A recent study by blogger.com shows that although roughly 60% of businesses have blogs, 65% of those blog owners haven’t updated it in the last year, and how many will have checked their blogs are SEO friendly?
Making a blog search engine friendly takes practice and a few general rules of thumb. Consistency in writing blogs should be at the forefront of your strategy, commit to writing regular, interesting pieces will help increase your followers.
A well written and interesting piece will be shared, liked, retweeted and so forth. What makes for great social engagement, makes for great search engine optimisation. If your followers love you, Google will love you too.
So, how can the technical aspects of keywords, headings and images can all help in optimising your post?
1: Plan your SEO friendly blog.
What is your topic going to be and how much do you write, what’s too much and what’s too little? Between 300 and 700 words is about optimum. Google likes lots of content, but readers will be put off if the blog is too much, so strike a happy medium.
2: The Technical bit
* Choose a focus keyword
What is it you want the blog to be found for on a search engine? Have you researched your keywords that you want to rank for, and how competitive are they? Plugins such as Yoast Plugin for Wordpress can check your blog to see if the keyword is in the right place, and that it features naturally. Use this keyword at least once in the title, meta description, URL, and pretty early on in the body copy, don’t overdo it as you don’t want to be penalised for keyword stuffing.
* Keyword URL
Taking a few minutes to optimise your blog url for readers and search engines can make you stand out against the competition. There are few quick wins to look out for, a shorter URL will rank more favourably, include a few keywords into your URL, and reduce unnecessary words. Articles from the likes of Hubspot or Search Engine Land can help with other ways to optimise the blog URL.
* Meta description for your blog
This is the snippet of text that will appear beneath your title in search engine results. As such, it’s important that you work your main keyword phrase into this, which Google will highlight in bold. The Yoast plugin again can help here to analyse the meta description and check for SEO friendliness.
* External and internal links
A great blog will link to other sources giving the reader further information, and gives your blog credibility and evidence of research. External links to a good domain authority site is part of SEP best practice and can help build organical relationships with others in your industry. Aim for 2-3 external links within a post. Linking back to your own internal pages can help show the search engine that you have other credible sources of information, so linking back to your own service page again is best practice.
3: A great blog can be lost in a bad layout
Only 20% of readers will venture past the headline, so make sure it encompasses your keyword. Make use of strong headline and H2 and H3 tags, bullet points and images (please use royalty free images if you have no licence to re-use artwork and make sure they are optimised for your web page) or infographs can make perfect visuals. Anything to make your blog post visually appealing. What will be your CTA for the reader? What do you want them to do next? Call you, email you, share your content? Make sure you add all of your social platforms throughout the blog, enabling readers to share via Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or other social media your audience uses.
4: Proof read your text
Typo’s, text errors, poor grammar, there’s plenty out there. You want a great positive article that will engage your audience for the right reasons. You don’t want high engagement levels with people correcting your mistakes or an audience that just won’t share your content as it will reflect badly on them. Businesses and organisations will be hesitant to share any poorly worded articles.
5: Use social signals to drive traffic to your blog.
If you have a Twitter, Facebook or maybe a Linkedin account, try using excerpts or statistics from the blog, with a bitly or other url shortener and send traffic through to your blog post that way. Again, more traffic to interesting blogs, more engaged content, your readers love you et voila Google loves you too. If your blog posts include images such as Infographs or interesting quotes, these can make a great precursor to a social update. Visual elements will help attract your readers’ attention
6: Update your blog regularly
As we mentioned at the start roughly 60% of businesses have blogs, yet 65% of those blog owners haven’t updated it in the last year, don’t be a statistic. Your audience, and Google, wants to see regular updates from you as a business, it proves you are still operating, and you have an online voice.
A great SEO friendly blog = A well researched topic + a few technical rules to follow + consistency
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