How to write an SEO-friendly introduction for a blog post • Yoast


What is the most important part of a post? The first paragraph! It’s the introduction of your article, and tells your audience what your post is about. But the first paragraph is also important to Google. That’s why you should give it extra attention. In this blog post, we’ll explain why an SEO-friendly introduction is so important, and give practical tips on how to write an awesome first paragraph. So read on!

Why should you write an SEO-friendly introduction? 

People usually start reading at the beginning of an article. If your introduction is not compelling, people will click away. Google knows this too, because Google is trying to mimic a human. So if your introduction is bad, you’ll see a decline in your rankings. To avoid this, your first paragraph should be well written and optimized.

What should a good introduction do? 

Because the demands of the first paragraph are higher than the demands on the rest of your text, your introduction should do at least three things. Let’s look at what these are! 

1. Introduce the topic

The first paragraph should introduce the topic. Just by reading the introduction, readers should know the message of your article is. It has to answer the question: What do you want to tell people in this article? 

The introduction of this blog post has the message: ‘the introduction of your article is very important to both your audience and Google.’ Because that’s what this article is about. It’s what we want you to remember.

SEO tip: use your focus keyphrase

Introducing the topic also allows you to use your focus keyphrase in the introduction. You should use the exact search terms that your audience uses. It’ll make your audience confident that your post will answer the question they asked Google. 

2. Get people excited to read more

The second thing a good introduction should do: get people excited. To do this, you need a hook. Something that’s fun or catches people’s attention. Your introduction should make people want to read more. People should feel curious about what’s next and excited to have found such an amazing article. 

3. Set expectations

The third thing an SEO-friendly introduction should do is set expectations. By reading the first paragraph of your post, readers should know what to expect. Because if your introduction is vague or boring, chances are high that people will click away.

Tips on how to write an SEO-friendly introduction 

Think before you write 

As we’ve discussed, your introduction is your most important paragraph. So, think about what you’re going to write! Think about your audience: who are you trying to reach? What will they learn from your article, or which problems are you solving? If you know the answer to these questions, your introduction will be much easier to write.

Of course, you can also write your introduction last. While it’s good to think about the focus of your post before you start writing, you can discover new insights while writing. After finishing your post, you’ll have a clear idea of what it’s about, which hopefully makes your introduction easier to write. It just depends on your preference!

Example

Let’s take this article as an example. Our desired audience is mostly writers and bloggers; people who want to create content in order to rank higher in the search engines. That’s also their main problem: their content is not ranking as high as they would like. This article is then part of the solution, because it gives people practical tips on how to improve the introduction of their posts. 

Focus on the problem 

You should mention the problem your audience is facing in the introduction. If people recognize the problem, they’ll want to read the rest of your article to see if it helps them find a solution.

Make it relatable 

Hey, you! The one reading this post! If you address your readers directly, they’ll feel more inclined to continue reading. So, make your readers feel like you’ve written this post especially for them. Use ‘you’ and ‘your’ and ask them questions. It’ll make people feel like you’re talking to them. 

Make it fun 

Use quotes, statistics, stories, and anecdotes in order to make your introduction more fun to read. Quotes and statistics will make you more convincing, while stories and anecdotes make your article more entertaining to read.

Tip: if you use quotes or stories in your introduction, it’s nice to mention them again in your conclusion. This will make your article feel ‘complete’. Plus, it’ll help your readers to remember your story and your message.

Use a different font

You know the introduction should be well written, but did you know it should also be well designed? Make it stand out by using a different font or embolden the words. Your readers will immediately know that they’re reading the introduction. Plus, it will make the introduction look important (which it is!).

Use that focus keyphrase! 

We’ve already discussed this, but it’s good to mention it again: if you want to write an SEO-friendly introduction, use your focus keyphrase in the first paragraph! You want your audience to recognize what they were searching for immediately. Because it will convince your audience that they’re reading the right post.

Keep it readable 

Readability is important for your entire article, and even more so for the introduction! Don’t make your first paragraph hard to read. Use short sentences, and avoid the passive voice.

In addition, an introduction shouldn’t be too long. It’s best to write one paragraph with 10 or 12 sentences at the most. You could divide an introduction into two shorter paragraphs; just don’t make the paragraphs longer than 12 sentences.

Short recipe for an SEO-friendly introduction 

Let’s make this short and practical. Here’s the recipe on how to write an SEO-friendly introduction:

  1. Start with a hook. A hook can be anything that catches the reader’s attention. You could state a controversial opinion, or ask a (rhetorical) question. You could share a statistic. Just make sure to write two or three sentences that entice your reader, and make them want to read on.
  2. Introduce the message of your article. After your hook, write two or three sentences in which you introduce the main problem that you’re solving in the blog post.
  3. Next, write two or three sentences about what people can expect in this article. A helpful sentence is: “In this post, we’ll discuss/you’ll learn…”

Love your site by writing SEO-friendly introductions

If you write content, you want your audience to read it! But you also want to rank high in the search engines. That’s why you have to make sure that the most important part of your text, the introduction, gets extra attention. Give your first paragraph a little extra SEO love, because it could make all the difference.

Read more: SEO love: Why you should add links to a new post as soon as possible »

SEO love series



Vous pouvez lire l’article original (en Anglais) sur https://yoast.com/seo-friendly-introduction/

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