For businesses looking to put together a strong content strategy, their blog is going to be one of the central aspects of this, if not the biggest one.
What are you looking to achieve through your blog?
You want to build your credibility, authority, and establish yourself as an industry thought leader.
You want to increase traffic and conversions, which will in turn increase revenue.
You want to achieve both of the above by earning quality backlinks and strong social signals.
In order to do this, you need to have a number of things in place. As well as having an editorial calendar to keep you focused on the volume of content, you also need to be clear on whom you are writing for and the areas you’re looking to target.
Here are 10 SEO blogging tips that will maximise your online visibility and make it easier for you to achieve your goals.
While there is some mileage in the belief that just writing naturally will get your keywords into the copy an adequate number of times, you’ll see better results if you actually put some thought into what you’re doing. Don’t worry, we’re not telling you to find one of the many unnecessarily complicated keyword density equations you’ll find online and work out how to use your keyword a certain number of times. On the other side of that, you’ll know when reading through your content whether you appear to be using keyword stuffing techniques and have gone too far, so can then make the necessary changes.
Here are some things to keep in mind when using your keywords:
Include them in the title wherever possible, but look to create a range of titles featuring a keyword each rather than awkwardly stuffing all of them into each one.
Include your keyword in the first 100 words of the content and within the final paragraph or conclusion.
Use keywords in meta tags, page titles, and heading tags in your content.
Internet users waiting for a page to load aren’t the most patient bunch of people in the world. While this is a tip you could apply to all your website pages, if you’re looking to drive traffic to your blogs by earning some high organic search rankings, then it’s something you ought to give a real focus to.
Whether you minify the code, use a page speed plug in related to your specific CMS, or your hosting company can help you in some way, you need to be looking at the best way to make your blog pages match those of the rest of your site. This is especially important if you follow our next tip.
Even the most intense person would prefer a 2,000 word long post to feature something to make it a little easier on the eye. You can also place keywords within the code of images and videos to get an extra SEO boost, while Google and the other search engines will love the variety of content.
Of course, you need to make sure that what you’re posting complements the copy; don’t just place your favourite episode of Family Guy randomly in the middle of a blog post!
Although the most successful content marketing strategies are based on an editorial calendar that is populated months in advance, you can gain a lot of SEO exposure by being prepared to be flexible and jumping on the latest news in your industry. These topics will bring increased search volumes and increase your potential visibility, which in turn will give you many quick SEO wins.
This strategy is great for building long-term success from short-term actions. Yes, being a newsjacker and making a point of being one of the first to report or give an opinion is known for generating traffic peaks and troughs, but it is also the best way to build your reputation and credibility as a thought leader.
If you’re planning to publish a piece of content today that isn’t urgent, and there’s a big breaking news story that you could write an authoritative editorial piece of copy for, amend your schedule and put yourself where the traffic will be.
It is amazing that something as trivial as word count has the ability to leave many webmasters and small business owners in a state of flux, yet it happens more than you’d probably imagine. The problem, made worse by SEO articles that offer a number of solutions, is that people simply don’t know how long a blog post or an article should be.
For everyone who thinks that a 300 – 500 word piece of copy is effective for SEO, there are others who believe you need to be hitting 1,000 words and beyond. The truth is that you need to adapt it to your industry. A great piece of research conducted by Viper Chill actually discovered the optimal word count for a blog in a particular industry.
Here are some examples of their findings:
Gadgets blogs – Optimal word length of 181 words
Politics – 465 words
Health – 666 words
Marketing – 1,085 words
Personal development – 1,470 words
The length of your blog post is obviously going to depend on what you talk about and on the level of detail you’re able to go into. Generally, longer articles are considered better in terms of SEO value, but there’s no advantage to be gained by writing an extra 400 words over and above what you need. If you can talk about the latest gadget in 200 words or less, then you should do so. If you’re writing a marketing piece that is less than 1,000 words, then it probably isn’t as detailed as it should be.
Also, keep in mind that the most natural looking blogs will have a variety of word lengths as well as different types of content, irrespective of your industry. Your article should be as long as it needs to be; keep Viper Chill’s research in mind as a guide.
If you’re not currently linking to other blog posts when producing new copy, you’re missing two massive benefits. What are they?
If you’re linking to other blog posts, you’re encouraging readers to spend longer on your website and find out more about what you do, and become a thought leader in their mind.
Linking to other blog posts, as long as not done to extremes, will boost their SEO performance and strengthen your internal site architecture.
As well as linking naturally to other blogs on your site using anchor text throughout your copy, you should also use a plugin to feature similar articles at the bottom or side of the post, so readers impressed with the copy they’ve just read can look at more elsewhere on your site.
Linking out to authoritative sources from your website gives your credibility an instant boost in the eyes of Google. Transitive property is a term you’re going to hear a lot regarding SEO in the coming months, and is something your site can benefit from. The term refers to the boost a site will get by adding value to their copy and delivering quality information to readers by pointing out where they can find further high quality blog posts.
From a reader point of view, they’ll keep coming back to your blog, too, if they know they can rely on you to give great opinions while also pointing out other high quality posts.
Writing a blog if you have time, which was the approach most businesses have taken for many years, is no longer an acceptable attitude to have. Today, making time for blogging, as well as fulfilling the other elements of your content marketing strategy, is essential.
Not only does posting frequently bring you the SEO benefits you desire, it is the only way to engage a regular audience of readers and get them coming back to your site. If you post at irregular intervals, people will simply stop coming back to your blog and will go somewhere that does give regular updates. Regular postings is also more likely to generate email marketing subscriptions as people will always want to have the most up-to-date and relevant content you’ve produced.
Avoid the temptation to go too far! A content strategy doesn’t mean you need someone writing and posting blogs all day, every day. Depending on your industry, what you write about, and how that reflects on the word length of your posts, 2 – 8 posts per week is usually the optimum number.
Posting your content in your social media accounts is a great way to generate traffic to your blog. However, the real benefits are to be found by ensuring you have social sharing buttons on your site so that readers can put your content out there. Posting your own blog is self-promotion; someone else mentioning it on Twitter is the best recommendation you can get.
Having taken the time to make your blog posts as SEO friendly as possible, you’d be doing yourself and your business a disservice if you didn’t then include a call to action on all your pages. Whether you’re simply pointing readers to other blogs or asking them to get in touch, a page without a call to action is a wasted opportunity having worked so hard to put your name out there and achieve SEO success with your blog.
If you’re struggling to put together your own content strategy or need inspiration for making your blogs as strong as possible, contact Bough SEO now to discuss your needs and set your own website and blog on the path to search success.