6 min 43 sec Reading Time  |  Post contains affiliate links

If you want your blog to be found and read by as many people as possible, it’s important to optimize it for search engines. One of the most important aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) is formatting your blog posts in a way that makes it easy for search engines to understand and categorize your content.

By following best practices for formatting your blog post for SEO, you can improve your chances of ranking higher in search results, driving more traffic to your blog, and increasing your online visibility. In this context, we’ll discuss some of the key formatting techniques you can use to optimize your blog posts for SEO, so that your content can be easily discovered by a wider audience.

In this post, we’ll take a look at:

  • Clearing Formatting Issues before they start
  • Effective paragraphs and lists
  • Sentence structure/Using Whitespace
  • Headers (H1 and H2)
  • Images for your posts

First, clear any formatting from your blog post

I write two drafts of each post I create. My first draft is written in the default notes program for my computer and my second in Grammarly. By the time I have it moved over to the WordPress editor to format my post; it’s full of stray code from these other programs.

WordPress, while trying to be helpful, grabs all the extra formatting and adds it to the post. So when I load that post into preview mode, sometimes there are weird formatting choices that are a complete mystery to me.

Do yourself a favour and make sure you click this button to remove all the previous formatting before you get started. (You’ll thank me later.)

clear formatting before you start adding content into wordpress


Use lists where possible

When it comes to formatting your blog post, keep in mind that most readers will skim through your article. According to Hubspot, 43% of people who took their survey admitted to skipping through blog posts.

Are we all a tiny bit offended by this? Yes. However, knowing that people are skimming our content doesn’t mean we put less effort into creating it. It just means we need to plan our writing for busy people looking to find the information they want right away.

The best way to make your work easy to digest? Bullet points.

Adding bullet points:

  • Makes content easier to pick through
  • Decreases the wall of text intimidation
  • Brings attention to specific points

Scan your post for places where you can use a list or bullet points instead of a sentence. This will make things easier for your readers when they are scanning your post for tidbits of information to solve their specific problem.

In the example below, you can see the difference it makes to have a list of several points.

use lists where you can

Write in short sentences.

This is the hardest one for me. I tend to be a bit of a rambly person, and sometimes I let that translate into my writing. If you have built this style of writing and speaking into your brand, you can bend this rule a little. But make sure you can read your sentences out loud without stumbling if you want to ramble a bit.

A quick fix for this is to check your post for sentences that are using two or more commas. Break those into a couple cohesive sentences to make reading your post easier.


Use headlines (H2 & H3)

Headlines are used for many reasons when you’re posting a blog in WordPress.

  • Help your user scan content
  • Help Google understand what your article is about
  • Break up walls of text
  • Provide a place for Keywords
  • Structure your blog post

When Google is looking at your post formatting, it’s looking at all of your H1, H2 and H3 headers for keywords and key sentences that will tell Google what your blog post is about.

All of Google’s rules and SEO policies are in place to create consistency for users online. They are making sure that you are putting your reader first. Beyond the SEO aspect of your headers, we also use them to break up the text and make it easier for your reader to find what they need.

Resist the urge to stuff these headers full of search terms. Add your keywords to 1-2 H2 headers and H3 headers, or more if it makes sense.

Quick fix: Once you’ve written your article, scan through it and make sure you format your blog post to have a header every 300 words or so. Make sure introductions, separate points and your conclusion/call to action is easy to notice.

select what header you want to use

use headers to make content easy to read


Use whitespace in your paragraphs

You don’t need to be a designer to understand the importance of white space in formatting your blog post.

Everyone has loaded a web page or a blog post at some point that presented them with a wall of text. I can’t recall a time that I didn’t immediately click away because I felt so overwhelmed by the content.

Quick fix: Make sure you are leaving lots of white space in your post so that your reader can scan through the information with ease. Review it in preview mode to check for appropriate space between sections, paragraphs, etc.

Use Block Quotes for important bits of info

Block quotes are great for calling out important information that you want to be quoted on. Or information that you want people to notice.

I use Block Quotes to highlight the reading time and affiliate status of my blog posts. I also use them to call out a personal opinion within an educational piece of content.

You can use Block Quotes however you feel makes the most sense for your brand, but like everything else, make sure you don’t overuse them.

block quote 1

How it looks online:

block quote 2


Use Images in your blog posts

Add in images where it makes sense to do so. Images give your content some context, and the visuals will help your reader stay engaged. You can use one of many of the following:

  • general high-res images (saved for web)
  • diagrams
  • .gifs
  • charts & graphs
  • screenshots

Note: Your images should not exceed 100 kb per image used in your blog post because you want the post to load quickly in google. 

While you’re checking the image size, add your ‘alt text’ as well. Alt Text is what lets Google know what the image is about and also adds accessibility to your site for people who might have sensory difficulties. (If you’re having a hard time finding where to add this, google ‘Where to find alt text in X platform’ – most platforms have it these days.)

Quick fix: Review your content in preview mode and add images where appropriate. A good rule of thumb is a minimum of 1 image per 600 words.

Bonus: Formatting pet peeves. Read on at your own risk.

Lastly, I want to talk about some formatting faux pas. Popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter don’t give many options for formatting your posts. So many people are using capslock, Astrix and a number of other things to denote emotion in their posts.

Blogging, on the other hand, gives you a myriad of options to take your writing online. Bold, italic, headers, sub-headers—so many options that choose from that opting not to use these is akin to a personal attack on my eyeballs.

If you want to decrease that bounce rate, avoid some of these:

  • More than one ‘!’ at the end of the sentence. Maybe two, if we’re generous and being exceedingly excited is a part of your branding.
  • Caps lock. We read caps as yelling, not excitement. Yelly type is bad. Please consider how people will read your yelly type in their head.
  • Mixing bold and italics together. You can choose bold. You can choose italic. If you need to add both, please consider making it into a blockquote or a headline.
  • A bracketed sentence in most paragraphs. I was going to place one as an example here, but they should be used sparingly, and I already have one in the point above this.
  • Not numbering numbered lists. If you are offering me ‘the top # way to do X,’ I’d really like to see the numbers so I can see where the content starts.


What do I do next?

Next up, its time to get started! Take your blog post and make sure you have between 600 – 2000 words (depending on your beliefs around the ‘ideal blog length’) and paste it into your blogging platform of choice.

And if you’re an avid reader like me, drop a comment below to share your pet peeve around blog post formatting.


1 Affiliate links are for products that I use regularly and love the heck out of. If you click these links and end up purchasing with them as well, I get a small commission. Eventually. Potentially paid out in monopoly money. Who’s to say.