This will maintain their interest and keep them reading until the end.
Frequently Asked Questions – blog post format
Does embedding images assist with the Google ranking of your web page?
Yes, Google has advised many times that it favourably ranks pages with embedded images. Images also improve the user experience and keep readers on your web page for longer.
Accordingly, the length of time that readers spend on your page has also been shown to be a ranking factor.
Do embedded videos in blog posts help with SEO?
No, not directly. The search engine’s will acknowledge any embedded videos when crawling your page. However, it’s not thought that they have a direct effect on rankings. It’s possible however, that they do send some minor signals.
With the constantly increasing use of video, it’s thought that embedding video will become more of a ranking factor. From a user experience perspective, it’s good practise. Video tends to keep people on your page for longer. Accordingly, “time on page” is a ranking factor that Google measures.
How does internal linking help with SEO?
When a user clicks on an internal link it reduces your bounce rate (% of users that leave your site without looking at any other webpages).
Google has advised on a number of occasions that internal links help with your page rankings. Their importance is emphasised by the fact that Google Search Console breaks down the internal links of your site alongside backlinks.
Should I open links in a new tab?
It depends upon the type of link. Internal links are usually opened in the same tab as visitors can become annoyed with too many new tabs opening.
External links should be opened in a new tab. This is because you want to make it easy for your readers to stay on your website. The exception is external affiliate links. These can earn you an affiliate commission so it’s best to open these in the same tab.