How To Boost Your Blog's SEO With The Simple Hamburger Model



Writing for blogs and web pages with content that ranks well in search can be mind-numbing. There’s so much to be considered: you need to write great content that draws in the new reader, create enough white space and varied structure so that the reader stays on the page once they’re hooked by the content, and of course SEO. All of this is enough to drive content marketers crazy and to sometimes even want to throw in the towel and change jobs!

Ranking well in search can be a thankless job: just when you think you have the search engine algorithms for Google figured out, something changes and you’re back at square one trying one thing after another.

You try different places for your headlines, for your primary and secondary keywords, and for your photos. Then you change your H1’s and H’2s, or you change your alt tags and add a description under the photos. You think of every possible combination that might make your page more crawlable, and thus easily parsed and indexed.

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In quiet desperation you make a video, put it up on YouTube or on Vimeo, and then add it to your page hoping against all odds that your content will bubble to the top in search. After all your hard work creating content, you then have to make sure your title, meta description, and other bits are compelling AND will make it visible. Once all of this is done, you have to test your masterpiece to make sure it’s not only readable but looks great on all devices.

But it doesn’t have to be this difficult and convoluted!

What if there was a way that you could consistently create content on your page that was easy to implement and followed a process that was intuitively simple? What if it followed a formula that you perhaps already know and that you perhaps learned in grammar school or middle school? Wouldn’t that be great if there was a process for developing content that search engines love and that was really that simple? I’ve got good news for you! It is that simple and formulaic!


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Who remembers the Hamburger Model for writing? You were given assignments that usually required 5 paragraphs about a given topic. The bun was the opening and closing paragraphs of the essay and the “lettuce, meat, and cheese” were the paragraphs between the “buns”.

It could’ve been a compare and contrast paper, a biography, a book report, or an expository essay. But you knew what was expected in each of the five paragraphs! It looked like this:

Paragraph 1: Introduction with the “hook” that draws the reader in, 3-5 introductory sentences about the three points your paper will cover, and the last sentence is the thesis that will drive your entire paper’s content.

Paragraph 2: This is the first “body” paragraph and is dedicated to your first point which is the most important point.

Paragraph 3: This is the second most important point in your paper.

Paragraph 4: This is the third point of your paper.

Paragraph 5: This is the conclusion paragraph. It’ll revisit your 3 points or arguments you made in your paper, paraphrase the content of the paper, and will end with a restatement of your thesis in similar terms.

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Ring a bell? We still use this time-honored method of writing in much of what we do in online writing. There may be more or less paragraphs; however, we still follow this pattern for the bulk of our content writing.

Now let’s look at this same method of writing and give it a modern twist for writing online content. We’ll add a little twist to it with some attention to what helps search engines find your page.

First find three good search terms or phrases you wish to be found for with this particular content. For the purpose of the example, we’re going to call them search phrase 1, search phrase 2, and search phrase 3. Search engines take note from your title tags and headings which terms you imply are most important in the content that follows, so those same phrases should appear in some form in your title and headings.

Now let’s apply what we know about “hamburger” essays to writing content online. It still uses the same model of essay, but now you sprinkle in the keyword phrases. There’s a simple way of using those keyword phrases, which if done consistently in each new piece of dynamic and interesting online content, will cause your pages to begin to bubble to the top for you keyword phrases.

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Paragraph 1: In your introduction with the “hook” that draws the reader in, place your most important keyword phrase. Try and have that phrase as close to the beginning of the first sentence as possible. In the next sentence place the second keyword phrase, and in the third sentence the third keyword phrase. These three keywords should be the three points your paper will cover. The last sentence is the thesis statement that will drive your entire paper’s content. It should restate a variation of at least your most important keyword phrase.

Paragraph 2: This is the first “body” paragraph and is dedicated to your first keyword phrase which is the most important point. All the content in this paragraph should be related to the topic, and the keyword phrase should appear as close to the beginning of the first sentence as possible.

Paragraph 3: This is focused on the second most important keyword phrase in your paper, which should occur as close as possible to the first word in the first sentence of this paragraph. All content of this paragraph will of course be relevant to this keyword phrase.

Paragraph 4: This is focused on the third keyword phrase of your paper. Its pattern follows the same as paragraphs 2 and 3.

Paragraph 5: This is the conclusion paragraph. It’ll revisit your 3 points or arguments you made in your paper, paraphrase the content of the paper, and will end with a restatement of your thesis in similar terms. In the final sentence you should invert the order of your keyword phrases so that keyword phrase one is the last phrase in the last sentence in the post (or as close to the end of the last sentence as possible).

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Writing online content that’ll boost your blog’s SEO is about consistency. That means publishing useful, well-crafted content at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace! Three to five paragraphs of interesting content that your audience wants and needs and that can be found is what matters. Use those keyword phrases as your guide, and write in that time-tested middle school teacher approved essay format to make your work easier!

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Author Bio

Shannon Evans has authored and co-authored multiple books on SEO, Local Search, and Twitter use for small businesses. She is the owner of The Scholar Coach Academy where she teaches talented high school athletes mindset tools and personal marketing techniques to help them get recruited and accepted by the best college for them. She is an international speaker and hosts workshops and service retreats for athletic coaches and counselors in Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala.

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