Having a blog is a smart—if not necessary—move for your business. Websites with blogs perform better in the search results, and featuring compelling, useful content on your blog can help establish your business as a thought leader in its field.
In order to maximize your blogging efforts, we recommend applying SEO tactics to your posts. By using some simple techniques, you can increase your blog’s (and therefore your business’s) exposure, leading to greater web traffic and more sales leads.
The following tips will help ensure your blog is SEO – friendly and working as hard as it should be for you.
1. Base blogs off of widely searched phrases
You want your blog to be useful. The more useful the information you provide, the more people will want to visit your site. Write about topics that will appeal to the masses while still being relevant to your business. What are the questions people are asking on Google in relation to your products or services? What are the keywords appearing in the search boxes? Incorporate these keywords into your posts—and make sure to utilize them correctly (see tip #3 for more info on this). To find the right phrases and keywords for you, use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Google Trends, Bing’s Keyword Planner, or Wordtracker. If you’re not using the right keywords, you’re missing out on a plethora of potential benefits.
2. Don’t fall prey to keyword-stuffing
Some people think that the more you use your keywords, the better off you’ll be. More is always better, right? Wrong! Using too many keywords is known as “keyword stuffing,” and it will get you penalized in the search results. Keyword stuffing is essentially spam, as far as the search engines are concerned, and your visitors won’t like it either. It’s hard to camouflage keyword stuffing. The overuse of keywords will stick out on your page like a sore thumb, and reflect poorly on your blog. The best thing to do is to make thoughtful, quality content that flows well and can stand on its own. Keywords are extremely beneficial—but only when used correctly. So show prudence when incorporating them into your posts, or else they might backfire on you….
3. Put keywords in the right places
Finding your one or two ideal keywords is the first step, but you’ll also need to position them correctly throughout your blog posts for optimal results. As a general rule of thumb, keywords should always be placed in the following positions:
The headline, or title of your blog post: A keyword is essential here because this is the first thing search engines will scan to determine the importance of your content. Try to get your keyword(s) in the beginning of the title to ensure they don’t get cut off in the results pages (SERPS).
Sub headers and body: Incorporate your keywords whenever it’s natural to do so throughout your headers and body paragraphs. Content should flow well, and—as mentioned earlier—it should not be stuffed with keywords. It should maintain a steady pace throughout, with keywords only inserted organically.
Meta Description: Including your keyword(s) in your meta description will clarify what your post is about to the search engines as well as to potential readers. A meta description is essentially just a brief summary of what your article is about, and is usually editable via your blog’s content management system.
URL: A URL is the specific web address that will display on the browser window when visitors view your post. Having keywords in the URL of your blog post is wise because it specifies the topic of your blog and will also help bolster your ranking within the results. URL’s should make sense to your visitors—a long list of numbers and random words will seem out of place, but a URL that embodies your post (with keywords included!) will be beneficial.
4. Structure your blog properly
A proper layout for your blog will make for a better user experience while also helping you in the search results by making it easier for search engines to figure out how your blog is structured. A “good” structure means having an easy-to-navigate blog, complete with categories, subcategories, and pagination. Basically, if a visitor wants to read an article on X, it should be simple to locate, and they certainly shouldn’t have to click through numerous, irrelevant pages while they hunt for it. We’ve all had the displeasure of visiting a blog with a simplistic structure, void of pagination, that simply makes us scroll through “newer posts” or “older posts” and it’s not fun. Twenty pages later you still haven’t found what you’re looking for. Don’t be that blog!
5. Use internal links
Links will tie the content of your site together and show Google what’s related (or “linked”) within your site, and help establish the value hierarchy of that content. There should be links to the most valuable content, and/or whatever content is relevant to the topic you’re discussing in your blog post. The anchor text used to insert the hyperlink should make sense. Placing links in random places, or using too many links, will get your penalized.
6. Optimize old posts
If you’ve had your blog for a while, chances are some of the previous SEO tactics used on your published pieces are now outdated, or even harmful to your search results. Do an audit of your old posts, and reevaluate their structure, keywords, keyword placement, categories, etc., to ensure it follows today’s best practices. If you have this content on your blog anyways, you need to make certain it’s working for you and not just sitting there stagnant.
7. Make sure your blog is mobile friendly, aka responsive:
Responsive web design is essential in today’s digital age. Responsive design refers to your website configuring its layout to whatever device it’s being viewed on. This type of design helps ensure a smooth user experience and it is also important from an SEO standpoint. For those searching on Google from their mobile phones, Google will display mobile – friendly results first. So you’re missing a huge audience by not making your website adaptable.
Making your website SEO-friendly takes constant work and frequent updates. These recommendations will help get your blog moving in a positive direction, and capture the attention of potential visitors within the search engine results. While the above tips are important, it’s essential that you’re consistently publishing content to your blog that is interesting, compelling, and timely.