In our previous post, “Top 5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Blog,” we outlined the basic benefits of blogging on your company website. Among them, the fact that businesses who blog see 55% more traffic to their site. We didn’t go into much detail, however, about why it’s a necessary component in your SEO strategy, because that deserves its own post!
Before delving into how to incorporate SEO, it must first be acknowledged that content quality is always a priority. SEO benefits will wean if the writing you’re producing is low-quality and not worth anyone’s time. A business blog should be interesting, authoritative and educational – a reflection of your company and the ideas and products/services you have to offer.
“SEO, when done right, should never interfere with great writing.” – Rand Fishkin
Blogging with SEO in mind means building upon the quality content described above by optimizing all possible features in order to be more easily found in search engine results. This includes tagged pages, linking, keywords and authorship, as well as freshness and frequency, as explained below:
Title Pages: Search engines such as Google directly read the code to determine the topic of your blog, meaning they index it according to the earliest words – the title. Optimizing your blog title does have an added challenge when also attempting to be creative or clever with your title (unfortunately for writers, Google doesn’t pick up on puns!). Blog titles need to include the words readers are most likely to search, so they need to be direct and focus on the main idea.
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Tagging: Tags let you categorize your blog posts, which is useful both for search engines and for users looking for information on specific topics. For example, a post about “YouTube Optimization” can be tagged with that exact line, as well as concepts swirling around it, such as “social media optimization” and “video SEO.” It’s said that bloggers should stay between five and 10 tags per post.
Keywords: Research is the first step in choosing keywords – don’t go overboard and try to focus on a million in one post because that will actually lessen the chances of the post appearing in search results. Your brand can rank higher for certain keywords by including them throughout the blog post as well as in the title and tags. It’s important to remember, however, that the writing should still read smoothly – it’s not worth it to rank the highest for “Pinterest tips” if you don’t actually include helpful Pinterest tips. You want to establish credibility and encourage readers to regularly check and share your blog posts.
Related links: This double-whammy feature not only increases the number of internal links on your site, but it’s also beneficial for users looking for further posts on related topics. These links are typically found at the end of blogs for those who want to continue learning.
Authorship: It’s critical to remember the importance of people in SEO. Although this may seem like a contradiction at first, it’s the users that are clicking on your content and sharing it – increasing links and signaling to Google. Authorship has added benefits both in terms of cultivating a personal trust in the information and writing and in terms of continued tagging. According to Search Engine Land, “If a user returns to the search results after reading an author-tagged search result for a certain period of time, Google will add three additional links to similar articles from the same author below the originally clicked link.” Learn how to set up Google Authorship here.
Frequency & Freshness: There’s no magic number when it comes to how often you should post new content. It comes down to resources and what you can manage while keeping it high quality. Of course creating fresh content daily is ideal; however, even once a week will benefit your business. Cross-promotion through social media will improve your link reach as well.
For further instruction, check out: How to Create a Content Calendar to Correlate SEO Results.