Are you trying to increase traffic on your website by improving your blog SEO? There are many important factors when it comes to capitalizing on your brand’s blog. SEO, or search engine optimization, helps websites increase the chances of one or more of the pages of their website appearing in the search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO is one of the most common and necessary tools to pair with your blogging to see success in both driving traffic to your site and generating sales or leads. Not sure where to start? Check out these tips!
1. Lots of factors affect your SEO rankings.
Google can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When it comes to preparing your blog for SEO, there are some things to be aware of in Google’s scoring rubric.
Google does a very thorough job deciphering quality content versus low quality. The new mantra for blogging and SEO in 2020 is “reputation.” If you have boring or irrelevant content or technical issues such as your website’s mobile responsiveness, you will drop.
If you are consistently putting out high-quality and unique blogs and posting accurate information, it will do the opposite. To see a great example of Google’s scoring theory, check out this video of Moz and what he knows about Google’s ranking system → Google organic quality score theory
2. Focus on your keywords.
We’re looking at one to two long-tail keywords for your blog. Any more than that will end up hurting your SEO. Google can pick up on plenty of stretched efforts to gain traffic. “Keyword stuffing” is a red flag to Google, signaling you are “stuffing” keywords in to gain more organic traffic and rank highly among Google searches.
Why long-tail keywords?
One word: impact. When using long-tail keywords based on the content of your blog, results find a more specific and impactful audience will venture to your site and stay longer because of its relevance. I.e. If writing a how-to guide on SEO and blogging, you can use a long-tail keyword such as “how to use SEO for blogging” instead of “SEO blogging,” driving a more relevant audience to your page. This audience is more likely to engage with your posts and subscribe to future posts.
3. Include these keywords in specific parts of your posts.
Now that you have your keywords, let’s see how we can integrate them into your blog to optimize its search engine ranking.
The title of your blog should include the long-tail keyword in the first 50 characters of your blog. This is so the keywords do not get cut off by SERPs at the end, taking a hit against your post’s ranking. The keywords need to be in your posts and headers, as well but BE CAREFUL. You need to sound natural and you cannot oversaturate your post with these keywords.
Google sees everything; Google is Big Brother. Okay, not really. But they will consider this to be keyword stuffing and impact your scoring. It’s also highly recommended to use the keywords in your URL and meta-description. It’s all a contribution to helping the right audience find your post when they search for answers.
4. Just like SEO, you have to make a long-term plan with blogging
Blogging is still just as much a part of your brand as any other form of marketing. When you begin blogging or if you are trying to revamp your site’s blog, it’s important to clarify how you want to convey your brand to your audience. If you try and jump into blogging without a plan, you will likely end up lacking consistency in reputation and will fizzle out on the search engine results.
Some things to consider when starting/revamping your blog:
- Brainstorm and list relevant content ideas. Make sure there are plenty.
- Consider the schedule of posts and how often you are wanting to deploy. (i.e. when can your audience expect to see a new post?) Be realistic. Start out with attainable goals before deciding to increase the amount of content. Think consistency.
- Pin down your audience. Who are you targeting? Is this audience consistent across the majority of blog posts? It’s important to know the audience ahead of time for the purpose of releasing quality and relevant content in the eyes of Google.
- Set up a budget for ads on social media to cross-promote your blog.
It’s great to have big goals for a blog, just remember to start small and be realistic. Your blog’s consistency is vital to its rankings and reception by your audience.
5. Internal linking is crucial.
Everyone is terrified to link externally. (You mean, you want me to direct my audience to another company’s website?!) It’s one of the biggest misconceptions in blogging to date. Blogging etiquette aside, linking to a blogger’s post when mentioning their ideas or thoughts is a beneficial practice for your blog.
If you’re not willing to give links you will never get linked back. Companies and bloggers respond well to giving them credit or visitors. They possibly will link you back in the future. When you don’t link blogs, you end up reaping the results of narrow-minded marketing. Less relevancy, less traction, less validity. It hurts your brand in the end.
The purpose of your blog, to put it simply, is to meet the needs of your audience. When there is a point or tip made by another blogger that could benefit your audience, there is no harm in directing them to that site. It’s wholesome, beneficial content and your audience is left happy and satisfied.
6. Be genuine!
Google observes the analytics, recognizing when people are attracted to your posts. And what do people love? Authenticity. No one wants to read a dissertation or lecture. They want to feel connected to the brand, writing, or blogger. Be real and honest when it’s necessary. Be funny on occasion. Be relevant and comprehensive to your demographic.
It’s possible to sound like a colleague or friend of the audience without taking away from your brand or your content. This is usually what separates quality content and blogs from the rest, the icing on the cake. Remember, marketing is a branch of sales, too. You want to spark interest, so remember to consider this while curating your blogs.