Good Content Needs Structure To Be Great

Good Content Needs Structure To Be Great

Pouring all your efforts into blog content that isn’t structured correctly won’t do much for your performance rankings or your readers. Even an article with loads of stellar information can fail if the structure makes it impossible to read and hard for search engines to decipher. If you haven’t given your blog a look in a while, or your posts contain formidable walls of words, it’s time to do some sprucing—aka optimizing and structuring—for search engine optimization (SEO).

If you’re panicking, don’t. Getting your blog posts into shape is easier than it sounds. Read on to learn some basic framework rules I live by and other optimization tactics that’ll help get your content attention from interested readers AND search engines.

What SEO Structure Means for Blog Posts

Structuring a blog post for SEO means formatting it with headers, subheads, and navigational cues, and using keywords appropriately and effectively. When done right, search engines will understand the content and users can easily find answers to what they’re searching. Using a blog structure that follows SEO best practices makes the content accessible to machines (like search engines, AI bots, or voice readers) and humans (like you). 

Incorporating SEO Into Blog Content

Thanks to English 101, most people understand that articles should have an introduction, body, and conclusion, but blog posts need more structure than that. Framework—optimized headings, subheads, and title tags—are essential clues that tell search engines what a blog post is about, how to navigate the page, and the information’s order of importance. 

Before publishing any blog post I’ve written, I double-check that I’ve optimized it using these important elements: 


Blog posts are a blank canvas for you to write the language that answers customers’ questions and to incorporate keywords that match the terms they are searching. You’ll need to factor in your visitors’ search intent (the answer, resource, product, or information they’re looking for), to create relevant, engaging content. According to Backlinko’s review of organic click-through rates, keywords that are 10 to 15 words long get more clicks than single-word terms, so don’t be afraid to implement a variety of keyword types and queries into your blog content.

Headings and Hierarchy

The use of headings—H1, H2, H3, and so on—is an excellent SEO practice for structuring blog posts. Since these elements rank in order of importance, they provide an intuitive hierarchy that helps users and search engines understand what the content is about and how to navigate the page. Headings also make indexing content efficient. Once you master them, the headings can boost rankings and make the text scannable for readers who prefer to skim.

On-Page SEO

Blog content can benefit from the same on-page SEO tactics you use on your home page and product description pages. Here are some tips for tackling on-page SEO for blog posts:

  • Target a variety of search terms: Primary, secondary, and long-tail keywords are all fair game.
  • Focus the content around what users are searching for—do they want to learn more, compare products, or hear from an expert? 
  • Check title tags, headings, and subheads for keyword usage, and don’t ignore the formatting: For example, apply the appropriate h-tags for each header.
  • Write accurate, effective meta descriptions to highlight your hard work (in 155 or fewer characters!).


If you’ve ever been down a rabbit hole on a website and stayed way longer than you planned because you just kept finding great content, that site probably has an excellent linking strategy at play. Internal links not only feed readers related pages and content, but they also show Google the relationship between topics, especially when the anchor text is optimized

Helpful, interesting, and useful blog posts can also help you earn backlinks, which happen when other sites link to your content. Google uses these links to weigh the validity of your posts, and as a result, your rankings. According to Backlinko, the sites earning the coveted #1 spot in the SERPs average 3.8 more backlinks than those in a lower position on the results list.

Quality Content

Blog posts are powerful engagement tools, but they won’t engage anyone if they aren’t written well. Though keywords can help get a search engine’s attention, overdoing it can also garner negative attention. Keyword stuffing is a turn-off for anyone (myself included) and even Google will turn its nose on a page that reads like your SEMrush screen. Instead of putting all your focus on repeating three target terms, write content that offers value to your audience first, and then sprinkle in some keywords to satisfy search engines.

Though driving organic traffic to your website may seem like a tall order, there’s a straightforward way to demonstrate your expertise and generate shares and leads: 

  • Engage readers from the start with effective content introductions.
  • Understand your audience’s intent and write to it directly. 
  • Use natural language and avoid overusing jargon or acronyms (even when you’re writing for a professional audience).
  • Provide actionable advice your readers can use.
  • Break up your copy with headers and bullets.
  • Feature relevant images to support your ideas. 
  • Add high-value details or suggest additional resources for readers who prefer to take a deep dive.

5 Blog Post Structures You Should Know

Not every blog post should follow the same format, and if you have a steady stream of loyal subscribers, creating posts using a strict carbon-copy method can become boring in a hurry. That doesn’t mean you need to (or should) reinvent the wheel in every post. Keeping a few SEO-focused blog post structures in your arsenal can cut down on content planning time so you can focus on content quality. Here are a few must-know blog post formats you can lean on to crank out great content that’s well-structured and well-received:

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1. Formats for SERP Features

Google’s SERP features are prestigious spots that aren’t just awarded to any site. To land one of these, your content needs to be optimized with headings and keywords so Google understands the information you’re providing and can easily grab a snippet to display. Implementing optimized FAQ content is a no-brainer for earning a spot in the People Also Ask box. To earn the coveted PAA, you’ll need to answer the question completely and concisely. Other features include Sources From Across the Web and Snippets. Bulleted lists in your content or a series of headers with steps are good blog structure ideas that can help your content elbow its way in as expert advice.

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2. How-To Posts

Forgive me if this topic transports you back to the days of high school English, but the how-to writing exercise of yesteryear is alive and well on the internet. I can’t count the number of times I’ve googled how to do something—make rice in a pressure cooker, clip a dog’s nails, paint an accent wall. In every instance, I expect the writer to guide me through the process with obvious steps (and tips are always welcome for an over-ambitious novice like myself).  

Defining each step with H2 headings is a great structure for how-tos that makes following along easier for users and search engines. Don’t be too clever writing your headings—your readers will appreciate clear-cut, numbered steps, like Step 1: Research Blog Topics and Step 2: Create a Blog Outline. Bonus: This format is easy for Google to extract and show in a SERP feature, too.


3. Definition Blog Posts

Burying the lede can be frustrating and cause readers to bounce. Avoid this by formatting definition-style posts to provide the answer to the query right away, ideally above the fold (or scroll). When the introduction or first paragraph includes the question and answer—in fewer than 60 characters—your readers can quickly skim to find the information they’re seeking, and you’ll be a good candidate for a featured snippet. When the writing is up to par and the rest of the content offers relevant keyword-driven headers that explore the background, case studies, examples, or other relevant information, your readers will stick around.


4. Table of Contents

A blog post structure that includes a table of contents (ToC) can help anyone navigate long-form content to grab information from the post quickly. This structure uses jump links near the beginning to give readers access to particular sections (often formatted as H2s). The titles for a ToC should be scannable and consistent and separated by bullet points or a numbering system. 

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5. News & Articles

I don’t write a lot of science-based articles but I do read them from time to time and I can confirm that headings and ToC are two structural pieces you shouldn’t skip. Also, consider beginning with a quick recap, abstract, or summary, so casual readers (like me) can get the gist of the outcome right away. If you want to show off your in-depth knowledge of the topic, use the rest of the article to cover the details. Just remember that your audience might show varying degrees of enthusiasm (especially for dense subject matter), so rely on subheads and structure to make your article skimmable and it’ll be a great resource for everyone.

Either structured headings or structured data (following Google’s instructions for structuring articles) can get the job done. Just remember to stick to SEO basics—keywords, links, and formatting—to help your content rank against other newsworthy content. 

Ready to learn more about creating high-quality company blog content that earns results? Get in touch with Eight Oh Two Marketing today. We’re experts in organic search results that continue paying off long after the heavy lifting is done.

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