September 24, 2023

If you’re writing a weblog submit, it’s straightforward to miss the formatting. However how precisely must you format your weblog posts to get extra engagement and search success?

Get to the purpose, don’t waffle

In relation to writing the introduction, preserve it easy, concise, and tailor-made to your viewers.

In order for you an outlined strategy for formatting your introduction, you should use the Drawback-Answer-Proof (PSP) introduction method.

Problem-Solution-Proof intro formula, via Ahrefs Blog

Utilizing the PSP method means you may get straight to the core of the subject by outlining the issue, giving an answer, and offering proof of why your viewers ought to belief you—all in simply two paragraphs.

It additionally means there’s area to place a picture above the fold, making your submit extra visually partaking for guests.

When you’ve perfected your introduction, it’s time to think about organize the remainder of the article.

The fact is that many individuals don’t learn from begin to end anymore. A examine by Nielson steered that solely 16% of its check customers learn an article phrase by phrase. 

So it’s vital to make your articles scannable to maximise engagement in your weblog. The best manner to do that is to make use of headings or, extra particularly, H1 tags and different <H> tags.

Headings even have a secondary profit, as they assist to supply an Website positioning-friendly construction in your article.

Right here’s what it seems to be like in apply. You wish to goal for a transparent hierarchy.

Illustration of how headings create hierarchy and improve user experience, via Ahrefs Blog

For my part, your headings ought to have two qualities:

  • Individually, they need to have an effect and catch the reader’s consideration.
  • Collectively, they should type a logical define and point out the important thing parts of the article at a look.

In apply, it’s typically a balancing act: You’ll want to have the ability to construction posts in a logical, hierarchical manner and in addition entice the reader to learn on.

Format for the dominant content material kind

Usually talking, quite a lot of content material on the web falls into these classes:

  • Checklist posts
  • Step-by-step guides
  • Newbie’s guides
  • Expanded definition
  • Opinions

Because of this, earlier than you create your written content material, it’s a good suggestion to analysis what kind of content material is already rating in your goal key phrases so as to format it correctly.

This will appear to be overkill, however you don’t wish to waste time creating content material in a format that readers are unlikely to have interaction with. So it pays to get it proper from the begin.

For instance, if we write a 2,000-word article on “ tie a tie” and guests expect a video, it’s unlikely our written content material will ever get an opportunity to seem on the prime of the SERP as a result of it’s not the kind of content material our viewers is on the lookout for.

To indicate you ways fast it’s to verify for the dominant content material kind, let’s bounce into Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer, plug in “ tie a tie,” and scroll all the way down to the SERP overview.

SERP overview for "how to tie a tie," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We will see from this search that the highest result’s a video hosted on YouTube. Which means with a view to compete on this SERP, we’ll in all probability have to create a video on this matter.

With that mentioned, let’s check out among the most typical written content material varieties that you could simply format for.

Checklist posts

Checklist posts are quite common, particularly in sure niches the place guests are on the lookout for inspiration or concepts. 

Let’s begin by plugging in “issues to do in capri” in Key phrases Explorer. 

If we scroll all the way down to the SERP overview, we will see that just about the entire outcomes comprise a quantity, that means they’re more likely to be checklist posts.

SERP overview for "things to do in capri," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

From this instance, as there are such a lot of checklist posts rating on the primary web page for this question, we’ll want to stay to the checklist submit format with a view to stand an opportunity of rating on this SERP.

Right here’s an instance of the format you should use for an inventory submit:

Format of a list post, via Ahrefs Blog

Step-by-step guides

Let’s now plug in one other completely different key phrase. I’ve added “podcasting information” into Key phrases Explorer to see what we get.

SERP overview for "podcasting guide," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Though the SERP end result titles comprise numbers as effectively, we will see that the dominant content material kind on the prime of the SERP is about offering step-by-step guides. 


Generally, you’ll have to click on on the URLs and go to the webpage to double-check the content material kind.

Right here’s an instance of the format you should use for a step-by-step information:

Format for a step-by-step guide, via Ahrefs Blog

Newbie’s guides

Let’s check out one other content material kind. I’ve plugged the key phrase “chess fundamentals” into the SERP overview.

SERP overview for "chess basics," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

From my highlights, we will see that the title tags of those pages are geared toward freshmen. 

If we needed to create a newbie’s information for a subject, the format of the submit would possibly look one thing like this:

Format for a beginner's guide, via Ahrefs Blog

Expanded definition

One other frequent kind of content material is the expanded definition. One of these content material explains the that means of a factor or idea earlier than going into extra element about it.

