If you’re a business that writes blog posts a regular basis then you will know this is a great way to connect with your visitors on more human level but why should you be optimising blog post for seo. Website pages deliver content to visitors in a structured way and can often be quite stuffy in the way they are written.
Blog posts written by members of your team, share your companies expertise with your website visitors in an informal and engaging way – but only if they get to read them. You may be writing articles on a regular basis and may even be promoting them by social media and email to your current contact network but this audience will only be as big as your current network.
To get your blog read by people who are searching for solutions that you can offer you need to be found online when these people are actually searching. Getting your blogs ranked on Google and other search engines should be a key component in your blog writing.
Here are my five tips for optimising blog post for SEO:
1. Don’t write for SEO
Now this may sound a bit of an oxymoron but Google and other search engine providers are placing more emphasis on quality content then optimisation, therefore I would encourage all blog contributors to write their article first and then go back and optimise it afterwards.
If your content is engaging and interesting to your audience they will linger on the site and you have more chance of engaging them further through strategic calls to action than you would if they visited and bounced straight out because the article they landed on was irrelevant.
If you spend time writing a good quality article for your readers you’ll gain some additional SEO benefits before you even start optimising the article itself. If the reader find your article interesting then they’ll more likely to share the article online through social networks this ticks one of the main SEO criteria to helping your article get ranked.
2. Do your research on keywords
Once you have a topic for your article and you have written the content, make sure you do the keyword research so you understand what phrase you’re going to optimise the post for. There are three main types keywords.
Head terms. These are short phrases all single words which cover the main service your company provides e.g. Accountancy services. These should be used within your main website homepage coupled with the geolocation tag if relevant.
Torso terms. Slightly longer two or three word phrases often cover the elements of the service you provide and are used on the inner pages of your website e.g. Part-time FD services. As with head terms these are often highly competitive and require a degree of optimisation that you will be unable to do with single blog post.
Long tail keywords. Now here is the area you want to focus on when searching for the keywords for your blog post. Long tail keywords are phrases that people type into Google when searching for a particular product, service or solution to a problem. A good place to start looking for these keywords is the Google front screen.
Start typing a phrase into relevant Google search bar and you will start to see recommendations from Google appearing underneath of popular searches. Use these as a basis to start your long tail keyword research.
3. Make the post relevant.
Simply put – Google needs to know what your post is about and that it relates to the subject matter that someone is searching for. You can do this by making sure the long tail keyword appears throughout your post in strategic areas. The main areas you want to ensure your keyword appears are:
- The title
- Any subtitles
- In the main body of the text
It’s important to make sure you don’t go overboard with stuffing the article with too many of the keywords as this will get you penalised by Google. Making sure your title is catchy and contains your keyword phrase is a good first step. That way readers will know once they land on the article that they are in the right place.
When it comes to adding the keyword into the body of the text, avoid the temptation to be too prolific. If you can ensure that the phrase appears in the first paragraph and then once in every 200-300 words you should be fine.
4. Don’t forget the images
One of the most neglected parts of any article or webpage is the images that appear on that page. Now Google cannot actually see the image you placed – you may have searched high and low to find the right image to convey your message – but the search engine cannot appreciate this. To ensure that the search engine understands what the image relates to make sure the file name and that alt tag are optimised for your long tail keyword. I’ve seen too many businesses trying to get found for the phrase ‘image001’. That space is very competitive and I’d stick to something your business actually wants to promote.
When optimising the image make sure that you have the filename in this format:
and the alt tag the same without the hyphen.
This way you are telling the search engine that the article is relevant because the title, subtitle are about the search, the term appears naturally through the text and the page has images that are also relevant to the search term.
5. Spread the news
Once you have written your article and optimised it you will want to spread the word and share your article. This will help your rankings as Google and other search engines will place a premium on articles that have been shared by people looking for something similar.
So when you’ve got everything ready then get it out over your social networks and trust in your evangelists to spread the word for you.
Emailing the article with social share links within the email can also help you spread the word.
Not forgetting to make sure that your blog page itself has social sharing icons embedded into the post and that they are easy to find – think about adding an encouraging note to ask people to share the article above your social icons. Make sure that you have the correct social links to share your content and not just links through to your own social networks – these are different things. If you are not sure about any of this then just ask your developer or drop us a line.
Optimising webpages for high volume Head or Torso terms can be a laborious task and somewhat expensive – once you realise that a number of easily ranked long tail keywords can net you the same amount of traffic you’ll get behind blogging in a big way.
SEO nowadays is not a black art that it used to be and blogs can be easily optimised by anyone to ensure your efforts and advice can be found online by the people you want to be speaking to.
Find out more about how Inbound Marketing can drive your lead generation, talk to us about an inbound review for your business.