Thinking about doing some content marketing for your business? A blog is a great place to start! Creating a blog for your business is the best way to share content to not only your customers but to potential new leads as well. While your blog posts should always consist of information relevant to your industry and audience, they are also especially important for your overall SEO or search engine optimization.
There are plenty of “SEO gurus” out there who will promise you a top-ten spot, but buyer beware. The best way to optimize your content for search is to make sure that it is relevant and helpful for your readers. If they like it, so will Google. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to make everyone happy (and give your content a little boost in SERPs):
1. Do Your Research
The first step to writing a blog post is choosing a relevant topic. There’s nothing worse than putting all that time and effort into writing a beautifully optimized post that no one actually cases about. Your topic plays a major role in SEO, and keywords matter. Do your research to find out what questions people are asking in your industry and address one of those topics in a post. If you’re writing about a topic you would like your website to rank for, you may want to consider writing several posts on the topic over the course of several weeks. Remember, Google’s algorithm is controlled by bots and posts won’t get as many viewers if they are unpopular/ irrelevant topics (in the eyes of Google).
Not sure where to start? Here’s a few tips.
2. Get Points for Style
No one likes big ol’ blocks of text. Most readers (including Google’s spiders) are going to skim your article to determine whether it is relevant to them before taking the time to read it. Breaking your information down into organized, bite-sized pieces makes that easier.
Our recommendation is to keep it simple with an introduction, body copy, and a conclusion. Structured posts look better not only to the reader but to Google. Additionally, break your content apart into paragraphs, as your relevant information can get lost in lengthy paragraphs. And, don’t forget about subheadings! Proper headings let the viewer (and Google) know what the upcoming paragraph covers, and help with readability and SEO. Use bullet points, numbered lists, and images for extra credit.
3. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Overusing your keyword throughout your copy to help with SEO is a rookie mistake, and a big no-no in the eyes of the Big G. Google actually recognizes keyword stuffing and it can seriously hurt your rankings. Instead, use keyword synonyms to strengthen the SEO of your post. Be intentional about your keyword use and make sure your content is still fluid and has high readability. Balance is key here. This is important, so you can learn more than you ever wanted to know about SEO synonyms from Search Engine Journal.
The length of your post really does matter in terms of SEO. All posts should be at least 300 words, however, Google appreciates longer posts (if you truly have something interesting to say). Again, this is a balance and you should use your discretion based on the topic. If the topic can be addressed in a 450 word, well-rounded, post, that’s great! If it takes 700 words to get your point across, that’s great too. Use your judgment here.
Links, both external and internal, are extremely important to include in your blog posts. When you add an internal link (a link to another page on your own website) to your post, you are indicating to Google that your site has authority on the topic and both the old and new posts will rank higher for it.
External links can’t be forgotten either. Our advice is to link to other (non-competitive) reputable sites such as large publications and national associations. Again, this helps with your authority, in turn, helping with your overall SEO. The holy grail of optimized content is getting one of those reputable sites to link back to you. Backlinks – links to your website from other related sources – are one of the highest indicators of authority and value to Google. How do you earn these? Link to your target sites often and, more importantly, write good content.
Ok, one final bonus tip. Now that you know how to optimize a blog post, take the time to go back through your old posts and apply these same principles. Don’t delete your old posts! They’re more helpful than you think. Ready to get started with content marketing? Contact the DofM team.