Let’s plug in “latte” into Key phrases Explorer and scroll all the way down to the SERP overview.

SERP overview for "latte," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

On this instance, we will see that the highest result’s asking what a latte is. 

We will use this format to construct out a submit on this matter.

Format for "expanded definition" post, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

One other component you’ll be able to add to an “expanded definition” format submit is FAQs. Including this part with schema is usually a good mixture. 

Right here’s an instance of some well-liked FAQs about H1 tags from our weblog:

FAQs example, via Ahrefs Blog


One of the crucial well-liked content material codecs is the overview format. This format is pretty self-explanatory—guests to your website expect the services or products to be reviewed.

Let’s check out a “overview” SERP in Key phrases Explorer.

SERP overview for "airpods max review," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

This is without doubt one of the easier-to-spot codecs, and you may see nearly each SERP end result title has the phrase “overview” in it.

In relation to writing opinions, Google supplies detailed steering on write a great overview, which you’ll examine beneath.

Many content material creators know format content material. However within the rush to supply content material, it’s straightforward to let the standard of the formatting slide or omit it altogether.

Right here’s a reminder of what you must and shouldn’t do:

Don’t make your article needlessly lengthy—preserve it succinct and to the level

If you’re writing to achieve a phrase depend, then you might be creating content material mistaken. It is best to actually deal with writing the perfect weblog submit you can. 

Although, it’s helpful to understand how lengthy completely different pages on the SERP are as a result of it offers you a way of the chance accessible. 

The easiest way to verify is to make use of Key phrases Explorer’s SERP overview, because it lists the phrase depend of the highest pages on the SERP.

Word count of results on a SERP for "what is a latte," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Utilizing a software like this, we will see that for this matter, the quantity #1 rating article is the shortest article on the SERP. 

So if we employed a contract author to write down a 4000-word weblog submit on “what’s a latte,” chances are high, it could be too a lot.

Use textual content formatting for emphasis

Primary textual content formatting, like utilizing daring, italic, or <a> hyperlinks, is an efficient method to spotlight sure components of your content material for search engines like google.

Google’s John Muller had this to say about bolding textual content:

Does bolding vital factors on a paragraph assist the Website positioning? Sure it does. It does assist us to higher perceive that paragraph or that web page.

John Mueller

Use a desk of contents 

Table of content example, via Ahrefs Blog

I discussed making your weblog posts scannable earlier on. For my part, there is no such thing as a higher manner to do that than by including a desk of contents, because it summarizes your content material in just a few strains that customers can click on.

Including a desk of contents is an efficient method to permit your web page’s guests to scan your content material’s core matters rapidly.

It might additionally set off sitelinks, which might doubtlessly assist you to win much more natural clicks.


In case you use WordPress, you should use a free plugin like Easy Table of Contents so as to add a desk of contents to your weblog posts routinely.

Use inside linking to elucidate different ideas

Inner linking for Website positioning is without doubt one of the strongest features of formatting a weblog submit, for my part. 

Try our video and guides on do it beneath.

Use exterior hyperlinks when linking to helpful sources

Exterior hyperlinks ought to be used extra sparingly than inside hyperlinks. But it surely’s good to hyperlink to related, trusted sources that assist present context in your content material.

Add an writer bio

Including an writer bio is an efficient manner to supply legitimacy in your readers. If guests to your website can see that the content material is written by an actual individual, it provides to its authenticity.

Josh Hardwick's author bio on the Ahrefs Blog

At Ahrefs, we now have an writer bio beneath each submit with hyperlinks to our social media profiles.

Use pictures to boost your content material 

Usually talking, it’s a good suggestion so as to add pictures to assist convey extra that means to your content material. 

It’s vital as a result of some SERPs will pull by way of pictures out of your articles.

Right here’s an instance the place pictures from my weblog submit on web site construction have been pulled into the Google SERP:

Images pulled from an Ahrefs article on Google's SERP

Use unique, web-ready pictures

In relation to pictures, it’s straightforward to make use of a inventory picture. However a greater concept is to make use of your personal unique pictures the place doable. Additionally they ought to ideally be “net prepared.” This implies utilizing WEBP picture codecs for the perfect efficiency.

In relation to optimizing your pictures, you can even use alt textual content as a part of your primary picture optimization.

Ultimate ideas

Most of the parts of formatting a weblog submit for search usually are not troublesome. But surprisingly, many on-line publishers nonetheless don’t take the time to do it.

Taking a structured strategy to formatting may also help your content material stand out from the gang and get it acknowledged on the SERPs.

Obtained extra questions? Ping me on Twitter. 🙂