July 12, 2018
One of the biggest mistakes a site owner could make after finishing development work on their business website is leaving the Blog section untouched or using it just to post company news every once in a while. In fact, a blog is one of the most powerful tools to boost SEO and organic traffic and it should be incorporated into your long-term content management strategy, not treated as an afterthought. Having an active blog means that search engine bots have more pages to crawl through and clients are more likely to find your articles while searching for keywords related to your niche. However, choosing the right topics to tackle in your blog can be as tricky as Google’s changing algorithms, so here are some expert-recommended tactics to help you out:
Focus your post on one or two long-tailed keywords
Writing the perfect SEO-friendly blog post starts with choosing the right keyword to focus on. Based on your theme, research competitive keywords and choose one or two long-tailed variations that you will then include in the blog title, META tags and throughout the text. Why long-tailed? Because these variations of competitive keywords are more natural, question-based and more likely to address the user’s intent. However, don’t try to include these keywords in a forced, unnatural way in the text because this could lead to spam. All mentions should be organic, reader-friendly, in a way that matters to your audience.
Don’t forget to optimize
Optimizing blog posts is just as important as optimizing your website homepage and landing pages. The experts at Big Surf Digital Glasgow SEO recommend going over each post and making sure that it has a SEO-friendly URL, META title and META description. You should also look at alt image tags, headers and topic tags, which help the user navigate your blog. Define your blog tags carefully and avoid using duplicates just for the sake of SEO. Although it might sound like a good idea to have one tag called “women’s boots” and another “leather women’s booths” for the same article, this will actually be confusing for the reader, who needs more structured tags instead. If you are using WordPress, Yoast is a good SEO plugin that will give you an idea as to how well optimized your blog posts are. If you’re using another CMS, or simply don’t want to risk under-optimizing your content, work with an SEO company instead. With Google frequently changing algorithms and the characters displayed from META descriptions, it’s the only way to know for sure you’re using the right strategy.
The benefits of interlinking blog posts
Whenever you’re publishing a blog post, chances are you’ve already tacked the same subject before, so don’t forget to include a link to that post or landing page. Doing so has two major benefits:
- Interlinking increases the validity of your domain for search engines, showing that the content on your website is relevant.
- Internal links enhance the user experience, sending the reader to an additional resource that they can check if they want to learn more. At the same time, this practice encourages users to spend more time on your website, which reduces the bounce rate.
Choosing your topics & blog post structure
The ideal business blog consists of a combination of company-related news and general industry articles. Try to cover as much ground as possible and discuss interesting topics that provide value to your readers. As far as blog post length is concerned, there isn’t a strict word count you should stick to, but, at present, the general consensus in the SEO community is that long, 1500+ word articles are the most beneficial. From time to time, you can post a longer, in-depth guide on a complex topic. Articles of this type (long-form content) can appear in search engine results when users look for related keywords, increasing conversion rates for your site. They can also get a lot of shares, which boosts exposure and establishes you as an authority in your field.
Spruce up old blog posts
If you imagine that those blog posts you published two years ago and that don’t get any readers are useless, you’re wrong. Old content can actually play an important part in your SEO strategy if you go over it and make some interesting changes:
- Check if old posts are optimized. If not, make sure you insert relevant keywords in the META tags and headers.
- Expand the article. In 2018, SEO experts recommend writing extensive, 1000+ word articles that cover the topic in detail. If you have short articles, make them longer. While it’s still true that long articles make some readers lose their interest, long articles attract the right kind of readers – those who can convert into paying customers.
- Update the information in the article – if the article you wrote a while ago was time-sensitive, that doesn’t automatically make it irrelevant or outdated. On the contrary, refreshing the article with new data can actually give it a boost. For example, if you wrote a guide to creating a company logo in 2016, you can now update the tips in that article and retitle it – How to create a company logo: 2018 update. These types of articles do really well in search engines and can draw a lot of readers.
Last, but definitely not least, don’t forget that you are primarily writing for human readers, not search engines. Keep your user intent in mind and, no matter the topic you are writing on, try to add value with each and every word. Blogging does not give you immediate benefits and it will take a while until you will see the results, which is why it’s essential to have a sustained, coherent strategy, be patient and slowly grow your blog into a powerful source of information.
Linda is a writer and musician residing in Boise, Idaho in the United States. She graduated from the College of Idaho with a Bachelor's Degree in Business and a focus in marketing in 2014.